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The Best of New Orleans 2009: M.S. Rau Antiques Named Best Antiques Store

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GAMBIT, August 24, 2009-- When it comes to bests, New Orleans wrote the book on superlatives — or, rather, you did when we put out the call for our annual Best of New Orleans issue. The Gambit staff spent days and days (and even some nights) poring over the results, nodding at your sagacity — and, in some cases, shaking our collective head — when we tallied up the results.

Welcome to the Best of New Orleans 2009.

Best Antiques Store

M.S. Rau Antiques, 630 Royal Street in the heart of New Orleans' historic French Quarter

M.S. Rau Antiques, 630 Royal Street in the heart of New Orleans' historic French Quarter

MS Rau (630 Royal St., 523-5660; — For those serious about collecting rare antiques, fine art and jewelry from around the world, MS Rau is the authoritative collector in New Orleans. For nearly a century, acquiring exquisite gems, original Tiffany windows, artwork by Renoir, and other precious items from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, are a typical day's work for this well-established, family owned business in the French Quarter


A few of our favorites:

Best Tourist Activity That's Fun For Locals

1. French Quarter — Why do we even ask? Where else can you stroll, eat, drink, shop, check out art, stop to chat and gawk at tourists all at once? Best of all, "da Quarters" has the mystical ability to be both unchanging and to present something new on each visit. There's a reason people come from around the world to see it — and it's all ours.

2. Audubon Zoo (6500 Magazine St., 861-2537;

3. Streetcar (


Best Food Festival

1. Jazz Fest ( — There are those Jazz Fest attendees who plan their music schedule around the food. A jama-jama fix, for example, means several minutes soaking up Congo Square, and the wait for trout Baquet allows for extended jazz and blues tent eavesdropping. Thankfully mango freezes are sold in multiple locations, or we might never hear a thing.

2. French Quarter Fest (

3. Po-boy Preservation Festival (


Best Museum

1. New Orleans Museum of Art (1 Collins Diboll Circle, 488-2631; — The picture of classic Southern grace, NOMA is pleasantly situated in City Park amid stately oaks dripping with Spanish moss, and various other flora and fauna native to one of New Orleans' largest open spaces. A trip through the museum provides an equally calming and inspiring experience with its collection of regional, national and international works of art.

2. National WWII Museum (945 Magazine St., 527-6012;

3. Ogden Museum of Southern Art (925 Camp St., 539-9600;


Best New Orleans Restaurant

1. Commander's Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221; — It's arguably the best-known restaurant in New Orleans, winning countless industry accolades and popular awards. Our readers say amen and join the chorus of praise for the Brennan family's flagship. Not content with such laurels, executive chef Tory McPhail is steering the kitchen in new and exciting culinary directions.

2. Galatoire's (209 Bourbon St., 525-2021;

3. Jacques-Imo's (8324 Oak St., 861-0886;


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