Bevi Seafood Co.
4701 Airline Drive, Metairie
Bevi looks like the type of seafood counter and po-boy shop you know by heart, but it also represents the modern reboot of the niche. There’s an oyster po-boy with pastrami bacon and smoked gouda, local brews on tap and a specials list that might see mushroom butter on the fried catfish platter, pesto-crusted shrimp or lamb meatballs. Crucially, you can still use Bevi just as this type of place has always been intended — a quick spot for boiled seafood, a plate of raw oysters, maybe a quart of gumbo and a sack of hot tamales from the freezer to bring home. It just expands and updates what’s possible within that familiar framework.
Lunch Wed.-Mon., dinner Fri. (until 8 p.m.) $
Blue Line Sandwich Co.
2023 Metairie Road
This newcomer in Old Metairie has the look, feel and easy way of a diner, while the menu brings it closer to a modern neighborhood café. There are fresh touches across the breakfast dishes and sandwiches, though nothing that seems overwrought or out of place for the counter-service setting. Starting with solid basics, the personality here comes through in the chile pepper corned beef hash, house-made jams for the buttery biscuits, throwbacks like a crab Louie salad bright with remoulade and a bountifully stocked self-serve bloody mary bar.
Breakfast and lunch Tue.-Sun. $
Château du Lac Bistro
2037 Metairie Road
The bright setting of blue and yellow dining rooms and walls hung with wine art helps the mind wander from Old Metairie to some food-obsessed town in Provence, and the menu fixates it there. Native Frenchman Jacques Seleun’s style in the kitchen is no hybrid or interpretation, but rather a textbook French edition, dog-eared here and there for some personal style points. This is a bistro to satisfy specific cravings — for escargot, for steak frites, for an evening that starts with charcuterie and smoked salmon and rosé and ends with tarte tatin and Calvados.
Lunch Tue.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. $$$$
3501 N. Arnoult St., Metairie
China Rose had a long run in Lakeview before Hurricane Katrina, but since reopening in Fat City, it’s done more than bring back a reliable place for General Tso’s chicken and egg drop soup. This restaurant is also the best place in the area for a deep dive into the usually strong, often downright exotic flavors of traditional Szechuan cooking. Request the “Chinese menu” to access these flavors, and you sometimes need to take a leap of faith given the scant descriptions. The payoff comes from soups and hot pots with tongue-tingling “hot and wild” pepper, crisp-edged dumplings, garlicky heaps of greens and a long list of noodle dishes.
Lunch and dinner daily. $$
Drago’s Seafood Restaurant
3232 N. Arnoult St., Metairie
2 Poydras St.
If Drago’s feels familiar by now, that might be a consequence of how many other restaurants have picked up on its style. But take a fresh look and you find a mid-range, high-aiming Louisiana seafood house with a sense of place, a distinctive identity and a lock on local tastes. We can’t get enough of a combination like that. The kitchen’s bold way with its famous char-grilled oysters extends through the boudin-stuffed shrimp, the blackened duck with oysters over pasta and the andouille-crusted fish, to take just a short run at Drago’s long menu.
Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. $$$
759 Veterans Blvd., Metairie
As dining niches go, the intersection of upscale/casual and modern American doesn’t sound too precise. But in practice, that formula as applied at Legacy Kitchen adroitly answers many of the needs that diners bring to its door along this busy stretch of Metairie. Cooked up by the same local outfit that runs the New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co., it’s a family-friendly place that is attractive enough for a laidback dinner date and accessible enough for a business lunch. House-made chips slathered in blue cheese sauce, a good burger, lobster Cobb salads and chicken and waffles are hallmarks of a comfort food menu with an added dash of style and a modern cocktail list to match.
Lunch and dinner daily. $$$
6625 Jefferson Highway, Harahan
This singular suburban spot blends elements of traditional Creole Italian and regional Italian fare more commonly found nestled into restaurant rows in the city. The name is a reference to the center point of the kitchen: the wood-fired oven, which produces very good Neapolitan style pizzas (try the one with the spicy sausage and roasted peppers). You can get panéed chicken here but also grilled fish with tomato pesto, fresh pappardelle and pine nut gelato. It’s built into a former fast food franchise location, and some signs of this linger, but mostly you find an accessible, stylish neighborhood restaurant for comfort food from a few different angles.
Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. $$
279 Hickory Ave., Harahan
The aroma of boiled crawfish and come-as-you-are vibe of the tiny dining room set the stage of the familiar local seafood joint. But owner Jason Seither has progressively remade his tucked-away Harahan eatery with creative, even eye-popping dishes running alongside the usual seafood platters and po-boys. A new menu introduced this spring is the fullest expression yet, folding in elements of the Tex-Mex taqueria and sushi bar for a spicy “taco salad” of soft shell crab and shrimp remoulade or the seared (and mostly raw) tuna “volcano” heaped with crab stick and dotted with Sriracha. Prices seem more than fair. Nowhere is like Seither’s these days, and few places are this much fun to visit.
Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. $
2325 Veterans Blvd., Metairie
Flames leap into the air across the large dining room as cooks entertain guests around the hibachi tables. But the culinary flair these days happens in one particular corner of the sushi bar thanks to head sushi chef Kaz Ishikawa. He’s made the area’s oldest Japanese restaurant a true hotspot for contemporary sushi. Ask for the omakase for the full experience, a chef-guided, customized tasting, or just ask to try one or two creations done with an array of custom sauces and artful flourishes. The other sushi chefs are learning this style too, making it more accessible, and the restaurant’s extensive and more familiar menu still offers old favorites.
Lunch and dinner daily. $$$