Ask local chefs where they dine on their day off, and chances are a good number of them will mention Dante's Kitchen. Chef Eman Loubier, a nine-year veteran of Commander's Palace, prepares seasonal menus for those with a sense of adventure. Duck breast is served with kumquats and pickled hot-pepper sauce, pork is paired with Brie-and-pastrami mac and cheese, and every visit demands a helping of root beer–candied sweet potatoes. Desserts, such as the sweet-potato-and-white-chocolate
pie, are homey and hearty. An outdoor patio is especially welcoming on cooler nights and at brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are not accepted for brunch. The famous "chicken roasted under a brick" takes about 40 minutes to prepare, but it's worth the wait.