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Mar 1, 2009 08:03 AM

First visit needs fine tuning...

I’m planning for my first trip to NO this Friday March 6 and have been reading so many of the amazing insights of the local hounds. That being said, I still need some help: We are arriving Friday morning, will probably get to our hotel (Marriot on Canal) before 11 to drop off our bags. We will be very hungry; is it worth it to make a resy at Galatoire’s and eat upstairs since I’m not sure how long we’d have to wait on line to eat downstairs, or should I keep my noon resy @ Luke? Remember, I’ve never been to NOLA before and from what I’ve gathered on the board we really don’t have anything similar to this experience in NYC . Friday dinner I’m pretty sold on Mr. B’s.
On Sat, after Café Du Monde we’ll be taking the Garden District walking tour, ends around 1 (assuming it ends where it begins? @ Prytania near St. Charles)? Will this leave us enough time to head over to Casamento’s since lunch seems to end there at 2? If not, was thinking of Parasol’s, but any other ideas?
Sat eve planning on strolling the FQ to listen to music and maybe just eat at a bar, Coops seems to be highly recommended. How does it compare to Oliver’s?
Sunday Brunch: Marigny Brasserie? Has anyone been since the new chef arrived? I’m not a big egg eater, and after checking out the brunch menu looks like there’s not much else, may just do 2 apps. Any other ideas?
Thanks to everyone in advance, I cannot wait to get outta Gotham (although I heard you got some NYC weather recently...)

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  1. You have a good list.
    Go to Galatoire's. That's real New Orleans.
    You'll like Mr. B's.
    Try to get to Casamento's. If you are in the Garden District, you won't be too far away. It is around the 4000 block of Magazine. Get the oyster loaf (1/2 loaf is a lot) with butter, pickles, lemon.
    Yea, it actually got down into the high 30's not too long ago and snowed at least 0.25 inches. Choked up the whole city. Snow days and everything.
    Instead of Coop's (which I have never liked) Yo Mama's across from Pat O's on St. Peter boils their on crawfish at 1, 3, and 6pm. Great hamburgers, too.
    For brunch, try Pitunia's on St. Louis.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Panama Hat

      Isn't Casamento's closed on weekends? I may be wrong, but I don't think so.

      1. re: Plano Rose

        It is open Sat and closed Sun. In fact it is open in the evening on Thur, Fri, and Sat.

      2. re: Panama Hat

        Thanks Panama Hat. Will we be presentable in Galatoire's wearing not-so-fancy-just-got-off-the-plane clothes? No sneakers, but not dressed up.

        1. re: esyle

          You'll feel far more comfortable with slacks and blazer (w/necktie regardless of whether required at that time) and something comparable for the ladies. There may be someone eating in a golf shirt at 3:00 but he will be out-of-place.

          1. re: hazelhurst

            I agree completely. First, there are "dress-codes," and then there are clothes that one will be comfortable in. I'd fly in a blazer, and then add the tie, while you are in line, or in the cab/towncar on the way from the airport.

            Tip: if you are not flying FC with a hanger available, just turn you blazer inside out, pulling the shoulder pads out to their full extent. Fold the blazer upon itself and place atop your briefcase, or similar, in the overhead compartment. Unless it's linen, it will not wrinkle, and if anything presses down on it, or spills on it, no one will never know.



      3. IMO Luke is just ok. Go to Commander's for Fri. lunch. Good food, fun. Truly NOLA. Reserve the garden room. Like dining in the treetops plus 25 cent martinis. Khakis and a button down will work. Galatoire's stays open all day so they might also be a Sat. option. Forget dining upstairs. Jackets required for dinner, not lunch. No shorts. They are also open Sunday brunch. Jacket required. We've eaten many Sat. lunches there and husb. never felt uncomfortable business casual without a jacket. Mr. B's best : gumbo YaYa and barbque shrimp. Not a fan of Coop's.

        4 Replies
        1. re: JazzyB

          Commander's charged me $6 per martini last lunch there. be careful when ordering.

          1. re: edible complex

            I *thought* that they had special martini prices for lunch. Is that on just a few occasions, or special martinis? Just curious, as I'm an avowed wino.


