It's Spring in New Orleans, which means highly-anticipated restaurant openings galore, and the onslaught has already begun. A few restaurant have snuck onto the radar with overwhelming levels of smoking hotness in the past few weeks. Here now, are the latest spots to try.
The newest location of restaurateur Joel Dondis and pastry chef Tariq Hanna's sweets emporium is now open at 622 Conti in the French Quarter. Home to all your favorite macarons, chocolates, gelato and exquisite desserts, this location also houses the only Modbar coffee brewing system in Louisiana. Translation: this is the hottest third wave coffee destination in town right now. The highly-anticipated upstairs restaurant Salon By Sucre is expected to open by French Quarter Fest. Hours: Sun-Thurs, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fri/Sat, 8 a.m. to midnight. (504) 267-7098.
Chef Alex Harrell's Angeline has just opened, bringing refined Southern cuisine with a hint of Mediterranean flare to the former Stella space at 1032 Chartres. A killer cocktail program from a Death & Co. alum, exceptional service, and a laid back elegance round out the experience — perfect after an evening stroll in The French Quarter. Hours: Daily, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Website here.
New Roads chef Cody Carroll (of restaurant Hot Tails fame) brings his love for all things Louisiana seafood and game to the Warehouse District, with his restaurant Sac-A-Lait, newly opened in the former Sun Ray Grill space. Major Bonus: It's home to both brunch and an oyster bar. Website here. Hours: Tues-Thurs, 5 to 10 p.m. and Fri-Sat, 5 to 11 p.m. Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The team behind San Francisco pizza favorite Pizzetta 211, Jack Murphy and Susan Dunn, plus Commander's Palace/Emeril's alum Ed Dunn have teamed up to bring a mindful and affordable menu of specialty pizzas, pastas, crudo and more to the Marigny 511 building after two years of planning and renovation. Phone: (504) 509-6782. Hours: Sun/Mon and Wed/Thurs, 5 to 10 p.m. Fri/Sat 5 to 11 p.m.
This tiny new modern American hotspot in unassuming Gert Town features modern "eclectic" American with Asian, French, and even Italian influences (but "no woks") at reasonable prices. Entrees fall in the $10 to $20 range from two young chefs with impressive stints at Tom Colichio's Craft Bar, Gautreau's and Bayona between them. On Facebook. Hours: Tues-Sat 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Now open in the former Liberty's Kitchen space at 422 S. Broad (near Tulane), this grilled cheese emporium is home to an array of affordable grilled cheese sandwiches, soups and salads. Website here. Hours: Mon-Sat 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Chef Dominique Macquet is at the helm of this new French bistro and wine hub, which quietly just took over the colorful Baie Rouge space. Flatbreads, ceviches and more street foods from Macquet's native island of Mauritius comprise the menu. Hours: Monday to Thursday 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday to Saturday 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Website here.
Alon Shaya, the man who brought regional Italian cooking to New Orleans with Domenica and Pizza Domenica (restaurants opened in partnership with John Besh) has created a restaurant concept close to his heart featuring modern Israeli cuisine, including the best pita you've ever tasted. Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11am-10pm, Fri/Sat, 11am-11pm. Website here.
La Petite Grocery team Justin and Mia Devillier have brought a new game downtown with their concept, Balise a sophisticated bar and restaurant with a garde manger (cold station), classy drinks, and fare ranging from rabbit roulade to roasted grouper. Hours: Monday through Friday, 11am-11pm, open for dinner only on the weekends, 5-11pm Saturday and 5-10pm on Sunday. Website here.
This cafe, which supports the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts, mixes the culinary and visual arts to create a homey, intimate, stimulating environment with food from SoBou alum Jonathan Schmidt. The menu includes salads, sandwiches, and entrees like the intriguingly named "Darn Good Chicken Tostones." Hours: Daily, 8am-8pm. BYOB. Website here.
Not new, but moved and improved. The Boucherie crew has graduated to bigger digs around the corner on S. Carrollton Ave, in order to make way for their new daiq & wing concept Bourre at the old Creole cottage on Jeanette. Enjoy more elbow room, light, and a whole new vibe. Hours: Open for lunch: 11am - 3pm and dinner: 5:30 - 9:30 Tues. - Sat. Website here.
The CBD/Warehouse District has a new coffee shop and juice bar from the minds behind Satsuma with everything fresh and house made pastries, to boot. The joint just opened yesterday, so it's now a weekend (or Monday morning) downtown destination for morning fuel. Hours: opens at 6:30am. Website here.
Erin Rose alum Bert West and Bar Tonique owner Ed Diaz opened this place on N. Rampart to be a casual neighborhood hangout. They have cocktails and craft beer cans. Other than that, it's a bit of a mystery (thus the old timey photo above). Hours: 4pm-till. Website here.