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Never been to New Orleans... where should I eat?

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I'm going to New Orleans for the first time in July. I'll be there for work and am planning an outing with about 15 other people. I'd love suggestions for a "must-try" place. Based on these threads, Nola or Emerils seems like a good stop. Any other suggestions? I'd love to get something with a fun atmosphere/view, and of course good food!

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  1. Port of Call on Esplanade has the best burgers ever. It's not really "New Orleans" food or anything, but they're still my favorite place. It's a little hole in the wall bar/restaurant but their burgers and baked potatoes are amazing.
    A lot of the places on Decatur are overrated--avoid some of the tourist traps. But Court of Two Sisters on Royal is still great. Last time I went home to Louisiana to visit I made it a point to get brunch there.

    1. In the French Quarter, consider:

      Acme Oyster House on Iberville St.: eat crawfish, oysters, maybe a poboy
      Central Grocery on Decatur St: eat a muffuletta (greatest sandwich ever made)
      Cafe du Monde on Decatur St. (across from Jackson Square): eat beignets and coffee
      Brennan's: eat breakfast, or a steak for dinner
      Antoine's on Saint Louis St: eat baked Alaska for dessert
      Krystal on Bourbon St: eat a few greasy tiny burgers

      Outside the Quarter
      Commander's Palace on Washington Ave. in the Garden District: eat what you like, it's consistently excellent (also expensive)
      Cochon on Tchoupitoulas St.: eat pig, drink moonshine
      Camilla Grille on St. Chales near Tulane: eat an omlete as big as your head.

      1. for your group dinner, Carmelo's has a private wine room with a great view overlooking the River/Fr.Qtr. and with a balcony. You might also call Arnuad's and Maximo's to see if their rooms with the balconies are available. K Paul's can set up a dinner party in the courtyard.
        Muriel's Jackson Square has some rooms w/balconies, as does Ralph's on the Park.

        for more great food: Iris, Patois, Martinique, Lilette, Cochon, Herbsaint, Bayona, MiLa, Bistro Daisy, Stella, Vizard's, Clancy's, Brigtsen's, Cuvee, Pelican Club, Marigny Brasserie, La Petite Grocery, GW Fins, Peristyle, Arabesque, Bistro Maison de Ville, Cafe Minh...and not to be missed, Galatoire's. in fact, your group of 15 could do well at Gal's.

        1. If you MUST go to one of Emeril's rest., then the flagship. We have far better venues. Try Commander's for lunch/dinner (garden room). August, Cuvee, ONE for dinner. Read the summer menus thread on this board for rest. offering specials.

          1. OK, a couple of questions first:

            1.) where are you staying?
            2.) is driving a possibility, or do you (and your group) wish to walk?
            3.) what sort of cuisine do you wish? Pure New Orleans, or some version thereof?
            4.) is there a price range for the above cuisine?
            5.) are there any folk in the group with food problems, i.e level 5 vegans, etc.?
            6.) do you want "history," great food, top "happening" spots, chefs, who have been written up recently? The list will change, depending on what you really want.

            There are hundreds of recs. that you are likely to get, but if you start with some sort of framework, CH folk can really hit the high notes for you. Instead of getting many dozen recs., please let everyone know what you have in mind, and the restaurants will follow.

            New Orleans is a unique, food-centric city, unlike any other in the US, and unlike most in the world. However, without some criteria, no one can do more than list favs., that might be across town, or not offer what you need. I could give you 20, in a heartbeat, but they may be too far, too expensive, or not what you want. Same for most here.

            With a bit more info, the recs. will come pouring in, and most will be "right-on," for your party.

            Hunt

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Wow, thanks so much for your guidance. Here are the answers to some of your questions:

              1.) Our group is staying all over, but I'll be at the Ritz.
              2.) Something centrally located that we can walk to or take a cab to would be ideal.
              3.) I'd like to go someplace that we can only go in New Orleans.
              4.) I think $30-$50 person would be a good range.
              5.) no major food restrictions or allergies

              Does this help?

              Thanks again!
              OK, a couple of questions first:

              1.) where are you staying?
              2.) is driving a possibility, or do you (and your group) wish to walk?
              3.) what sort of cuisine do you wish? Pure New Orleans, or some version thereof?
              4.) is there a price range for the above cuisine?
              5.) are there any folk in the group with food problems, i.e level 5 vegans, etc.?
              6.) do you want "history," great food, top "happening" spots, chefs, who have been written up recently? The list will change, depending on what you really want.

              There are hundreds of recs. that you are likely to get, but if you start with some sort of framework, CH folk can really hit the high notes for you. Instead of getting many dozen recs., please let everyone know what you have in mind, and the restaurants will follow.

              New Orleans is a unique, food-centric city, unlike any other in the US, and unlike most in the world. However, without some criteria, no one can do more than list favs., that might be across town, or not offer what you need. I could give you 20, in a heartbeat, but they may be too far, too expensive, or not what you want. Same for most here.

              With a bit more info, the recs. will come pouring in, and most will be "right-on," for your party.

              Hunt

            2. I wanted to thank everyone here for all their reviews. I just spend 2.5 days in NO with very little prep time, and managed to do quite a few good places (some old favorites of mine, some new):

              - Mother's
              - Willie Mae's
              - Brennan's
              - Camellia Grill (new for me)
              - NOLA (new for me)
              - Tujagues (new for me)
              - Gumbo Shop
              - Cafe Du Monde

              And I did the New Orleans Culinary and Tasting Tour, which was rather enjoyable (http://www.noculinarytours.com/

              )

              Now I need to seriously diet.

              1. You MUST got to Restaurant August. I had the most amazing experience there. Make sure to get reserations, we didn't have them but the mangager took pity on us after our 3rd time stopping by to see if there were any cancellation. We ate at 10:15 p.m., but it was well worth it.

                The chef's tasting menu is magnificent!