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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Artesia Restaurant Review: HURRICANE KATRINA: this establishment is currently closed. For a New Orleans Travel Update as well as resources, information and help click here. It's an hour's drive from New Orleans to Artesia, in the sleepy town of Abita Springs, but that doesn't deter the restaurant's many city-dwelling fans. The rustic charm of its bucolic surroundings belies the restaurant's tony interior, originally the two-story annex of a turn-of-the century hotel in a forest clearing. The dining rooms on both levels are bright and cheery, with country-style antiques, white-linen curtains and softly colored paintings carefully arranged on the beige walls. They communicate the right blend of elegance and informality. The comfort level can decline a bit when the decibels soar from some of the larger tables, but on a noisy night, escape is available at meal's end with coffee on the front porch. Consecutive chefs John Besh and Gerard Maras earned the restaurant its impeccable reputation; several chefs later, the kitchen seems to be looking for its footing again.