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Nov 7, 2007 12:04 PM

Hot New Restaurants

My husband and I will be in NOLA later this month for a conference.

While we have been coming to the city for over 20 years -- and have eaten at all the usually recommended places -- we haven't visited for about the last 5 years.

We'd like to know about the new and hot restaurants you would put on your "not-to-be-missed" list.

Need suggestions for a Th, Fri, and Sat night.

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  1. Iris. Worth the trip. And I haven't been yet, but i'm dying to go to cochon.

    1. Cochon is a great new place. More southern than just New Orleans style. You can do a search of this board and fine lots of posts over the past few months.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ddavis

        we had lunch at cochon last week. it was just ok but wasn't blown away at all.

        the grilled oysters were excellent. I had rib appetizer which was ok (watermelon rind relish was good) and some other appetizer which I don't remember what it was, so obviously wasn't memorable.
        my husband had mushroom soup which was only ok, and the smothered chicken, which at 16 dollars for lunch, could have included more chicken ( only a small part of the thigh and half a wing- the non meaty part- not even a full wing with the wing drumstick!). In terms of chicken meat, without exaggeration, it was maybe 4-5 small bites. Also, the sauce was more like soup, with some rice, albeit flavorful. If you are looking for real southern smothered chicken, this ain't it. Service was pleasant and helpful. Go to Deanie's for BBQ shrimp - you will have to work at it (bec served full shell with head) but it is absolutely wonderful.

        1. re: dec111

          Oh, I so loved the chicken dish. Yeah, it was on the smallish side, but oh so flavorful...reminded me a lot of my mom's smothered chicken (I'm from cajun country). It is not meant to be southern, but cajun. Sorry, you were unimpressed.

          1. re: malenky

            If you're going to Cochon for chicken, that might be the problem. If a restaurant's name means pig in French, that's what I would order. Although everything I had there that wasn't pork was still great!

        1. I've been told to try Dante's Kitchen and One.

          Any thoughts?

          4 Replies
          1. re: pace

            I really like One. It is also a great value. There fall menu is really good, lots of great hearty dishes.

            1. re: malenky

              Agree completely--One is terrific, and the prices are great. Everything is priced so that you can enjoy an appetizer and a drink along with your entree (if that sort of splurge is something you don't usually do). Great value, and a true gem.

            2. re: pace

              Dante's kitchen is one of my favorite spots - outdorr seating, good unpretentious food, reasonably priced lunches, and a great place for Sunday brunch.

              1. re: CynthiaNOLA

                Dante's is terrific, and a nice alternative when you can't get a reservation across the street, but it's hardly new.

            3. I've booked:

              Cochon for the first night
              Iris for the second

              For our third and last night, I'm debating between Dante's Kitchen and Rio Mar. The former sounds great, but they were slightly rude when I called to book, which made me wonder.

              5 Replies
              1. re: pace

                Dante's is ok, but I've never been that excited about their food. I think they're definitely a 2nd tier restaurant. Go with RioMar.

                Also, as the person who originally suggested Iris-- the food and people are wonderful, but don't expect a really haute atmosphere. It's very nice inside, but a little more DIY decorating than you'll find in the Quarter. :)

                1. re: pace

                  It's amazing how the "first impression" of a place can make, or break it, especially with regards to telephone reservations. More thought should go into that proceedure, at some restaurants.

                  When we were heading to NOLA, last July, I made reservations at Clancy's and the gentleman on the phone was excellent, especially as I was to have a wheelchair-bound guest in tow. When the trip was moved to August, I called to cancel and he seemed genuinely disappointed, but was very understanding. In August, we had fewer days/nights and Clancy's was removed from the list. However, because of the excellent telephone service I received, we WILL dine there next time. It was a great first impression. To restauranteurs out there: the front of the house can make you, or break you.


                  PS we've always had very good food at Dante's Kitchen, and several family members are good friends with much of the staff, so the service has always been top-notch.

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    I agree about Dante's - I find their food to be delicious, and they use a lot of local ingredients (they have a chalkboard behind the host desk with the list of all of them). I was there Saturday night - we had a large party and they were very accomodating.

                    1. re: cor

                      I too had always thought of Dante's as "second tier," having never been there, but my wife reported having a delicious meal there earlier this fall, and my curiosity is piqued. Just goes to show that there are a lot of places you mistakenly pass over, especially when you can't afford to fine-dine very often.

                      1. re: jamy

                        Don't get me wrong, I've had some very very good food there, but I've also had stuff that was just ok. It depends on what you order, and that's what puts it into the 2nd tier for me. It's been too long since I've been there for me to recommend something in particular off the menu, but I remember specifically being unimpressed with their signature falafel crusted fish. The starter spoonbread is great.