The Big Easy. Capital of Creole culture and cuisine. Host to iconic celebrations like Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest. Synonymous with spirited revelry.
It’s a city with millions of admirers, but until recently, we hadn’t really hit it off. As a traveler who thrives on adventure and discovery, I had always considered New Orleans to be found, claimed—known. But after a recent weekend spent exploring this vibrant, culture-drenched city, I finally fell in love like I’d always wanted to. Here’s my quick guide for where to go, where to sip, and what to eat. As they say, laissez les bons temps rouler!
Walk into any restaurant, and you’re greeted by a symphony of sound—the hum of casual conversation and laughter, the occasional clatter of knives and forks against porcelain, and the up-tempo hisses and bangs of the kitchen. It’s the soundtrack of the shared meal, and nowhere is it more soothing than Domenica. Italian for “Sunday,” this bustling restaurant manages to be casual without being pedestrian, sophisticated without being pretentious. Chef Alon Shaya has crafted a menu showcasing rustic Italian flavors, which he layers and weaves together with precision and passion. Start with the Affettati Misti, a selection of cured artisanal meats and cheeses that arrives with a basket of impossibly flaky, pork-fat fried savory beignets, then move on to their handmade pizza or pastas. Just be sure to save room for dessert; Pastry Chef LisaMarie White (the 2014 Louisiana Cookin’ Chef to Watch who is responsible for those savory beignets) offers an ever-evolving menu of decadent creations that are worth every sweet bite.
Find it: 8123 Baronne Street