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Solo female diner needs suggestions and encouragement

j
justmoi Feb 23, 2008 01:05 PM

I will be in NOLA March 7-9. I have been before for weekends on my own, but this time I’d like to try some more high end places to eat. My last trip I had a delicious brunch at the bar at the Palace Café. I felt comfortable at the bar and want to push myself to do it more.

Now first of all, I cannot eat the multi course meals I read about on CH. I would explode. Years ago a date took me out to a multi course meal (pre courses, palette cleansers, etc.), and even though it was delicious, and the portions were not big, it was too much food for me. I was up more than half the night with heartburn. On the other hand, I could nibble all day. My idea was to wander around (opportunity to walk off calories) and have a drink and appetizer at various places. I have many ideas of where to go, and I’m sure I’ll just make a dent in the list. I’d love to hear from CH as to their favorite apps and/or cocktails at these places, which restaurants are more conducive to this, which are not, etc. Also, which of these places has a knockout dessert that I might stop in for instead of an appetizer.

My list (in no particular order)
Nola
Emeril’s
K-Paul’s
MiLa
August
Bayona
Luke
Stella

Also, since I really enjoyed that brunch last time, I’d appreciate suggestions of nice places to have brunch at the bar on Sunday. I enjoyed the Palace Café, but would like to try something different. Can I get brunch at the bar at the Marigny Brasserie? Their Jazz brunch sounds great. What about Mr. B’s?

Since my time is limited, other than possibly taking a walking tour of the garden district on Saturday afternoon, my plan is stick to the fq, cbd, and Frenchman St, so I can walk everywhere and not waste time traveling.

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  1. j
    justmoi RE: justmoi Feb 23, 2008 01:10 PM

    Does the Bon Ton Cafe have a bar I could eat at? Do they serve an appetizer portion of crawfish etouffee? If they don't, I might have to make an exception here, as I really want to try it.

    6 Replies
    1. re: justmoi
      mrsfury RE: justmoi Feb 25, 2008 04:21 PM

      There is a tiny bar but I doubt you could eat at it because of all the activity with the staff picking up drinks. It has something like four stools and nowhere to eat. If I'm wrong someone please correct me. You should still go and sit at a table. If you go for lunch I'll be happy to join you.

      1. re: mrsfury
        k
        kevin RE: mrsfury Feb 25, 2008 07:34 PM

        which bar are you talking about, is it really good food? or just decent food with drinks (of course).

        1. re: kevin
          mrsfury RE: kevin Feb 26, 2008 09:12 AM

          Justmoi was asking if there's a bar in Bon Ton where she could eat.

          1. re: mrsfury
            k
            kevin RE: mrsfury Feb 26, 2008 09:22 AM

            thnx, missed the earlier post (so confused)

            now i igots it.

            1. re: mrsfury
              j
              justmoi RE: mrsfury Feb 26, 2008 12:59 PM

              Thanks, mrsfury. I'd take you up on the invite, but I'll be arriving Friday afternoon (3/7). Too late for lunch, so figuring on an early dinner I'm hoping it won't be crowded if I get there shortly after they open for dinner.

              If you'd like to join me for an early dinner or just stop in for a drink and help me decide what to order, that would be great.

              So, what do you order when you go?

              1. re: justmoi
                mrsfury RE: justmoi Feb 26, 2008 04:29 PM

                I order the house salad (it's small) w/house dressing- sort of a creole mustard vinaigrette, crabmeat augratin (some are put off by the sherry but omg it is so good) or any fish dish and bread pudding. I'd love to join you but I work about three blocks away, get off at 4:30 and have to drive 30 miles home in horrible traffic. Hubby will be looking for me. Maybe another day. I have met nothing but nice people through food forums. Have fun!

      2. s
        SonyBob RE: justmoi Feb 23, 2008 01:37 PM

        I'm a guy but I would think Bayona would be a good choice. It's manager is a lady (at least she was when we were there) and Susan Spicer is a gem. If you're staying at the Maison de Ville, the Bistro is nice and cozy plus you can tour the Audubon cottages.
        Bob

        2 Replies
        1. re: SonyBob
          j
          justmoi RE: SonyBob Feb 26, 2008 01:00 PM

          Thanks, SonyBob. What are your favorites at Bayona?

          1. re: justmoi
            s
            SonyBob RE: justmoi Feb 28, 2008 01:13 PM

            Sweetbreads for an app, then duck. Sorry it took so long to reply! I wish Donna and I were there right now!
            Bob

        2. k
          kevin RE: justmoi Feb 23, 2008 09:30 PM

          I would say yeah go to KPaul's and if you really need to eat at a bar then Emeril's on Tchoupitoulas will work.

          And of course Brigsten's is always good. I've noted that you wanted to stay in the Quarter environs but B's is worth it. Also, make sure they call you for a tax back to the FQ back (not sure if the streetcar is running and if it is it may been one to many blocks to traverrse late at night, but it's up to you.)

          And don't forget to visit Cafe Du Monde.

          Skp Mr. B's. You wont really be missin anything.

          Maybe stay away from August since it lends itself to more elaborate multi-course meals and to me it has always felt stuffy.

          For great Pimm's cups you can do no better than the Napoleon Bar/cafe.

          And don't forget the mixed drinks at Chris Mcmillan's Library Bar in the Ritz Carlton on Canal

          6 Replies
          1. re: kevin
            j
            JerseyNOLA RE: kevin Feb 24, 2008 11:25 AM

            Marigny Brasserie will serve brunch at the bar.

