NOLA and first time with older teen
Going to New Orleans to visit Tulane with 17 year old daughter. Would like to take her to a classic NOLA restaurant. Galatoires's is out because husband and I visited there last year. I would like to go to August but husband wants to make sure we give her the "classic New Orleans" restaurant experience. Do not want too stuffy or fancy. Please advise!
look at Commander's, Brigtsen's and for a fun meal, go to Jacques Imos. I am a Tulane 2005 alum, stayed an extra year for a Masters and my sister currently goes there. I am visiting my sister in 2 weeks and cannot wait to eat at all of my old spots. It is an amazing amazing city to live in for those 4 years of your life, and I hope (for both you and your childs benefit) she decides to go there.
I would say Gal's is the "stuffiest and, in some ways, the fanciest" dining room in new orleans so it's downhill from there. I suggest Commander's Palace. They're at the top of their game right now. Since Katrina, I think they've elevated themselves to being one of the top restaurants in town.
Apart from Gal's, it's the next best place for the "new orleans experience." Just avoid Antoine's, Arnaud's, Begue's, Tujague's, etc. They're old-line new orleans, but their food and service have been languishing for a long time.
For a casual experience, go to Mandina's. It's cash only, but they have an ATM inside if you need it.
You might also look at Cafe Bon Ton. It's somewhere in between Mandina's and Commander's on the casualness scale.
little jfood a freshman in NOLA so here's an outsider's view. Like Tzurriz, you gotta go to camelia grill it is just a hoot of a place and jffod loves it (and looking at AMEX and Debit receipts it is still a little jfood favorite).
Brigtsens is jfood favorite and is a standard for each trip. jfood also likes Commander's and it gives a nice looking-in from the outside view, just a word to the wise on dress code at Commander's (jfood really likes the place) is no shorts, even really nice ones on your daughter.
Not favorites for jfood were NOLA and K-Pauls, both felt very touristy and the food was not that great.
Planning the next trip down, Brigtsens already booked and planning the other three dinners as he writes. Probably hit Dantes Kitchen this trip.
I must strongly disagree about Arnaud's and Tujague's. First of all, Antoine's and Arnaud's are totally different in style from Tujague's so I wouldn't lump them together. Since the storm I have enjoyed two meals at Arnaud's. The food certainly was not "languishing"; it was very good. And the service was fantastic both times. I would totally understand warning visitors off the "old line" places if they really were just coasting on reputation, but I do not feel that that is the case with Arnaud's. I have no idea what the Remoulade around the corner is all about, but the regular dining room and bar at Arnaud's are a great experience.
As for Tujague's, one of my favorite things to do is get a brisket appetizer and chicken bonne femme in the bar. I've never eaten in the restaurant, and it's entirely possible that the rest of the food stinks, but the chicken bonne femme sure isn't languishing.
I know they're different in substance, but I lumped them together because they're "old-line" new orleans restaurants. Perhaps I should give Arnaud's another shot as I wrote them off a long time ago. As for Tujague's, I went there several months ago on an invite, and it was second rate at best. With the caliber of food New Orleans serves up, there's no room for those guys on my list unless they step their food up bigtime.
any of the Brennan's restaurants for classic N.O., but please don't skip out on Camelia Grill and CDM. You'll regret it if you do, because once she chooses Tulane (and she will), you'll hear about those two places all the time!
If you want something a little less "touristy" for the classic restaurant, Pascal Manales is always a treat.
(can you tell I'm an alumni?)