HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >

Discussion

Why the Anti Antoines bias on the forum?

In 1861 my great great grandfather joined the confederate army in new orleans and Antoines was already 21 years old that blows my mind. If Antoines went out of business it would be a horrible terrible thing for new orleans. Having said all this why does it get slammed so much when its name is mentioned I really want to know. I know sometimes the place can be a little snobbish but they have some great food if you know how to order. Love Oysters Foch and chicken rochambeau and I defy any one here to say baked alaska isnt good. Let the comments begin.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. re: mikemill

      I've never been but hubby said it's highly overrated. I'd like to go to form my own opinion but he is usually right.

      1. I remember the time I ate there and had to use my cell phone to call the FOH to find our waiter to take the order. we were a party of 24...hard to miss us.

        1. The term "resting on their laurels" comes to mind. I don't care how much history a place has, if the food is no good, I don't eat there. However, there are some places with history that are still good. I go there instead.

          4 Replies
            1. re: joedontexan

              There's another historic restaurant in the FQ and it's a heckava lot better...it's called Galatoire's.

              1. re: joedontexan

                Generations of my family have celebrated special occasions at Antoine's. I love the place and want it to survive, but can't disagree that it's resting on its laurels.

            2. You make some very good points. Antoine's was my first "fine-dining" restaurant when I was about 5, or 6, so I have fond memories. We returned, from the Coast, for many excellent trips, though did dine at Galatoire's a bit more often later.

              When I lived in NOLA, Antoine's was still pretty good, but *seemed* to be slipping.

              Years went by, and we returned to NOLA for a visit, just pre-K. We did all of the Grand Dames of NOLA cuisine. I think that my reviews might still be on this board, or available via Google. Antoine's was tired, and in more than just one way. The service was a shell of its former self. The food was very uninspired and the wines and wine service, plus the glassware, were all embarrassing. I wanted to like it, I really did. Nothing was even close, while others were firing on all cylinders.

              Katrina hit, and everything changed, and maybe forever. We have not been back, so my review is from pre-K. However, most others' are much more recent. They seem to reflect a negative picture, where the food is concerned. Are they wrong? I have no way of knowing, but many of the complaints were the same that I had, pre-K.

              I do wish them well. I would be gladened to hear that a new chef, management, whatever, had turned it into the glorious restaurant, that it once was.

              If we had more time, on our trips, I'd definitely dine there again, just for "old time's sake." As it is, every night is usually filled, months before we get on the plane.

              Please, give me a reason to pass on Brigtsen's, or Galatoire's, and I'll fit them in. I long for the "good old days," and do hope that they can somehow return.

              Hunt

              3 Replies
              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Galatoire's is every bit as good as it was when I first ate there as a little girl, 50 years ago. The service is still first-rate. I can't imagine a visit to NOLA without a dinner here.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  I agree completely. There may have been ups and downs, but I was not a diner, during those times, and was not privy to those. I do recall Antoine’s at a time that they were on their game, and were so for many of the years, that I observed them. What saddens me is the history and the potential being wasted.

                  I believe that the dining scene in NOLA has room for both, should Antoine’s turn things around. I feel the same about some of the other “Grand Dames” of NOLA cuisine.

                  Hunt

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    May they all prosper, for the sake of this poor American city that is still in so much distress.

              2. We had lunch in their newly opened bar on Sat.

                Bloody Marys: excellent, rivaling Commander's

                Oyster Foch po boy w/ fried pickles: po boy was OK. Foie added nothing nor did the Colbert sauce.. Oysters were not even close to Bozos. Fried pickles were good.

                Sampler plate: oysters Foch; worst offering on the plate. Neither of us could figure out why this combo is so popular. Crabmeat ravigote: lightly dressed jumbo lump. Shrimp remoulade; red remoulade tasted like cocktail sauce. It was good anyway. Fried eggplant sticks w/bernaise: nothing special, could have used some seasoning.

                1. I had an absolute wonderful meal there right after Christmas. While I agree it was slipping, there has been a slight change of management of the old gal, resulting to my taste at least a return to the more consistent days. Souffle potatoes, hot, crispy, and awaiting their match with bernaise were spot on. Oysters Rock were big and meaty, but I prefer Foch better. Crawfish bisque rich and indulgent. Perfectly cooked steak and more sauces (marchand du vin, etc...). Finished it up with Cafe Brulot.

                  Was it a meal that is more a relic from the past than a beacon of the future, sure. Was it good? Yes, and that is all that matters.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Lyonola

                    That is good news, indeed. I'd love to see Antoine's regain, what I would typify, "as past glory."

                    Thanks for posting. Hope to see more of these, in the future.

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Lyonola

                      I agree, Lyo. I like old French food and sauces and enjoy Antoine's. Nothing fadish, no stacked food. Just good old fashion sauces and presentations.

                    2. I think that the problem is that Old New Orleans has abandoned Antoine's. They no longer venuture down to the French Quarter because of traffic, parking, and crime. Except for the Knights of Comus on Mardi Gras, few eat at Antoine's.
                      The restaurant has few incentives to live up to the standards of Creole excellence for the tourists who show up in shorts and fanny packs even for dinner service.
                      I don't want to blame the tourist trade but it's all that seems to be left and it's totally changed the character of Antoine's.
                      They no longer have to perform.

