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Nov 3, 2006 04:12 PM

2 nights in NOLA

OK, 2 nights in NOLA with my girlfriend. Cost is no option. We want the best.

Criteria: Ideally less tourists, but in a fine dining atmosphere this shouldn't be as much an issue. Great service (I'm known for pulling a manager over if the service is shoddy), solid wine list, ideally a full bar but this is negotiable, and romantic.

We both eat just about everything, so that shouldn't be an issue.

Dates are 12/8 & 12/9 so we've got enough advance to get reservations.

What would you do?


Thanks in advance!


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  1. If you're willing to drive a bit outside of downtown, the buttery BBQ shrimp at Pascal's Manale is really something. I would've licked the bowl afterward if there weren't other diners present. The restaurant itself has alot of red-tinged Nawlins hometown ambience, too. Here's a good source:

    1. Friday afternoon should be spent having lunch at Galatoire's - all afternoon! That's what the locals do and nobody goes back to work. Lunch lasts for hours. Let the waiter help you order the best of what the locals are ordering that day from the fresh catch. Then you can walk off the fabulous meal in the French Quarter. Have coffee and beignet at Cafe du Monde. A little jazz and drinks here and there. Make sure to have a Sazerac. A late night snack if you are actually hungry. Maybe even a Lucky Dog from a street vendor - at your own risk of course - depending on how much you've had to drink!

      On Saturday, Commander's Palace. Tourists go there but so do locals. I love their gumbo ya-ya. The oysters 2-2-2. The Bread Pudding Souffle. I'm hungry thinking about it. I lived near there and we were regulars so we would pop in for snacks - just a single appetizer or bowl of soup. I never tired of it.
      I loved to watch the cocktail trays go out - every one in the perfect, proper glass - something you rarely see anymore.

      If you don't already have a hotel, the Monteleone has December specials. Great historic hotel in the French Quarter.

      1. We are going to stay at the International House- it's where I stay for every Jazzfest. I was thinking about Commander's for Saturday, though for Friday we won't be in until 5 and change, so I think we are stuck with just dinner.

        1. So you're just in time to hit the town like locals on Friday night!
          I'm from NOLA but have lived in DC for a long time and see that you post often on that board. Since you get lots of upscale restaurant experience in DC, why don't you do some of the other side of life on Friday? Especially since you're a JazzFest regular. Check for live music for Friday night. Most of the December listings aren't posted yet.

          How about heading out to Casamento's for raw and fried oysters and then the Rock 'n Bowl? Or if you want to stay in the Quarter, try some raunchy blues by Big Al Carson at the Funky Pirate after dinner at the Bon Ton?

          If you have a car, try Deanie's or R&O in Bucktown. Plain, but local Lakeview favorites that survived Katrina. Celebration in the Oaks will give you a chance to drive through City Park, decked in sparkling mini-lights for Christmas once again. Brocato's for an espresso, spumoni, cassata or cannolli. Then back to the Quarter for a little music and a nitecap before bed.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MakingSense

            I know for sure we want to hit the Mapleleaf for a show- that and Tips are my favorite smaller venues in the country. Seen many a good show at each of them. For what it's worth we are staying at the International House and I'm still in the debate as to whether or not it's even worth it to get a car. I figure we can cab it just about wherever we want and I know that we'll be out drinking a decent amount.

            I know it's not on your more locals list, but what do you think about doing a romantic evening at Brigsten's? I've also heard a ton about August.

            1. re: jpschust

              I'm not sure I'd classify Brigtsen's as romantic, but the food sure is good. Also in the neighborhood of the Maple Leaf are Iris, One, Mat 'n' Naddies, and, as noted before, Jacque-Imo's right next door. I'd choose Iris or Brigtsen's out of that list.

              Near Tip's is Dick and Jenny's, and you don't need to dress up too much, so that would be a good pairing. Or there's Casamento's on Magazine at Napoleon.

              Since you're staying downtown, you should take advantage of one of the great restaurants down there (like August), then hoof it through the quarter to Frenchman St. Lots of good music over there.

          2. Brigsten's, August both great.
            How about Jacque-Imo's and Mapleleaf since they're both in the same neighborhood. Check Offbeat's links to what's live at Mapleleaf that night. (see my post above. Offbeat has a pretty comprehensive list of music venues and an email newsletter on the local music scene.)
            NOLA has good public transportation. And pretty easy cabs. Stay out of the car if you're drinking!!! The police are regulars on that TV show COPS.
            Things are still rough since Katrina and you don't want to risk getting lost. NOLA has always been dangerous for tourists who get off the well-traveled path.