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Jan 24, 2008 05:44 PM

French Quarter "can't miss" spots

I have an aunt who will be staying at the Mariott in the French Quarter during the week of Mardi Gras. While letting her know how jealous I was, she mentioned that her and her co-workers/friends have no idea where to go for food.

I can't speak for my aunt's co-workers or friends, but I know she really enjoys going out to eat at restaurants. She is fairly open to new things, aside from raw fish or the like.

Could any of you native N'orleans-ers reccomend some of your favorite spots? From fancy expensive to extremely casual local "dives" with great food.

Also since Mardi Gras week is crazy to say the least, could you point out which places she should make reservations at asap.

Thanks in advance

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  1. Three, that immediately come to my mind are:
    Galetoire's - fine New Orleans dining, dress-up and reservations a MUST
    Bayona - New American w/ New Orleans influences abounding - more casual, but reservations a MUST
    GW Fins - Seafood w/ strong New Orleans influences - more casual, but reservations a MUST

    There are many other spots, but each of these is unique to New Orleans and worth the $. Considering the time frame, have your aunt call ASAP.


    Galatoire's Restaurant
    209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

    Gw Fins
    808 Bienville St., New Orleans, LA 70112

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      Dang, Bayona did not link. I'm trying again.


      430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Galatoire's accepts reservations upstairs only (except this coming Friday-before-Mardi Gras when they have auctioned the tables). I think a first time visitor would get more out of the place sitting downstairs. The only times I ever eat upstairs are at holiday parties.

        1. re: hazelhurst

          Thank you. I had not mentioned this, in my post. In our case (last visit), we opted for the reservations, as we had events leading up to that meal, then functions later in the evening, so we did not feel safe standing in line. I'd always go for downstairs, if time was not a problem, and for a first-time visitor, the downstairs is worth the wait - except, as you point out, Mardi-Gras. Did see something re: the auction, but had forgotten about that.


      2. Your aunt is in probably the most fertile dining location in the united states. She is truly blessed being in that location. I mean the options are endless. I would also assume Mardi Gras might make dining a hassle? Crowds? Traffic due to barricades and parades? Better make phone calls before making the trek. Anyway here goes:

        Irene's (italian- In the quarter)
        Galaroires (100yr old classic in the quarter)
        Coops (a total dive bar with a big menu of New Orleans dishes & pastas, in the QTR)
        Aldolpho's (italian-a total charmer in the Marigny)
        Palace Cafe (Brennen ran. Good restaurant)
        Dickie Brennen Bourbon House (brennen ran. Seafood restaurant)
        Acme Oyster House (always crowded cheap eats-very new orleans).
        Bayona (never eaten there. Adored on this board)
        Stella (never eaten there. Adored on this board)
        K-Paul's (Paul Prudommes ONLY restaurant)
        Antoine's (oldest restaurant in america. I would suspect Mardi Gras there would be special).
        Arnauds (Old guard new orleans)
        Mr. B's Bistro (brennen ran. damn good)
        Port o'Call (new Orleans favorite burger joint- always busy too).
        Praline Connection (Creole in the marigny).
        Johnny's Po'Boys (Po-Boy's in the QTR).
        Central Grocery (AN ABSOLUTE MUST-get a muffafetta in the QTR)
        Cafe Giovanni (never eaten there-supposed to be good, in the QTR)

        I am tired of thinking. Im sure I left out more than a few. And that list doesnt even include the CBD. I mean can you imagine "living" near the marriott. I swear I would never cook again.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Lotsa these places *close* during Mardi Gras, for heaven's sake get reservations NOW, NOW, NOW. "Walk in" won't work. Cars are problematical in the FQ close to Mardi Gras, parking ain't happening, you gotta walk.
            All w/in walking dist from the Mariotts (there are 3-4 Mariottas): NOLA (Emeril) is the best of his 3 (the one on Tchopatoulis is a bit ritzier and outside easy walking, or just at the edge of walkable) - NOLA is in the FQ and less formal. K-Paul's is a great name and lovely. Bayona is divine as well. My top 3 in the FQ, and I go alot. Galatoire's is atrophied and pales by comparison, likewise Antoine's and Arnauds, skip all these last 3.
            Car ride away: Dante's Kitchen in Riverbend, less expensive, has a "regulars" feel to it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: RLColeman

              I think NOLA is actually awful. I love Emeril's and have yet to make it to Delmonico's, but NOLA is the home to my 2 worst meals in New Orleans.

              She can try for Irene's Cuisine, Adolfo's, Bistro at Maison de Ville, GW Fins, MiLa.

              1. re: mikek

                I have heard a lot of negative comments regarding NOLA (the restaurant), both on food, and on service. We have yet to dine there, but must try it, just to see for ourselves. Seems that we did communicate on CH, on Delmonico. It surprised me, and in a mostly positive way. I'd dine there again, though the March trip has pretty much filled up with other, Stella! included. We also have had great, fun meals at Emeril's (the eponymous one), and hope to try it again (first post-K dining there) in the Autumn.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  After my last trip to New Orleans and the meal we enjoyed at Stella!, it is a must-hit on any future visit. Chef Boswell is a true master of his craft and his passion for the food truly speaks in every dish. The wine list there was excellent as well, with the somellier really helping us pick two fantastic bottles.

                  1. re: mikek

                    It is at the top of the list for March. I cannot wait. I do not know the exact details, as we have several events during that trip, but will try for a few favorites, plus some new spots. Too many great restaurants, and just too little time, but I will prevail.