Honeymoon in New Orleans

Where to sleep, eat, and shop in the Big Easy

The first thing you'll notice is that the French Quarter is squeaky clean. Thanks go to Sidney Torres IV, who went from hot hotelier (he owns Melrose Mansion, see below) to waste management CEO. Today, the signature bull logo of his company, SDT, can be spotted everywhere—on his gleaming black garbage trucks and even on the hip garb worn by his staff. “What he's doing is incredible,” says friend and rock 'n' roll legend Lenny Kravitz, who has a house in the neighborhood. “I was on tour and hadn't been back for a while, but when I returned, I was absolutely shocked to see how clean the French Quarter is. Torres is a visionary, a true hero.”

“We think of romance in America as a quickie,” says New Orleans restaurateur John Besh, runner-up in 2007's Next Iron Chef. And along those lines, he adds, “We want food in 30 minutes, but a truly romantic meal is something that takes all day to prepare.” It won't take all day to enjoy, but plan to spend a few hours lingering at Besh's flagship eatery, August, where you can dine on dishes such as handmade gnocchi with blue crab and summer truffle (restaurantaugust.com). For more casual but equally delicious fare, try his new German-style brasserie, Lüke, in the Central Business District (lukeneworleans.com).

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