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Romantic Places to Dine

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nol_jan08_medres_page_40_image_0001.jpgBayona
530 Rue Dauphine, 525-4455
This historic and elegant 200-year-old Creole cottage is home to nationally acclaimed and awardwinning chef Susan Spicer. The captivating ambience, exceptional service, diverse wine list, engaging courtyard and exquisite food make Bayona ideal for a romantic rendezvous. Don’t miss the goat cheese crouton with mushrooms in Madeira cream, sautéed sweetbreads with sherry-mustard glaze and grilled duck breast with pepper-jelly glaze.

nol_jan08_medres_page_40_image_0006.jpgBrigtsen’s
723 Dante St., 861-7610
For more than 20 years, chef Frank Brigtsen has wowed diners with his delectable Creole-Acadian cuisine. Located in the Riverbend area in a charming Victorian cottage, Brightsen’s offers outstanding food and friendly service. Recent selections have included shrimp remoulade with deviled egg, guacamole and merliton corn relish, softshell crab with toasted pecans and meuniere sauce, and sautéed veal and oysters with spinach au gratin.

nol_jan08_medres_page_40_image_0007.jpgCafé Degas
3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635
This intimate European-style café displays historic charm and Southern ambience, from the twinkling white lights to the majestic tree that graces the enclosed patio dining room. Classically French cuisine such as les escargots, house-made patés, la gratinée d’oignon (French onion soup), la salade niçoise and l’omelette aux crevettes (shrimp omelet) and attentive service make it a perfect choice for an evening of amore.

nol_jan08_medres_page_40_image_0008.jpgCafé Giovanni
117 Decatur St., 529-2154
What could be more romantic than being serenaded tableside by opera singers? Well, at chef Duke’s eatery, you’ll get just that in addition to delectable Creole-Italian cuisine, such as his visually stunning and succulent Oysters Giovanni with five sauces, Duke’s filet in a brandied foie gras sauce and his decadent spaghetti carbonara with three-cheese cream sauce and pancetta.

nol_jan08_medres_page_40_image_0009.jpgCommander’s Palace
1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221
Nestled in the heart of the Garden District, sits this perennial favorite and nationally recognized dining establishment. Dine on favorites including turtle soup au sherry, Tasso Shrimp Henican, Creolespiced gulf fish and, of course, Commander’s signature bread pudding soufflé, all of which is served in grand style by its incredibly professional and polished staff.

Feelings Cafe
2600 Chartres St., 945-2222
This romantic and picturesque restaurant is tucked away in the Bywater and has an elegantly lush courtyard ideal for a night of wine, food, song and romance. Enjoy a glass of wine in the charming piano bar before or after dinner and be sure not to miss the insanely delicious signature dessert, peanut butter pie.

nol_jan08_medres_page_40_image_0002.jpgGautreau’s
1728 Soniat St., 899-7397
Elegant and polished, Gautreau’s is a local favorite nestled in an Uptown neighborhood. Serving savory contemporary French Louisiana fare with a menu that regularly changes, Gautreau’s offers dishes such as duck confit with ragout of beluga lentils and figs, braised veal cheeks with pappardelle and glazed root vegetable and a caramelized banana split with butterscotch and fudge sauce.

nol_jan08_medres_page_40_image_0003.jpgIris
8115 Jeannette St., 862-5848
Named a Best New Chef of 2007 by Food and Wine magazine, Ian Schnoebelen has amassed quite a local following in a short period of time. Tucked away off Carrollton Avenue, Iris has a warm, homey feel packed with charm and personality that can only be rivaled by Ian’s impeccably prepared and uniquely flavored cuisine. The menu changes often, which makes going back time and again a true pleasure.

nol_jan08_medres_page_40_image_0004.jpgLa Petite Grocery
4238 Magazine St., 891-3377
This elegant French-inspired bistro offers a jovial atmosphere paired with tasty food and friendly service. Refined, smart and comfortable, La Petite Grocery serves up intriguing and delicately balanced flavor combinations such as sautéed sweetbreads over smoked bacon and sweet potato ragout, shellfish bisque with crème fraîche or marinated lamb with sunchoke puree.

nol_jan08_medres_page_40_image_0005.jpgLa Provence
25020 Hwy. 190, Lacombe, 985-626-7662
With chef Rene Bajeux at the helm, this captivating, romantic and welcoming north shore restaurant offers some of the best classic French cuisine around. Start off with his mille-feuille of blue fin tuna, blue crab and avocado with saffron orange jus or sauté of escargot and porcini mushrooms, but be sure to save room for the warm torte of blueberries topped with almond streusel and Creole cream cheese ice cream.