New Orleans food writer Ian McNulty has an updated list for a dozen or so plances to grab a bit around the Smoothie King Center and Mercedes-Benz Superdome just in time for the big NBA All-Star Weekend.

Balise
640 Carondelet St., 504-459-4449
More ambitious than a gastropub, looser than a bistro, Balise is a casual, seriously compelling den for modern American cooking from chef Justin Devillier.

Balise 640 Carondelet St., 504-459-4449

Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-588-7675
Butcher is attached to its big brother Cochon, the popular Cajun restaurant, but has its own identity as the Link Restaurant Group’s casual deli and bar with house-made meats for sandwiches, small plates and charcuterie boards.

Butcher 930 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-588-7675

Carmo
527 Julia St., 504-875-4132
Highly original, refreshingly light and casual as can be, Carmo serves a tropical, Latin-influenced, eclectic global cuisine with impeccable local seafood in the spotlight.

Carmo 527 Julia St., 504-875-4132

The Company Burger
611 O’Keefe Ave., 504-309-9422
An expansion from the original on Freret Street, this second location in the Paramount Building has a larger bar and the same great burgers. Take your fries to the mayo bar.

The Company Burger 611 O’Keefe Ave., 504-309-9422

Compere Lapin
535 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-599-2119
At one of the hottest new restaurants in New Orleans, chef Nina Compton delivers original, artful, readily approachable cuisine at the nexus of Italian, French and Caribbean.

Compere Lapin 535 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-599-2119

Johnny Sánchez
930 Poydras St., 504-304-6615
Mexican cuisine with a modern, chef-driven edge is the calling card of this taqueria from Aarón Sánchez and John Besh, though chips and salsa, tacos and margaritas are still mainstays.


La Boca
870 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-525-8205
This Argentine-style steakhouse has a special way with beef (and fries, and broiled cheese, and bruschetta) and it keeps late hours. With a group, order the chef’s tasting menu for a true feast.

La Boca 870 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-525-8205


Maypop
611 O’Keefe Ave., New Orleans, 504-482-6845
At this very new addition from chef Michael Gulotta of the Mid-City hit MoPho, you’ll find highly-original Asian-inspired dishes built around handmade noodles and complex flavors in a stylishly casual setting.

Maypop 611 O’Keefe Ave., New Orleans, 504-482-6845

Meril
424 Girod St., New Orleans, 504-526-3745
The latest from Emeril Lagasse is a casual, neighborhood-style eatery with the ambiance of a modern tavern and a menu of small plates with flavors from around the globe.

Meril 424 Girod St., New Orleans, 504-526-3745

Pêche Seafood Grill
800 Magazine St., 504-522-1744
The Link Restaurant Group’s upscale/casual seafood house takes Gulf fish across its wood-fired grill or through the paces of a raw bar for crudos and seafood salads. Whole fish is a specialty.

Pêche Seafood Grill 800 Magazine St., 504-522-1744

Ruby Slipper Café
1005 Canal St., 504-525-9355
This home-grown brunch spot has the right mix of breakfast standbys, New Orleans flavors and Southern traditions, with mimoas and bloody Marys from the bar to start your morning (or afternoon).

Ruby Slipper Café 1005 Canal St., 504-525-9355

Seaworthy
630 Carondelet St., 504-930-3071
This oyster bar just debuted last summer, and it's been turning heads with its style and different approach on the menu, where oysters from many different regions can make up a dozen. Late hours are a plus.

Seaworthy 630 Carondelet St., 504-930-3071