Coquette-An upscale bistro in the heart of the Garden District
Exposed brick, dark wood and plenty of natural light beget the handsome space at Coquette, which occupies an unassuming corner on Magazine Street in the tony Garden District. Chef Michael Stoltzfus marries his Eastern Shore sensibilities (crab cake and soft shell crabs are frequently featured)with local ingredients to create an ever changing menu. The $25 3 course brunch is quite possibly one of the best deals to be had in New Orleans. Start your brunch with a scratch made bloody mary or a craft soda (pineapple jalepeno has just the right kick) along with first course of crisp greens lightly featuring parmesan, bottarga and gourgere croutons (which are a brilliant idea) or warm bowl of spicy gumbo. I’m never one to pass up a good egg dish so a traditional breakfast plate of scrambled eggs with bacon and creamy Anson Mill grits won out over the fried catfish. Warmly spiced gingerbread donuts with pumpkin ice cream pair perfectly with an espesso while lazing away the rest of your Sunday afternoon. Equal parts French bistro and American farm-to-table, Coquette is 100% delicious.
By Brianna Simmons, AFAR Local Expert
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Best Lunch in NOLA's Garden District
We took the St Charles streetcar to New Orleans' famous Garden District, intending to head to the historic Commander's Palace for lunch -- they're well-known for offering 25-cent martinis with your entree. But then we discovered an even better deal: the $20, three-course lunch at Coquette, just a few blocks further south. Smoky gumbo, crispy fried oysters, delicious shrimp and grits, lemony gnocchi, strawberry-topped funnel cake and -- the coup de grace -- a salted chocolate tart with peanut butter sorbet. Not to mention one of the city's best sazeracs. One of the best meals of my very well-fed life. We had to walk it off taking a long, post-lunch stroll past the jungly mansions and hip boutiques of the neighborhood -- an easy price to pay.
By Sarah Green