Discover Something New at Home in New Orleans

by Jay Forman 
Posted Dec 17th 2013 11:00 AMUpdated Dec 20th 2013 10:52 AM

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Christmas bows on lamps in Jackson Square, Saint Louis Cathedral; New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
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It took a while, but the long-anticipated recovery from 2005's Hurricane Katrina is in full swing. A profusion of new restaurants provides New Orleans diners with an embarrassment of edible riches. A rapidly maturing high-tech sector has attracted the attention of Forbes Magazine, and a cutting-edge medical complex is rising on the edge of the CBD. The syncopated idiosyncrasies that set this city apart are still here, but New Orleans is more dynamic and egalitarian than ever.

New Restaurant: Peche

Peche is the new seafood-centric offshoot of Chef Donald Link's nationally acclaimed Cochon. The whole roasted gulf fish is the reason to go, but a slew of small plates and sides -- try the crab and artichoke fritters or the grilled lamb skewers with eggplant -- provide plenty of choices for pescatarians and carnivores alike. Save room for pastry chef Rhonda Ruckman's Flourless Madagascar Chocolate Cake.

Place to Bring a Little "Home" Home with You: Billy Reid

Louisiana menswear designer Billy Reid just opened his first store in New Orleans on Magazine Street. His "Lo-Fi" Southern style takes influence from the food, music and outdoor cultures of south Louisiana and Alabama. His fashion spans from high-end (a three-quarter-length nutria fur coat -- don't ask how much it costs) to more down-to-earth T-shirts touting cornbread and the Southern Foodways Alliance. The double-breasted leather pea coat with a shearling collar is particularly sharp. Helping to reinforce the easy-going vibe, bourbon sometimes "finds" its way into your hand and local chefs occasionally whip up snacks in the open kitchen in the back.

Word on the Street

A good old-fashioned newspaper war is playing out between the once-venerable Times-Picayune and the Advocate, an upstart that muscled into the market following a gross misstep when the former switched to a reduced printing schedule. Locals are talking about the final season of HBO's critically acclaimed "Treme," and the Saints are locked in a tight battle with Carolina for NFC South primacy.

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Jay Forman is the Food and Dining Editor for New Orleans Magazine. A native of the Crescent City, his passion for food and danger once led him to deep-fry a muffuletta.

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