Contemporary Creole restaurants in The South
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Set in a beautiful riverfront shotgun house with a Christmas-light-bedecked patio in the back, M&N's is rich, innovative, even outlandish: artichoke, sun-dried tomato and roasted garlic cheesecake (oh yes!), sherry-marinated grilled quail with waffles, pecan sweet-potato pie – all crazy delicious. It's high quality topped with quirkiness and a great indicator of what chefs can do when they think outside the gastro box around here.
It's no small coincidence that some of the most famous Nola chefs – check that, US chefs – got their start in this kitchen (Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse); this New Orleans grand dame is outstanding across the board. Chef Tory McPhail's (remember that name!) shrimp-and-tasso appetizer swimming in Louisiana hot sauce and the hickory-grilled pork are two of the most explosively satisfying dishes you will ever encounter. It's an impeccable mainstay of Creole cooking and knowledgeable, friendly service, in the heart of the gorgeous Garden District. Pop in for the lunchtime 25¢ martinis and a cup of the signature turtle soup ($8), or a prix fixe extravaganza. No shorts…