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Food & Drink

COOLinary Menu Picks for Every Type of Eater

Are you a vegetarian? French food enthusiast? A die-hard carnivore? Find out where you fit in (and what to order) during COOLinary, the month-long dining celebration in New Orleans.

cafe degas
French charm at Cafe Degas. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Taking advantage of COOLinary – that month-long celebration of dining in America’s most delicious city – doesn’t just make you hip, it makes you smart and economical. Look at you, fancy pants! During the entire month of August, more than 80 participating restaurants will offer 2-3 course lunch, 3-course dinner and 3-course brunch menus at a fixed price of $20 or less for lunch and $39 or less for dinner and brunch. And to bolster the decision-making process, I’ve narrowed down the best dinner and brunch menus that are sure to satisfy whatever food hankering you’ve got:

The dining room at Galatoire’s. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

For French Food Enthusiasts

Café Degas – Mid-City’s beloved French restaurant features a menu of duck confit salad with figs to start, hanger steak with bordelaise and pommes frites for an entrée and floating island for dessert. $35

Galatoire’s One of New Orleans’ oldest and most celebrated restaurants features escargot with Herbsaint cream sauce, a sautéed chicken breast au vin or fried oysters Clemenceau, and a lemon tartlet with mango sauce and whipped cream for dessert. $39

Silk Road restaurant. (Photo via Facebook)

For Vegetarians

Silk Road The flavors of India and Asia in the heart of the Marigny. Try their summer prix-fixe wok menu (available all day) with options like refreshing mango ginger gazpacho, pad thai noodles with tofu and snow peas, and cardamom-spiced rice pudding for dessert. $15.95

Pizza Domenica Uptown’s favorite pizza spot with a veggie-friendly COOLinary menu featuring marinated Castelvetrano olives (a.k.a. the best olives in the world) with feta and roasted garlic, and a buratta pizza with basil served al taglio, or in large slices. $18

The oyster bar at Grand Isle. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

For Seafood Lovers

The Pelican Club With more than 5 choices for appetizer and entrée, this restaurant is a safe bet for those who enjoy having options. Plus, lots of seafood on the menu with tuna poke, seafood martini ravigote, and Pelican Club’s famous baked oysters for appetizers; and Gulf fish with crabmeat, seared yellowfin tuna, a pound of whole lobster (add $4), and whole crispy fish for entrees. Keep it light with strawberry Chantilly cake for dessert. $39

Grand Isle Plan for an evening at this CBD eatery where you’ll find oysters prepared three ways: tasso butter baked, smoked fried, and raw. And you get two of each one! The entrée is a Zapp’s Crawtator-crusted drum with crawfish potato salad. Also, did someone say peanut butter and jelly cheesecake with Butterfinger crumble and malted marshmallows for dessert? Yeah, sign me up! $39

Contemporary flavor combinations of savory and sweet come together at Salon by Sucre.

Stunning interiors give way to balcony views of the French Quarter at Salon restaurant. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

For Adventurous Eaters

Johnny Sánchez Modern Mexican by chef Aarón Sánchez in partnership with the Besh Restaurant Group. Their set dinner menu includes a wood grilled beet salad with whipped goat cheese and cilantro-jalapeño pesto, achiote-glazed gulf fish with tomatillo-avocado sauce, and a coconut flan with dulce de leche. $35

Salon by Sucre Contemporary flavor combinations of savory and sweet come together in a mid-century modern dining space in the historic French Quarter. Try the market salad with walnut granola, the duck with pomegranate, caramel, and soft egg, and the pretzel donuts with Vietnamese coffee pot de crème. $25

A steak from Charlie’s. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

For Meat Lovers

Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak — Carnivores will be thrilled with the options at this popular steakhouse in the French Quarter. Begin with potato vichyssoise or deviled eggs with fried oysters, then take down the grilled, paneed 44 Farms ribeye with panzella tomato salad, and if you have room, the Banana Fosters cobbler with whipped cream to seal the deal. $39

Charlie’s Steakhouse The oldest steakhouse in New Orleans and a favorite amongst Uptowners since 1932. Do it straight-up old school steakhouse style with the thin and crispy onion rings or classic wedge salad with bleu cheese, the 14-ounce center cut NY strip or 10-ounce filet, and side of creamed spinach, mushrooms bordelaise, or potatoes au gratin. For dessert? Spumoni ice cream for the win. $39

Commander’s Palace. (Photo: Juley Le)

For Breakfast Enthusiasts

Commander’s Palace This iconic Uptown restaurant in the prettiest hue of blue is where brunch isn’t just a meal, but a rite of passage. Begin with a “Summer Jumper” of fresh and sun-dried fruit, macadamia nut granola, housemade yogurt and burnt orange honey. Then move on to the cochon de lait eggs Benedict with buttermilk biscuits and housemade tasso hollandaise. Indulge in the Lally’s praline parfait for dessert, made with handcrafted vanilla ice cream and candied pecans. $37

Angeline Chef Alex Harrell is killing it in the kitchen for brunch this year. The menu is set and is sure to impress. Begin with the Benton’s ham and pimento cheese biscuit with green tomato jam, then sweeten things up with the cornmeal and blueberry pancake with lemon mascarpone and bacon. Enter full-on brunch coma mode with the banana pudding with burnt marshmallow for dessert. $35

Emily Smith is a native New Orleanian and Uptowner who loves sharing her passion for food with others. When she’s not blogging about culinary adventures, she can be found snapping food photos, running alongside the streetcars on St. Charles Avenue, or hovering over a steaming hot bowl of phở at her favorite Vietnamese restaurant. She also firmly believes that nothing says, “I love you” like a dozen... donuts. Follow her on Instagram at @fleurdelicious_nola

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