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Mar 4, 2002 11:30 AM

Galatoires and Commanders Palace

  • p

Ok I've got reservations for lunch at Commanders Palace and dinner the following evening at Galatoires.
Any suggestions as to what to try? I love just about anything, especially seafood and meat dishes. Any local specialties worth trying?

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  1. At Commander' they will make a show of service and presentation: at galatoire's the place is the show, especially downstairs.

    Certainly try Commander's turtle soup and don't miss Galatoire's shrimp remoulade. At the latter, check with the waiter as to what is looking best. they grill and fry better than anyone in town.

    Oysters have been running good lately so Bienville should be good and en brochette even beter. and remember that crabmeat is not as good in the winter but still should be OK (more shells escape detection, though, at this time of year) Soft-shells, despite the waiter's insistence, are almost certainly fresh---as in fresh-frozen. But, then, we have seen waiters actually place orders for fried soft shells (!) and seen people put ketchup on crabmeat......

    9 Replies
    1. re: Hazelhurst

      Saveur published the recipe for their shrimp remoulade two or three years ago. It is superb as it is there.

      1. re: Joe H.

        the restaurant also gives it out on little cards. Somewhere I have old man Justin's reciipe from about 1960--it was less red (had no ketchup in it).

        1. re: Hazelhurst

          By the way you have a true gift with words, sir, as well as a fork.

          1. re: Joe H.

            Aw, shucks----corn shucks? oyster shuck(ing?) we;ll this way lies madnesss.

            But HELL it's fun!

      2. re: Hazelhurst

        When does soft shell crab season begin in Louisiana? I'm hoping to try Clancy's smoked s.s.crab in early April....will I be too early and wind up with the frozen product?

        1. re: ForkinMouth

          Depends on the weather but they might be "running" by then. Ask Brad at Clancy's and he'll give you the dope. I will keep an eye and ear out and post something as your trip approaches.

          1. re: Hazelhurst

            Hazelhurst: Thanks for "monitoring" the s.s. crab season for me. I'll look forward for your report! Have you tried the smoked soft shells at either Clancy's or Brigtsen's? This will be a first for me.

            1. re: ForkinMouth

              I've hd the smoked ones at Clancy's and, as with everything Brad handles, they are very good. [Brad was a Galatoire's waiter years ago so he knows more than a few things.] I prefer the sauteed crabs, arguing with the ancients that the lily need not be gilded beyond butter and garlic. But smoked is fine for a variation without bringing on the insanity of battered, fried soft shelled crabs. (Some very nice people do eat them this way---we just don't say anything and look the other way. No sense in embarassing the poor things....meaning the people, not the crabs)

          2. re: ForkinMouth

            Although my soft shelled crab experiences had all been on the east coast, I had the best soft shells of my life at Antoine's on March 10, 2000. My waiter Johnny said they were the first of the season and excellent. He was so right.

        2. Commander's - do not miss the bread pudding souffle for des. - one of the best desserts on the planet.

          Galatoire's - If you are there with a few people, share the app. combo (oysters/brochette, shrimp rem. and crab) - also get an order of souffle potatoes. The oysters broch. are awesone (friend with bacon, covered in butter). For a main - get whatever type of fish your waiter recommends - i.e. pompano, etc. (they will saute it) and ask to have it topped with either crabmeat or crawfish tails. Some sauteed mushrooms (oozing in garlic butter) are good too as a side.

          1. v
            Vital Information

            All of the suggestions so far are great, especially the turtle soup! The problem with both places, especially Galatoires, is fitting in all of the great appetizers. At least Comanders gives you the soups 1-1-1 option for variety!

            At galatoires, it is so hard between the shrimp remulade, the crabmeat maison and the crabmeat ravigotte, and of course, the oysters brochette. Also at Galatoires I like the plain meats with the old fashioned sauces on the side, like say lamb chops with bernaise.

            At Commanders, the fish with pecans is such a classic and if you pass on the shrimp remulade at galatoires (which actually will be the other way around in your trip) you can have them at Commanders.

            Both places serve the classic, show-piece New Orleans drinks. If you ever wanted something like a Ramos Gin Fizz or a Milk Punch, this is your chance. I especially like the Sazerac at Commanders.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Vital Information

              Good points all. there was a suggestion to try the selection of appetizers (called the Galatoire's goute--"Goo-TAY") is perfect. Commanders had superior Sazeracs years ago but I've not had one there lately (lunch ony the last few times--you can see the problem at once). Galatoire's tends to use bourbon in the Sazerac but they may have the Overholt back. Just ask--the place is mercurial about some things and this is part of the fun.

              The trout meuniere almondine--which mirrors the pecan-crust stuff--is worth crossing the street to have. But do have the oysters en brochette at this time of year. Oysters have been superb lately.

              Another nice thing galatoire's has is an artichoke with hollandaise-you just don't see a decent, honest, old-fashioned, not-gussied-up artichoke in restaurants anymore. And their hollandaise is one of the best commercial versions available, despite some screeds against eating restuarnat hollandaise .

            2. Although they didn't "invent" them, Galatoire's has my favorite version of Oysters Rockefeller. Grrreat.

              The other "must eat" is their trout almandine (or other fish if no trout). My favorite N.O. restaurant.