A grande dame of French Creole cooking since 1905, and still family-owned, the clubby locale has long earned its place in the social scene. If you sit in the mirrored ground-floor dining room (not the second floor) and order without studying the menu, you might—just might—pass for an upper-crust regular. Cheat sheet: Get the “grand goute,” a seafood appetizer trio featuring the restaurant’s signature shrimp rémoulade.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.