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Jan 22, 2009 05:57 AM

visit with one dinner only

My plans have changed for my upcoming visit, I'm only free for one dinner, and I'm by myself.

I'm not looking for overly expensive or fancy and want a true taste of the city.

I'm thinking about Cochon.....had considered One, Brigsten's, Luke or Patois.


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  1. Since you made the statement about not looking for overly expensive or fancy . . .
    I think I'd have to go with Brigsten's.

    BTW, just curious . . . you mention plans changing & now being solo as well.
    I wonder if you might prefer to have a dining companion?

    There are other local New Orleans food forums that often will have dinners & if you visited one of them & said you'd like someone to join you for dinner - you'd probably easily get a dining companion. We're all nice & friendly locals. You did ask for thoughts! That's exactly what popped into my head!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Isabella

      I would go to One and sit at the bar. They are very friendly and the crabcakes are to die for!!

      1. re: Isabella

        Brigsten's is my top choice as well. It's a cab ride from the Quarter, but well worth the trip.
        Wonderful fresh fish, lovingly prepared and a great wine list.

        1. re: Isabella

          Isabella, can you tell me what the other forums are please. Am always looking for a dinner partner in NO.

          1. re: Tonto

            Tonto, you may recall a poster - Uptown Kevin. He has a site with a list of the food forums. Google this: nolafoodie food links. click on food links and there you are!

            BTW, rcburli . . . while I like Cochon just fine, it's not what I would call a true taste of the city. So what are you leaning toward?

            1. re: Isabella

              I'm actually leaning toward Cochon and going against my earlier desire for a "true taste of the city." While Brigsten's is great I'm sure, I like the idea of the small plates so I can try a lot of things, including the boucherie plate, etc.
              I like the modern spin on the menu at Cochon.

              I'm going to get a po-boy at Johnny's for lunch the next day and may get a muffuletta for the road on Sunday.

        2. if you really want a TRUE taste of the city i would have to agree with the Brigtsen's reco.....its everything you are looking for and Frank Brigtsen is old school

          5 Replies
          1. re: Big Cicada

            Ditto Brigtsen's. One and Patois are good but not really represenative of NOLA cuisine. Just a thought, the food bar at Emeril's.

            1. re: JazzyB

              haven't been to Emeril's in a while; what have you had there that makes it representative of NOLA cuisine?
              I don't see the bar menu online; is there one?
              I enjoyed Emeril's for years, but it fell off my radar. think I read that you've eaten there a lot lately. can you start a new thread w/menu recs? thnx.

              my last Emeril meal was a private one at a fundraiser with Emeril serving and cooking for our table in the kitchen. I had a personalized, signed plate from that evening, but sadly K-flood washed the writing off. the menu was outstanding!

              1. re: edible complex

                I was referring to the "food "bar as an option for a solo diner. Don't know if they have a bar menu. Re: NOLA cuisine, the menu usually has bbque shrimp, a gumbo, daily oyster prep (we get an order every visit, always fried, fluffy and light, always different sauces and/or relishes...), Andouille crusted redfish, bread pudding. He uses local seafood and often puts a bit of a NO twist on his plates. I recently had a (special) Harris Ranch ribeye with stilton, creole meuniere, topped with a crawfish concoction. IMO, the menu is about as New Orleans as Commander's. NO stuff aside, I'd go just for the Abita rootbeer glazed bacon (pork belly) salad. Try Emeril's again I think you'll enjoy it.

                Bon appetit,

                1. re: JazzyB

                  Good Lard...that bacon salad sounds good!

                2. re: edible complex

                  I'd also like to see a thread on Emeril's, with some recent observations. For several years, after they opened, we dined there on multiple occasions and had good food, great service and some fun wines. That was, however, pre-K, and we've not managed to fit them back into the rotation.

                  Unfortunately, Chef Lagasse gets a lot of bad rap on this board for other reasons, than the food and service. OTOH, I am afraid that I might give him points for positive things, outside of the restaurant. Not a good thing.

                  I'd love to hear about any recent trips there, especially by the locals, though reports by visitor would be more than welcome. When we're next over, I WILL dine there, and share.


              1. re: chefcman

                Bayona is great, but I would put it in the category of expensive and somewhat fancy

                1. re: bnemes3343

                  A less expensive option is Mandinas on Canal. A family restaurant that serves most every "typical" NOLA dish. Not gourmet or exciting but a better than average representation. Jacques Imos is more fun and funky. If you stick to just an entree (they all come with a salad and 2 sides plus garlic butter topped corn muffins) you"ll have an inexpensive taste of NO. The addition of other courses raises the tab to the point where you can dine far better in a nicer rest. for about the same price.

                2. re: chefcman

                  Bayona's is not New Orleans and I have had their type food much better in other cities. Go to a NO restaurant like Galatoire's or the fish at Broussard's. Note JazzyB's post above.

                3. Not pricey or fancy, and a true taster of New Orleans food, I agree with Mandina's also. Do you have transportation? Suburb wise, Fury's, Mr Ed's, are 2 other places that come to mind.

                  1. Maybe I'm missing something since I've only been to Brigsten's once, but really - how happy would a solo diner be there? I was there just before Thanksgiving and as I recall:

                    1) It's a trek by cab.
                    2) The rooms are smallish and filled with couples cooing in rather dim light. I can only vouch for the front room - but the back by the kitchen looked even darker to me - we had a table popping the question across and a five top of dressed down TV production types at the nearest (only) 5-top (I couldn't help overhearing their conversation about the new Red Cameras). I saw no solo diners. Did I miss a lively bar somewhere in the restauant? There was no bar that I could see (we were brought cocktails while we waited in the hallway/reception area).
                    3) Didn't rcburli's post say "I'm not looking for overly expensive or fancy"? This was, again, just in my opinion, fairly expensive - and you can add that cab price right on top.

                    Anyway - I eat out alone often in many cities and this would not be a place I could see myself enjoying a solo meal. Just one man's opinion - there are so many other places with nicer atmosphere for the solo diner where you can get a "true tast of the city", IMHO.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Pigeage

                      Of course my mind might change again, but I'm back for Cochon. I agree with you.
                      Interesting article in NY Times tipped the scales for me.

                      1. re: rcburli

                        I'd have no problem dining alone in Brigsten's but that's just me.

                        I think you'll have a great meal at Cochon, it just doesn't fit the description of what you wanted. I'm not saying it's super expensive, but it's all relative anyway.
                        Have fun.

                        1. re: Isabella

                          Cochon was great.
                          I sat right up at the grill and had a great time with the cooks. Everyone was very friendly and everything I had was tasty.
                          Fried boudin balls, hog's head cheese, roasted red fish and eggplant and shrimp dressing.
                          Fun atmosphere, perfect spot for a solo diner.

                          1. re: rcburli

                            Thank you for reporting. We also had a great time, with just the few, mentioned reservations (not the ones you make on Open Table, or via telephone). Very good food, and excellent service, with a small, but very useful wine list, that omitted many of the "usual suspects."

                            Glad you had a good meal,


                            1. re: rcburli

                              Excellent, that's what we all like to hear!
                              Thanks for visiting our fine city & please send all your friends! ;-)

                        2. re: Pigeage

                          I do not think of Brigtsen's as a solo dining haven, but then am always there with local family, so I don't really know. Love the food, and the service, but it's just not where I'd send folk to first.

                          I wish that I had plenty of great recs., but am seldom dining in NOLA solo. I *think* that I'd head to the bar at Restaurant August, were I in that position.