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Next trip to NOLA

jfood Jun 3, 2007 07:19 AM

All,

Little jfood decided that four years in NOLA was the way to go for college. She's on cloud 9.

So we are planning the bring her to school week in late August, yup late august in NOLA (already told mrs jfood to leave the blow dry home).

Current plans include three resto dinners and the parent-children BBQ at her school. The restos we have booked are:

NOLA - all three of us
Brightsens - just me and mrs jfood
Commander's - an encore because we had such a great meal last time.

Do these sound good or is there something else we should consider. Staying at the Big W since the W in FQ was such a disaster last time.

TIA

  1. jfood Aug 25, 2007 08:03 PM

    jfood just returned from dropping little jfood off at school.

    Dinners included Nola, Brigtsens (twice) and Commanders
    Lunch highlight was Camelia Grill
    Breakfast was Mothers
    Beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde

    Everything was a success and jfood working through reviews on each.

    Brigtsens and Commanders were way over the top great; NOLA very disappointing (although some of you gave a head's up), Camelia was a real hoot and Mother's was some great home cooking.

    Thanks to all of you for the assistance.

    Next trip scheduled end of September.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jfood
      c
      crewsweeper Aug 26, 2007 01:07 PM

      jfood,

      Thanks for the individual reports. You were reading my mind on places to go when we're there in the fall. Except I think we'll try Cochon instead of NOLA. Glad to hear the Camellia Grill is back on its post katrina feet. Thanks again, and hope little jfood reads this board for the lowdown on all the cheap and good eats.

      Crew

      1. re: crewsweeper
        j
        JazzyB Aug 31, 2007 10:58 AM

        I wouldn't waste a dinner on Cochon. Try an all appetizer lunch instead. When traveling ( to any great food city such as ours), we skip breakfast, opting for an early lunch at a great restaurant and another for dinner. This let's us try twice as many. .

    2. d
      dlund Jun 5, 2007 04:34 PM

      Try (not to the exclusion of your list!) these, some of which are far less formal:
      Galatoire's
      Mandina's
      Liuzza's (there are two -- unrelated, but both great)
      Louisiana Pizza Kitchen
      Vincent's
      Deanie's
      Cochon
      Bacco
      La Cote Brasserie
      August
      Jacques Imo's
      Brightsen's
      Irene's

      There are a wealth of restaurants uptown (around Commander's and the universities), although that's not my strong area geographically.

      Mangia!

      1. c
        cor Jun 5, 2007 02:51 PM

        I would totally ditch NOLA. Emeril's & Delmonico are better.

        If you want a Commander's experience while trying a new place, Cafe Adelaide is owned by the same family and has a very similar menu. It is in the Loew's hotel downtown. Great $.25 martini lunch.

        1. h
          HalfShell Jun 5, 2007 06:55 AM

          It's unfortunate, but I think Commander's is not up to its old standard. I don't know how recently you've been, but I would read some of the reviews on the board--they're mixed at best. NOLA I've never been to so I can't comment on, but...

          ... I think you should go to one of Donald Link's restaurants instead of an Emeril restaurant. Donald Link just won a James Beard award for Best Chef (Southern Region). His restaurants are Cochon (a Cajun charcuterie kind of deal--dressed down but still gourmet) and Herbsaint (a more traditional Creole establishment in the Commander's vein, but less stuffy and much smaller.) I love Herbsaint. I also have never had a bad meal at Stella!, and think Cuvee and Bayona are pretty special too.

          Since you're going to be in the Uptown area a lot, Brigtsen's is a good choice, but I'd also look in to Clancy's and Gautreau's, both Uptown. Clancy's is the Galatoire's of Uptown--it's loud, it's traditonal, it's full of people who all know each other, but it's friendly and accomodating of visitors. I think Brigtsen's is great, though, so I would substitute these for Brigtsen's.

          For future visits, when you've ODed on Creole food, go for a French meal at one of my favorite funky spots, La Crepe Nanou on Robert St. (near Prytania). It's not innovative cuisine, but it's good, and one of Uptown's most popular places. Go early or be prepared to wait. They don't take reservations.

          5 Replies
          1. re: HalfShell
            jfood Jun 5, 2007 06:58 AM

            H

            thanks for the suggestions and to give you a feel for Commanders, the female jfoods loved it. they had the shrimp and was outstanding. jfood had the grilled fish andit was ok. the bread pudding souffle was a full 10 on the jfood scale.

            with yours and all the other suggestions about NOLA (THANKS EVERYONE) we will probably change and there seems to be consensus on Cochon and Stella. If the weather works we may try K-Pauls as well.

