Full Menu at the Bar in NOLA? (Also, best apps/small plates? desserts?)
A friend and I are visiting New Orleans and are planning one night's dinner as a "progressive" style dinner. In other words, we'll go to maybe 3 restaurants and order appetizers or small plates at one, share an entree at another and then dessert at a third (or maybe small plates at two restaurants and dessert at a third?). This allows us to try out a bunch of restaurants in one night.
Anyway, in order not to take up a table to just order small amounts of food, we like to eat at the bar.
Any suggestions of good restaurants that would allow us to eat at the bar?
And where would you go (and what would you order) for:
1) Appetizers/small plates? Entree?
You can try Bourbon House. It's got a pretty good selection, and they encourage the bar food trade. A little pricey. There's also Desire or Acme, if you just want to roll in and eat oysters.
My favorite desserts in town are at either Rio Mar (tres leches, banana empanadas, flan) or La Boca (caramelized condensed milk crepes). Not surprisingly, both places are owned by the same person. You might also think about the bread pudding soufflee [sp] at Commander's. I also like the parfaits, vanilla malts, and white-chocolate-lavender hot chocolate at Sucre and ice cream at Creole Creamery (cash only). Oh, the apple pie at g.w. fins is really good, too.
I will second N.O.Food on Creole Creamery. Rich and delicious ice cream in lots of interesting flavors. Also, right near Creole Creamery is La Crepe Nanou. I am a big fan of theirs; they have great dessert crepes in particular. Also Angelo Brocato's has a good selection of Italian pastries and they have good spumoni too.
As for the best small plates/bar foods there are others here that can point you in a much direction than I can (I'm still relatively new and learning about these places myself), but there is always sushi I suppose. And there is good sushi to be found in all parts of New Orleans.
When I visit New Orleans, I love the Palace Cafe on Canal. I haved dined alone there, at the bar, and they have always treated me very well. Their appetizers are seasonal, so I can't make any specific recommendations, although i recall substantial portions and reasonable prices. Seafood is a strength. I believe they will also serve entrees at the bar.
It's a beautiful room and one bonus in the bar area is that there is a row of bar seating that is along a glass wall that let's you watch what is going on in the kitchen, if that interests you.
You might also like them for dessert because they do a tableside preparation of bananas foster, complete with flambe.