The recently opened, nautically-influenced new restaurant from Top Chef alum and La Petite Grocery chef Justin DeVillier, Balise’s rustic wood, exposed brick and antique metal design brings a sophisticated, seafaring vibe (balise means “beacon” in French) to New Orleans’ Central Business District. The food is stellar across the board, and the drink menu is strong enough to stand on its own—with or without creative sidekicks like lobster “cocktails” and venison tartare. Crafted by Jesse Carr—formerly of Brooklyn’s Maison Premiere—the bar’s collection of house-made drams, syrups and shrubs (including an apple cider–spiced version) is among the most impressive in the city.
The Drink to Drink: The Ribico combines gin, Cappelletti (a wine-based aperitif), sweet vermouth, orange, lemon, Demerara sugar and sea salt for a salty-sweet punch.
Know Before You Go: If you’re in the mood for an environment that’s equal parts stunning and intimate, ask about eating upstairs.