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Sep 28, 1999 09:19 AM

Christmas in New Orleans

  • p

My husband and I are making our first trip to New Orleans this December. I am in search of a restaurant for Christmas dinner. French, Creole, seafood, or some
combination located in the French Quarter or nearby would be grand. Our price range is moderate to expensive. Any suggestions? I'm open to other cuisines... Thanks!

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  1. For Christmas dinner, I'd recommend Commander's Palace, if they're open for the holiday. It's not in the French Quarter, but a short cab ride away, in the Garden District.
    For other meals, don't miss Mr. B's, Bayonne, and Galatoire's. Also, despite the mixed reviews here for Emeril's, we had a marvelous meal there and would definitely return. For a funkier, more casual meal: oysters at the Acme and a mufaletta at the Central Grocery. And, naturally, coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde - open 24/7. Also, it's a lot of fun to take the cooking class (it's not hands-on) and have lunch at the New Orleans Cooking School.
    Laissez les bon temps roulez!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dena
      Rachel Perlow

      Totally concur with recommendation of New Orleans School of Cooking, it was great fun and the best jambalaya I had in NO. It's not in the Jackson Brewery (they have a store there, so the ads mention that mall), so be sure you get directions for the class.

      Don't forget to stop by Mothers for a po boy (try the black ham) and some old fashioned bread pudding. Take the mufaletta, from Central Grocery, with you on the plane ride home and make all the other passengers jealous when they are stuck with plastic airline food! (While you're at it, bring home an extra bottle of the olive salad so you can somewhat recreate the sandwich in January.)

      I enjoyed Fleur de Lee for some non-creole food, take the Charles Street Trolley to Lee Circle, it's right off the circle. It's rather small, romantic, intimate, etc., french/contemporary food. Worth a call re: Chrismas, but nice also just to get away from the quarter.

      The best bread pudding I had in NO was at Palace Cafe (owned by the Brennans) - White Chocolate Bread Pudding. Two of us couldn't finish it, it was so rich and sweet - but good! Breakfast at Brennan's is totally overrated (although the Banana's Foster is good and was invented there). We had eaten at Redfish Grill (once again, Brennans owned) our first night, and I didn't want to give the Brennan's any more of my money, so we never went to Commander's Palace.

      Emeril's was very good, I was there alone at lunch time and enjoyed sitting at the kitchen bar, watching the chef (not Emeril) cook - and getting some complementary "amuse bouches".

      1. re: Rachel Perlow

        Fleur de Lee is no longer open. It metamorphosed into a bar and I'm not sure if even that is still operating.

        1. re: Sarah
          Rachel Perlow

          What a shame, the food was really good.

        2. re: Rachel Perlow

          Taking nothing away from Mother's, and though this isn't pertinent to the Christmas thread, Johnny's Po Boy in the quarter on St. Louis between Decatur and Chartres and also out in Slidell, has what I believe to be the best Po Boys in the Crescent. Give it a whirl for breakfast. As far as Mother's goes, eat breakfast on a weekday morning, and sit at the big round table in the back. That's where the locals sit (locals really eat there).

      2. I would check and see what Greg Picolo is doing at The Bistro. Unlike Commanders, which may, in fact, be more festive, The Bistro is small and intimate, but the food is quite extraordinary and you are right in the quarter. It is the restaurant in the Hotel Maison De Ville. It's size and high quotient of regulars as opposed to tourists would make it a great place to have a Christmas meal. I imagine that they will do a Prix Fixe. The food is French/Creole. Give it a shot. Avoid the Court of Two Sisters as they will try and sell you on their Christmas in the Quarter thing. PS... you should go to Lafittes Blacksmith (a bar on Bourbon and St. Philip) and listen to Johnny the piano player sing Christmas Carols well into the night. Enjoy!