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A native offering guidance to visitors of my fine city.

nolabird Jan 1, 2009 07:42 AM

I stumbled across chow hounds while researching a bakery in the Metairie area. I am a born and bred New Orleans native who has been a food and beverage director for several upscale hotel/restaurants. I am also a sommelier. So here are my favorite picks of the city!

Fine Dining:
Bayona (also very affordable)
Upperline***(Can go dressy casual)
Brennan's (for brunch)
The Pelican Club

Le Crepe Nanou (my absolute favorite restaurant in the city. Local favorite, don't take reservations. Worth the wait. Classic French-not creole cuisine)
Cafe Minh
Jaque Imo's (Kick ass local food, flavor and fun)
Camelia Grill
Pascale's Manale (bbq shrimp)

Stay away from these overpriced/overrated spots:
The New Orleans Grill @ Windsor Court Hotel
Dickie Brennans Steak House
Muriel's on Jackson Square (guaranteed to disapoint)
Bistro 38

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    nolabird RE: nolabird Jan 1, 2009 07:55 AM

    I forgot Bon Ton Cafe on Magazine st. in the CBD. Not to be confused with the bar on Magazine Uptown-which is coincidentally a fun place to hang out.

    5 Replies
    1. re: nolabird
      Hoc RE: nolabird Jan 1, 2009 01:15 PM

      What do you like at Bon Ton?

      1. re: Hoc
        mrsfury RE: Hoc Jan 1, 2009 06:53 PM

        When I go I order the crab au gratin with Bon Ton salad & house dressing and bread pudding for dessert. Everything there is great. Lunch can run you about $35 but it's worth every penny.

        1. re: mrsfury
          Hoc RE: mrsfury Jan 3, 2009 03:29 PM

          I tried it. Salad was OK, nothing special, though the Creole Mustard Dressing was good. Crab Au Gratin had too much sugar in it, and the sauce was watery, but the crab was fresh. And the Bread pudding was average. Too much whiskey in the sauce, which (combined with the crab au gratin) left me with heartburn after the meal. $80 for the two of us without wine.

          In all, we had much better meals in NOLA for the same or less price. I don't think I'll be going back.

          1. re: Hoc
            mrsfury RE: Hoc Jan 4, 2009 05:28 PM

            Weird. I've never had a watery, sugary version of the crab au gratin. The whiskey sauce sounds about right. Sorry you didn't like it.

            1. re: Hoc
              expatorleanian RE: Hoc Jan 16, 2009 12:44 PM

              I'm not crazy about the Crab Au Gratin there -- the sherry or whatever it is in there is distracting to me. But I haven't found a whiskey sauce with too much whiskey. I love their bread pudding.

      2. p
        Plano Rose RE: nolabird Jan 1, 2009 01:39 PM

        I like Muriel's Was not at all disappointed the two times I've been.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Plano Rose
          edible complex RE: Plano Rose Jan 1, 2009 01:53 PM

          agree, Muriel's did not disappoint on a recent pre-theatre meal.

        2. edible complex RE: nolabird Jan 1, 2009 01:55 PM

          what is Bistro 38?

          2 Replies
          1. re: edible complex
            Hungry Celeste RE: edible complex Jan 2, 2009 06:53 AM

            Can't say that I've heard a peep about it. Is it new?

            1. re: Hungry Celeste
              edible complex RE: Hungry Celeste Jan 2, 2009 08:25 AM

              I saw that website, but have never seen the place advertised. since Dominique left Dominique's, I wonder if this is new, or if not, is he still there or if this was a license or consulting agreement.

          2. rp1760 RE: nolabird Jan 4, 2009 03:37 PM

            Thank you very much for your post! I am coming to New Orleans in May for a graduation, and will have two non-family days to splurge. August, Galatoire's and Herbsaint were my top three options. Do you not like Herbsaint?

            4 Replies
            1. re: rp1760
              N.O.Food RE: rp1760 Jan 4, 2009 04:18 PM

              Herbsaint is fine.

              1. re: rp1760
                JazzyB RE: rp1760 Jan 6, 2009 08:14 AM

                I also like Herbsaint. Keep in mind this is an "opinion" board and being in the rest. business, a native or a frequent diner neither qualifies one as an expert nor does it insure our tastes will coincide with yours.

                1. re: JazzyB
                  rp1760 RE: JazzyB Jan 6, 2009 03:49 PM


                  1. re: JazzyB
                    Hoc RE: JazzyB Jan 16, 2009 10:25 AM

                    I thought the food (what little of it I tried) at Herbsaint was good. Had the spaghetti appetizer (a "deconstructed" carbonara) and the short rib appetizer. Both well done and just over $10 per plate.

                2. p
                  Poeticalmath RE: nolabird Jan 16, 2009 10:30 AM

                  I'm a definitely put this on the my list of places to try when i get out there

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