Galatoire's -- 3/21/08
Friday lunch at Galatoire's is simply a hoot. The line was long enough when we got there at 10:50 a.m. that we could not get a table for four downstairs, so we settled for two tables for two close to each other. This, of course, was Good Friday, so maybe that's why it seemed more crowded than usual. After we were allowed to ascend to the second floor bar for a drink, we stood shoulder to shoulder with both regulars and tourists like ourselves. Finally called back down stairs for lunch, we were greeted by our waitress (the only woman server there), who was a joy throughout. The younger ones in our group, at the older ones' suggestion, just placed their fate in her hands and she came through with flying colors.
The only downside of the day was that they had no lump crabmeat. I don't know why, but she told us at the beginning -- no crabmeat -- what was usually made with crabmeat was today made with crawfish. Slightly disappointing to me -- terrifically disappointing to my wife -- the young ones didn't know anything was missing.
Appetizers --Grand Goute, a combination of three apps -- Shrimp Maison, Shrimp Remoulade and Crawfish Maison (usually crabmeat) -- add to the Grand Goute the Oysters en Brochette -- heaven.
Entrees -- Grilled Pompano with sauteed crawfish topping, Sauteed Pompano with sauteed shrimp topping, Stuffed Eggplant (with shrimp and crawfish) and Sauteed Redfish were all wonderful. Rich and buttery sauces -- don't go there if you don't want it rich. Sides (as if we needed them) of Creamed Spinach, Spinach Rockefeller, Brabant Potatoes and Lyonnaise Potatoes were also great.
Dessert -- Banana Bread Pudding and Chocolate Pecan Pie a la mode. Too much!
As usual, we loved Galatoire's. Some on this board complain that it's old, drab, dated, etc., and it's their right to feel that way. But it's my right to feel that Galatoire's IS New Orleans dining. It is not my very favorite restaurant in New Orleans, but it is, in my opinion, the classic New Orleans restaurant. For us it would not be a trip to New Orleans without Galatoire's.
Crawfish are in season right now -- can't understand why you were disappointed. My pompano at Galatoire's 2 weeks ago was topped with sauteed crawfish, and I was quite pleased. Based on more than 50 years of visits, I agree: Galatoire's rocks! It's not cutting edge, but then, I don't go to NOLA for cutting-edge food. I go for the stuff that's proved itself over the long haul.
Great review...Galatoire's has always been my favorite restaurant...it never disappoints and you always know you are getting the freshest ingredients cooked the exact way it has always been cooked there.
Hopefully, crabmeat will be available...if so, I prefer the crabmeat yvonne topping to just the crabmeat (unless you start adding sauces on top of the crabmeat, which is always a good idea). Along with the Grand goute or goute with oysters brochette I would also get crabmeat canape with muneire to start. FX has always been my family's waiter, and he is a good one to request if you are a first timer...he will help you navigate the menu which is literally a dictionary of creole dishes (you may want to peak at it before going...it is long).
Nice review. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. I still love Galatoire's, even after all those years. Is it the greatest dining in NOLA? No, I do not think so, but it is still very good to great, depending on one's visit. It also fills in that often intangible - ambiance. No one does it quite so well as Galatoire's. One just cannot buy this experience.
I think that it’s the experiences and the memories, that caused me great pain in another thread about Antoine’s, though I did agree with the poster, based on my pre-K visit. Could be, should be...
Based on my memories, plus my barely pre-K visit to Galatoire’s, I do not hesitate to recommend it to anyone, especially tourists to NOLA, who wish to experience a fine New Orleans dining experience. Glad that they did not disappoint you, or your guests.
re: Bill Hunt
What a perfect and well timed review! My wife and I along with another couple are heading down for a wedding this weekend and have always wanted to go to Galatoire's. We were planning on going for lunch this Friday. Good to know we will need to be there early to get a table for 4. I was planning on 10:15. I hope that's ok. But I have to say, they BETTER have crabmeat!!!!!