Uptown and French Quarter shops and restaurants are starting to buzz. Decorator Vesta Fort gives us her black book for experiencing the city’s unstoppable style.
ANN KOERNER ANTIQUES
Koerner has the most consistently original eye in the city. While most shops lean heavily toward French, she stocks a great mix of Swedish neoclassical and Italian pieces as well, plus one-of-a-kind items such as woven straw rugs from Nigeria and gilded bamboo English Regency benches.
4021 Magazine Street (504) 899-2664 annkoerner.com
AUX BELLES CHOSES
This shop offers everything from old garden pots and vintage linens to new kitchenware. Not to mention the best silver bargains in town. There are troves of fish sets, ladles, demitasse spoons and more. Perfect for wedding presents or for anyone who loves to set a sumptuous table.
3912 Magazine Street (504) 891-1009 abcneworleans.com
The quintessential Uptown neighborhood grocery, with the city’s best butchers (and just about the only ones left who cut meat to order) and the best local seafood. The market also sells authentic Creole prepared foods. Even better—if the post-Katrina staff is able to—they’ll ship dry goods anywhere in the country.
17330 Arabella Street (504) 899-9283 langensteins.com
Stop by this antiques shop and studio run by Gerrie Bremermann, the queen of New Orleans designers, for dining-room tables, fine old prints, chandeliers and other mostly French covetables.
3943 Magazine Street (504) 891-7763 bremermanndesigns.com
MARSH GARDEN DECOR
New Orleans is a city of patios and courtyards, and Marsh is the place to go for all things outdoor: fabulous furniture (wire chairs, cast “tree” tables), statuary and fountains, light fixtures, even antique garden edging.
4920 Tchoupitoulas Street (504) 891-1000 marshgardendecor.com
Exquisite French and Italian pieces are this place’s forte, from fine furniture to an increasing inventory of paintings and wide variety of lighting. It’s all chosen by owner and architectural restorer Michael Carbine, the man behind some of the city’s most stunning houses.
3963 Magazine Street (504) 891-2863
THE SONIAT HOUSE
One of the most beautiful hotels in the world. Situated in three early-19th-century buildings in the lower French Quarter, it boasts lush courtyards and rooms done up in Frette linens and fine silks, along with antiques selected by the owners. Further evidence of their superior taste: Soniat Antiques, which is also on the premises.
1133 Chartres Street (800) 544-8808 soniathouse.com
The ultimate New Orleans oyster bar. It has tiled walls and expert shuckers. The amazing fried oyster (or shrimp) loaves are on thick pan bread rather than the usual French bread.
4330 Magazine Street (504) 895-9761 casamentosrestaurant.com
Owner Hubert Sandot hails from Paris, and for years he owned and cooked at the popular New Orleans restaurant Martinique. Now he has realized his dream of opening a French antiques shop. Go for fine chairs and chandeliers—and a dose of Hubert’s considerable charm.
4939 Tchoupitoulas Street (504) 261-6951 mapuantiques.com
JON VACCARI DESIGN
The glamorous inventory ranges from 19th-century to 1940s French. Lamps, chandeliers and furniture seem straight off a Lana Turner movie set, including Vaccari-designed ultrachic white leather chairs.
1912 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, 70130 (504) 899-7632 jonvaccri.com
LEONTINE LINENS LTD.
Jane Scott Hodges founded her business—on Leontine Street—in 1996. Her linens now occupy prime space at Bergdorf’s in NYC. The monograms are wonderfully unique, the sheets luxurious, the satin comforters divine. And you can custom-order an entire linens wardrobe.
3806 Magazine Street (800) 876-4799 leontinelinens.com
John Harris is one of the most talented chefs in the city, and Lilette has the feel of an authentic bistro. Try the terrific hanger steak with potatoes roasted in duck fat, or the daily creative preparation of local black drum fish.
3637 Magazine Street (504) 895-1636 liletterestaurant.com
Chef Donald Link was the first “white tablecloth” restaurant to reopen after The Storm. He’s cooking post-Katrina comfort foods like Black Angus meat loaf and more. The warm chocolate beignets are worth the trip alone.
701 St. Charles Avenue (504) 524-4114 herbsaint.com
BEVOLO GAS & ELECTRIC LIGHTS
Homes all over Louisiana have Bevolo’s reproduction 17th-century “French Quarter” gaslights illuminating their entryways. Check out the full line of lanterns, handcrafted out of heavy-gauge copper, along with chandeliers and pot racks.
521 Conti street (504) 522-9485; bevolo.com
Located on the West Bank, a 20-minute drive across the river, this is a mecca for imported trims, with literally thousands of tassels, braids, ribbon and vintage passementerie. The shop also does furniture restoration (especially now, post-Katrina) and sells antiques.
1510 Woodland Highway, Belle Casse, LA
(504) 433-0797 tuscanytrim.com