                      I

                      24 Replies
                      1. re: MakingSense

                        Amen. When you're not concerned with repeat customers, why try?

                        1. re: MakingSense

                          I think the difference between Galatoires and Antoines is that Galatoires seeked out a new and exciting exec Chef while maintaining their signature dishes and traditional fair, they have also reached out to the up and coming generation of fine diners

                          Antoines however has basically refused to revive their menu-I have also heard that they are not always using fresh ingrediants they are still servicing a dying bread of diners and refuse to look to the future
                          It is a shame for such a great fixture in the city

                          1. re: localfoodie

                            Interesting what y'all are saying but where else can you find a traditional Marchand de Vin sauce or Escargo Bordelaise. Any other restaurant has a play on these but not the traditional. It is a great restaurant to go back to the basics. They haven't "reached out" and I go there frequently for a great French restaurant, not Creole or stacked, but French.

                          2. re: MakingSense

                            Very insightful observations. I noticed the same, or very similar, in my pre-K visit. Concessions had been made, and not for the better. Many, from the kitchen to the FOH, were just going through the motions. There was no heart - no soul. To us, it showed in every aspect of the evening. I cannot imagine that Katrina *helped* them, in any way.

                            Still, I hold out hopes, that they will rise, like the mythical phoenix, and regain what I think was their past glory.

                            Maybe, they need to decide what they wish to do. Is it just to serve tourists, who do not know better? Is it to go head to head with Galatoire's, plus all the "new kids on the block," the Emerils, the John Beshs?

                            For me, the past glories would be great, but I am not the main market in NOLA. I knew it once, and only get back a coupld of times per year. Who do you tailor for?

                            Still, I raise my glass to Antoine's, and wish them the best. I just do not have a perfect business model to share - only my glass of Hafner Sonoma Chardonnay.

                            Hunt

                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              I doubt that Antoine's is for sale but I think of the salvation that Archie Casbarian meant to Arnaud's years ago. That wonderful old place had gotten so stale as Germaine Casnave Wells aged and lost energy. He poured money into and brought it back. People feared that an "outsider" could never do it justice but he more than proved them wrong. He was a real pro with serious professional training that had made the Royal Orleans such a wonderful hotel when he served as General Manager.
                              The same was true of Emeril's renovation and revamping of Delmonico's. I can remember taking my parents there with trepidation as they had been friends of the original owners, fearing that the "outsider" from Rhode Island and the Food Network would have turned it into some foreign nightmare. Nope. It looked better than ever, the food was outstanding, and my parents swooned over the service.

                              Antoine's may need the same infusion of energy and a fresh eye. Someone who loves New Orleans in a way that new lovers fall head over heels, but can still honor and respect the traditions.
                              It's a rare place. The food is almost "museum" food. Time stands still on your plate. The dishes at the very roots of Creole cooking where you can see the ties to French haute cuisine recreated in the New World for aristocrats, and then realize where those roots branch to the other meals you eat all over New Orleans at places high and low.

                              Not to say that it's stuffy. There was always too much half-inebriated fun going on over Ramos Gin Fizzes and Cafe Brulot flambeed in the dimmed lights.
                              Everyone can and should feel like an aristocrat. Or a King of Rex. If only for one magical meal with golden light and tinkling crystal.

                              Damn it. The Guste family OWES it to us to bring this place back.

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                I don't think the Guste family owns it any more. I'll find the story and get back to you on that. Just in passing someone told me it was sold to someone who worked there a long time.
                                They have opened a beautiful new bar in the Hermes room that opens onto St. Louis and we have been there frequently since it opened just before Mardi Gras.
                                IMO if you have an infusion of new energy and a fresh eye, you will no longer have Antoine's, just a restaurant with Antoine's name. I take people there to show them what classic French cooking with a slight NO twist is.

                                1. re: Panama Hat

                                  It's the same family. Current CEO Mr. Blount is 5th generation decendant of Antoine Alciatore on his mother's side.

                                  1. re: Panama Hat

                                    Oh,boo! A new eye doesn't mean some kind of Food Network crap.
                                    As an example I can point to taking a group of Europeans and Asians there. Sophisticated diners who had eaten in the best places around the world.
                                    Yes, they saw the genius in the food and history. They had unlimited expense accounts and were picking up the tab. They loved it.
                                    But, my God! The portions were stupid. No other word. Le Filet de Pompano Pontchartrain was enough for FOUR. I knew enough to order some classic dishes "for the table" so that we could sample many of them.
                                    Antoine's has NOT adjusted. Nobody wants those enormous portions any longer.
                                    I've eaten there since I was a child so I knew the food and the relationship to the Old and New Worlds. The waiters were disinterested in anything to do with it. My dinner companions were fascinated and wanted to know everything about the history.
                                    This is NOT French cooking. This is CREOLE cooking. The BLEND.
                                    Antoine's doesn't do enough to "explain" or make that point.
                                    If they're going to have tourists, why can't they at least offer a set menu meal that shows that?
                                    Antoine's has the potential to be one of the most spectacular restaurants in America. Why isn't it?

