Hidden in the middle of a quiet Uptown neighbourhood, Restaurant Patois is lively little spot with all the charm of Provence. Well-heeled couples of all ages cram into the tight bar to sip signature cocktails, like the B’eautiful Mary (tomato-infused vodka, fresh tomato juice, and spices) or Douceur de Vivre, a take on the pisco sour. At the tables, diners savour dishes like fresh sardines with currants and pine nuts, fennel and lemon crusted chicken, and panéed Mississippi rabbit with pancetta. Chef Aaron Burgau cooks French food with an American sensibility. Before opening Patois, he managed the local farmers’ market, and he uses his connections with farmers and fishermen to stock the kitchen at Patois. One of the best new restaurants in New Orleans, Patois is still a locals’ secret. Once the word gets out, though, it will be hard for anyone to book a table.