new orleans ultimates
- stephen kaye
hi folks, need your s.os. plz. I've got very good friends in from florence, italy. they will be in new orleans in about 2 weeks. I need the ultimate 2 places for dinner, and the ultimate 2 places for lunch. and the ultimate bars/lounges. they are true foodies, fashion designers. they dig great food/great vibes/great total experiences in dining. I've read the entire new orleans message board already. any help/votes are a great help. thx in advance
I like Dena's suggestions, but I just don't think the Muffalata is good enough to keep your friends away from Uglesich's for lunch. The Acme is a must. It's a great hangout for a midday snack, too (you can do worse than a beer and a half-dozen or dozen raw oysters.
I haven't been to N.O. in a couple years, so with that proviso, it would seem sacriligious to go and not have the amandine or meuniere at Galatoire's. I love Bayona, too.
A couple of other ideas:
Cafe du Monde for beignets and chicory coffee (and if they do go to Central Grocery for a sandwich, it's a hop away), open 24 hours.
Mid-City Lanes, a bowling alley with great live music (but call and make sure there is an act that night). No cover, no minimum.
* Commander's Palace - sort of the ultimate upscale New Orleans restaurant - must haves are the bread pudding souffle and the turtle soup
* Emeril's - It's been so over-hyped I'm sure your friends probably will want to ge here. The place is loud, service can be REAL annoying, but the food can be great (I love his version of BBQed shrimp)
(Other greats include Byaonna, Gabriella, Brightsen's)Note: I'd probably skip Galatoire's unless you are going with locals
* Nola's - Emeril's place in the quarter, much more casual, a great lunch stop (or dinner!). Try the cedar plank roasted fish. I like sitting at the at the bar, by the grill/oven for lunch and watching the chef's work.
*Others: Acme for oysters; Frankie & Johnnie's (if uptown)for po-boys and fried pepper rings; Mother's for jambalaya and po-boys; Mr. B's for gumbo
So many choices! It's hard to go wrong, just avoid the tourist traps in the quarter.
Depends on where you are going to be.
Tip's, depending on who is playing; Red Room for a "scene"; Absinthe House; Cafe Brazil (fun fun fun); and if you are still up at 3-6AM try F&M
I hear that Commander's Palace is not consistent from night to night -- which is one of the reasons Rachel and I avoided it the last time we were there. In the words of a trusted native, the place is a "crap shoot", it can be awesome or it can be sub-par depending on what night you go. I concur with your thought on emerils, food was great but yes it was very loud.
Instead of Commanders we went to another Brennan family restaurant instead --the Palace Cafe, which was AWESOME. Palace Cafe is the newest restaurant owned by the family (which owns Brennan's (you have to do the breakfast thing once), Commanders Palace, Palace Cafe and few others) its got this incredible upstairs area with a grand staircase overlooking the street and a killer, and I mean killer bread pudding with vanilla sauce. Check out the menus in the link below.
Palace Cafe also is the restaurant which introduced me to Bloody Bulls (bloody marys with beef boullion in it) which I cant seem to be able to order at any other bar in this country.
re: stephen kaye
I cant vouch for reliability and dont have time to do the research but there is a whole lot of local N.O. input on the website of the guy who wrote the Eclectic Guide for New Orleans - you can work your way through to it through the eclectic guide links associated with Jim's books elsewhere on this site.
re: Jason Perlow
I have heard the same about Commander's - inconsistent, but it is the prettiest/nicest place in town and if you do not hit a bad night...
I also agree with Palace Cafe. I've eaten there twice in the past year and had great meals both times. It's a really popular (business)lunch spot with the locals. (Dickie Brennan also opened a steak house last year just around the corner, which is supposed to be quite good too). Other near-by Brennan family owned restaurant's include Red Fish Grill, Mr. B's and Bacco (all good).
re: jen kalb
Tom Fitzmorris has certainly been around to about every place where food can be had in New Orleans. He has a radio food show and writes a regular e-mail food newsletter; you can also read his daily columns at insideneworleans.com. He is strongly opinionated and not always as objective as he could be, but he loves food and particularly loves New Orleans. (What I'm trying to say is I'm not exactly a fan of his and don't always agree with him but he knows his way around New Orleans restaurants.)