You can't go wrong in New Orleans if you select one of Chef John Besh's restaurants.
This James Beard Award-winner grew up in southern Louisiana, and his restaurant called August was one of the first to reopen after Katrina. At his Luke, we enjoyed redfish, the addicting french fries and the burger we had to order after the waiter told us it had been named one of the top 10 in the country.
Our best meal of the weekend was at the newest John Besh restaurant, Domenica, where we had Sunday brunch. We started with one of its signature bellinis and the Affetati Misti - the chef's selection of salumi, imported cheeses, marinated olives and roasted vegetables. We could have stopped there, but after a few days in the Big Easy, a city never known for the exercise of restraint, our inner gluttons had been released. We shared the rich spinach & ricotta gnocchi as well as the frittole di fragole, decadent strawberry and ricotta fritters.
You'll be able to recreate these meals, but being in New Orleans when the Saints won the Super Bowl and witnessing the unbridled joy of every person there was an unparalleled experience. We danced, yelled "Who dat?" and high-fived strangers in the street in the French Quarter.
Details: Domenica is at 123 Baronne St., in the Hotel Roosevelt. 504-648-6020; www .domenicarestaurant.com .