August 24, 2015
By: Eric Grossman and Gerrish Lopez, USA TODAY
Photo: Besh Restaurant Group
With the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina upon us, many New Orleans natives and pre-Katrina visitors are once again lamenting the loss of stalwarts that were either wiped out completely (such as Brunings and Sid Mar's) or couldn't rebound from the damages (such as Restaurant Mandich or Dunbar's). It's also worth reflecting on all the heroes that came out of the storm's aftermath, especially those who helped feed the city's recovery, literally and figuratively.
Established chefs led the way by supporting the community and reopening as quickly as possible, while neighborhood joints brought a sense of normalcy back to hard-hit areas. The creativity displayed by those resilient restaurants has contributed to a stronger, more dynamic dining scene. There are now some 1,400 restaurants in the New Orleans area (compared to approximately 800 pre-Katrina), and while scores of post-Katrina newcomers have introduced new styles of cooking, the old standbys are stronger than ever. Here are some chefs and restaurants that looked disaster in the face, dug their heels in, and have shined over the last 10 years.