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Father's Retirement Dinner: WHERE??

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Originally from Lafayette, La, now in Toronto area, will be down in New Orleans first weekend in May. Would like to celebrate father's retirement with surprise dinner on the Saturday evening. There will be 7 family members present. He is also very picky, often prefers awesome food at neighborhood restaurants over hyped, trendier places:) Thought about reserving a private booth at Melange at The Ritz Carlton. Liked this idea for 3 reasons:
*More of a private, special dining experience
*Jeremy Davenport plays there at 9pm, so some entertainment included
*The Ritz food can't be too off!
Anyway, this is a starting point...would LOVE other or better suggestions please...

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  1. I'm sure a private booth at the RC would be lovely, but it's about the farthest thing from "awesome food at a neighborhood restaurant" that I can think of!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      Yes, I know!! I need help, that's why I asked:)!

      1. re: cajuncutey

        Okay, sorry, I wasn't much help. Brigtsen's is low-key, in a converted house, with easy-to-like, delicious food. Duck and rabbit make frequent appearances on the menu, and it has a non-fried seafood platter that's an interesting departure from the usual. It's nice enough to feel special, without feeling stiff or stodgy. Uptown, on Dante Street.

        If he likes old-fashioned, fairly unadorned food, you might want to go to Galatoire's. It always feels festive, while being timeless and it is the antithesis of trendy.

    2. Couchon is getting rave reviews. And right across the street from Couchon is The Ugly Dog, a relaxed BBQ place with terrific slaw. We had our rehearsal dinner there and had a terrific time!

      1. Consider Brigsten's or Herbsaint. Both have a very neighborhoody feel (even though Herbsaint isn't really in a neighborhood, Brigsten's is however).You'll have to make reservations pretty early considering it is a Jazz fest weekend.

        1 Reply
        1. re: malenky

          I vote for Herbsaint over Brigtsen's. My fiancee and I dined there last night. It was good but we were somewhat uninspired. Good but not great. This is the opposite experience we have had at Herbsaint. Jazz fest weekend is the hardest time to eat in New Orleans. Good luck.

        2. I hate to be nagative, but I do not exaggerate when I say that Melange is a remarkable sub-standard restaurant. We love Jeremy D and have seen him at the RC many times. It is indeed a great vibe; just have your dinner somewhere else. Quite frankly, my wife and I on more than one occaision have discussed how perplexing it is that a RC property has such uninspired dining.

          1. if he likes low key neighborhood joints then i would say clancy's uptown or mandina's. no frills at mandina's just great food and great drinks.