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Sep 15, 2008 09:21 PM

Anniversary in New Orleans

We live in Los Angeles and will be spending our anniversary in New Orleans in mid-November. We are in our mid-thirties. Cost isn't an issue for this trip. We just want great, memorable meals.

We'll arrive in time for dinner on Friday, our actual anniversary, and we'll be in town through breakfast on Sunday, after which, we're driving to Natchez.

Please recommend some places that we shouldn't miss.

There is one catch, I am allergic to shellfish.

We're planning on staying at the Windsor Court. If there is someplace else to stay or something that we should be sure to do while we're in town, please let us know.

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  1. LaBoca, Rio Mar, Stella and Bon Ton for high end - Nola Grocery, Parasol, Parkway for poboys & lunch stuff. Go to the Riverwalk mall, the Spanish Plaza is a nice, scenic spot in front of the entrance to the mall. You can walk around the Warehouse District and see the Piazza D'Italia, which is beautiful at night. Ernst Cafe is a great old bar where you can enjoy a drink inside or on the balcony or sidewalk. The food ain't bad either. There is a glass blowing shop in the area (Magazine Street I believe) as well as Chez Clay, where you can paint your own ceramics. When you walk by The Foundry on St. Joseph Street near Tchoupitoulas (former Bella Luna's catering venue) say hi to Joe the cat in the window. Sweetest kitty you will ever meet. Actually you can go in and see him. He loves visitors.

    1. Roxhills,

      Let's try again. CH "ate my post!"

      First, I'd recommend table #8 at Commander's Palace. It is the quintessential “romantic table,” in New Orleans. Since we moved from NOLA in 1980, we’ve celebrated her birthday there on a dozen occasions. Make sure that you specify “table #8,” which is a small table in the upper turret. It is open to the upper dining area, but is also separated from it.

      As far as the shellfish problem, just mention this, when you make the reservations. My wife cannot do bi-valves (oysters, clams, scallops, etc.) and most of the restaurants that we frequent have this in her dossier. If I called Allan Wong’s tonight, I’d expect them to ask, “does your wife still have an allergy to bi-valves?” I’ve yet to have even a 14-course chef’s tasting menu, that did not accommodate her. Just mention this at the time of the reservation.

      Now, for some other recs.: Stella! is very romantic and I have enjoyed wonderful food and service. Restaurant August is the same (unless something has changed, I’d NOT opt for the sommelier’s pairings for wines. Do a couple of well-thought-out half-bottles instead). We also had a good meal (albeit with a group) at Restaurant Cuvée. I could easily see this as a romantic restaurant. Maybe I have a great imagination...

      I have done reviews of all of these. A search of this board should yield them all, so I will refrain from posting the URLs.

      New Orleans is a very romantic city. I can find it at a curb-side table at Café du Monde, or at the finest “white table cloth” restaurant in the City.



      Restaurant August
      301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

      Stella Restaurant
      1032 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

      Commander's Palace Restaurant
      1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

      Cuvee Restaurant
      322 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

      9 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Add Herbsaint to Hunt's recs. La Boca and Riomar are good but a couple of notches down from the others.

        1. re: JazzyB

          Wow, gotta' do La Boca. It has gotten some great recs. from some worthy folk. I've never dined there, and must correct that soon.


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Hunt, La Boca is casual, quite small and inexpensive. Entrees are in $20 range. It is an Argentinian style steakhouse offering different cuts: skirt, flank hangar... We like the skirt (without the skin). So flavorful it needs nothing. They also offer it with the skin which is crispy and served well done only. We ordered the flank and found it inedible due to the pervasive pineapple flavor. Their handcut fries with parsley and garlic easily serve two and are very good. We are not impressed with the apps. although, word is that the gnocchi (an entree) is excellent. We plan to split an order for an app. BTW, Adolpho Garcia also owns Riomar. Inexpensive as well, offering Spanish influenced seafood and tapas.

        2. re: Bill Hunt

          Hi Hunt,
          Thanks for the suggestions. I think we'll try Commanders Palace on our anniversary and Stella the following night.

          Any suggestions for breakfast on Sunday, on the early side, before we head out to Natchez?

          Also, I noticed on your post from last spring that you stayed at the Ritz. I am wondering what you thought of it as we are choosing between there and the Windsor Court.

          1. re: roxhills

            If you don't mind driving up St. Charles to the Riverbend, about a twenty minute drive from FQ but very scenic, then head to Refuel Sunday morning. Very good food, fantastic coffee, and you don't smell like a diner when you leave.

            There are probably ten places to eat breakfast between the FQ and Refuel but I think it's worth it. They don't open until 9 on weekends though. If you've planned on getting out of town earlier, maybe just some beignets and cafe au lait at cafe du monde. It's nice early in the morning.

            Have a great trip!

            1. re: lawstudent

              There are a lot of places for breakfast and brunch closer to you in the Quarter, and in my opinion, better options than going uptown to a coffee shop, even if Refuel is nice.

              Cafe du Monde is a must if you like bengiets, but that can be for a late night or anytime snack as well as breakfast.

              Marigny Brasserie on Frenchman has a jazz brunch on Sunday - I've never eaten there but the menu looks great.

              Elizabeth's on Gallier is a casual place about a mile from the Quarter, and we go there regularly. They have fried boudin balls, praline bacon, and lots of great dishes. The only thing I don't love about the it is the coffee, but I recommend it highly despite that. They open at 8 am.

              My friend loves Croissant D'Or, and I love what she's brought to me from there - it's a pastries/coffee/cafe kind of place on Ursulines. I have looked in, and it's very charming - and I think there is a courtyard and I think they open early, but not certain

              Brennan's on Royal also has brunch starting at 9 am. I've never been there, but menu looks good.

              Congratulations to you both, and I think the dinner choices you've made are great.

              1. re: extra_fancy

                Not into breakfst/brunch but have dined at Marigny Brassiere and Brennans. Neither are very good. Marigny Brassiere's menu does indeed sound good but does not deliver..Gave Brennans several chances, the last, was our last.

            2. re: roxhills


              I always enjoy The Coffee Pot on St. Peter St. for breakfast. They have never let me down, though service was "odd" last trip.

              As far as the Ritz goes - great service, nice rooms, mediocre food (though it really sounded good on the menu) and a cranking bar.

              Have never stayed at the Windsor Court, but had a really unfortunate dining experience for wife's birthday at the Grill Room. Lovely venue, but in those days they had no concept of good service. Still have a comp'ed meal there, but have never been back - too many great restaurants. My experience was so long ago as to not be viable nowadays. Probably many GMs, chefs and who know who else?


              Coffee Pot Restaurant
              714 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116

              1. re: roxhills

                Try Blue Plate Cafe for breakfast.