I'm counting down my ten favorite dishes from the restaurants that I reviewed in 2011. The top dish will be revealed on Tuesday, December 27, and look for a slideshow featuring most of the winners on Wednesday, December 28.
As is traditional in New Orleans, red beans and rice is available only on Mondays at this small Soulard spot. It is worth planning a visit around: The sauce itself has a rich, porky flavor, with smoked sausage adding brightness and spice. The beans are perfectly al dente. As with most of the dishes here, there is (intentionally) only a whisper of heat, but both Tabasco and Crystal hot sauces are available, and the menu explicitly states, "If the chef catches you shaking hot sauce onto one of his creations, he will not be offended."
- from "Louisiana Purchase" September 15, 2011
Riverbend Restaurant & Bar (701 Utah Street; 314-664-8443)