Galatoire's - 2 Specific Questions
Taking my girlfriend to New Orleans for b-day in May. She requested Saturday night birthday dinner at Galatoire's. Two questions:
1. Galatoire's takes reservations, but for upstairs only. If it were your only chance to eat there would you make rezzies upstairs or wait for a downstairs table? and 2. Any ballpark estimate for waiting on line Saturday night around 8:00 p.m.?
ps - in unlikely event girlfriend doesn't want upstairs or wait, what would be the next best (or best) old-style N.O. restaurant? Thank you for your help.
I would absolutely wait for a table downstairs. The atmosphere is lacking in the relatively new upstairs room, as is the people watching. Depending on what's going on in town at the time (1st weekend in May is Jazzfest) you could be waiting a long, long time. Or a short time, you never know. People monopolize tables all night long, and the waiters never rush to turn the tables.
If you do go and wait, ask for MC to be your waiter.
If you'd prefer to have reservations, there are lots of other amazing restaurants - in the same genre as Galatoire's would be Antoine's and Commander's Palace. Somewhat similar atmospheres, but stuffier. Even more excellent is Clancy's, way uptown and way local but quintessential N.O. to me.
oh poo pah on going to commander's instead. there is only ONE gallatoires - it is exceptional, whereas the palace is only so-so.
if its not jazz fest, you most likely can shoot a cannon thru G's on a saturday nite.
food, service identical either floor. locals just request the first floor cause it is "the place".
but for a one shot nite, it doesn't make one iota of difference. IMHO.
I agree with teh posts but I would emphasize that you should sit downstairs. It is the real restaurant. MC is a fine choice as waiter, as is Gilbert or Richard (old school--he knew Mr Justin in the Good Old days). All these guys will fight for you in the kitchen.
Go in late afternoon or early evening to guarantee a table: the place is open all day. Eat course by course. Have an appetizer and think about what you want next. Galatoire's is not the place to plan on a 90 minute dinner--it should last hours.
In MAy you shopuld have good crabmeat and the crawfish are expected to have a banner year. If you can get a poached fish (preferably redfish) hollandaise, try that. Simple and direct. No hooey.