Still Life: Apples, Bottle and Chairback (1902-1906) - Paul Cézanne

Of all the pleasures of human existence, those of the table are certainly fundamental.   As a New Orleanian I suffer from an embarrassment of culinary riches, and I am particularly fortunate to maintain a residence nestled between the French Quarter and the Frenchmen Street dining and entertainment district.  Within a block there are over a dozen excellent restaurants which I patronize regularly.   Within a dozen blocks the options are staggering.

Although a few other cities offer a more eclectic dining scene, the strengths of what cuisines are practiced here are profound and inexhaustible.  They include the classic and the nouvelle, the haute and the homestyle, and to experience the cuisine of New Orleans and southern Louisiana is to marvel at what is indeed a universe unto itself.

A few of the places where I have had extraordinary meals are La Provence, Stella!, Cuvée, Peristyle, Lilette, NOLA and Bayona.  Other personal favorites are Sylvain, Green Goddess, Maximo's Italian Grill, RioMar, Horinoya, Jacques-Imo's Café, La Crepe Nanou, Café Degas, SukhoThai, Lola's, Elizabeth's, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, Adolfo's and Franky and Johnny's.

And of course where the pleasures of food are involved, those of the vine are ethereal.  Thanks to the knowledge and guidance of Bryan Burkey and the staff at W.I.N.O., I hold certifications from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the French Wine Society.   Other notable winesellers in the community are Chris Rudge at Bacchanal and Jon Smith at Cork & Bottle, who can be relied upon for their hospitality, well chosen stock and judicious advice.

Special note also goes to Rich and Danielle Sutton of St. James Cheese Company.  They have made a mission to seek out and provide the finest artisanal cheeses found throughout the world, in addition to establishing an eating destination with their lunch menu and exceptional locavore vegetarian dinners prepared by chef Anne Churchill of Karma Kitchen.

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