New Orleans’ Creole and Cajun restaurants have access to some of the world’s best seafood. Many classic establishments show the influence of French technique, and Italian-inflected recipes are now popular as well. Today, more and more restaurants also reflect the traditions of the city’s many Asian immigrants. Recent years have been tough for restaurateurs, but dining in New Orleans is as routinely sensational as ever.
This wine-themed restaurant won’t win any awards for culinary innovation, but it’s a pleasant venue for lunch in the Central Business District. Diners can sit on the shaded patio, shielded from the street by a wall of plants, or in an airy dining room with a wall of windows. There are no fewer than 30 wines available on tap, as well as 19 additional higher-end selections “From the Cellar,” also available by half or full glass. We hewed to the latter, starting with flutes of juicy Dopff & Irion Crémant d’Alsace Rosé. The wine cut through the richness of some hushpuppy-like crawfish beignets with Meyer lemon aioli. My excellent main course of almond-crusted Gulf fish with Champagne cream sauce came atop leeks and kale studded with little dollops of briny tobiko. A glass of focused Sancerre broadened with the fish, and a grapefruity Surh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc from the tap became tighter; I enjoyed both pairings. Lunch was tasty, but I can imagine coming here just to sit at the bar for a glass of wine. I wouldn’t rush back specifically for the food.
1001 Poydras Street. Tel. (504) 208-9535