My mom and I share a lot of things. Genes, for one. A soft spot for Ikat prints. And, perhaps above all else, a fierce appetite for, well… good food. As a kid, I remember her joking about our mother-daughter publishing debut, the “So Good” cookbook. Any time we ate a meal worth remembering, our refrain was the same: “this is so good!”
Now that I live in New Orleans, I have a lot of “so good” food moments. Problem is, my mom doesn’t live here to share them with me. So beyond giving her the gift of this brief thank-you note — for being a patient and supportive parent every damn day — I also plan to treat her to a so good meal next time she’s in town.
If you’re lucky enough to celebrate Mother’s Day in person (May 8, people! Don’t forget!), here are a few options to consider:
Mom-Approved Restaurants for Mother’s Day
Il Posto — Panini, salads, antipasto, and other Italian-inspired fare in a most charming setting Uptown. Beverages range from wine specials to espresso drinks to house-made peach lemonade (seasonal). Want extra brownie points? Book her a mani-pedi next door at Polite Society following lunch. 4607 Dryades St.
Kin — What this diminutive restaurant lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor. Health-conscious diners will delight in the tom yum ramen with sauteed shrimp, tofu, preserved garlic aioli, mushrooms, and chili and tamarind paste; you also might find other offerings like dumplings, game hen, and lamb. Finish it off with their Vietnamese iced coffee (it’s BYOB for the hard stuff), and as you snap selfies with mom, don’t forget to use their darling hashtag, #kinfordindin. 4600 Washington Ave.
Croissant D’Or — Open from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m., this French Quarter bakery features lovingly made pastries, both savory and sweet. The spinach bechamel sandwich — a hot croissant draped in house-made bechamel and cheese — with the soup du jour is ideal for lunch… followed by, of course, dessert. I don’t know about your mom, but mine goes for the chocolate eclair every time. 617 Ursulines Ave.
Kenton’s — The food menu leans on smoky flavors, all the better to enliven the taste of bourbon at this gorgeous, whiskey-focused bar and restaurant. Choose from more than 150 whiskeys, and toast mom at dinner (the restaurant is open from 5:30 p.m. on) or opt for a weekend brunch from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. 5757 Magazine St.
Brennan’s — The dining room decor is reason enough to treat mom. Add in sumptuous menu items and the restaurant’s formidable reputation for tremendous service, and you’ve got an ideal recipe for a memorable Mother’s Day brunch or lunch (definitely make reservations). While the table-side Bananas Foster flambé is never a bad idea, try the bread pudding and a Brandy Milk Punch instead for an equally New Orleans experience. Bonus: their annual Turtle Parade happens Mother’s Day weekend. 417 Royal St.
Salon Restaurant — One Mother’s Day, my mom and I traveled to Paris and went to the famous Ladurée. In my estimation, Salon Restaurant does an even better job of feeling like Paris than I experienced when I was actually in Paris. Both establishments are famous for their macarons, but Salon features savory bites, a full list of craft cocktails, plus a balcony. I think we know who the winner is here. Bonus: the restaurant’s Mother’s Day Brunch features a complimentary cocktail, 3 savory courses, and a petit four plate. 622 Conti St.
N7 — An enchanting, transportive, and intimate space… that serves canned food? Yep. N7’s upscale take on canned food — sardines, mussels, etc. — melds classic French cues with subtle Asian influences (notes of ginger and soy make an appearance here and there). 1117 Montegut St.
Seed — A light and airy space turning out vegan meals, Seed dismantles health food stereotypes. Spiralized vegetable noodles are the basis for an inventive pad Thai; seitan makes for a hearty barbecue sandwich wherein you won’t miss the meat. Don’t skip the mango and kale salad… or the vegan beignets. 1330 Prytania St.
Ralph’s On the Park — City Park is just across the street from this elegant restaurant, giving you a chance for a post-meal stroll. Balcony seating provides an unparalleled view, but Ralph’s interiors are just as picture perfect. 900 City Park Ave.
Commander’s Palace — Get all dressed up and venture into the Garden District for lunch with mom at Commander’s Palace. The martinis are only 25 cents with the purchase of an entree on weekdays; depending on how many you drink, you can tour the cemetery across the street, browse a storied gallery on the adjacent corner, or maybe just take a nap. 1403 Washington Ave.
Josephine Estelle — Named after the daughters of co-chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, this restaurant inside the newly opened New Orleans outpost of the Ace Hotel hones in on Italian-style dishes like gnocchi and veal. Get there ahead of time and scope out Stumptown Coffee Roasters on the restaurant’s premises — it’s the first of the legendary coffee shop to open in the South. Or, trek upstairs to Alto, the hotel’s rooftop bar. 600 Carondelet St.