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what's up with Bayona

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I'm heading down to New Orleans for jazzfest in May. I'm a big foodie, but I've actually never been to new orleans. For the past few weeks, I've been doing my homework. Reading reviews, checking chowhound boards, perusing menus, etc. I finally settled on bayona for one of our dinners. I called last night (2/28), only to be told they weren't accepting reservations for May until the next day, 3/1, at 10 am. I pushed a bit, but they steadfastly refused to take a reservation.

So I called back today, 3/1. After about 5 hours of busy signals, I finally got through, only to be told that they would not take a reservation for 6 people after 6 pm. At that point, I just gave up.

Is Bayona really that hot a ticket? I've made reservations -- and dined -- in many of the best restaurants around the country. But I've never had that kind of difficulty -- and attitude -- getting a reservation 10 weeks in advance.

Any recommendations for a friendlier dinner?

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  1. I've had better luck with Bayona at lunch than dinner. It's also a LOT cheaper...

    1. Not sure from your post if the Bayona area is where you want to eat or that type/style is what you're looking for. Recommendations in the general FQ area of Bayona include Galatoire's, Arnaud's, Dickie Brennan's, Stella!, Cuvee, and Rene Bistrot.

      1. I may be wrong, I'm not a NO native but have visited Bayona's more than once. It's a small place compared to Antoines, Arnouds, etc.. Jazz fest brings in a
        gazillian people not all of which may be compelled to honor a reservation after a day of distractions. My guess is that they have had some pretty bad experiences in that respect. A big place could probably absorb a 6 top cancellation. Being as small as they are and given the fact that they don't turn tables very fast, we're talking major bucks. I've called for reserves the same day and have been turned down but advised to call later in case of a cancellation and have always been accomodated. I think you have the wrong impression.
        I would be interested in other people's take on the situation.
        Bob

        1. Hi! Please keep this in mind about your New Orleans visit.....if you feel that you LOOOVE it---and you probably will---as soon as you get home, schedule a visit back at a less crowded time of the year. There is so much food and drink to be enjoyed, you will feel like you are wasting so much time waiting for it in a crowded restaurant!!!!!!
          Also: don't miss Irene's Cuisine. Fantastic; but small, no reservations, etc. Even in July we waited 45 minutes!!! But worth it! Have a blast.

          1. Zagat gives Peristyle a 28 for food and Bayona a 27 with Brigsten's also a 27. Personally I prefer both of them to Bayona. Unfortunately Peristyle is the most difficult reservation in NO not Bayona. Alternatives to all three would include Jacques Imo's and Galatoire's. Perhap's Irene's Cuisine also.
            As for the difficulty in getting into Bayona, well, that is quite surprising.

            1. g
              Gerald McGowin

              Bayona might be the best restaurant in New Oleans in an abstract sense but so what? You want to go to a great Creole Haute Cuisine restaurant because you're in New Orleans.

              My strong recommendation is Upperline. Bet if you call now you can get in.

              You will be able to get in to Mr. B's, which is the place that I wind up going to more than any other restaurant in New Orleans.

              Enjoy.