            1. re: jfood
              m
              mgb Jun 5, 2007 11:27 AM

              jfood,

              Don't let the Emeril backlash keep you from going to NOLA. If you read through the posts above, most of those directing you away from NOLA have not even been there. I recommend a restaurant not on reputation nor on the name of the chef but on my experiences dining in them.

              I have been to all of the restaurants recommended in this thread with the exception of Cochon, several multiple times. I must say, the single best meal I have had in New Orleans was at NOLA. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was an Emeril restaurant ( I am not an Emeril fan, per se). It was just an exceptional meal from salads and apps, entrees, service, etc. It can be tight quarters on a busy night bu that is about the only thing negative I can say about the place.

              Stella gets all kinds of recommendations on this board but it underwhelmed me as well as my wife. KPaul's is good but nothing that I (or most people) can't make at home. The rest are all good choices. I just hate to see the repeated bashing of a restaurant because a celebrity chef happens to be affiliated with it.

              1. re: mgb
                j
                Jesdamala Jun 5, 2007 11:34 AM

                I have been to NOLA several times, pre and post Katrina, and I have always enjoyed it.

                1. re: mgb
                  j
                  JGrey Jun 5, 2007 12:52 PM

                  I have no problem with NOLA or any of Emeril's restaurants, and I enjoyed my one meal at NOLA. I have to completely disagree about K-Paul's. That food is unbelievably complex, layers and layers of flavor. It is very rich, and I think that's why many people don't like it, but it's lightyears beyond home cooking. I've made some recipes out of one of his cookbooks, and they are very good, but nowhere near what I've had at the restaurant.

                  1. re: JGrey
                    k
                    kevin Jun 5, 2007 04:20 PM

                    yeah, gots a look at the menu and try making fried soft crab stuffed with seafood bienville and sauced with a creole sauce, veal demiglace, etc, etc, etc. if you can make this at home you are a pretty darn good cook aka top notch chef.

            2. g
              gginnola Jun 4, 2007 09:10 PM

              You can't go wrong with Commander's or Brightsens. Instead of Nola, maybe you could try August, Couchon, Herbsaint, or Dick and Jenny's. Enjoy New Orleans in August. You'll drink the air instead of breathing it!

              1. Cinnabon Jun 3, 2007 09:04 AM

                I like all 3 of your choices. I agree you need to introduce Little jfood to Brightsen's, it's simple one of the best experiences in NOLA. One of my other favorites is KPaul's.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Cinnabon
                  j
                  Jesdamala Jun 3, 2007 04:01 PM

                  Move in weekend! I remember it well! I vote KPaul's. Stella for you and Mrs. jfood. I would also introduce the new freshman? to Jacques Imo's. It is a hoot! My now senior loves it! It is always on his list when I visit, next time will be late in June. I would also consider Lilette, more neighborhood, and wonderful!

                2. GroovinGourmet Jun 3, 2007 08:07 AM

                  Your last 2 are spot on (I'm a huge fan of Frank Brigtsen). I'd plan so your daughter can join you for Brigtsen's...might as well clue her in to the best early on in her residency.

                  Have not been to NOLA, but given the consensus around here you could find much better places, and plenty who need the biz more than His Bamness.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: GroovinGourmet
                    c
                    chef4hire Jun 3, 2007 08:25 AM

                    try Cochon vs NOLA or even better Cafe Adelaide for a swanky, walking distance alternative- little more hip for the college student

                  2. ddavis Jun 3, 2007 07:34 AM

                    I can't quibble with your selections, although I would do something other then NOLA. Still, nothing wrong with NOLA!

                    What is "the Big W"? And is "the W in FQ" the one next to Windsor Court?

                    Have a great time in NO in August!!! Actually, I would take it any time I could get it. I love that city!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ddavis
                      jfood Jun 3, 2007 07:36 AM

                      Sorry,

                      W Hotel on Chartres is the W in FQ, the Big W is the other W hotel near Harrahs

                      1. re: jfood
                        ddavis Jun 3, 2007 07:39 AM

                        Got it. Actually I didn't know there were two. The one I'm familiar with is the one near Harrah's. We always stay at the Windsor Court, which is right next door.

                        Have you been to the Grill Room at Windsor Court lately? It's been years since we have eaten there, although we always hit the Polo Lounge for before and after dinner drinks when we're there.

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