Food & Wine's January issue, the reader's choice issue, is out now and celebrates all things New & Classic New Orleans. A recent F&W reader poll reveals New Orleans as the "clear favorite" for America's top food city. The magazine asks three experts Ti Martin, Donald Link, and Emeril to share their "insider picks." Martin (of Commander's Palace, Cafe Adelaide and Sobou) divulges her favorite cocktail hubs, while Link (of Cochon, Herbsaint, Peche) names his favorite new restaurants, and Emeril offers his take on classics. Here now, is a guide to the listicle love fest.
Ti Martin on where to drink cocktails now:
Bacchanal: "It recently added an upstairs bar, which feels like a treehouse."
Dante's Kitchen: Chef Eman Loubiere pushes boundaries with his food, and he cares about cocktails too."
Lucky Rooster: The drinks have paper umbrellas and all manner of stuff perched on top, but the cocktails, like the Lucky Cobbler...are well executed."
Sylvain: "Swear to God, I chose the location for SoBou so it'd be close to Sylvain!"
Wayfare: "I had a pork belly bourbon old fashioned. It had been a long day."
Her own cocktail-centric restaurant, SoBou: Our newest restaurant..has a beer garden out back with taps built into the tables, but the place was designed around our cocktails."
Donald Link on new restaurants to try now:
Cane & Table: Neal Bodenheimer is the mixologist behind Cure; he's done great things for the Nola bar scene...Adam Biderman does a nice ropa viega with braised skirt steak."
Gracious Bakery: "Megan Forman was Bayona's pastry chef. She's a great baker...Her sandwiches are delicious too."
Lily's Cafe: "The phos at this Vietnamese spot have what other places don't a rich broth."
Maïs Arepas: "The music is Columbian, the crowd is Columbian...This place is exciting...Killer."
Noodle & Pie: "I give them kudos for doing something different, an intersection between New Orleans and Japan."
His own restaurant, Peche: "We sells tons of whole fish, dishes like grilled shrimp, and what I think are the best hushpuppies in the world."
Emeril on classic restaurants worth the trip:
Cafe Reconcile: "I love the smothered pork chops. I'm also impressed with what the cafe is doing for at-risk communities."
J & J Seafood: "My parents, known to all as Mr. John and Ms. Hilda, shop here every Saturday."
Keife & Co: "This wine shop also sell cured meats and cheeses...Co-owner Jim Yonkus used to work at Ideal Cheese Shop, a great New York City food store, and he points me to good choices."
Pho Tau Bay: "I am crazy for Vietnamese food...and this is my favorite spot."
Toups Meatery: "I was proud to see Isaac Toups open his own place: He worked with me for more than 10 years."