Gone are the days when cavernous hotel restaurants were mere shadows of the real thing. Light-years away from a big box amenity, many hotel restaurants in New Orleans deliver a strong sense of place meant to attract locals, not just visitors. Whether for a sexy date night or a milestone party, these destination restaurants impress — no hotel key required.Read More
18 New Orleans Hotel Restaurants That Stand Alone
Destination-worthy dinners even if you sleep at home
Chef Todd Pulsinelli’s roasted grouper is worth planning a weekend around. Pulsinelli, the executive chef at The Chloe, a stunning little boutique hotel in Uptown, creates cuisine that begs a double take. In this case, perfectly roasted local grouper is topped with pepper-charred oysters and bits of fennel atop a creamy sauce punctuated by ethereal smoked fish dumplings. From the finest heirloom garnishes to the surprising layers of flavors, Pulsinelli’s food sets a high bar.
Jack Rose in the storied Pontchartrain Hotel is a celebratory space oozing color, style, and pop culture chic. Chef Brian Landry creates modern Creole fare at Jack Rose — try the fried chicken parmesan — and outstanding pub cuisine at Bayou Bar, a destination in itself thanks to the spectacular live jazz that takes over the intimate space five nights a week.
Commons Club New Orleans
Glamour pusses flock to the slyly retro Commons Club at Virgin Hotel, a fabulous setting to showcase local chef Alex Harrell’s enticing menu of southern, seasonal, and Mediterranean-kissed small and large plates. Ask for a seat in the sexy Shag Room and bar area and try the Gulf fish with Two Brooks Farm rice grits, preserved tomatoes beurre blanc, and lima beans.
San Lorenzo at Hotel Saint Vincent
Dining at San Lorenzo in the Hotel Saint Vincent feels like an Italian holiday, and that’s no accident. Its menu of coastal cuisine was inspired by Le Sirenuse in Positano along the Amalfi Coast. The menu is seafood-centric, with an emphasis on seasonal, sustainably line-caught and bycatch fish. Steak lovers won’t be disappointed by the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a 24-ounce dry-aged porterhouse from Meats by Linz of Chicago that would be at home at any of the meat palaces in Florence.
Seaworthy at the Ace is in an intimate circa 1832 Creole Cottage a few steps from the hotel’s entrance. There is a first and second floor dining room for chef James Whitehead’s creative seafood menu. From oysters raw and grilled, to caviar crudo, snapper collar, or fish and chips made with local fluke, served in a setting that evokes a luxury wooden schooner’s cabin.
Bar Marilou is the impossibly hip lounge at the boutique Maison de la Luz, open to the public but outfitted with a secret entrance for guests. The bar has an eye-popping design and a menu of both drinking snacks — warm olives and almonds with confit garlic and rosemary, burratini on a baguette — and more substantial plates like the wagyu burger and seared scallops with sunchoke puree, Not necessarily dinner, but perfect for nighttime grazing. The cocktails are dangerously gorgeous.
Domenica in the Roosevelt is a popular destination for thin-crust Neopolitan style pizza, homemade pasta, and other Italian specialties. The restaurant earned chef Alon Shaya a James Beard Award for Best Chef: South when he headed the kitchen back in 2015. Epic happy hour 3 to 5 p.m. daily, including half-price pies.
This bustling Creole-style brasserie in the Hilton New Orleans does a superb job with raw and cured seafood including a wow seafood tower for the table that is crowned with a Maine lobster. There are so many good choices, from the pork schnitzel to the steak frites with duck fat bearnaise. Great wine and beer options too.
This restaurant in the InterContinental flies under the radar, but it shouldn’t. Chef/owner Jim Richard dazzles with solid technique and soulful interpretations of Southern and Louisiana dishes including crawfish pie, barbecue shrimp, and blackened Gulf fish. Trenasse serves several varieties of grilled oysters, intel that gives an alternative to waiting in line in the Quarter.
Restaurant R’evolution is the winning concept from chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto. At once a steakhouse, a modern Italian trattoria, and a polished Creole-Cajun restaurant, this is luxury-grade cooking at its best. Get the signature death by gumbo: a whole roasted quail, andouille, and oysters in a silky broth. One of the best wine cellars in town.
Couvant’s French pedigree fits the gorgeous space in the Eliza Jane Hotel, with its low lighting, tin ceiling, crushed velvet, and black-and-white tile floor. New Orleans native Ryan Pearson, a former sous chef at Daniel in Manhattan, delivers French technique, but with modern, creative style. The crawfish gnocchi is just one spot-on marriage of French and South Louisianan traditions.
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King Brasserie + Bar
As if the befeathered Peacock Room at the Kimpton Hotel Fontenot weren’t sexy enough, the 2023 opening of King Brasserie upped the hotel’s game, big time. For starters, it’s so much fun guessing who’s who in the king-inspired portraits and silhouette art that line the walls. Add in inspired coastal Mediterranean cuisine from chef Samuel Peery, dishes like chargrilled octopus with bento bacon and Vidalia onion tart, and lingering commences.
Chef Nina Compton could have gone anywhere to further her meteoric career. But the St. Lucia native threw her toque into the New Orleans ring in 2012 after she was runner-up and fan favorite on Bravo’s Season 11 of Top Chef. She opened her first local restaurant, Compère Lapin at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in the Central Business District. One showstopping dish is her curried goat, a deeply layered stew studded with cashews and sweet potato gnocchi, bursting with flavors that crisscross the globe, from Trinidad to Durban.
The Grill Room at Windsor Court
Both elegant and approachable, the Grill Room promises a memorable dining experience and a scrumptious array of contemporary Louisiana dishes and extraordinary presentations. Executive chef Vlad Kogan and chef de cuisine Alex Kuzin preside over an au courant menu with dishes like whole grilled branzino with watercress yuzu chimichurri. The $28 lunch special, a main and three sides, is perfection.
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Milestone celebrations are one reason to visit the Rib Room in the Omni Royal Hotel. The truffle parmesan fries, medium rare prime rib, and seafood risotto are three more. Add in the old-school vibe and attentive services, and no wonder the place has been a hit for more than 60 years.
Chemin à la Mer
Chemin à la Mer marks the first time James Beard award-winning chef Donald Link has partnered with a hotel, in this case the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, a game-changing brand that opened in 2021. The restaurant’s menu draws from Link’s roots and the pathways of Creole cuisine through the Caribbean and Europe. There’s an oyster bar, a terrific fried quail starter, and classic steak frites, all with dramatic front-row views of the Mississippi River.
Miss River in the Four Seasons is inspired by chef Alon Shaya’s love for his adopted city, New Orleans, and state, Louisiana. The menu includes his wife Emily’s award-winning red beans and rice, fried chicken presented whole and then dispatched at the carving station, and a Gulf red snapper encrusted in salt. Swank touches abound — caviar with Creole cream cheese ice cream anyone?
The Elysian Bar
At the Elysian Bar in the raptly renovated Hotel Peter & Paul, the sacred setting combines with chef Kyle Focken’s fresh-forward cuisine for a memorable dining experience. From the team behind Bacchanal in Bywater, the restaurant offers a choice of great spaces to sup — the rectory, bricked church courtyard, two comfy parlors, and a light-filled atrium. The pork belly with compressed watermelon and the heirloom tomato salad with fried oysters are two tasty options.