Here is USA Today take on the best New Orleans Restaurants…

Several years ago, the general manager of a posh hotel with a fancy restaurant (that failed) told me, “When a new restaurant opens in New Orleans, for the first three to six months, you can’t get a table, and then everybody goes back to their five favorite places. It takes about five years for a restaurant to reach that favorite status.”

It’s true. New Orleanians like new places, but we love tradition. There were so many new restaurants last year, even food writers lost track ( seems to keep up). So any list of foodie favorites in New Orleans has to include longtime survivors, and a couple “just because.”

Restaurant R’evolution: In June, 2012, Restaurant R’evolution opened in the Royal Sonesta Hotel, a project of celebrity chefs John Folse, of Louisiana, and Rick Tramonto of Chicago. With Chef de Cuisine Chris Lusk, they say they re-interpret classic Cajun and Creole food by using ingredients and cooking methods from the seven countries that ruled over New Orleans. It’s luxurious and expensive, worthy of a marriage proposal.


Peche Seafood Grill: Rustic chic, loud, and immensely popular, Peche is mainly seafood, all fresh, and cooked over wood coals on an open grill. While Cochon and Herbsaint’s Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski are chef/owners, Ryan Prewitt, another partner, is running Peche, open less than a year at 800 Magazine St.


Root: Foodies everywhere are enthralled with Root, chef/owner Philip Lopez’s 2 1/2-year-old restaurant at 1200 Julia St. Lopez’s menu might appear contrived – take his Menage a Foie, three types of foie gras, including one blown like cotton candy – but everything I ate was very good. Waiters are used to giving explanations. Square Rootopened April 23 at 1800 Magazine, with a $150 prix-fixe, pre-paid menu.


Coquette: Coquette occupies a two-story, 1880s building at Magazine and Washington, offering Chef Michael Stolzfus’ take on Louisiana food: chicken fried sweetbreads, smoked wild catfish. Coquette is dark, with wonderful art and is quiet enough for conversation. Locals go for three-course lunch specials. Closed Tuesday.


Galatoire’s: Open since 1905, Galatoire’s may seem like a private club to an outsider, but there are few restaurants New Orleanians love more. Chefs change, but the menu, not so much. Try the trout almandine, seafood stuffed eggplant, oysters en brochette. Ask your waiter what to order. Sit downstairs at 209 Bourbon St., and enjoy the party, with diners who table hop and waiter-led “Happy Birthdays.” No reservations downstairs. Closed Mondays.


Commander’s Palace: The queen of New Orleans restaurants, Commander’s Palace is a turquoise and white mansion at 1403 Washington Ave. in the Garden District. Chefs Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse gained fame here, as has current Chef Tory McPhail, winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef South. Try his oyster and absinthe soup, or seared white shrimp and grits. Dress up.


Domenica: John Besh’s restaurant in the Roosevelt Hotel has Alon Shaya in the kitchen cooking his killer roasted cauliflower (seriously), pastas and unusual pizzas (spek, apples and gorgonzola). A more casual Pizza Domenica opened in April at 4933 Magazine.


Upperline: Creole food is the main attraction at Upperline, 1413 Upperline St., near Prytania. Chef David Bridges’ menu is prix fixe, three courses for $40 and $45. There’s gumbo, duck and andouille etouffee, fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. But diners also come to gab with bon vivant owner Jo Ann Clevenger and to see her fabulous Louisiana art collection. Closed Monday and Tuesday.


Dooky Chase’s Restaurant: Leah Chase is 91, and still cooking Creole dishes at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, 2301 Orleans Ave., in Treme. It began as a sandwich shop and bar in 1941, but when Leah married the owners’ son, she decided black residents and visiting notables needed a fine dining restaurant where they could eat in New Orleans. It became a hub for Civil Rights leaders, and eventually for anyone who likes homestyle Creole cooking, including Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Lunch is served Tuesday through Friday – fried chicken, cornbread, greens – and dinner on Fridays. Before you leave, ask if you can go the kitchen to meet Leah Chase, who may be the most beloved woman in New Orleans. She’ll greet you with a big smile.

dooky chase

Parkway Bakery & Tavern: Parkway, in MidCity near City Park, is THE place for poor boys, a sandwich with almost any filling stuffed inside a split loaf of French bread. Everything is stuffed at Parkway, including diners, who feast on fried shrimp, hot roast beef, fried oysters (only on Mondays and Wednesdays), and smoked alligator sausage. And everyone goes there: workmen, bankers, journalists, families – even President Obama and Michelle. Share the sweet potato fries. Closed Tuesdays.