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In New Orleans on business, dining alone..

j
jtroberts Apr 7, 2007 03:17 PM

I will be in New Orleans next Saturday (Apr. 14), and will probably be on my own for dinner. I would like to eat well, and money is not an issue...I just want to dine at a place that respects people eating alone, where the waiters won't sneer when I ask for a table with good lighting so that I can read. Creole would be preferable. I will be staying in the French Quarter, but I don't mind taking a cab. Any suggestions?

One more question...Where are the best poor boys these days?

Many thanks.

  1. c
    carterbise Apr 7, 2007 04:28 PM

    Tommy's on (I think) Tchoupitoulas, a block or so from Emeril's, is well lit and the wait staff is most solicitous. Tommy and Irene divorced. She has their old restaurant in the quarter. Tommy's is in the warehouse district, but close to the quarter. He seems to have gotten many of the waiters, as well as the recipes. Their food is excellent, and (to my thinking) very moderately priced. Attire is from coctail to casual. My wife and I were in for a business meeting for me, and really enjoyed it. Another place is the restaurant at the Lowe's HOtel. My mind slips. Cafe Adelaide? Anyway, it's at the Lowe's. Pascal's Manale is well lit, but I am not sure of their hours.

    1 Reply
    1. re: carterbise
      c
      carterbise Apr 7, 2007 04:36 PM

      Forgot to mention what has been my wife's favorite place. She is not effusive about food. To her, it is just fuel for her body. We went to Armand's Creole Restaurant which is near the intersection of Chartres and Bienville (or is it Iberville?) in the quarter. Well lit. Very reasonably priced wine list. They have creole duck, rabbit, chicken, gumbo, pork medallions, etc. The owner came by to see how we liked the food, and my wife kissed him.

    2. m
      mikey Apr 9, 2007 12:24 PM

      I don't quite agree with the other posts but this is strictly my opinion. Manale's is about a 20 minute cab ride from the French Quarter and is tired in my opinion. Tommy's is a great place and I do love the food but it is very loud and dark. If you want to relax with a nice dinner and a glass of wine with a book, it is not the place as the crowds will distract you.
      When I have dinner alone here, I usually pick the restaurant bar which puts down a nice linen place mat. I eat out all the time and recently had dinner alone at the bar at Herbsaint and managed to read my New Yorker the entire time without any interruptions. I did have to eat early so as to make it to the symphony. With that in mind, I would recommend dining alone at Herbsaint, Peristyle, or Stella. Aside from Herbsaint, all of the places are in the French Quarter. August is quite a scene and Cuvee is very dark, yet those places have excellent food. My favorite restaurant right now is Gautreau's which is uptown and would require a taxi. It is excellent though and you will get excellent service if dining alone. It is not particularly noisy but it does attract some well dressed diners in groups, so the people watching would be excellent yet it would not be solitary. Clancy's is loud and chaotic so I would avoid that one. Good luck and happy eating.

      1. a
        AmySue Apr 10, 2007 09:46 PM

        I was in New Orleans alone for several weeks in Oct. & Nov. 2006 and ate out every night. I particularly enjoyed eating at the chef's bar at NOLA and at Cochon. I was treated very well at Arnaud's, Irene's, and K-Paul's. If you don't mind a cab ride uptown, the Upperline was delightful. The only place I encountered attitude toward the single diner was Bayona. I always called ahead and made clear that I was alone and was (except for Bayona) always accommodated graciously. The chef bars are fun because you are looking into the kitchen and the cooks will usually visit and pass over a little taste of something and you can visit with other single diners -- or not.

        1 Reply
        1. re: AmySue
          1
          1030Bourbon Apr 11, 2007 04:37 AM

          If you are staying in the Quarter then I'd say NOLA because you can walk there. Make a reservation for the Chef's Bar. It is going to be French Quarter Festival so it will be busier than usual. There will be great food opportunities at the Fest--you can check it out at NOMENU.com. A cab ride away would be Cochon and Rio Mar, both very good. You could eat at the bar at Cochon. Cochon is interpreted Cajun food, very good and imaginative; Rio Mar is Latin-inflected fish. You might want a reservation at Rio Mar. Ask the waiter to call you a cab back to the Quarter (or wherever). They're used to it.

        2. d
          dschoonmaker Apr 11, 2007 05:34 AM

          My favorite spot for solo dining in NO is Drago's Lakeside in the Fat City district of Metairie. I've always been accommodated with great care, and the food is wonderful. That said, the neighborhood doesn't have a lot to offer atmosphere wise. If that matters, something in the Garden District--perhaps Copelands--might be a better choice.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dschoonmaker
            j
            JGrey Apr 11, 2007 08:24 AM

            Do you really mean Copeland's? It is not open, and it wasn't in the Garden District. And it wasn't any good. Commander's is the only restaurant I know of actually IN the Garden District, not counting Magazine St.

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