Mila or Louisiana Bistro
Headed to NO this weekend -- going to Gautreau's one night and trying to decide on the other dinner. Any feelings about Mila vs. Louisiana Bistro (specifically, the "Feed Me" plan)? Thanks for your comments.
I went to Louisiana Bistro in October. The "feed me" option is only available if the entire table wants it. Just so you know.
The food was very good, but lacked that certain, intangible 'thing' that makes it great. In any other city in the world, it would be an essential dining experience, but in New Orleans, not so much. I put in the class of places I wouldnt mind eating at again, but only after I'd been to a few other places that I'd like to try.
I havent been to Mila yet, but from other posts, I'd say it's more likely to be what you really want.
I'll second this comment. Our hotel concierge recommended La. Bistro last April. I remember thinking I had never heard of it, but we gave it a shot. Tasty food, pleasant service, somewhat informal and low-key. If it were a restaurant in my neighborhood, I'd probably go every few months. But for an out-of-towner, the experience as a whole lacked 'oomph' or whatever you want to call it. So it's a good place for people who don't care about that stuff, and like I said the food is good. I guess I'm also focusing on the atmosphere inside the restaurant... interestingly even though it is just the one street north of Bourbon it feels a world away, so that's a good thing, too.
I had a very average-below average meal at Mila. We had 8 people and we were told we had to do a set menu. Thats fine, they still did let us order a few other items that we saw on the menu that we wanted to try. We ordered some wine and they brought the wrong vintage. Before they could open or pour it, my buddy stopped them. Then "faking it" asked "isnt that vintage not as good?". They agreed with him and then took the wine away for us to order something else.
The first course was a salad. Exactly that. Lettuce and vinaigrette.
Then they let us add on some sweetbreads with grits and the famed deconstructed oyster rockafeller. The sweetbreads were great. the grits and demi went perfect. The bowls were licked clean. The oysters were bland, cool, the spinach was watery. It was like seeing Tom Cruise in person, only to realize that he is only 5'6". So dissapointing. 3 of the guests deemed the dish inedible with one of those spitting it out.
Then came the squash soup with seared diver scallop. Close your eyes and inagine yourself eating this. Well, thats exactly how it tasted. It was cream, squash, sage, scallop, Yawn...... You have all had it a million times before. No twist, no surprise, no imagination.
Then came a panko crusted drum with caulifluer puree. The fish was crusted and presented upside down, with the blood line still there, face up in all its amateurish glory. It was then that I knew for a fact that neither chef was there on that saturday evening. No chef, no matter how careless or drunk they may be would have ever let that happen.
The restaurant was half full or empty, depending on your own disposition, and it did take forever for each course to come out.
I say forget both places and go to La Petite Grocery. That was the option I didnt take. Dont make the same mistake. Or call MILA and make sure one of the 2 chefs will be there.
My wife and I recently went to MILA and had one of the best meals we've had in recent experiences. The food was great and the service was attentive. We liked the look of the restaurant also. I'd place it in my top 5 NOLA restaurants.
Never heard of Louisiana Bistro, but MiLa is definitely worth a trip. My husband and I went there for dinner a couple of months ago and were very pleasantly surprised - nearly Restaurant August quality food at MUCH lower prices.
I think that the location hurts MiLa a bit, but the food totally makes up for it.
My wife and I went several months ago. We had the tasting menu, which was superb and a bottle of Champagne. Can't remember what all the courses were but they were all very good (New Orleans calibre). The deconstructed Oysters Rockefeller (we added that) sounds better than it is. With such good oyster dishes available here in NOLA, this one is nothing special - skip it. Service was very attentive - above average for a hotel and a little below New Orleans standards for fine dining. The pace was unusually slow (2.5 hrs for the meal) and it was a bit chilly in the restaurant. Overall, though, we enjoyed it and are going there for their New Orleans Wine and Food Experience Dinner on May 20th. More info on that at nowfe.com.
MiLa has handsdown the best lunch special in the city. Now it certainly isnt the cheapest, but for $20 you get a choice of soup or salad, fish or steak, and choice of two desserts. I went yesterday and had a superb Farmer's Market salad with sunflower seeds and a lemony vinaigrette. The portion was quite large for a starter salad but a very good option in the heat of now summer. Then a seared flat iron steak with fingerlings, mushrooms, and red wine demi. Then banana ice cream with cookie crumble. Good French Press Coffee. Service has minor hiccups, but it is things like bringing out a sugar caddy for coffee when there was already one on the table for ice tea. But if you get hung up about that stuff, you are missing the point.
MiLa's lunch is a great opportunity to try 5 star cooking at 2 star prices.