A Hedonist’s Weekend In New Orleans

Oysters at Casamento’s Restaurant.
Casamento’s, photo © Cheryl Gerber

Where To Eat


F&W Best New Chef 1999 John Besh’s flagship, known for innovative Louisiana and Mediterranean dishes and languid Friday lunches.


An outstanding French-inspired restaurant co-owned by F&W Best New Chef 1988 Frank Brigtsen.

Café du Monde

A famous French Quarter café overrun by tourists, but not to be missed for its powdered-sugar-topped beignets (doughnuts).

Casamento’s Restaurant

A classic oyster restaurant adored by locals; open for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday and for dinner Thursday to Saturday only, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. (and closed June through August).


An old-fashioned dining room in a former apothecary, where F&W Best New Chef 2008 Sue Zemanick runs the kitchen.


Pleasantly noisy new brasserie from Besh, with a terrific raw bar.

Where To Drink

Mimi’s in the Marigny

A hipster bar in the Marigny district, with live music and a Spanish tapas menu.

Rue de la Course

A bohemian coffeehouse on Magazine Street, a terrific shopping strip.

Saturn Bar

An old dive bar beloved for its cluttered, lived-in space and outsider-art collection.

Vaughan’s Lounge

An always-crowded bar in the Bywater, where locals pack in to hear New Orleans jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins play weekly Thursday-night sets with his band, the Barbecue Swingers. Ruffins often serves his own homemade barbecue at the shows.

What To See

New Orleans Art Museum

Located inside the 1,300-acre City Park, with a sculpture garden that displays iconic pieces by renowned artists like Louise Bourgeois and Henry Moore.