dining

Off bottom cultivation is bringing a different flavor to Gulf oysters.
Ian McNulty

Oysters make people happy. That’s a simple truth that resonates deep, and goes beyond satisfying an appetite or even a craving. It’s something as visceral as the raw oyster itself, bursting with the essence of the tides. It can instill a sense of well being bordering on euphoria.

In New Orleans today there are many more ways to chase this bliss. As the number of eateries serving oysters has increased, so have the variety of oyster bar types in which to partake, depending on your style, your mood or your budget.

Ian McNulty

All around New Orleans, the sounds of the season signal cooler weather ahead. Some of these speak directly to our appetites too.

If you heard a sharp snap one recent morning, it might've been the sound of New Orleanians collectively switching off their air-conditioners at the start of a dramatically cooler day.

Jerk chicken from Coco Hut, a Caribbean restaurant in New Orleans with a bold way with spice.
Ian McNulty

Keeping some semblance of cool as our summer heat rages on can take some strategy. We park the car under oak limbs and walk on the shady side of the street. We keep ice water handy and, when it's time to eat, something cool and light sounds like just the thing.

But across the spectrum, there is another way, and it’s to embrace the heat, to own it. Revel in fiery foods and you may just beat the heat at its own game.

Ian McNulty

Of all the facets of local life that have been up for re-evaluation lately, the New Orleans neighborhood restaurant might seem an unlikely candidate for change.

You know the places I’m talking about. They’re long on tradition, beloved and generally successful, sharing a common approach that New Orleans knows by heart. Why would anyone mess with that?

Ian McNulty

Food writer Ian McNulty on a surpiring new restaurant in New Orleans that's giving the notion of fusion a good name.

Ian McNulty

Conjure an image of elegant decay, New Orleans style, and what comes to mind might look a lot like Feelings Café.

This is a restaurant found in the vestiges of a plantation established in the 1700s, and it retains the feel of a French country house even in the midst of its increasingly busy Marigny neighborhood. Framed in faded masonry, splashed with green fronds and steeped in a 40-watt glow, Feelings Café has been prized as much for this evocative ambiance as for its French and Creole cooking.

Ian McNulty

Mention Mexican food and many people think they already know the score. They start picturing tacos and burritos, chips and salsa, gobs of sour cream and rivers of melted cheddar. These are the touchstones of Tex-Mex cooking. That’s what many of us were raised on when it came to Mexican food. And, for the record, I love that stuff still.

But consider how the differences stacked up during a meal at Del Fuego Taqueria, a Uptown eatery that is part of a wave of new Mexican restaurants arriving in New Orleans.

Growing Up Brennan

Mar 28, 2015
Chris Kehoe

When Owen Brennan opened the Vieux Carré restaurant in 1946, he created a Louisiana dynasty that today numbers more than a dozen establishments run by multiple members of the Brennan’s clan. On this week’s show, we explore what it’s like to grow up Brennan.

Lally Brennan and Ti Martin share childhood memories and discuss what it’s like to be at the helm of Commander’s Palace today.

Ian McNulty

For Antoine’s Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in New Orleans, 2015 marks its 175th birthday. And, naturally, events and promotions will unfold through the year tied to its long history and deep well of tradition. But, even as it celebrates its past, Antoine’s is also using this anniversary to introduce changes that are aimed squarely at the future, and even at its very survival.

Ian McNulty

Picture some friends sharing and sampling a progression of small plates and you have a very modern portrait of casual dining. But, in another example of how new trends at the dinner table often reflect old customs, you can assemble that same scene around Turkish flavors and see a very traditional view of social dining. That’s one on display in New Orleans these days at an Uptown eatery called Mezze.

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