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Jul 21, 2008 08:07 PM

quiet french quarter restaurants and bars

Heading to new orleans for a manic weeks worth of work, wed-sat. Staying on canal st and would love to find some mellow places with good food and wine/cocktails relatively nearby with kitchens open until 9 or 10... As for cuisine, I would love to experience some of the local flavors, but I'm not that picky. Price point also not really a problem. Mainly I would just want great food without lots of ambient noise (possibly a bit of an odd request, but in my minds eye I am dreading the french quarter crowds and drinking).
Also looking for a breakfast/brunch place on saturday en route to the airport, have to be at the airport around 1 or 115...
Any suggestions?

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  1. Cafe Amelie, quiet courtyard dining
    Sidebar, easy going bar with food
    Morton's Steakhouse for happy hour, Canal Place
    Claire's Bar, sip poolside
    Omni Royal Orleans rooftop bar/poolside/great sunsets
    Orleans Grapevine, wine bar with good food
    Bombay Club

    for #'s and addresses:

    for breakfast:
    Croissant D'or Patisserie
    617 Ursulines Ave.
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 524-4663
    Neighborhood: French Quarter
    Restaurant Information
    Restaurant/Cuisine Type(s): French, Bakery
    Attire: Casual
    Description: A romantic courtyard that is a lovely spot to sip strong coffee and munch on pastries. Lunch time has daily soup specials and hot croissant sandwiches,
    including one made with bechamel and Swiss cheese. For a sweet afternoon treat, try the raspberry tart or the strawberries Romanoff.

    or on Airline Hwy on the way to the airport is Fiesta Latina. they make a great breakfast.
    Fiesta Latina. 1924 Airline Hwy. 469-5792. Central American

    or search;

    1. A few places come to mind:

      Stella and Bayona for food. They're both pricey (Stella moreso) but very gentle on the eardrums, and lovely.

      Stick to hotel bars for relatively quiet drinking experiences. The Carousel Bar in the Monteleone and the bar in the Fairmont will be more old-school, classic New Orleans experiences. The Swizzle Stick Bar in the Loew's Hotel on Poydras is a great new place with more modern decor. The Touche' Bar attached to the Royal Orleans is also relatively low-key. The Ritz Carlton has many very comfortable places to imbibe and maybe catch a spot of jazz. If the idea of hotel bars doesn't suit you, then Cosimo's, Lafitte's Blacksmith, and Molly's on Decatur are good options for quiet watering holes, although all of these are decidedly more divey than the hotel places. Generally, Frenchman Street is less touristy than Bourbon Street, though it's probably just as loud. There are some funky, low-lit bars in the Marigny in and around Frenchman, though, that might be worth checking out.

      13 Replies
        1. re: edible complex

          Have you been to Lafitte's lately? Packed and very loud. Lousy piano player in the back that can barely be heard over the rock on the sound system. We went about a year ago, remembering the days when Lafitte's was laid back, kind of murky and had a pretty decent piano player . Gone.

          Try Bistro at the Maison De Ville or the Bombay Club.

          1. re: JazzyB

            That's a shame. I'm remembering the same Lafitte's you are, and while I did go there pretty recently (a few months ago), it was on a weeknight, very late, and I may not have been in the condition to accurately assess my surroundings.

            1. re: JazzyB

              We were there this week end and they installed a juke at the front door that is so loud we took two steps in and turned around and walked out. Hope they throw the box out. Couldn't even tell if the piano player, who was in the back was any good.

              1. re: theoutoftownlocal

                My comments are all about places to go for drinks. I'll leave to others where to eat for what you have in mind.

                Not to pile on about Lafitte's, but I was there a few weeks ago and had the same reaction as others. Not the same vibe as in the past, but good for what it (now) is.

                For drinks, I second the recommendations for Bombay Club (but should add that I was there in the early evening - still, I can't imagine it as raucous. Very grown up feel.) I would also second The Carousel Bar.

                A previous post suggested hotel bars. To that I would add that we had drinks on the patio at the W and enjoyed that. Pretty, quiet and comfortable but not a ton of character. The bar itself may suit what you are seeking but doesn't give any feeling of being in New Orleans. You feel like you could be anywhere.

                Lastly, I would suggest Napoleon House for drinks. Usually very quiet, dark, moody and classical music is always playing. One of my favorite places on earth. Try a Pimm's or a Sazerac there.

                I understand your concern about drinking and the French Quarter scene. There are great and enjoyable ways to avoid about what you are wary and still have a great time in the Quarter. Consider checking out the numerous threads about New Orleans and I think you will find lots of great suggestions. The locals are very active, generous with their recommendations and are a terrific source.

                1. re: bananna slug

                  Napoleon House
                  At present the café' serving hours are:
                  MON-SUN 11:30am to 5:30pm | No night service at this time

              2. re: JazzyB

                re: crappy rock music. yeah, what is up w/ this? in years gone by i dont remember them being a loudy 80s rock bar... now thats all you can hear in the front. the back piano player is hit or miss, usually miss, but i guess itll be hard to replace old johnny.

              3. re: edible complex

                D'oh! You're right. It's going to be part of the Waldorf-Astoria chain, opening in 2009.

              4. re: HalfShell

                I strongly agree. As one, who enjoys the company of my companinons, and my wife, I hate noise. Stella! and Bayona are very nice, in this respect. I guess that this could change, depending on who is dining near you, but for us, it was very nice on a db-level. I also found the same for Restaurant August - quiet, dignified, and classy.

                I'm far less into the bar-scene, but have spent a few moments at most of the spots, that HalfShell mentions, and would tend to agree, with my limited experience of this sort of spot.


                Restaurant August
                301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Stella Restaurant
                1032 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

                430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  Although I have not been in a very long time, I thought Bayona was very good.

                  Went to August within the last few weeks and had a very enjoyable meal with some friends and my wife. Do no recall it being too loud. May be exactly what you are looking for.

                  1. re: bananna slug

                    Both were adequately quiet, on our last visits. I am NOT a fan of loud venues. I like to converse with my guests, or my wife. Both offered a very good experience.

                    I do not need laughing, screaming throngs, to tell me I'm having fun. I know it by the food, the wine and the service, but then, I'm an old fud, who enjoys conversation in a proper tone. Some seek out the loud spots, but we are not among that group. I want ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen.


                2. re: HalfShell

                  The Library Bar at the Ritz is now a private club. Their Lobby Lounge is now called On Trois.
                  if you want to catch Jeremy Davenport at the FQB, here is his schedule:

                3. Thanks for the recommendations, seems I have a fair amount of options after all...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: scanditrash

                    The bar at the Pelican Club can be quiet, also the Polo Lounge at the Windsor Court is very tranquil.

                    1. re: bronwen

                      Have not experienced the Pelican Club, but agree with the call, re: the Polo Lounge.

                      At my advanced age, quiet is good. I do not need a 125db sound system, or screaming patrons, to tell me that I am having a good time. Elegance, grace, charm, quiet and good wine - all I need.


                  2. I love the Lounge at the Windsor Court, but the French 75 Bar next to Arnaud's is a jewel box and a great place for a quiet drink.