Please rate my picks
Coming into NOLA in a couple of days. Here's what I've got so far--
I have resrvations for dinner at the Palace Cafe and Ralph's on the Park. Reservations for lunch at Cochon and NOLA. Plan also to eat at Rio Mar, Central Grocery, Johnny's Po Boys and of course Cafe du Monde. Please tell me what to add or change in my plans. What am I missing? We will be in NOLA 4 days not counting days flying in and out. Thanks for any advice you have.
Here's my report from last Feb, dsg. I really wanted to try Ralph's and Rio Mar, just wasn't enough time. Cochon wasn't yet open, IIRC, but they're high on my list also. Other two big regrets were missing Brigtsen's and Dick and Jenny's. Guess I need to plan a return trip soon. Laissez le bon temp roullez!
[Edited to add:] Should mention that we stuck to places within walking distance of the Quarter (CBD and Warehouse Districts) which excluded Brigtsen's and D&J's.
Thanks for the link to your post. Actually, at the time you originally posted, I printed it out and have used it for planning purposes. We will also try to stay within walking distance of the French Quarter with the exception of Ralph's on the Park which was so highly recommended by the "well fed librarian" who attended the ALA convention. Thanks for your recos. By the way, all of your suggestions for Fresno have been spot on!
I gotta second PolarBear on Dick and Jenny's. All things considered (price, quality, relaxed informal environment) it's the best place in the city.
I'd also say Crabby Jack's for lunch. Though I know they're closed for vacation/kitchen cleaning supposedly through August 6th. So they should be up and running by the time you're here.
I really enjoyed Ralphs on the Park during my visit in June. We did the Early Bird Special which is a 3 course meal plus a glass of wine for $30. The menu choices were delicious-especially the turtle soup and the white chocolate bread pudding. Everything was very fresh and light tasting(best bread pudding I had that week). The restaurant is really lovely- overlooking City Park.
Emeril's NOLA was fantastic- the Shrimp and Grits was incredible (dining companion judged it as the best meal ever!). Also the chocolate bourbon pecan pie with sweet potato ice cream was so delicious. Must try all three bread offerings-corn muffin, french, and rosemary foccacia. Lunch is really affordable at NOLA. The staff was very friendly and attentive.
One suggestion I would give is to do lunch at Napolen House in the FQ. Their Muffuletta is fantastic and the Pimm's Cup (gin with 7up & lemonade garnished with a cucumber slice) is really refreshing. The old ambience of the cafe with its interesting history is very special. Check out their website : www.napoleanhouse.com .
I also enjoyed the crabmeat cheesecake,fried green tomatoes, and white chocolate bread pudding at the Palace Cafe.Building is very interesting and the cafe is very popular. They also have an early dining special.
Breakfast at Petunias in the FQ is fun- their French Toast is delicious and the portions are huge. Check them out at www.petuniasrestaurant.com . Brunch is very popular here with a long wait but since the tourist business is down it shouldn't be a problem.
We also enjoyed Muriels overlooking Jackson Square. They have a prefixed in the $24-$28 range. The food is ok but it is the surroundings that are very colorful- so maybe a good place for a drink. Must check out the Seance room upstairs and have your drink on the balcony overlooking Jackson Square. There are photos on their website: www.muriels.com .
I really enjoyed my stay and found that everyone was so grateful for our visit to the city.
re: mark polizzi
I totally agree about the food at the Napoleon House. We who live here in the Quarter are totally mystified that their Muffuletta is said to be good--I have had them there and the olive salad is tasteless. Their red beans were Blue Runners. But, a great place to have a few drinks.
I strongly urge you to get out of the Quarter and try some less touristy places. Don't get me wrong: the places you've chosen are fine; but you'll get a much different, and more authentically New Orleans, experience at places like Brigtsen's, Clancy's, Upperline, and Dick & Jenny's, than you'll get in any of these places. Certainly all of the places I've mentioned get their share of tourists, too, but they are more "locals" places than any of the places you plan to visit. In fact, I would take all four of these places over all of the places you plan to go to.
A word about Rio Mar: Rio Mar is a terrific Peruvian restaurant. And it is the least touristy of the places you plan to go to. But it is a Peruvian restaurant. There's nothing particularly New Orleans about it, except that it's in New Orleans. I think it's a great place, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to a first time visitor looking to experience New Orleans cuisine.
Brigtsen's for dinner and Galatoire's for lunch are not to be missed. These two give you new and old (respectively) N.O. food at its best. I would trade these two for Palace Cafe and Nola in an instant. I'm a Palace Cafe fan by the way.
I'd skip Johnny's, replace it with Parkway Bakery's roast beef poboy or Liuzza's By the Track (garlic oyster poboy especially). Ralph's and the Palace Cafe are fine, just not especially inventive or cutting edge. Scratch one off and put Restaurant August on your list.
Jaques-Imo's Cafe on Oak St., Uptown. A little bohemian (well alot), but don't let the surroundings scare you. It's worth the adventure.