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18 Things You Have to Taste in 2018

January 1 2018 | News

Instead of making a list of things you shouldn't eat in 2018, here's a list of culinary experiences you shouldn't miss – in no particular order. In fact, we're going to start with dessert.

1. Beignets from Cafe Beignet 

We hear it all the time – the best beignets in the city are at Cafe Beignet. In December 2017, Cafe Beignet won the title "Best Traditional Beignet" at Beignet Fest. Next time you're in town, do a taste test. Good Eats host Alton Brown says they're the best. We think you'll agree.

Beignets from Cafe Beignet

2. Banana's Foster from Brennan's

This famous, flaming New Orleans dessert was invented by Ella Brennan and Chef Paul Blangé in 1951. It was named for Richard Foster, the chairman of the New Orlenas Crime Commission at the time, and a close friend of Owen Brennan. If you've never had brunch at Brennan's, put it on your to-do list this year. You'll be glad you did.

Bananas Foster from Brennans

3. Natchez Creole Bread Pudding from the Steamboat NATCHEZ

One of the best views on the Steamboat NATCHEZ is the one of the plate sitting in front of you. If you love bread pudding, and who doesn't, come aboard for a jazz brunch, lunch or dinner cruise. If you can't wait, try the recipe here.

Natchez Creole Bread Pudding from Steamboat Natchez

4. Muffuletta from Napoleon House

The first muffuletta was served at Central Grocery on Decatur Street, but there's nothing like Napoleon House's warm, toasty version served with a refreshing Pimm's Cup in their couryard. Playwright Tennessee Williams loved ths restaurant. You will, too.

Muffuletta from Naoleon House

5. Oysters Rockefeller from Antoine's

Oysters Rockefeller was invented at Antoine's during a snail shortage in 1899 by the founder's son, Jules Alciatore. While the recipe remains a secret to this day, you'll find variations on menus all over town, but Antoine's is the best. Don't just go to the hot new restaurants while you're in town. You can't know NOLA if you've never been to Antoine's. 

Oysters Rockefeller from Antoines

6. Turtle Soup Au Sherry from Commander's Palace

For more than 300 years, we’ve been eating Turtle Soup in New Orleans. Chef Tory McPhail gives credit for Commander’s version to legendary Chef Paul Prudhomme who started working  for the Brennan family in the early 1970s. Whatever you do, don’t forgo the sherry. Yummy! Read our Commander's Palace Review.

Turtle Soup Au Sherry from Commanders Palace

7. Chicken Bonne Femme from Tujague's

Pan-fried and served with garlicky potatoes persillade (not for the faint of heart or for vampires), this off-menu item from New Orleans' second-oldest restaurant is a real head-turner. Still, make sure someone at your table orders Tujague's Brisket, the house speciality. And start the evening off with a Grasshopper (it was invented here). Read our Tujague's Review.

Chicken Bonne Femme from Tujaques

8. Crawfish Mac & Cheese from Cornet

The family who gave Louis Armstrong his first horn knows how to make a great pasta as well. According to one guest, "Cornet's Crawfish Mac & Cheese is everything." We agree by making it one of "the 18 things." Next time you're in the mood for pasta or need a little comfort food, give it a try. This is where "high class meets down home."

Crawfish Mac & Cheese from Cornet

9. Gulf Shrimp, Corn and Andouille Maque Choux from Café Amelie

Another great pasta dish can be found at Café Amelie. Enjoy it in one of the most gorgeous courtyards in the French Quarter or inside the historic Carriage House. Just look at that cheese, y'all! How soon can you get here?

Gulf Shrimp, Corn and Andouille Maque Choux from Cafe Amelie

10. Yumbo Mumbo Gumbo from Chef Ron's Gumbo Stop

There are dozen of contenders for the best gumbo in New Orleans, but Chef Ron's Yumbo Mumbo Gumbo is at the top of our list. It makes you proud to be from Louisiana. 

Yumbo Mumbo Gumbo from Chef Rons Gumbo Stop

11. Shrimp and Grits from Court of Two Sisters

In New Orleans, we love our Shrimp and Grits and nobody does it better than the iconic Court of Two Sisters. It's so good, you'll want to pop up out of your chair and second line around the table. Before you leave, make a wish for a great 2018 in the "Devil's Wishing Well." 

Shrimp and Grits from Court of Two Sisters

12. "Jazzy" Crab Cakes from Oceana Grill

One of the most popular choices on the Oceana menu is the "Jazzy" Crab Cake Platter. Topped with a cream sauce loaded with fresh crawish and mushrooms, these crab cakes are unlike anything you've ever tasted before. Both guests and staff say this is one of their favorite dishes. Read our Oceana Grill Review.

Jazzy Crab Cakes from Oceana Grill

13. Acme "10 Napkin Roast Beef" Po-Boy from Acme Oyster House

This hot, drippy sandwich features traditional slow-cooked chuck roast, served debris style. In case you're not from around here, "debris" is shredded roast beef in pain drippings that has been simmered slow and on low until it's fall-part tender. Start with a dozen oysters on the half shell and finish up with this!

Acme 10 napkin roast beef po boy from Acme Oyster House

14. Jumbo Lump Crabmeat Benedict from Ralph's on the Park

You could put hollandaise sauce on a shoe and it would taste good, but when it's crab fat hollandaise made with fresh, sweet Louisiana crabmeat, drizzled over poached eggs and an English muffin with a side of squash – now you're talking! Read our Ralph's on the Park Review.

Jumbo Lump Crabmeat Benedict from Ralphs on the Park

15.  Original Pascal's Barbecue Shrimp from Pascal's Manale

This deliciously messy dish was invented right here in New Orleans at Pascal's Manale. a Creole-Italian eatery Uptown. The recipe is a secret but they say it's nothing more than shrimp, margarine, salt and pepper. Whatever it is, it's too die for.

Original Pascals Barbecue Shrimp from Pascals Manale

16. Trio of Ducking from Pelican Club

Nestled in Exchange Place in the French Quarter is one of "America's Top 250 Restaurants," according to Condé Nast Traveller.  Chef Richard and Jeanne Hughes' Pelican Club is a real find. While you can't go wrong with any of the menu choices, we just adored the Trio of Duckling – Leg Confit, Pan-Seared Breast and Asian BBQ Duck with Louisiana Citrus and Fruit Sauce and Dirty Rice. Read our Pelican Club Review.

Trio of Ducking from pelican Club

17.  Oysters Rizzuto from Rizzuto's Ristorante & Chop House

We've never met a Louisiana oyster we didn't like but our feelings about Oysters Rizzuto go way beyond like. In fact, you'll be tempted to make this baked oyster appetizer your entrée. If you haven't been to this new restaurant yet, put it on your 2018 must-do list. Read our Rizzuto's Review.

Oysters Rizzuto from Rizzutos Ristorante & Chop House

18. Ossobuco Milanese from Andrea's

People who love ossobuco, love the way it's done at Andrea's – it will thrill you to the marrow. And don't let the fact that the restaurant is in Metairie keep you away. Andrea's is just ten minutes away from downtown and offers complimentary limousine service to and from your hotel.

Ossobuco Milanese from Andreas



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