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New Orleans' dining scene is on fire with creativity. It was once a spot for chefs to hone their skills before moving on to other major culinary cities like New York, but now there's a reverse migration underway as Big Apple chefs are moving to New Orleans to learn in their mentors' kitchens. Newcomer Root is helmed by chef Phillip Lopez and his restaurant is hitting the top of many best-of lists already. With Cohiba smoked scallops with chorizo dust, it's obviously why Lopez is operating out of a whole new playbook.
The dining scene is opulent, as exemplified by Restaurant R'evolution opened by local chef John Folse and Chicago's own Rick Tramonto. Even in a food-centric town, diners have been wowed by this fine-dining experience since opening night.
But it's not all about white tablecloth restaurants here; the dining scene is also playful. Not many chefs have more fun coming up with a menu than Chris DeBarr at Serendipity. It's located in the American Can Company between a library and a coffee shop, and offers an ever-expanded menu of only-in-New Orleans delicious outrageousness.