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Top French Restaurants please

Hi all!

I'm so excited to have found this board. Many users and their posts have been insightful as to where to eat next.

Recently, I've gotten into cooking French cuisine (although I've never even been to a true French restaurant). Therefore, with all the expert tastebuds out there, would you guys/gals mind to list the best french places that I should dine at next time? Please list your favorite dishes as well.

I tried to google this information but I came up with mostly creole,cajun french mix, if you know what I mean. After cooking some trial and error dishes, I just want to see what the actual food tastes like.

Does New Orleans even have any "just French" restaurants? Forgive me for being new.

Thank you for your time.

^_^

P.S. On a side note, do you think Commander's Palace is overrated? Yes or No, and Why?

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  1. There is a place in Culver City called L'Hermitage. Great ambience (patio), big menu, reasonably priced and the food is excellent. Not sure how authentic it is b/c I'm not a French food expert. But I've always had a wonderful experience there (and the house white wine is good too!) And most of the waitstaff is french, so that tells you something...

    1. I think all restaurants here will have a little local flavor, just because of using fresh (and therefore local) ingredients. But the most straight-up french restaurants I've been to are Lilette and Cafe Degas. I haven't been to La Provence on the Northshore, but I think that would fall into this category as well.

      I haven't been to Commander's post-K, but I don't think it's overrated. I've always had outstanding food and a fabulous time there.

      On my own side note, have you seen the Julie/Julia blog from a few years ago (she has since put it in book form)? She cooks all the way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year and blogs about it. Very entertaining.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JGrey

        I can vouch for La Provence being full fledge french. I worked there years ago, under chef Chris that unfortunately died just recently but a recent chef who worked with Chris bought and has continued with his traditional french cousine - heard is doing very well.

        http://www.laprovencerestaurant.com/

      2. Here is a video about La Provence:

        http://youtube.com/watch?v=LNZ5oqHyxAM

        and as for Commander's being overrated... I would have said yes before the storm, but everyone I talked to who said they went after ( I havn't been yet) has given it rave reviews.

        1 Reply
        1. re: iknowwhatitmeans

          I'd recommend Lilette or Le Petit Grocery if you are looking for a place in New Orleans proper.

        2. I love Lilette - you will not be disappointed. I do *not* love Le Petit Grocery and I gave it 3 tries. I do not think Commander's Palace is overrated. It is a wonderful dining experience, but not really intimate because it is so large. I will say that I would go there for lunch or brunch as opposed to dinner to get more bang for your buck. They do an awesome Sunday brunch.

          1. I would suggest Le Parvenu in Kenner. Its not in New Orleans proper, but it is well worth the short drive. I find the food to be outstanding. People in NO forget to recommend it because its not in the Quarter or Uptown, but it is well worth a visit and is one of the top restaurants in the New Orleans area, in my opinion. Has nice ambiance as well.
            Commander's is better than it was before Katrina, in my opinion. It is back at the top of my list. I highly recommend it. They did a great job renovating after the storm. I'm not a big fan of going there for brunch, though. I much prefer lunch or dinner.

            9 Replies
            1. re: calliope

              We've dined at Le Parvenu on several occasions and the food and service have been great. Wine/glassware are another issue, but I will not dredge up older reviews. It is very good food with a NOLA/French take, but I'd hesitate to place it as a French restaurant.

              I'm doing a search for a spot in Metairie (behind Lakeside Shopping Center), that was as close to actual French, as I have had. Someone will chime in, and help me out, I am sure, as the searches are not working right now.

              It has been good, albeit not great. The potential is there, but I have just not hit them on the right night, I guess.

              If I am successsful, I will post the link. When I think French, outside of France, I think La Gavrosh, Mayfair/London, Le Boudin Blanc, Mayfair/London, the old, and since gone, Tante Louise, Denver, Vincent's on Camelback, Phoenix (with a take on SW cuisine) or Le Paradou, Washington DC.

              Will be back on this thread,
              Hunt

              [EDIT] Andrea's Restaurant,
              3100 19th Street at Ridgelake
              Metairie, Louisiana 70002
              Tel: (504) 834-8583 | Fax: (504) 834-6698
              http://www.andreasrestaurant.com/

              I think that it could be great, but so far, it has only been good.

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                I find Andrea's to be just okay. On at least one occasion, it was not even okay. I didn't bother to eat my entree'. The only times I've eaten there is when a companion selected it. Its off my list for return visits. There are too many other far better options.

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  Bill, one of my friends told me it was overrated for italian food. I know I made this a french cuisine thread, but what are your best recommendations for Italian places? (non-Bravo type) Not that I have anything against Bravo, but it just didn't do *it* for me.

                  I've heard about this really small mom and pop place somewhere in new orleans, but I don't know the name... my friend said it was very very authentic and goooooooooooooooooooood.

                  1. re: Strangette

                    I wouldn't be able to tell if something were authentic Italian, but my fave Italian in New Orleans is Adolfo's, upstairs from the Apple Barrel on Frenchman St. Then I like Irene's and Tommy's and Vincent's (in that order), but I'd classify those as "New Orleans Italian".

                    Never been to 1179, but a lot of people I know think it is great.

                    1. re: Strangette

                      The menus that we ordered from were definitely French in base. I do agree, regarding the over rating, though. We've done two meals and one event there, and were underwhelmed, but all were well pre-K.

                      [EDIT] Well, HungryCeleste has done it to me again. I was confusing the cuisine of E'tienne's (probably long gone) with Andrea's. Sorry about that. The dining, that I referenced was at Andrea's, including the event, and the food WAS underwhelming.

                      As for Italian in NOLA, I do not recall any spot that did a worthwhile job. Had one good Italian meal in Metairie, but that was far, far too long ago to comment on. Heck, back then, the fans were wearing paper bags on their heads... Sorry, no IT recs, that I can think of.

                      Hunt

                    2. re: Bill Hunt

                      HI Bill--Andrea's is italian, you're probably remembering La Rivieria, which was on Shores not too far from the mall. It is closed now.

                    3. re: calliope

                      Hi Calliope,

                      I live right around the fat city area, so definitely if you ever find out I'd love to know!

                      As to Andrea's, isn't that italian cuisine or am I mistaken? Just wondering. I've always droved by it but never tried.

                      1. re: Strangette

                        Not French, but Belgian: Clementine's on Whitney Ave. in Terrytown, right by Oakwood Mall.

                        1. re: Hungry Celeste

                          Just went to Clementine's on Saturday night. I always forget about them (maybe its something to do with the Westbank). Service can be a little slow, so if you're not prepared to spend a leisurely evening eating, it might not be the best spot. The food, though, is fantastic. If they were located uptown, I think there would be a line out the door most nights.