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Jan 15, 2009 06:45 AM

Comment on my final plans before I book?

Some many restaurants so little time!!!! That said...Okay after much thought, research and considering all imput here is what I think I will book.

Friday: Lunch at Lilette, picked Lilette because it is very close to our B&B in the Garden District. I could have went with Martinique Grill or Petite Grocery...Wise Choice???

Saturday: Dinner at Herbsaint

Sunday: Lunch at Bayona

Sunday: Dinner at Brigtens or Dick & Jenny's???

I still haven't made reservations so fellow hounds what do you think have I made good choices? Also do you think taking the trolley and walking to Brigtens or Dick & Jennys is safe, I have done it in the past but I hear mixed things about the safeness of walking at night in certain areas of NOLA. It will only be my husband and my self.


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  1. I would go with Brigtsen's and I have never felt that it was an issue to ride the trolley and walk to the restaurant.

    1. my last lunch at Lilette was fantastic. though I have never been disappointed at Martinque, and love their courtyard weather permitting.

      go w/Brigtsen's. or even closer to the streetcar line, One Restaurant in the Riverbend.

      1. Definitely Brigtsen's. And I've always felt safe in that neighborhood (Dick and Jenny's site is dicier).

        3 Replies
        1. re: aa1271

          Brigtsen's is not open on Sunday or Monday.

            1. re: mortalcoil

              God I can't wait until I have enough money to eat at Stella again. I need another stimulus check.

        2. I would definitely add Castamento's for the best oyster stew and oyster poor boy.

          Castamento's has been a fixture on Magazine street since 1919 and still remains entirely family run and owned. The entire restaurant is covered in ceramic tile, inside and out and the restaurant is “cleaned” with a hose. The secret to going to Casamento’s is to be there as soon as it opens, otherwise there is a line that snakes outside the door and what could be a long wait.

          The oysters are shucked to order - we each had a dozen - delicious

          Seafood Gumbo, chock full of shrimp and crab

          Oyster Stew - our friend loved this so much he ordered another bowl.

          But it is the oyster loaf that sets Casamento’s apart from every other restaurant.

          The oysters are dipped in corn flour and fried in cast-iron skillets with lard. The batter is so light and crisp that you have none of that leaden over-breaded taste. The bread is not your usual poorboy loaf, but something called pan bread, much akin to Texas toast - very thick slices of buttered bread.

          Casamento’s closes during the summer as the Casamento family feels that the oysters are just not as good during the warm weather.

          Run don’t walk to Casamento’s.

          Pics here:

          15 Replies
          1. re: lizziee

            This might sound sacreligious, but I have only eaten oysters rockerfeller, fried oysters and one time oysters mingette (spelling) at Commanders.The only reason I ate the ones at Commanders was the fact I was at the kitchen table having the 7 course chef's dinner and it was one of the coures. I am not a fan of oysters. I love oysters rockerfeller, ,love, love them,the one time I have had fried was because a friend made them as a course when we were invited to dinner at his home. The fried ones were ok and the ones at Commander were good, too. I just don't see myself ordering anything other then rockerfeller. That said, I love frog legs, escargot, sweetbreads, foie gras, veal, rack of lamb, lobster, shrimp, duck, just not a big oyster fan. So i guess any place with a french undertone is the place for me. I also have never had a po boy or a muffalatta. I do not really care for olives either. I hope I don't sound picky. I was considering Gautreaus...any thoughts on that restaurant? So it is looking like, Lilette, Bayona, Gautreau, and Hersaint, which would mean I would have to give up Brigtens. I have been to Brigtens before and Bayona, and Lilette, never Herbsaint or Gautreau. I am coming back to NOLA in November with friends for 4 nights and plan on Stella and August for birthday dinners then.

            1. re: kittykatkid

              You truly have some of the best restaurants in NOLA on your list. These are some of my favorites and you should be very happy with your choices.

              1. re: wadelit

                Well I am happy to hear that you think my choices are right on. I have booked Lilette for lunch on Friday at noon. Then we will go to Herbsaint at 7:30 Friday evening. Saturday 12:30 lunch at Bayona and I requested downstairs. Then Saturday 9:00 at Gautreau...the unfortunately home on Sunday, a fairly early flight, so I will anxiously await my November return!! Thanks Hounds and Bon Appeitte!!

                1. re: kittykatkid

                  Why Bayona's? That isn't a New Orleans restaurant (just a restaurant in NO) and that type food can be gotten much better in many other cities. Stick with real NO food.

