It’s a ramshackle old building and a big backyard. It’s a wine store. It’s a bar. It’s a jazz club. And now, it’s an actual restaurant. Whatever it is, it epitomizes New Orleans, and it’s one of our favorite spots anywhere. The unusual, European-leaning wine selection and funky, twinkle-lit outdoor garden with the corner jazz combo attracts locals kicking back in plastic chairs, steampunk wine snobs in deep discussion, maybe a smattering of out-of-towners enlightening to the “real” New Orleans . . . all tantalized by the romantic ambience and Spanish-inspired small plates. You order at a window and grab your own utensils, and a starter of grilled corn with Cotija cheese, crema, and spices (or bacon-wrapped dates with chorizo, or smoked trout crostini with crisp apples) shows up. After the 2013 conversion of an attic to an actual dining room, it’s accessible even on rainy days, but ahh, that garden. It won’t be the best meal you have in New Orleans, but it’s frequently tasty, never boring, and ultra atmospheric. It all seems thrown together but it melds into something much greater than the sum of its parts.
New Orleans› Restaurant
600 Poland Ave
Our Rating Neighborhood Faubourg Marigny Hours Daily 11am–midnight (Sun–Thurs kitchen closes at 11pm) Phone 504/948-9111 Prices Tapas and small plates $6–$16 Cuisine Type International Web site Bacchanal