Answers from Our Experts (1)
New Orleans is known for its flavorful Cajun and Creole cuisines, and the Hotel Monteleone’s self-described “Louisiana fusion” restaurant Criollo (Spanish for “Creole”) is a good starting point for those unaccustomed to the city’s dining scene. In 2011, the hotel underwent a large renovation that transformed the restaurant space into a chic, relaxing destination with an open kitchen, two private dining rooms and literary memorabilia ensconced in glass cases for an enjoyable breakfast, lunch or dinner. Order dinner dishes like the grilled veal chop with a potato soufflé and whiskey-morel sauce, and the Perdido Pass snapper with jumbo lump crab, orange-and-fennel slaw, roasted sweet pepper and ancho-lime butter.
Adjoining the restaurant is the 25-seat Carousel Bar & Lounge, the city’s legendary revolving bar, which has attracted numerous celebrities, from William Faulkner to Rod Stewart, since it first opened in 1949. The bar serves lighter fare for lunch and dinner, like blue crab and crawfish beignets as well as fried shrimp and oyster po’ boys. Also renovated in 2011, the lounge surrounding the Carousel Bar is also a retreat from busy Royal Street, with comfortable sofas and chairs situated intimately for small groups and those who just want to relax with a drink without riding the merry-go-round. The signature classic cocktail, the Vieux Carré (Hennessy, Benedictine, rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters), was invented here and is a must-try.