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To Bayona, or not to Bayona: that is the question

I'm very torn over this Bayona decision. I've read some good, some bad and I can't decide.
Most of the bad seems to focus around the service more so than the food.
Which I'm surprised Susan Spicer hasn't caught on to the service complaints.

So, New Orleans hounds give me your opinion and/or most recent experience. You are helping make this decision for me.

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  1. I've always found the service at Bayona to be outstanding -- among the best in the city. I think you should go.

    1. Our visit, Mar, '08, found very good food, and excellent service. I assume that you found my review, though Bayona was mixed in with others. The details were in that review.

      I'd go back on the next visit, if we didn't have events stacked to the max.


      1. GO! Great food & wonderful service. My husband & I go to Bayona every time we visit N.O. & are always more than satisfied. We were last there in April '08, during FQF, & look forward to a meal, or two, during our next stay in July. Go & enjoy ;0)

        3 Replies
        1. re: philmaur

          Don't even hesitate. Go eat and enjoy. Susan runs a great place and the service, in the last few months that I have eaten there (4 times) has been good to great and the food, without question, has been some of the best in town.

          Some of her detractors, particularly on other boards, have, what seems to me, more than the food and service on their minds when they start complaining about Bayona. Their criticisms often seem more personal than one might expect. Never have quite figured this out, but, then again, I never cared. She's a talented chef, a good businesswoman, and extremely nice. What's not to like?

          1. re: Hadacol

            Great post; I couldn't agree more. More often than not when dining at Bayona, you'll see Susan working the room, greeting friends, repeat customers and first timers and making sure that everything is running as you'd expect.

          2. re: philmaur

            Service took a dive Sat, 6/27. Had an 8:15 res...after being repeatedly promised it's "coming up," main course had not arrived by 10:30, so we just had to cancel it. Server amazingly admitted that their attention was going toward a "very important party"making ya feel a bit like chopped livuh. Apps were good. Been several times, first incident like this... but will still go back.

          3. try the after work wine tastings and then stay for dinner. or try the weekday prix fixe
            go to the events page for details of each.

            1. Just to add to the chorus-- Though I have not been in recent years myself, a dear friend who is decidedly in the food loving category, fabulous cook, from San Francisco (won a culinary trip to town) ate all over town, loved almost everything, but was in a literal swoon over her Bayona meal, Stated it was one of the best dining experiences she'd had in a long time. Now, she was also enamored by the fact that the chef in question came to the table, chatted and then signed her cookbook...but it certainly made me want to go.

                1. re: zin1953

                  Four of us dined a while back. Food did not make any of us want to return. Just my opinion, but if I made that garlic soup at home, I would have dumped it rather than serve it.

                2. I was there last week. I've been to Bayona countless times (even had my wedding reception there!) so I'm hoping that last week was just a fluke. My husband's pork chop was way overcooked. To the restaurant's credit they removed it from our bill (he didn't want to reorder it) and even gave us a free dessert.

                  The rest of our dishes were just unremarkable, which is a first for me at Bayona. It's normally wonderful, so I have no idea if it was just an off night or if something worse is going on.

                  1. In my experience (I go about once a month or so) Bayona is excellent. Their Saturday lunch (3 courses for $25) is a terrific deal.

                    Never had a problem with either food or service.

                    1. Went for lunch last week. Best I've had in a while.

                      1. outside of the brennan's universe, bayona has always been the most consistent higher-end restaurant i've eaten in there in new orleans. the food has never been anything but sublime &, yes, once, maybe even twice, i've had spotty service. sorry to all you folks who take a bad server personally but it just happens in the biz, get over it & focus on the food. if you can do that, the food will bring you back & you'll get another server who does it right(like i've had many many times there). i just ate lunch there(again) on my crazy intense two week eating tour which i'll write about soon but once again, after all these years, bayona came through again on every level. do NOT miss this experience.

                        1. I'm lukewarm about Bayona: had eaten there 3-4 times before the Storm, 3 times since. My first couple trips there were great. Since then, I've been disappointed, but those dining with me have seemed to have great meals. I don't care for seafood (I know, what's wrong with me???) so I'm often at a disadvantage in NO, fewer choices on the menu & at times less attention to the non-seafood items.

                          I usually like the place itself (beautiful courtyard) but last time it was packed, stuffy, noisy and not all that pleasant.

                          I keep wanting to like it more but am having a hard time doing so.

                          1. we tried the $25 3-course lunch. they were very small, like tapas plates, but the flavor profiles and creativity were excellent. service was excellent. quite enjoyable for a mild lunch.

                            for dinner i felt they have the best sweet breads in town. this has been validated from others.

                            1. We have always had good service there. The food is just okay for the most part.

                              1. Bayona is neither great nor horrible, which given the culinary riches of NO, is probably reason to avoid it.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: david55

                                  You are so wrong to trash such a great establishment. Shame on you. It might not be your cup of tea but Susan Spicer is an institution here serving local food and local ingredients with her own, maybe to some understated flair, but with flair non the less. She is a treasure to be appreciated.

                                  1. re: Tonto

                                    Ate at Bayona in May for dinner and it was fabulous. Liked it so much that we went for lunch two days later. Lunch has more limited menu so we were slightly disappointed because we wanted to reorder an item from dinner menu but lunch was very good and service excellent. Would go back in a heartbeat and will in next trip.

                                2. I travel to New Orleans every year and wouldn’t miss the Bayona experience. You wont be disappointed.
                                  If it’s a cool evening eat in the Garden.