New Orleans Travel Tips From Native Bryan Batt


By Andrew Belonsky

Actor Bryan Batt has loads of suggestions for your next New Orleans trip.

6. Galatoire's: Over 100-years old, this classic creole bistro-style restaurant at the head of Bourbon St. remains a vivacious New Orleans tradition. Locals never use menus, and always trust the recommendations of their amiable server, but you can never go wrong with soft shell crab, shrimp remoulade, or oysters en brochette! The Uptown equivalent is Clancy's. The oysters and brie there are to die for!

7. W.I.N.O.: The Wine Institute of New Orleans is a fantastic and welcoming wine bar where guests can taste over 100 varietals of wines from all over the world. The WINO debit card lets you taste 1,2 or 4 ounce servings, and proprietor and wine expert Bryan Burkey also offers the best classes on Vino in the South. Nearby are the delectable restaurants Emeril's, Couchon and Couchon Butcher sandwich shop.

8. High Food, Low Food: You don't have to work very hard, or spend a lot of money, to have a great meal in New Orleans. Some people eat to live, but here we live to eat. High end spots like Restaurant August and Bayona are as beloved and adored as my favorite po'boy spot, Parkway Bakery and Tavern. It's simply the best. I suggest ordering the "surf and turf," roast beef with fried shrimp, while the fries with debris gravy and cheddar cheese are nothing short of divine.

9. Antiquing: The Big Easy is an antique freak’s Mecca! There is such a plethora of fantastic shops that I must give a list. In the French Quarter, you'll find Lucullus Moss, M.S. Rau and Royal Antiques rule. Uptown: Karla Katz & Co., Jon Vaccari Design, Wirthmore, Balzac, Mac Maison and Uptowner are all must sees for unique curios.

10. Magazine Street: My partner Tom Cianfichi’s and I own Hazelnut (pictured above) a home furnishings and fine gift shop on Magazine Street. Since we opened our doors in 2003, Hazelnut has become a destination boutique for locals and visitors alike. A big hit is our exclusive New Orleans Toile fabric, which we designed. But there's also a fantastic variety of speciality shops elsewhere on this world famous, trendy strip.

The shop Mimi, not to be confused with the bar Mimi's, offers a perfectly edited wardrobe for the elegant dresser, while Scriptura is the place for all things paper.

Perch can't be beat for great contemporary and vintage designs and furniture, and the Cole Pratt Gallery represents some of the most talented artists in own, including Claudia DeMonte and Brad Wreyford. Note: On the 1st Saturday of the month, art galleries all over town extend their hours to unveil new exhibits and share their wine.

Tags: New Orleans