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Brigtsen's, 723 Dante Street, New Orleans, USA (00 1 504 861 7610)

View and clientele

A Creole cottage in an upmarket area of uptown New Orleans on the Mississippi river bend. The local restaurant cognoscenti have made Brigtsen's one of the city's most popular restaurants. Visiting celebrities include Diana Ross. 7/10

Design and service

A friendly Southern welcome. Head chef and owner Frank Brigtsen is seen as a leading exponent of Creole/Cajun fusion. Intimate atmosphere with homely decor. 8/10

Romance factor

Brigtsen's is near the St Charles streetcar line, so you can wind across from the French Quarter, admiring the 19th-century Greek revival mansions en route. After dinner, enjoy a stroll beside the Mississippi. 7/10

Snoot factor

Far from the madding tourist crowd. Booking ahead is essential. 8/10

The menu

Changes daily, though several house-favourites are retained. A dozen main courses. Ingredients, mainly organic. The early evening (Tuesday to Thursday) set menu is excellent value at $14.95 (pounds 9). 9/10

Wine list

Comprehensive selection of Old and New World wines. Vintage ports. 7/10

Oh yeah, and the food

An appreciation of rich flavours and a hearty appetite is essential for food which combines Louisiana's cuisine with Brigtsen's innovations. The seafood is excellent; blackened tuna with smoked corn sauce, red bean salsa and avocado sour cream. Try the pan-fried catfish served on jalapeno pepper grits with black bean salsa, the roast pork and sweet potato dirty rice, and the mighty desserts - banana bread pudding or peanut butter mousse. 9/10