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Jan 1, 2009 07:42 AM

A native offering guidance to visitors of my fine city.

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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  1. 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: Hoc

        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

          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

            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

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: Plano Rose

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

            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              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.

          1. 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

                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

                    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.

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