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Best Restaurant in New Orleans -- Money No Object

I am going to be in NO on business and will be taking clients to dinner. If money were not an object, where would you eat?

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        1. You might spend the most money at August and the space is indeed beautiful...but I'm having way better meals at KPauls recently- that place is on fire lately...depends on what you're really looking for- just my opinion

          5 Replies
          1. re: chef4hire

            I would stay away from k-pauls the food is extremly heavy and everything has think sauces. The atmosphere is not where I would want to take clients either. If you are trying to impress them with a total package August is the way to go. Their wine list is impressive and the menu is incredible. The new tasting menu is out of this world .

            1. re: localfoodie

              Yeah, I just went to K-Pauls for the first time since Katrina...I did not remember it being so heavy! I just wanted to pass out after eating, and I woke up at 4 am and had to throw it up because it was just making me feel awful.

              1. re: cor

                Kpaul's in that humidty doesn't quite work, i think

                maybe that's why galatoire's and other joints are closed across town during july or august and sometimes both months.

                1. re: kevin

                  Galatoire's isn't closed during July/August. It was closed 4th of July. The ONLY place I know of with a complete August closure used to be Mosca's, and last year they remained open through their traditional vacation month. Some places close for a week or so, but most everything is open through our long, hot summer: there is no mass exodus or near-complete summer shutdown like some parts of Europe.

                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    thanks for the correction and that is more than good to hear.

            1. One meal only -- Brigtsen's.

              1. August is probably the best in town and making lists of the best in the US. Beautiful space. Elegant. Convenient to downtown.

                But for a group. For an evening of excess. Of old New Orleans. A private room at Antoine's. Plan the menu well. From their specialties. Start with Sazeracs or other New Orleans cocktails. End with the flaming Café Brulot Diabolique for the table.
                Read David Brooks' column from the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/12/opi...

                1. Grill Room is really the best and most consistant...... I LOVE August, but sometimes they are not on.

                  I have not been to Bayona lately, but it has always been a favorite too.

                  1. Galatoire's...August may be the best, but the best New Orleans food by far is Galatoire's.

                    1. Emeril's......let me know if you are going. I will have the GM take care of you. I have friends that work there and the food, service, et al is excellent. Good to have some one that knows you though.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Littleman

                        I'd like to take you up on your offer at Emeril's. I have a very special occasion. Is there some way to correspond with you directly?

                      2. My favorite is Upperline, Joanne Clevenger has put together great food, great art and a true New Orleans feel.

                        1. If the object is GREAT FOOD, August, Bayona, Herbsaint . . . the list is long, but August would be my first choice.

                          If the object is a NEW ORLEANS EXPERIENCE, I'd say Upperline or Galatoire's.

                          1. 1) Cuvee- incredible food with outstanding atmosphere;
                            2) Bayona- Susan has always been one of New Orleans' best!
                            3) Delmonico- Shane Pritchett is great as Emeril's chef de cuisine
                            4) Emeril's- order from Chris Lynch's nightly tasting menu...always a great choice!
                            5) Alberta- great things come in small packages

                            NB...Windsor Court has just lost their NEW executive chef...stay tuned for the next

                            1. August, by a long shot.

                              1. We are a big fan of Emeril's and Delmonico but our most recent meal that was excellent was at KPauls. I have to agree that they have stepped things up a notch and it has been great, even the atmosphere has become less"stuffy".

                                Another place that we hit on our last trip was very eclectic and very good food,,Jacque-Imos. It is in the Carrollton area and it was really great, a little offbeat but very good food nonetheless.

                                    1. Alberta's or Upperline.. you can't go wrong

                                      1. Definitely would say August, as far as a grande cuisine experience is concerned. No Louisiana chef has ever been better than John Besh. But an honorable mention MUST go to Chef Melody Pate and her brigade at Alberta, up on Magazine. Went on Frank Brigsten's recommendation in October, and it was just stellar.

                                        And Brigsten's is one of the best pure Louisiana food experiences as well, hands down. Can never go wrong there.

                                        1. I would definitley choose Brigtsens, plus its a very New Orleans experience. It is my favorite restaurant there for both high quality food and atmosphere (its in a traditional New Olreans house uptown in the Riverbend area). I remember many languid evenings spent there eating course after course with paired with champagnes and fine wines and no one ever rushes you through anything there. We used to love Bayona as well, but I haven't heard much about it lately. It, too, was one of my favoties. Also, if your clients have never been to New Orleans, Commander's is an experience, too--very elegant, very civilized "old south", and great food (I was taken there for lunch when I was applying to Tulane grad school a number of years ago and the experience contributed to my feeling smitten with the city--and I ended up going to TU). I don't know about August because I no longer live in NOLA and its relatively new, I think. But I hear fabulous things and read something recently in Saveur Magazine about the star maitre'd there. I hope to go there on my next trip.

                                          1. Galatoire's for lunch on Saturday/Sunday......Bayona, Peristyle, Delmonico's, Emeril's or Clancys for dinner. Also Brigtsen's. All are fantastic. Bon Appetit.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Littleman

                                              Peristyle has not risen to the same exalted heights since Chef Kerny left

                                            2. I'm not surprised to see so many people recommending August, because it's a great restaurant. I am surprised that so few people are recommending Stella!

