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Jan 27, 2002 04:03 PM

Eatin' help needed

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In NO 3/22 (Friday) pre-cruise and then 3/30 p.m. (Saturday) post-cruise. No kids with us (yahoo) and last time in NO over 8 years ago. Looking for great place to eat both nights before bar hopping and general carousing about--love seafood, steaks, rather not have to wear suit and tie (husband not me!) but will if needed. I have seen references to Peristyle, Jacques-Imo (any chance the line is short on Friday??) and Cobalt. Anyplace else I need to check out? Any ideas welcome. TIA

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  1. Jacque Imo's right at 5:30pm when they open should be hassle free, but after that the wait can be 1-2 hours. Maple Leaf Bar is next door with live music on Fridays for the wait or after dinner fun. This is a cab ride from the Quarter and may be fun for a change of pace, but it may be easier to stay in the Quarter and enjoy enjoy enjoy.

    Skip Peristyle's. Yesterday's news.

    The hot hip spots happen to be in the CBD, just across Canal Street from the Quarter. Noteworthy chefs worth consideration include your idea of Cobalt, Restaurant August, Cuvee, and Rene Bistrot. In the Quarter, Stella, Bayona and GW Fins are awesome, and Muriel's is fun but touristy. Bayona is the same chef/owner as Cobalt so one or the other would do. Bayona garners slightly better reviews.

    I personally would throw in a traditional New Orleans restaurant such as one of the Brennan's places (Red Fish Grill for lunch or Mr. B's for dinner are my picks) and/or the always fabulous Galatoire's or Arnaud's. Bistro at Maison Deville is as romantic as ever.

    Bon appetit!