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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Fujita's New Orleans faves

By Marla Published: October 21, 2010

Going to New Orleans this weekend for the Browns' game or in the near future? Here are Browns linebacker Scott Fujita's restaurant recommendations.

Fujita played for the Saints for four seasons, winning the Super Bowl in 2009, and admitted he has about 10 places on his checklist where he wants to dine Saturday night with some former teammates.

"For the ultimate New Orleans experience, I would say Jacques-imo Cafe, uptown Garden District area,'' Fujita said. "It's awesome. Emeril's was across the street from my place so I ate there quite a bit. Good sushi at Rock-n-sake. Cochon is one of the best places for authentic good Cajun food. You've got Herbsaint. Down in the quarter, you've got no shortage of bars and restaurants. I don't know which one I'm going to be at Saturday.''

Here's the description of Fujita's favorites from

930 Tchoupitoulas St.
New Orleans, LA 70130¶
(504) 588-2123

Neighborhood: Arts District/Convention Center¶
Cuisine: Cajun, Contemporary
Attire: Business Casual
Open For: Lunch, Dinner

Chef Donald Link, most recently of Herbsaint restaurant fame, is the proprietor and chief architect of the exquisite dishes that come out of the restaurant's kitchen. Coming from German ancestry and growing up in Cajun country, Chef Link combines the best of both traditions, serving up fish, seafood and rabbit dishes in the old style, from a wood-burning oven, many of which are served with freshly cooked vegetables on the side, garnished to the customer's taste. Located in the Warehouse District, only a few blocks from the Convention Center, and convenient to the art galleries along Julia and other nearby streets. 
Emeril's Restaurant
800 Tchoupitoulas St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 528-9393

Neighborhood: Arts District/Convention Center
Cuisine:  Cajun, Contemporary
Attire: Business Casual
Open For: Lunch, Dinner

Chef Emeril Lagasse's premier restaurant is nestled in the heart of the Historic Warehouse district, eight blocks from the Vieux Carre, in a renovated Pharmacy warehouse. Exposed brick and glass walls flank one side of the main dining room, the other carefully selected colors and local art are displayed creating an energetic, yet warm atmosphere. There is a sassy semicircular food bar on the open kitchen, where 10 or so lucky guests view Chef Emeril and his crew creating culinary delights directly in front of them. The most recent additions to Emeril's have been the private dining rooms which can accommodate up to 50 guests for a pre-selected menu. The private side includes the Chef's Wine room with a Wine Cellar feeling created by textures of oak and slate, where your guests will enjoy a seven-course tasting, called a Degustation menu, written on a daily basis according to seasonal and specialty products available from our growers. It is always the talk of the evening. 

Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant

701 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 524-4114
Neighborhood: Central Business District/Downtown
Cuisine:  Cajun, Contemporary
Attire: Dressy (Jacket May Be Required)
Open For: Lunch, Dinner

Popular dishes include the wild green salad spiced with gorgonzola and peppered pecans, eggplant Napoleon, shrimp bisque, gumbo, short ribs, pork loin, rib-eye, lamb and salmon with mustard-seed coating. For dessert try a twist on the classic beignet-chocolate beignet or the saffroned semolina cake with caramel. 
Jacques-imo Cafe
8324 Oak St., New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 861-0886

Neighborhood: Uptown/Garden District
Attire: Casual
Open For: Dinner (Call ahead for hours)
Cuisine Type/s: Cajun

Jacques-Imo's fills early with locals & out-of-towners alike, especially during Jazz Fest. Specialties by chef/owner Jack Leonardi & legendary Creole chef Austin Leslie include oyster-filled eggplant bathed in rich shitake mushroom cream, deep-fried roast beef po' boy or tomato-based "Cajun bouillabaisse " laced with herbs & a generous supplied of oysters, shrimp, mussels & shrimp, just to name a few. Reservations cannot be made for parties less than 5.  

Rock-n-sake Bar & Sushi

Rock-n-sake Bar & Sushi
823 Fulton St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 581-7253
Neighborhood: Arts District/Convention Center
Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi
Attire: Casual
Open For: Lunch, Dinner

It has been called "edible art, " "urban hip, " and "award-winning, " it its few years in New Orleans's Warehouse District. It serves fresh food in an "atypical sushi atmosphere. " They serve traditional udon noodle soup as well as new creations such as the Hawaii 5-0 roll (coconut tempura shrimp and cream cheese rolled inside nori and rice topped with mangoes and avocados).



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