Wander around the French Quarter a while, and it won't be long before your senses are inundated with incomparable aromas. Wafts of Creole and Cajun cuisine tempt you to come inside, sit down and have a meal that satisfies. So, how in the world can you choose from among the best restaurants New Orleans has to offer? It's hard to go wrong no matter where you go to eat, but here are a few things you'll see on local menus.
Say “eh-too-fay” when you order this beloved dish that's always served at the very best restaurants in New Orleans. This substantial seafood stew is made with a light buttery roux, so it's somewhat lighter in color than your typical bowl of red gumbo. Etouffee relies on onions, celery, bell peppers, butter and bay leaves for flavor, along with a generous amount of parsley, green onion, thyme leaves and a dash of spicy red cayenne pepper. When in season, fat Gulf shrimp are sometimes substituted for crawfish tails in this tasty traditional Louisiana dish.
Whatever you do, don't ever think that a beignet is just an ordinary doughnut. In fact, it's anything but. Introduced to the Big Easy by French immigrants and Creole colonists all the way back in the 18th century, sugary beignets are a simple albeit delicious New Orleans dessert that can be enjoyed any time of day. Square portions of dough are fried before being dredged in powdered sugar. Most of the best restaurants in New Orleans served three sugared beignets per platter. Easy and extraordinary.
Sassafras, bay leaves and okra form the basis of Louisiana gumbo. Similar to a stew, flavorful gumbo may contain seafood, andouille sausage, ham, chicken or a combination of some or all of them. Chefs at the best restaurants New Orleans typically serve gumbo over a bed of dirty rice with black pepper and Tabasco sauce on the side.
This New Orleans staple offers a bold flavor that features sausage, seafood or chicken along with plenty of rice, tomatoes, thyme, bell pepper, celery, onion and Creole seasonings. Carrots, chilies and chopped garlic may be featured in jambalaya at different New Orleans restaurants.
Sicilian influence is present in every tasty bite of a muffuletta sandwich. Made with a big loaf of Italian bread, a muffuletta is an Italian cold cut sandwich that's piled high with slices of provolone cheese, Genoa salami and ham before being topped with chopped green olives, cocktail onions, pimientos, garlic and other flavorful additions. One of the best restaurants New Orleans has to offer is the Central Grocery which happens to be where the muffuletta sandwich was invented in the late 1880s.
Another of the best New Orleans restaurants is Brennan's, home of the original Bananas Foster dessert. Invented in the 1950s, this tasty dish is made with bananas, brown sugar, cinnamon, rum and vanilla ice cream; Bananas Foster is an after-dinner treat to try when you're dining out in The Big Easy.
If reading this has given you an appetite, head to the corner of Decatur and St. Phillip Street. The Original French Market Restaurant and Bar is one of the best restaurants in New Orleans.Best Restaurants New Orleans