Arrived Christmas Eve minus our friend's luggage - he in warm-up suit and walking shoes. Plans for dinner obviously required different attire. I had made reservations way, way ahead, too! Finally after numerous phone calls and very few options, I called Cuvee to cancel and was told "oh, come on - it's Christmas"!!! Food was absolutely wonderful. Pricey but worth it. $55 for a four course meal and then extra for wine. They were so gracious no matter our circumstance. This is a definite re-visit at another time.
Can't say the same for what message boards are touting about Clancy's on Annunciation Street. Food less than okay - guess it must be the "place to be seen"?
Probably need to determine age demographics for restaurant reviews - it probably will make a difference, not only in expectations but in results as well.
Warning - if you don't have reservations for meals at downtown hotels - don't go to New Orleans Christmas Day. Absolutely zero choices for dining - not even Popeye's, Burger King, McDonald's, etc!!! No grocery stores are open either. After driving around forever we finally found a Chinese place and got "to-go" and went to our room.
Actually, not too many choices anywhere during 24th-27th. Emeril's places, Brennan's places, Prudhomme's -all close for the three day period - those as well as any local neighborhood hangouts. Mandina's on Canal was open except for Christmas Day and you can ALWAYS get a good meal there, no matter what you order. Be prepared to wait, though, because it's always crowded.
To set the record straight, temps were a bit on the chilly, and sometimes wet, side this year. I agree places to eat were somewhat limited, but Christmas Eve we had dinner at Copeland's, on St.Charles way out in the Garden District; for breakfast on Christmas day, somewhere out on Veteran's Blvd, the ever popular Denny's beckoned. All the gourmets were there in force, making for a long wait, but counter seating was immediate! That night, good old Pat O'Brien's provided dinner. Nothing to brag about, but it was dinner, on a night when we had very few places from which to choose. Dec.26 was dinner at Arnaud's, in the Jazz Room. Same menu as the main dining room, but for $4.00 more p/p we had a delightful 3 piece Dixie band with dinner. Dec.27 was the topper, though, at Emeril's Nola. This place may be a bit on the commercial side, but the energy and great service more than makes up for the commercialism. The breads were fantastic, what more needs be said. We only took a bite of each roll, so as not to fill up the space needed for the main course, but what temptation those rolls were. 5 different kinds, and all delish. Our reservation was for 7:30, and by then the bronzed redfish with asparagus in a citrus/jalapeño sauce was already gone. I was able to finagle subbing a bronzed swordfish for the redfish, just so I could get the asparagus in what sounded like a heavenly sauce. I wasn't disappointed. So there you have it; Cold and damp, not a lot of places open, but what was open turned out quality food. One last comment, concerning the Dry Dock in Algiers. It isn't the only dining in town; there's also an English Pub, but for most folks, the main attraction of Algiers is the FREE ferry ride, over and back. Why hasn't anyone mentioned that? My Scottish ancestors would turn over in their grave if I passed up an opportunity like that.