                  1. re: drwebre

                    what do you consider real NO food?
                    where would you suggest?
                    would you consider Lilette, Herbsaint and Gautreau's real NO food?
                    just curious why you singled out Bayona?

                    1. re: drwebre

                      I am curious about your comments on Bayona. Chef Spicer established her career in New Orleans. Now her exact menu might not be “old-school” New Orleanian, but her heritage shows through, plus the influence of New Orleans cuisine on her take on almost all dishes.

                      I can only go by several visits early on, and then one recent one, but I was impressed. So were my guests, one, a native New Orleanian, with two children in the business, and another, who has live in New Orleans most of his adult and professional life. They love it.

                      Is there a particular problem, that I have missed?


                    2. re: kittykatkid

                      We were extremely disappointed at Gautreaus. The dishes were well executed but all were bland with poorly matched accompanyments. How this place gets such buzz is beyond me. It's "the emperor's new clothes".

                      1. re: JazzyB

                        I am a New Yorker, I have eaten in some of the finest restaurant s in Manhattan and I have traveled all over the world, and my love of food is why I like to travel.I love food, all kinds. So I can understand what you mean when you say eat NO food in NO. That said. I like cajan, creole food, but I love food with a french flair, so why not eat at fine retaurants in NO that serve french influenced food? I mean NO food has a french base right? I am going to bayona for the swetbreads!!! As for gautreau's it got good reviews and want to give it a try. I heard Herbsaint has good frog legs so I figured I would give it a try. I hope I like all my choices, When I go back in November for a longer stay I will include more creole /cajan food in my choices, this is a only two night stay, I hope I am happy wiyh my decisions. I leave Friday and i will report back, good, bad happy sad!!!. Thanks for your comments.

                        1. re: kittykatkid

                          for just 2 nights, you have a great lineup. I've eaten my way thru a lot of towns.

                          1. re: edible complex

                            Thanks, I thought it was a good line up, and as I first many choices so little time. Next time I will definitely return to Brigtens, and try August. Also hit the Cameila Grill for some good old fashioned greasy burgers and a shake. Maybe I will even try a Po Boy!!!

                          2. re: kittykatkid

                            That's why we tried Gautreaus. Hope you enjoy it more than we did.

                            1. re: JazzyB

                              What a disappointment. Did you eat off the menu or did you eat off a special's offering. I really hope we fare better, it was a toss up between Gautreaus and Patios, I hope I don't regret the pick!! i will report when I get back.

                              1. re: kittykatkid

                                We ordered off the menu. As I said before, bland as in no discernable seasoning and poorly composed plates. Patois is much better. August is better still (and open Sunday). Price points are slighlty higher for food that is a big step up. Arguably our best.

                              2. re: JazzyB

                                We have been following Geautreau's from afar. Even in Phoenix, they have been getting a lot of great press. Now, we do follow New Orelans restaurants, more than the normal Phoenician, but still, much of this has been national and international. Still, the word on the street seems to support your observations.

                                We have to try it for ourselves to see which is right, the PR, or the folk, who have acutally dined there and know their food. Somehow, I think I know where this coin will fall.

                                Recently, we did Mama's Fish House on Maui, for the first time. On the Elsewhere in America board there was polarized sentiment - 50% loved it and 50% hated it. For us, it was excellent and we will be back, even staying near-by, so we don't have to drive after indulging in their wine list. Now, this is different. It's the food press that is in love, and most of the CH community, that has yet to find the magic. Maybe the debates on the Pelican Club would be closer to the Mama's debates.

                                Still, we must try it, and I'll attempt to keep an open mind. After all, it is about the food, and not the press.


                              3. re: kittykatkid

                                My sentiments exactly. This is not meant to disparage the food heritage of New Orleans, as I love it, and partake a couple of times per year. Still, to me, it is about great dining, and nothing more, and nothing less.

                                While I would recommend some authentic New Orleans cuisine on your trip, there are other venues that offer up some very interesting and enjoyable fare. To omit them, because they are not "authentic," or similar would be to do yourself a total disservice. While some might not be quite as "cutting edge" as one might find in a more cosmopolitan city, they will be very good, none the less. Better than some restaurant of similar fare in NYC? Maybe, and maybe not. It is not a competition, only an attempt to furnish a visitor with really good restaurants, at which to dine.

                                My suggestion would be to hit the high points, regardless of cuisine, and later concentrate on some local aspect. Now, with those "high points," you are likely to also experience some great examples of New Orleans cuisine, but do not be afraid of experiencing all that the City has to offer.

                                Enjoy and have a wonderufl dining experience,