RIO MAR

<p>As a charter member of the "meat & potatoes" club of America, i've never been confused with being a pescetarian. After my most recent trip to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.riomarseafood.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Rio Mar</a>, i'm seriously considering infusing more and more fish into my diet.</p>

Cake Cafe

<p style="margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px">I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Bywater/Marigny area for a reason. It’s quite possibly the most genuine and intriguing area of our city with just a hint of mystery. Some of my favorite people, places, and things to do are in what some people consider the next area in New Orleans to blow up. I agree with them.</p>

ROOT

<p>Ambitious has only recently entered the new orleans food vernacular. Executive chef & owner Phillip Lopez along with gm & owner Maximilian Ortiz have generated a ravenous frenzy with their latest and ambition filled eatery, <a target="_blank" href="http://rootnola.com/index.html" rel="noopener noreferrer">Root</a>.</p>

DAT DOG INVADES MAGAZINE ST.

<p>In just a few years and several locations later, <a target="_blank" href="http://datdognola.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dat Dog</a> has cemented their spot in Nola foodie lore. With the grand opening of their latest location on Magazine Street happening next week, Dat Dog looks to expand on its already massive following.</p>

DOMENICA IS UNICO ITALIANO

<p>Even before i knew how to spell "parmesan" & "garganelli", I knew Italian food would always make me happy. It truly wasn't till the storm that i finally found out red gravy is actually marinara, it isn't always made with sugar, and angel hair is actually officially called "cappellini". Recently, Domenica, inside the historic roosevelt hotel, has made it it's mission to introduce new orleans to sophisticated & pure italian dining.</p>

Blue Dot Donut

<p>Just like most people around town, we all tend to refer to time we spent in NOLA in a post or pre-Katrina fashion. Back in the day, when I was a pre-driver liscence, pre-pubescent, some of my fondest memories growing up were the experiences I had at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Veterans in Metairie.</p>

CRIOLLO

<p>I will admit that the tagline on this week's feature is a bit bold. In less than a year, the nearly 150 year old historic French Quarter Hotel Monteleone completed it's most ambitious renovation yet. The transformation features an expanded Carousel Bar and the new restaurant <a target="_blank" href="http://hotelmonteleone.com/criollo/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Criollo</a>.</p>

THIS CAT DON’T PLAY

<p>There's the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Andrés "Big Cat" Galarraga, and then there's <a target="_blank" href="http://elgatonegronola.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer">El Gato Negro</a>, where some of the best Mexican food I've ever had is allowed to roam around like a big dog.</p>

SATSUMA, THE OTHER ORANGE.

<p style="margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px">Upon each and every visit to the Bywater nestled below the french quarter, I'm equally surprised and inspired. This time it's the cosy and one of a kind charm of Satsuma Cafe that seems to be working it's magic. Quint and inviting would be the perfect description for this very popular eatery. After a day trip around the Bywater, I decided to listen to droves of folks who've been heckling me for not visiting Satsuma.</p>

SUCRE

<p>In one of the most idiotic retail moves in history, Starbucks pulled out of Lakeside Shopping Center and left their spot vacant until <a target="_blank" href="http://www.shopsucre.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sucre</a> took over. It seems that smarter + cooler heads prevailed and the space has been transformed into a Mr. Magorium style coffee and sweet delights emporium.</p>

ELIZABETH’S RESTAURANT

<p>I find myself intentionally lost in the Bywater quite often as of late. Some of the best kept secrets in New Orleans food and otherwise are kept off St. Claude. Besides the fact that it's an up and coming area, I dig that it's the nouveau bohème. There is something special and unique about the Bywater.</p>

COCHON BUTCHER

<p style="margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px">Here in New Orleans we use and/or eat everypiece of "Sus scrofa domestica", even right down to, well, I won't get into that. Without using my Deliverance-esque accent, swine is wide ranging in flavor and preparation. One of the places in NOLA that does right by swine is <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cochonbutcher.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Cochon Butcher</a>. Here's what they say about themselves..<em>.</em></p><p> </p>

LOA BAR

<p style="margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px">Without performing an informal Google search, I would venture to say that within the New Orleans metro area there are at least 500+ establishments that serve alcohol. Needless to say there are lots of options around town to quench your libatory thirst. This week's feature has become one of my favorite spots to wind down and enjoy a few choice cocktails. <a target="_blank" href="http://ihhotel.com/bar.html" rel="noopener noreferrer">The LOA Bar</a> is quaintly situated within the International Hotel on Camp Street in the Central Business District.</p>

Stein’s Deli

<p style="margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px">Very much the Katz of New Orleans, Stein's shines neighborhood deli with a glimmer of intrigue. Walking through the sticker laden doors, regulars and newcomers line up along the straight and narrow countertop, rocking back and forth in front of the deli cases under the sweet spell of indecision. Trying to decide what sandwich you are going to have is not the only test. Among the local standards, Stein's offers a myriad of beers, sodas, teas, ginger ales, and one squeeze!</p>

FAIRGRINDS

<p>Each and everyday like clockwork I stumble into my regular chain coffee joint for a triple shot mocha. At a clip of 364 days a year, and sometimes twice a day. Anyone who knows me, even in the slightest, will tell you I have a serious hankering/addiction to caffeine. Just recently I've become more and more aware of how much customers just don't matter in these places. Don't get me wrong, I realize that in the grand scheme of things, I'm only one person among hundreds of folks who shuffle in and out. What seems to be missing is community.</p>

The Windsor Court’s Polo Lounge

<p>Growing up in New Orleans you always hear about the storied hotels and historic addresses. Windsor Court was always in that number when it came to a truly top notch place to hang your hat when in The Crescent City. I remember the first time I visited Windsor Court. It was hard not to be impressed with the sophistication and their absurd attention to detail.</p>

Merchant Nola

<p>If you've followed and have been enjoying our content here on iHeartnola.com for some time, you've realized we are obsessed with coffee in all it's facets. One of our favorite places in the city to refuel is <a target="_blank" href="http://merchantneworleans.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer">Merchant</a>. Located in the Maritime Building in the CBD, Merchant serves not only grade A Illy Coffee but some of the best and quickest breakfasts downtown.</p>