In 2005 Hurricane Katrina had a profound impact on New Orleans and its restaurants. Many questioned if the New Orleans dining scene could return to its renowned prominence. New Orleans not only returned as a food city, it has more high-end restaurants and a growing ethnic diversity of dining options today.
Following Katrina, John Besh and Chef Todd Pulsinelli reopened Restaurant August and in 2007 selected by Gayot as a top 40 Restaurant in the United States. The Besh Restaurant Group (BRG) has since opened twelve acclaimed restaurants. Gautreau’s owner Patrick Singley provides guests with elegant surroundings and a menu that is inventive but without pretensions. And chef and owner Jason Goodenough has been consistently turning out some incredible dishes since opening Carrollton Market three years ago.
In 2006 Chef Adolfo Garcia along with business partner Nick Bazan opened RioMar followed by LaBoca and Gusto, known as meccas for those who enjoy a little Latin spice in their dining experiences. In 2007, Stein’s Market and Deli, a Jewish-Italian market, draws crowds with specialty meats, cheeses and a unique selection of brews. In 2011 Café Abyssinia began serving authentic Ethiopian and African food in a cozy, colorful eatery. That same year Cristina Quackenbush opened Milkfish, serving artful preparations of classic Filipino dishes such as chicken adobo, pancit, and pork sisig. Since opening in March 2015, Kin (Ramen) is gaining praise for eclectic dinner dishes that pull influence from French, Italian, and Asian cuisines. Kin specifically serves a limited menu consisting of only ramen, pot stickers, and chicken wings.
Jamila’s Mediterranean Cuisine, run by husband and wife team Jamila and Moncef, prepare Tunisian dishes such as couscous, lamb and crawfish, spinach, and zucchini bisque. Honduran cuisine has made huge inroads in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, with authentic spots dotting the city.
With many new transplants in the city, New Orleans has a wide variety of artisan bakeries, wood fire pizzerias and authentic ethnic restaurants like never before. As always it is a very good time to eat in New Orleans.