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What's New that We Can't Miss?

I visit New Orleans every Fest plus one or two times more per year. During each visit, I like to have a nice dinner at an old favorite or two, and also try at least one new place. Or someplace old that's doing something new, or has a new menu or chef. I tried Luke last visit; now I'm in search of ideas for new places for this Fest visit. So far MiLa's leading the list, but what others am I missing?

If it helps, "new" to me is within the past 12-18 months (there have been a lot of openings these past few years so I might have fallen a bit behind!). Also, "nice dinner" could, but doesn't have to, be ultra swanky or expensive (MiLA notwithstanding). But not a dive -- I've got those covered on the off-nights. I'm in search of very good food, pleasant service and decent atmosphere. Any type of cuisine -- from down home to wildly inventive -- anywhere in the city, including off the beaten track or (gasp!) Metarie. Thanks!

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  1. Maybe Iris? I hear good things but haven't been. Also hearing good things from Arabesque, but haven't been there either.

    1. Have you been to Couchon?

        1. re: cor

          Don't know about Arabesque. Any details or reviews? Middle Eastern food, I assume? I've actually not been to Iris yet so maybe now's the time, thanks for the reminder.

          We went to Cochon when it first opened, about 2 weeks after. It was still rough around the edges; better the 2nd time. I thought Luke was quite good food-wise; minor service issues as reported on the boards (nothing unforgiveable - just quibbles). We were there at lunch.

          Thanks hounds.

          1. re: MoonpieLover

            Congrats on only minor service issues at Luke. Though the food is good, we had serious service issues in Sept and Dec, lasting for several hours each.

            I am in your same predicament about a great new place to try at FQ Fest time. I'm thinking that Patois may be a good contender. Thoughts by anybody?

        2. Bistro Daisy on Magazine - It's french bistro-ish. Great boutique atmosphere, good service, great food! Small, but quaint.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nolalawyer

            Bistro Daisy was my first thought, too.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              If he'd been to La Petite Grocery before Bistro Daisy guy left, it might not be that new to him/her. There's also Patois and Grand Isle, and again, I haven't been to either of those. I've been wanting to get to Il Posto, as well. I think they're mostly a lunch place though. I think they close at 8pm.

          2. Maybe Vizard's on Magazine?

            1 Reply
            1. re: cor

              Any changes with Vizard's other than the location?

            2. Restaurant Patois on Webster was excellent when we tried it a few weeks ago. Nardo's old location.

              2 Replies
              1. re: connorboy

                Great ideas so far, thanks everyone. If those who have been to Daisy or Patois have specific recommendations on what to try or what to avoid, please share. Good idea to check out Il Posto -- hey, we gotta eat lunch somewhere on the non-Fest days, right? But that's a whole other wonderful problem!

                1. re: MoonpieLover

                  I went to patois last week. I had a salad and 2 apps instead of an entree. The sweetbreads were very good and the escargot was great. My friend's hangar steak was delish, but rarer than she ordered. Didn't try other friend's fish. Very nice french bistro-ish food in the vein of la petite and lilette.

                  That said, I'd go to Iris if you haven't been. Veal cheek ravioli. nuff said.