Best dinner for 8 hip girls
Being from downtown Chicago, we eat at great & popular restuarants all the time. We will be in NOLA for a Bachlorette weekend (most have never been to NO, I've been a lot but want them to experience the "classics" and are looking for the best/coolest/most talked about restaurant for dinner Saturday evening (is it still Galatoire's, Antoine's and Arnaud's)? However, on a completely different scale, the bachlorette would love the atmosphere of Lucky Cheng's but I hear it's now Genifer Flowers???
Would you do Pat O's Friday, then dinner at Acme? Saturday-drinking will be involved in all we do, any thoughts of fun restuarants/bars?
Also, any thoughts on dance clubs later??
I just moved to Chicago from NO. It is a completely different scene down there. Clubbing doesn't have the same meaning in NO as in Chicago. If in NO, I'd concentrate on seeing some live music. Get an Offbeat magazine, check out Soul Rebels, Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, Eddie Bo, Bob French, or if you're into modern Jazz, check out Ellis Marsalis on Friday at Snugg Harbor. F&M is good, but you'd want to go there after 1:00 AM still ... I'd say at least 2:00, it only starts kicking in at 1:00 AM and it doesn't reach its peak till 3:00.
For dancing, the 'Berlin' of NO is 'Oz' on Bourbon. After midnight, the Red Room turns into a night club on weekends. You can also have a nice dinner there before the place turns into a supernightclub.
For funky/fun dinner in a hip atmosphere in the vieux carre, try 201 on Decatur next to the house of blues. Also, you should also sit around the Piano at Lafitte and sing along with Johnny (by him some drinks too, he's funnier when he's drunk).
Hope this message is not getting to you too late ...
Arnaud's, Antoine's and Galatoire's are better described as classics rather than hip and cool. There are pros and cons to each type of restaurant for your purposes - think it out. I think hip and cool may be more for you.
Based on this clarification, Eleven 79, a short cab ride away, is hip and cool these days. It's at Annunciation near the Interstate, in the expanded Warehouse District. Hip and cool also describes Cobalt, on St. Charles Avenue near Poydras in the business district and Rene Bistrot on Common at Baronne. All are fun for either or both happy hour drinks and dinner - if mingling with the locals is your idea of fun.
I would do dinner before cocktails Friday as it's bound to get out of control at Pat O's. Also, food will help absorb the liquor too helping with hangovers. Acme? Definitely not what I would do for an elegant dinner. It's crowded and stinks - don't get me wrong the oysters are totally awesome, the place just is what it is. Lunch at Acme, maybe. Galatoire's for dinner Friday should be fun as the lunch crowd will still be lingering, etc.
Dancing in the FQ is fun at Razoo's or the gay clubs Bourbon Pub or Oz. Locals go to the Metro in the Warehouse District.
Coyote Ugly just opened on N. Peters kaddy korner from Pottery Barn and Saks mall. It attracts quantity but not quality.
I agree with Galatoire's for dinner if you want to show them the classics -- the best of that category, in my opinion. We were not impressed with Eleven 79, either service-wise or food-wise. Better of the new and hip places is Cobalt (no, Big Dog, they didn't tell me to say that, I really do like the place) or Lilette. Rene Bistrot is good too; the food leans toward classical French.
I also agree that Acme is a better choice for lunch than dinner. Go to Pat O's after dinner because you will be more able to appreciate what you eat before you drink the hurricanes, and the food in your stomach will help to counteract some of the alcohol. Actually, the hurricanes really aren't that good; they seem to be made from the same powdered mix that you can buy in local stores. I'm told that it used to be made from real fruit juices but apparently those days are past.
A new place in the Quarter, on Dauphine and I think Iberville, is Deanie's, which is an outpost of an old lakefront seafood joint. It's clean, bright, spacious and airy and generally not very crowded yet. If you want to try this city's ubiquitous fried seafood, this is probably as good a place as any in the Quarter. They will also grill, broil or blacken your fish if you don't want it fried. We liked their seafood gumbo, and they also serve fresh oysters, although we haven't tried them.
I too would shy away from ACME for Fri. dinner - will probably have a huge line and it is kind of a pit inside (great oysters though).
Galatoires's is good ("classic")for this type event, but sit downstairs, which means waiting in line - upstairs is too laid back, not the same cool, clubby feel.
Nola's is quite lively, happening place and right in the quarter.
I've also done a bachelor party at Jaques-Imo's - they only take reservations for large groups, so you'd be in luck. Fabulous, outstanding, wonderful, reasonably priced food (read about it in other posts on this board). It's a loud, fun place, very popular with locals. And, it's right next to the Maple Leaf - great live music place.
Clubs - all over, but one MUST is for Saturday night - late (after 1AM) - get in a cab and go to F&M Patio (all cab drivers know it well) - 10 minutes from the quarter and it stays packed with local (dancing on the pool table) till daylight. Plenty of other b-parties (and wedding parties) will be there.
Rene Bistro - it may appear to be hip but the food and service is not! My husband is a chef, so I am always with a food critic. If you want a nice place with good food and good service, try Gerard's on St. Charles (Downtown area), Peristyle (on Dumaine in the Quarter), Cuvee on Magazine Street (Warehouse District) and Dick & Jenny's on Tchoupitoulas (Uptown area - take a taxi). My absolute favorit is Peristyle and this is not where my husband works. Annie is a wonderful Chef, the staff is great, wonderful wines but you better call for reservations - 504-593-9535. Stay away from Acme. Lunch at Galatoire's would be fun! We have not been to Eleven 79, but I have heard wonderful things. Have a wonderful time!!
You MUST eat at Jacques-Imo's. If not for the big Saturday dinner - then another night. My girlfriends and I eat there once a week - it's like our "Sex in the City" weekly indulgence. Fantastic food, great service, wonderful all around. Celebs who are in town always go there - you never know who you will see. Enjoy it!