                                              I'd throw Cuvee into the mix as well, of course, and the Grill Room (or is it the Louisiana Grill now?) is always good.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Robert Peyton

                                                We had reservations for supper at Stella! the last time I was home but I wandered by in the afternoon and saw that the menu for that night had not one single, solitary local fish on the menu. Everything had been flown in from far, far further than I had traveled. Cancelled and got a table at Herbsaint.
                                                Sorry. Personal bias. I believe in celebrating the local bounty.

                                                1. re: Robert Peyton

                                                  The Grill Room has been less than great post-k.

                                                  I have not spoken to anyone who has dined there since Chef Sonier took over, however, and given his exquisite results at Gabrielle, I look forward to many great meals there in the future

                                                2. For the traditional French Creole cuisine for which New Orleans is famous and that dates back 100 years or more, try the Grandes Dames restaurants in the French Quarter. These are some of the oldest restaurants in New Orleans and some of the oldest in the United States: Arnaud's, Antoine's, Brennan's, Galatoire's, and/or Tujague's. Not in the Quarter, but excellent Creole cuisine, is Dooky Chase's.

                                                  1. is dooky chase still closed?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                      Yes, although it should be open soon. Starbucks just gave them a big grant.

                                                    2. Depends on your mood-Galatoires for "old-school" N.O., Brigtsens for serious eating,

                                                      1. I guess August has recovered then. I've only been once, and it was early 2006, pretty close after the storm. Everything we had was less than mediocre. It's a bit of a psychological obstacle now, but I would like to make up for that experience there.

                                                        Also a reality check on Alberta. I guess I missed the window on that one too. I went for the first time last week and had scorched scallops (think burnt popcorn), nearly crunchy risotto, a deep fried (!) sweetbread appetizer, an inept amuse bouche (a glob of guacamole on a limp cucumber slice supposedly with some crab somewhere), etc. The only dish with potential was an escargots. The server made a comment about a new kitchen staff, which I think consisted of 4 twenty-year-old boys that I saw hanging around the back door when we arrived. Probably time to write this off.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: mosta

                                                          I would give August another chance if i were you. Its not really fair to judge a place in the aftermath of Katrina. I think that everyone's true colors are shining more brightly these days. I've eaten at August several times and have never been disappointed.

                                                          1. re: mosta

                                                            I agree about Albertas. My experiance was ok but the food is exspensive for the type of experiance that I had. They had left the mushroom soup cooking so long that it was pasty. The lamb chops were at least 40% fat. Apperently I was the only one who did not enjoy thier meal, but it was enough for me.

                                                          2. Stella is at the top of my list after dining there the other night. Very impressive and costly but well worth it

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: toohungry

                                                              Interesting - my husband was there last week and was incredibly disappointed - he used to go a lot before Katrina and it was one of his favorite places in NOLA (he visits quite regularly for business), and was back once after, and found the food and service both sadly lacking last week.

                                                            2. MMRuth, we were at NOLA twice last year and also found the food and service to be lacking. I would not recommend it at all. Quite a contrast from my experience there when it first opened and from our meals at the Emeril in South Beach. NOLA just missed the mark and we won't be going back anytime soon.

                                                              I like Commander's Palace. White-glove service and excellent food. Also very "New Orleans." Reserve way in advance. It's taken me over a month to get a reservation!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: HeatherFL

                                                                Oh - actually - I was referring to Stella, not Emeril's NOLA restaurant - we went there maybe ten years ago - same w/ Emeril's - and didn't go back.

                                                              2. My top 3 choices would be Brigtsen's, Brigtsen's and probably Brigtsen's.

                                                                1. I would choose from Antoine's, Arnaud's or Galatoire's. I just moved from New Orleans and miss them the most - they are quintessentially representative of the spirit of New Orleans. Also Brennan's and Commander's Palace

                                                                  1. Stella is very good, but food that you can get outside of NOLA....Brightsen's is the best by far.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: N_bodie

                                                                      I have reservations at both, but as far as food you can get elsewhere ... yes, I recognized the genre when I read the menu, but the problem I so often have is restaurants not being able to *deliver* on that kind of menu. So theoretically you can get that food elsewhere, but ... Hopefully the night I go will be a good one ;)

                                                                    2. 1. Cuvee - the best!
                                                                      2. Stella - had my rehearsal dinner there before I got married. It was amazing.

                                                                        1. I grew up in Louisiana and recently dined at K-Pauls for the first time (I've lived in the Northeast for 20+ years). I am not easily impressed and I am still talking about the experience we had in March 2007. Excellent.

                                                                          1. If you are looking to impress, I would select Commanders Palace. It is delicious and the service is impeccable. I have been to Stella! as well and still recommend Commanders.
                                                                            Our service was not stellar at Stella.

                                                                            1. August - But I'm all about Gautreaux's right now - it might be more of the new orleans feel...tucked away in the neighborhood. But if travel out of downtown is an issue, stick with AUGUST.

                                                                              1. I have heard very good things about The Delachaise. Even if you go after dinner for...