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Jan 19, 2009 08:05 AM

upscale new orleans restaurant with live jazz

what restaurant with the best food to entertain 40-50 people and have live jazz in the french quarter (or close by). can be as high as $125 per head.

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  1. Arnaud's does a great job with large groups and has live jazz!

    7 Replies
    1. re: pizzajunkie

      Just be aware the food and sevice in the jazz bar at Arnaud's isn't all that great.

      1. re: FoodChic

        I heard you can order off the same full menu from Arnaud's. You think the food and service isn't great or just the service?

        1. re: montzy

          Okay, so here is my experience:

          When my DH and I visited New Orleans, about 13 years ago, we had a lovely and memorable meal in the main dining room in Arnaud's. The service was amazing, and my steak with béarnaise and fried oysters is something I still remember today. So, when we'd visit we'd always make time for a trip to Arnaud's. But overtime we noticed the food didn't seem quite as good, or memorable as the previous visit.

          So, one trip we thought we'd try the Jazz Bistro for a change of pace. The Jazz Bistro is "business casual" and so we dressed appropriately. I had on a nice summer dress and my husband had slacks and a jacket. We sat at our table only to notice that there were patron's there in shorts, men in tank tops, tennis shoes, and women wearing not much of anything. Now, don't go thinking I'm a snob, I'm not. I expect to see as much when visiting a bar, or a casual establishment, but NOT in a business casual environment. We watched in astonishment as they allowed a large group of sweaty, overly drunk, and loud bourbon street walkers into the place. This was not what we intended our evening to be.

          When it came time to order, it was chaos. We couldn't keep our waiter's attention, our food took forever, and when it did come it was on cheep, cracked plates with zero presentation. And it took two attempts to get our poor quality steak done properly.

          Oh, and I almost forgot the Jazz band. They we're virtually non-existent. They'd play a couple of songs and disappear for at least 30 mins.

          My DH complained to our waiter and the manager about the entire evening. Eating there is not cheap, and there is an experience and ambience that most people would expect. Of course, the waiter and the manager could have cared less about what we thought. DH told them to remove the Business Casual dress code from their dress requirements and replace it with 'anything goes."

          This was about seven years ago. Needless to say, we've never been back.
          There are just too many wonderful establishments that really care about their patrons and the dining experience, not just packing them in off the street.

          If you were to make arrangements in advance with such a large group, you may have a different experience. Honestly, I don't know where else to go for dinner and get live jazz. If I were you, I'd look into the advice of edible complex and look into a private dining room and bring in your own jazz band. I think you'd have a much better would your group.

          1. re: FoodChic

            That does NOT paint a lovely picture. As we've never done that side of the restaurant, only the main dining room, thank you for the insight.

            On the "other side," things have always been great. We've hosted several dinners there, and all have been wonderful. I guess that I am very glad to NOT have gone for the jazz.


            1. re: FoodChic

              We dined in the jazz bistro just a few weeks ago and it was absolutely fabulous. I'm still dreaming about the veal tournedos chantal I had. I must admit, we were all disappointed by the oysters rockefeller, but that was quickly overlooked in favor of the wonderful atmosphere. It was crowded and somewhat lively, but no one was dressed or acting inappropriately. The servers were slightly harried, but very helpful. The jazz band with whom you were so disappointed was phenomenal on our visit. They gave each table individual attention and we were quite taken with them. I would definitely encourage you to give it another chance. Given my recent visit, I would say a lot has changed in seven years.

              1. re: stylenola

                I'm really glad you had a better expereince than we did. Few things irritate me more than bad dinning when on vacation. Sounds like your evening was lovely.

                We probably still never go back to Arnaud's. There are so many wonderful places in New Orleans that there is no excuse for a bad evening....especially when you've notified the server that you are not happy and nothing changes.

        2. re: pizzajunkie

          Thanks. Arnaud's is the only place I came up with too. Usually it's either good food or good music...not both...except for Sunday brunch.

        3. you could also look at many private dining rooms at any number of restaurants and bring in your own jazz band/trio.

          another thought would be The Westin at Canal Place with their courtyard overlooking the river.
          also call Muriel's. for something more casual, the courtyard at House of Blues is great fun for a private party.

          5 Replies
          1. re: edible complex


            Along similar lines, what about getting the courtyard at the Ritz-Carlton. I was less impressed by their "fine-dining," but was actually WOW'ed by room service there (odd that it should be that way). The courtyard, is adjacent to their jazz bar, and is a lovely venue. The doors open from the jazz bar to the courtyard. Might be worth a call.


            Ritz-Carlton-New Orleans
            921 Canal St, New Orleans, LA

            1. re: Bill Hunt

              My husband is a member of the Library Lounge there, and we have ordered cocktails and wonderful appetizers through the Lounge and sat in the fragrant courtyard as the jazz wafted through. I believe that they do offer a menu similiar to the room service menu in the courtyard and the cocktails are fabulous! Jeremy Davenport is wonderful and he plays there, but I am certain if you chose another venue he would possibly be able to play there as well. We first heard him in St. Louis, after Katrina when he was at Busch's Grove in Ladue and we went every weekend to hear him. We have also been to a wedding reception at the Ritz where they had jazz and food set up in "stations" which was quite enjoyable.

              1. re: ScarlettNola

                You know, I've thought about this post. I think that you have a plan here. OK, the higher-end restaurant, on the other side of the bar did let me down, but I know that the kitchen can delvier. What better place than that courtyard with the jazz just through the doors?

                Good call,


            2. re: edible complex

              I think EC has the right idea about hiring your own band/trio.
              A few months back I caught Tom McDermott (piano) & Evan Christopher (clarinet) at Snug Harbor. I really very much enjoyed this duo - so much that I have made an effort to catch them a few times more (and McDermott solo at Feelings). I also love the James Rivers Movement. I've checked into it for my own party & both are available for private events. The two very different - google them & see what you like!

              1. re: Isabella

                most sales depts. will have the contact info for booking entertainment for their venues.
                I've booked groups before for fundraisers and private events, and most places will help coordinate the logistics.

            3. is the Palm Court dead and gone or what???

              2 Replies
              1. re: Big Cicada

                The Palm Court is still around, but I sure wouldn't go for the food.

                1. re: Isabella

                  If the music is really the point though, you're looking for Palm Court.

              2. Antoine's is a great restaurant for private parties as well. Held a corporate function there last year for 200 and everyone was VERY pleased. Service and food were both excellent.