            1. re: JerseyNOLA
              r
              robrob RE: JerseyNOLA Feb 25, 2008 01:25 PM

              Well worth it!!!

            2. re: kevin
              j
              justmoi RE: kevin Feb 26, 2008 01:06 PM

              Thanks, JerseyNOLA. So, brunch on Frenchman St.

              1. re: kevin
                j
                justmoi RE: kevin Feb 26, 2008 01:06 PM

                kevin, what are your recs at K-Paul's and Emeril's? I would love to go to Brigsten's, but it just doesn't feel right going alone on a Fri. or Sat. night. I'll save it for another trip.

                Mmmmmmmm, Cafe Du Monde! My vow is to NOT finish an order of beignets. 1 1/2 or so hits the spot, then save room for other foodie adventures!

                Might have to check out Chris Mcmillan's Library Bar. Is he always there?

                1. re: justmoi
                  k
                  kevin RE: justmoi Feb 26, 2008 01:34 PM

                  chris is not always at the Libary bar.

                  At Kpaul's, some of the dishes are great such as any blackened fish (usu drumfish or yellowtial) or the blackened ribe eye in bgb (browned garlic butter sauce) or the filet mignon with debris sauce. Portions are large so a light appetizer might be best or if the gumbo is on offer than you should get that or the fried paneed rabbit with mustard sauce or the oysters fanny with a jalapeno garlice butter veal glaze sauce. For dessert, what else but the Coconut Cake, call in advance to make sure they have slices the night you will be going there and also maybe you can influence them in offering the cake if you can to reserve far in advance.

                  Don't finish the beignets, just eat half and save the rest of your order for some of the hungry hordes on bourbon or elsewhere. but don't miss the cafe au lait.

                  It would be a shame to miss Brigsten's but yes it is a lot more work than eating in the Qtr, although the best dishes might just be at B's after Kpaul's. but if you are uptown at B's you can always hightail a cab to the Maple Leaf Bar or Tipitina's which are nearby for some soul-tapping music.

                  Check with the Ritz Carlton if chris will be there.

                  1. re: kevin
                    j
                    justmoi RE: kevin Feb 26, 2008 03:57 PM

                    Thanks, kevin. My best friend ADORES coconut cake. It's not my thing. (So you can have my share at K-Pauls.) Chocolate is usually at the top of my list. I made the Red Fish Grill's chocolate bread pudding for Christmas. (I just changed the sauce, I made a Bailey's Irish Cream sauce, but I think next time a vanilla creme anglaise.)

                    BTW, I think you're right about K-Paul's. I think 2 appetizers could leave me stuffed. How's their turtle soup?

              2. malenky RE: justmoi Feb 25, 2008 07:58 AM

                Before your walking tour in the garden district you can have a nice breakfast at Surrey's on Magazine St. It is a funky little place and they have a little bar you can sit at. I would also add Couchon to the list. They have many small plates that would be great for you to try a good combination of several different/interesting things. They also have a nice bar you can sit at. It is also a very lively scene so you may appreciate that as well. For a knockout dessert, I'd go to Rio mar for their Tres Leches cake.

                1. mrsfury RE: justmoi Feb 25, 2008 04:24 PM

                  http://www.thebontoncafe.com/lunch.html

                  1. s
                    stobin RE: justmoi Feb 27, 2008 01:15 PM

                    just got back from NOLA for a short trip. i was also solo (though male) and sat at the bar at Cochon on Friday night. sat next to a nice lady also traveling solo. i think it's common to see here. if you're traveling on business, it's hard to order room service in a place like New Orleans. I don't get to New Orleans that often, so I view every meal as an opportunity. anyway, the bartender was very friendly, and took great care of us. enjoyed lots of delicious small plates, instead of an entree. and finished with a great cornmeal pineapple upside down cake. i would definitely recommend Cochon.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: stobin
                      k
                      kevin RE: stobin Feb 27, 2008 01:41 PM

                      Cochon is good but not great in my opinion. You have to really really really pork, since there aren't too many other dishes on offer. But the eggplant with shrimp dressing or maybe it's the other way around is really good. Their lemon buttermilk pie with whipped cream is good too.

                      1. re: kevin
                        malenky RE: kevin Feb 27, 2008 02:14 PM

                        There are quite several other dishes on the menu that aren't pork related. The oysters are outstanding.

                        1. re: malenky
                          k
                          kevin RE: malenky Feb 28, 2008 07:14 AM

                          I remember he had a braised rabbit and dumpling dish on the menu. How is that?

                          1. re: kevin
                            malenky RE: kevin Feb 28, 2008 07:26 AM

                            the last time I went and I was really wanting to try that dish, but they were out of rabbit (apparently there was a shortage of rabbits that weekend or something like that). We did get the smothered chicken and I really enjoyed it; it reminded me a lot of my moms. I hope next time I go back for dinner I can try the rabbit. I really like the alligator app as well even though I really don't like alligator...something about the sauce. There is also a fish dish and a courtbouillion of which both I've never tried. I usually just get a bunch of the apps.

                            1. re: malenky
                              k
                              kevin RE: malenky Feb 28, 2008 08:10 AM

                              It is for the most part an appetizer and small plates restaurant except for the rabbit and dumplings and a couple other dishes.

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