Top 5: New Orleans

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In recent years, The Emeril Lagasse Foundation‘s Carnivale du Vin has become the excuse for an annual pilgrimage to one of the most exciting food cities in America: New Orleans, Louisiana. There are restaurants that I return to year after year; and there are others that we tag on to make sure we’re up-to-date.



Every trip starts with a late-night meal at my pal Emeril Lagasse’s flagship Emeril’s. It’s a pre-game to the main event:  Boudin, Bourbon and Beer, one of the best executed charity functions I go to every year.


After the break are the four other spots we chose this time around. Expert tip: stop at Mother’s on your way to the airport and bring some gumbo home for the Northerners. It is, in no uncertain terms, a thing of beauty.


Mario's Picks

Domilise’s Po Boy & Bar

My first stop whenever I visit NOLA! They make what I consider the definite po boy!

It’s either fried oysters or shrimp—with the works! It’s one of the most supreme bites in all of New Orleans!


Late nights at Emeril’s is a New Orleans institution I cannot do without.

Restaurant R’evolution

The seafood gumbo at R’evolution in New Orleans is everything that’s right about that town.


Under the heat lamps at an outdoor table at Cochon is likely my favorite place in New Orleans. The cocktails even rival the smoked pork ribs.


Pêche is the newest creation of Donald Link and it is perhaps the best expression of his genius.
Oysters, whole roasted fish, and tuna collar with salsa verde were likely the best dishes we had on our trip. Situated on idyllic Magazine Street, Pêche is exactly what New Orleans is supposed to be.

Mother’s Restaurant

The gumbo is divine and the red beans and rice is definitive.

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