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2 moderately priced meals or 1 expensive meal...

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As a grad student, I'm forced to be pretty tight with money, so I like to take the girlfriend out for a nice meal in the city when I come across some extra cash. This weekend, I was able to make a little money that wasn't in my budget ($180 to be exact), and I want to put it to good use!

My question is, do I take her out to 1 top of the line place and blow the whole sum of money, or do I maybe break it down into 2 very nice meals of around $90-$100 each.

We've been to many places in NOLA, but there are a ton we haven't been to that I want to try.

For the one meal, I'm considering August, Galatoires, or Bayona

For the 2, I'm considering Cochon, Herbsaint, Jaques Imos, and Bon Ton.

VERY open to suggestions about places I left off, and love hearing about specific dishes at suggested places.

By the way, went to Brigtsens a few weeks ago (mainly b/c of all the great things said about it on this board), so that's out. Loved it though!

Thanks!!!

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  1. You can have an excellent romantic dinner at Cafe Giovanni for $90 + tip. Chef Duke has a 4 courses/4 wines "feed me" for $45pp. Validated parking at the Marriott for $5. Dick and Jenny's would also be a nice choice around the same price range with drinks/wine (possibly cheaper). Lolas on Esplanade has good Spanish/mediterranean food, funky decor, and can be about half those prices. IMO Jacques-Imos will run about the same as Dick and Jenny's with larger portions of ok food. Galatoires is quintessential "New Orleans". You can probably get out of there for $100 for 2 if you don't run up the drinks. Cochon would be good for an all appetizer lunch. BTW, the chairs are uncomfortable . IMO Bayona is highly overrated. Thought the food was bland and uninspired. A good splurge woud be K-Paul's if you haven't been. I've been to Commanders post-K and was unimpressed but, have been hearing good things lately. Go to www.commanderspalace.com. They offer some good specials.

    1. I would do two places, like Dick & Jenny's and Cochon for sure. Save the top tier places for a real celebration, like finishing grad school.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chris Martel

        I was going to suggest these exact two restaurants as well.

      2. Hmmm...when I was in grad school, $180 was grocery money for the month. As much as I love fine dining, I'd use the cash to hit as many places as possible, choosing carefully and doing lunches when necessary to get the most bang for your buck. Bayona has nice luncheon specials, as does Herbsaint. Even August is open for lunch on Fridays.

        1. Thanks for the responses guys, really appreciate it.

          I think I'll take the advice and go for 2 places. If it were just me, I'd do as Celeste said and spread it out as much as possible including lunches, etc. However, my girlfriend honestly cares more about the "night out with just us" aspect to a nice meal than anything else vs. me who just wants some good food! Gotta please the ladies!

          I don't know anything about Dick and Jenny's, but after checking out their menu online, I really want to go try it. Any objections? If not, what are some things we need to order? The whole menu looks great.

          For the other meal, I'm going to really struggle to decide. Never been to Cochon, and I've heard great things about it. The menu looks interesting. On the other hand, if I could get out of Galatoires around $100, I think the g/f would really love the "classic" New Orleans atmosphere.

          Thoughts?

          1 Reply
          1. re: lsu82cub

            You can get out of Galatoire's for $100 if the gf is on board with keeping drinks to a minumum, say one pre-dinner drink and one glass of wine. The minute you start ordering bottles, all is lost. :)

            Also check out Martinique. And I like Cafe Degas and Crepe Nanou for 2 more mid-priced options. Both are festive night-out atmospheres. And Jamila's is fun, also.

          2. Dante's Kitchen in the Riverbend - I am always able to get out of there for about $50, including tip, cocktail, split appetizer and entree. And it is amazing.