Another Christmas question: are we crazy?
Seems like there are several of us making plans for celebrating in N.O. this year! We have late reservations (Stella!) on Christmas Eve followed by midnight Mass, so are planning on sleeping in late on the 25th. We'll be renting an apartment for the week, and had the idea of eating in, instead of fighting for a scarce reservation, but are not sure whether this is doable or not. I've seen a few posts below for good takeout places -- are there any near the Marigny area we should focus on? How about other (not-necessarily-native) gourmet groceries in the area, for items like caviar etc? Will these places even be open on the 24th?
As for the menu choices (assuming this is not a totally crazy idea): what will do best the day after it's purchased: we're thinking jambalaya, etouffee etc. might even improve with an overnight, like good chili does. Thoughts on that? Or anything to avoid (other than the obvious - fried stuff, etc.)?
There are a number of places around the city that can do a pick up dinner but I'm sure you have to sign up in advance. Whole Foods, Martin's Wine Cellar, and Langenstein's would all be good choices I bet. Not too close to the Marigny but no more than a 20 minute drive.
If you go with Whole Foods, be sure to get the orange mashed sweet potatoes with dried cranberries. They are amazing.
I find that many local foods get better the next day. Gumbo for example always tastes better the next day. Jambalaya on the other hand usually decreases with age. Although sometimes I have had good results in sauteing old jambalaya in a cast iron skillet with a lot of butter. The resulting bottom layer is not unlike good paella. But not sure what type of equipment you will have.
As far as gourmet groceries in the Marigny with caviar, I think it would be easier to find a reservation on Christmas Day. But you may want to look into the possibility of a place like Langensteins, Dorignacs, Martins Wine Cellar, or St. James who would have those types of items (both things like gumbo (but no gumbo at St. James) and upscale groceries) and whether or not they would deliver a care package to your apartment on the 24th...I would imagine, that those places would be open on Christmas Eve.
Hope that helps somewhat. Thanks for coming.