            1. re: Bill Hunt

              i keep meaning to call CP; I drank the martini of the day as suggested by the waiter, so assumed it was part of the 'tini special. as is typical, my bar bill was more than the food...I too usually do wine, but the occasion that day was befitting the 'tinis.

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                yeah many of the brennans' do the martini lunch special -- but it's usually the house/well vodka, or from a select list of martinis. they are .05 at Bacco's.

          2. i like Parasol's; when they are "on" its the best RB poboy. shrimp is good but just standard. mix & match.

            re: coops & olvier's -- not a fan of either, but their fans do exist. on a sat nite i would take advantage of something much better...what that is depends on you :). many to choose the quarter and out. do you have wheels?

            2 Replies
            1. re: kibbles

              No wheels. Since we're doing a lot of sit down I just thought we'd do something more casual on Sat night, but am open to suggestions.

              1. re: esyle

                Olivier's is a lot more expensive than Coop's, and definitely "sit down." The two are not really comparable. Try the crawfish at Yo Mama's, or maybe head over to Frenchmen for music and drink your dinner.

            2. Galatoires does not take lunch reservations for the first floor, so you'll miss the fun experience of the main floor dinning. But if it's just the food you are after the second floor is just fine.

              Never had dinner at Mr. B's just brunch, so can't speak to that, but Casamento's is something you must do. They shut the doors promptly at 2:00 so try and make it early... best fried seafood in the city, and wonderful oysters...Yum!

              If you are staying in the quarter check out Fritzels for jazz it is on the corner of Bourbon and Dumaine. If you are set on doing dinner in the quarter, Coops isn't bad to get decent food without a big price tag, but you can do so much better. If you want more upscale you can take a look at GW Fins, Bayona, or Broussards.

              Now if you're willing to go just a bit outside of the quarter - that opens up a whole new world for the price of a short cab ride.,...

              6 Replies
              1. re: FoodChic

                Thanks, open to any and all suggestions. But being from NYC I'd like to stay w/food I can only get in NOLA.

                1. re: esyle

                  NOLA food is not just limited to the Vieux Carré. In fact, some of NOLA's best is outside the quarter.

                  1. re: esyle

                    FoodChic is correct regarding upstairs/downstairs at Galatoire's...upstairs is fine for things like Xmas parties and so forth but the real place is downstairs and if you are there for the first time then you should eat downstairs. Arriving Friday at mid-day puts you in the thick of the Very Trendy Friday Lunch. It is impossible to say if you'd be frozen out until mid-afternoon or if you could walk right up at, say, 1:00 and get a all depends on that particular day but the chances are it will be mid afternoon before you can get in. The restaurant is open from 11:30 AM until 9:00 PM throughout the day so you can always return anytime. It will be incredibly loud from 11:30 until at least 2:30 although you'd be surprised how quickly it can calm down. There will be several "Happy Birthday" songs---once one starts, they never end---and probably some misbehavior. Again, I argue for coat and tie no matter the hour nor matter how permissive the gate guardians may be. You cannot easily go back and dress up if you feel underdressed, but you can always take off a tie and jacket (but I argue against it....maintain standards.) Get to know your waiter and arrange a pace of lunch/dinner. This is not a place to "eat-and-leave." You should try to get to know it. you will find the place accomodating. If you eschew Friday--and you might be wella dvised to do so---then Saturday afternoon gives you lots of lingering time. Or Sunday.

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      Thanks for the detailed insight, will discuss w/my friend, have a feeling we're going to call an audible on this. And being that I'm not a guy dressing in a jacket an tie, a nice top and slacks is fine for women, correct?

                      1. re: esyle

                        don't worry, there's the rack of spongy sport jackets circa 1970 at the front door for those gents w/o coats, if you leave the coat at home.
                        no one will notice you're in the borrowed coat after about the first 4 martinis.

                        1. re: esyle

                          That should be fine...the ladies' attire will range from neat "business" to hats and gloves. Even if you opt to postpone untl Saturday you might want to peek inside on Friday to see what it is all about.

                  2. Another new place in a very old place is the Hermes Bar in Antoines. It fronts on St. Louis so you can go directly in without going into the restaurant. Beautiful place which will become a classic. Just opened the Friday before Mardi Gras.