We will be visiting Nola for the 7th time in April and would like to know if we should visit any of the three classic restaurants.
During previous visits we tried Emeril's, K Paul's, Commander's, Brigtsen's,Jacques-Imo's
Lately we skipped the fancy Dress UP places and found great hole in the wall joints and had very good meals.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Of the three, Galatoire's and Antoine's are still run by descendants of the founders. Arnaud's is not. This is not to say that Arnaud's is not good. Antoine's is the oldest restaurant in the United States that has been continuously open and run by the same family. It was founded in 1840 and moved several times before occupying its current location in 1868. Galatoire's opened in 1905 in the location that it still occupies; it has never moved. I personally prefer Galatoire's. It is somewhat dressy but not stuffy. It is not a dimly-lit, candlelight and soft-music restaurant. People table hop and have a good time. Jackets are required evenings and all day Sunday. Do NOT make reservations because you will sit upstairs with other tourists or very large parties. Go about 5:00 pm and sit in the original dining room on the ground floor. This is what the locals do. As far as menu items, just ask your waiter and trust her/him. The waiters at Galatoire's are known for taking very good care of their customers. Regulars at Galatoire's never look at the menu; they just trust their waiter to feed them well! A couple of FYI items: First, the cuisine is French Creole and a la carte. Second, this is not an in-and-out restaurant. Dining is more the European style, slow and enjoyable.
I am going to New Orleans next month and have persuaded mu husband to take me to Galatoire's - yay. You have persuaded me with the no reservations point. One question - if we turn up on a weekend night, at 5 like you say, are we likely to get in, or might we end up disappointed? What if we went at 8? Thanks.
I would rank them in this order: Galatoire's, Arnauds and lastly Antoine's.
Be sure to bring a jacket for the gentlemen at Galatoire's. This policy may be relaxed at lunch ... not sure
At Galatoire's, the entire experience is greater than any single component.
Start the meal with a Sazerac cocktail ... a New Orleans original and considered the very first cocktail in the world ... invented as a sort of tonic ... but very unique and delicious. Feel free to sit and drink the entire cocktail before having the server recomend dinner. Take in some local flavor at nearby tabes. This is a restaurant know for "roaming" from table to table and brushing elbows with the local "blue blood"
be sure to order the french fried eggplant for a starter ... and ask for some powdered sugar. the waiter will bring a small plate or bowl of powdered sugar to the table. Add a generous amount of Tabasco sauce and mix into a paste. Dip your eggplant in this a consider yoursell and insider. Sweet and spicy ...
Galatoire's is generally considered to do a better job with seafood dished than meat dishes. Especially the crab meat dishes and toppings.
The Godchaeux salad features a handfull of local ingreients, including boiled gulf shrimp, big lumps of crabmeat and dressing spiked with Creole Mustard.
I usually get the Yvonee topping on my fish or crab ... crabmeat, mushrooms
Be sure to finish the meal with another local experience ... a "Cafe Brulot" ... a spiced and spiked coffee drink flamed tablside in quite dramatic fassion ... and if it's late at night, they may even dim the lights
Dont sit upstairs .... wait for a table downstairs ... you should enjoy the experience ...
I'm bumping this back up because I'd like more input. I've eaten at Galatoire's numerous times, Arnaud's once and never Antoine's. While I feel like I should at least try Antoine's, it's hard NOT to go back to Galatoire's every time. Unfortunately, there are only so many opportunities. Thoughts?
re: Ross B
I think everyone should go to Antoines at least once. Have you been inside? It is very cool. All sorts of different sized rooms with their own history tucked away here and there. If I'm not msitaken there is a neat hallway back by the wine cellar with a bunch of framed memorobelia up on the walls. Oysters Foch, a Filet with Marchand de Vin sauce (love that stuff), Souffle Potatoes, whats not to like.
Exactly, Antoine's has fascinating private rooms - there's the wine-cellar room and the Mystery room. Also I think they've a new bar.
Arnaud's has a Mardi Gras museum and their two bars (i was a habituee of one open at lunchtime for many years!) are fantastic. Galatoire's is the people-watching place.