Stop what you're doing. Brett Anderson has just addressed the demise of fine dining in New Orleans (and, well, everywhere) and it's pretty amazing. First off, Anderson notes:
While it's true - as I've argued for years running now - that there has never been as many great places to eat in New Orleans as there are today, the pool of restaurants that meet the stringent standards for the Top 10 - or a five-bean rating - has shrunk. And the phenomenon appears to be national.
Anderson then comes in for the kill, stating that if the grandiose fine dining institutions like Commander's Palace, August, or others become extinct it will likely be because a younger generation of chefs have refused to follow the path of white tablecloth ritz and glitz, instead weighing "evolving tastes and economics" into opening their new restaurants. That doesn't mean the level of amazing food and service is on the decline, just that the world, and likewise, the dining world, is forever changing, even in New Orleans.
Anderson releases his statement after a difficult year for fine dining in New Orleans. Both Stella! and Iris shuttered in the Quarter. Dominique Macquet left Dominique's On Magazine, Alison Vines-Rushing peaced out at MiLa, and while Brennan's has just reopened in all its regal splendor with Slade Rushing in the kitchen, the other main fine dining contender of the year Square Root is a vast departure from old school grandeur and French haute cuisine, preferring bar seating and Mötley Crüe as a means to showcase Phillip Lopez's fanciful cuisine and bad ass vapors.
With a slew of more upscale-but-casual dining options slated for 2015--from Shaya to Alex Harrell's Angeline--Anderson urges diners to embrace "the transformations that have coursed through the local restaurant scene in recent years," and give the newcomers a chance, lest we start spouting more bullshit, instead of welcoming a bit of diversity.