                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                      MS, I just went back to Collin's 1970 "Underground Gourmet" and he starts the review "The decline and fall of Antoine's has been greatly exaggerated." and "Antoine's is very French and very much old New Orleans...". And this was in 1970. It appears the argument hasn't changed.
                                      What do you want Antoine's to ADJUST to--Bayona's? If you don't like the food there, don't eat there but don't ask them to change to a fad.
                                      I love traditional, un-stacked, non-fusion food. Please never let Antoine's, Mandina's, Liuzza's, Mosca's, etc ADJUST.

                                      1. re: Panama Hat

                                        I did not mean that they should change the food. Please. NO.
                                        If anything, I'd love to see them ADD some more of the older Creole dishes and perhaps expand their menu.
                                        I meant that the individual portions are simply too large for today's diners, making it hard to order a multi-course meal in the proper style.
                                        When I've done their "set menus" for groups, the portions were fine. Ordering a la carte is a different matter. Gargantuan servings. I can't eat that much.
                                        Additionally some of the current waiters are better than others at suggesting menu items to diners. Some act completely bored.

                                        I don't want them to change in the sense of losing their soul. I love that style of food and still love Antoine's.
                                        I want it to sparkle again.

                                        1. re: MakingSense

                                          Let me preface by saying I've never been to Antoine's. What's kept me away has been the mediocre, to below average, to outright bad reviews. There are too many great restaurants in New Orleans to risk a bad meal when I don't have to. The style of food (French/Creole) isn't the problem. I love that old school cooking. I'm not afraid of the portions. I have a healthy appetite. The problem seems to be execution. What I'm hearing, is that the menu isn't the problem, it's that the dishes are poorly prepared. Add to that, service issues.....and I'm going to Galatoire's.

                                          1. re: BayouTeche

                                            I often wonder if some of the less-than-flattering reviews are from people who did not know what to expect when they ate there. The same might might be true of some of the odd poor comments on Galatoire's, etc.

                                            As you know, French/Creole food is probably not what many people expect these days. The trendiness of Cajun food for a few years there led most Americans to think that it was blow-your-doors off spicy - which it isn't - and even New Orleans "Creole" food wasn't as overwhelmingly heavy and rich a few decades ago as it is in restaurants today.
                                            It's painful to see the menus at so many places with not a single local fish on them. A lot of what's offered has become tourist food to make it familiar to visitors. Salmon? Mahi Mahi? Not at Antoine's.
                                            Old New Orleans desserts were virtually never chocolate but people expect that now. The only chocolate dessert on Antoine's menu is Chocolate Mousse.

                                            A simple Trout Almandine may seem like a serious let-down to someone who was expecting to have a fabulous gastonomic experience. Americans aren't used to these simple classic preparations any longer. How many good French restaurants are there left in America today? People have come to want glitz. If they're disappointed, the reviews are bad, even if the Trout was fabulous.

                                            1. re: MakingSense

                                              Whenever I hear about how bad Antoine's, Galatoire's, etc.. are I am reminded of a quote from a fan of New Orleans "The tales of my death have been grossly exaggerated."

                                              Completely concur MakingSense. The crawfish bisque at Antoine's is a marvelous example of a classic presentation. So deep, rich, and complex. I could imagine this soup being a perfect sauce on a restaurant with "wow" factor and all the internet abled critics heaping praise upon it. But put it in a demitasse cup with hot french bread and it is "boring."

                                              There is just something inherently thrilling about dining in a place that has been around for 150 years. Sure it may cover up some of the mistakes, but the mistakes arent that dire.

                                              1. re: MakingSense

                                                But I'm basing my judgement on what I hear on the street, in local forums and blogs, in local articles, from people I know. Not tourists expecting salmon. The poor reports I get aren't because it's old and boring......just bad food. I'd really like to go and enjoy it.......I think the menu looks fabulous. And I understand any restaurant will have its proponents and detractors. However, I think I'll wait until the pros outweigh the cons, which isn't the case at his point.

                                                1. re: MakingSense

                                                  Agree whole-heartedly with your assessment! (This is in response to
                                                  Making Sense.)

                                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                                    Well, in the case of one of those reviews, it came from a person, who grew up with Antoine's, and Galatoire's, and Arnaud's and Broussard's. All within a couple of dozen steps of each other, and all with great history, though with differences in their menus.

                                                    My review came not too long after a glowing one for Arnaud's, which had fallen off of my list before that visit. They had turned things around for my visit. It was like days of old.

                                                    On the same trip, as Antoine's, I painted a glowing picture of Galatoire's. There was a bit more noise from a nearby table, that we could have done without, but the Trout Almandine was excellent, as was the service - upstairs. On that visit, there was no way that I could list Antoine's in the same sentence with Galatoire's. Sorry, but I was not impressed. In fact, I was horribly saddened.

                                                    I think that they have lost their desire to do it right. It showed that night. No one from FOH to the kitchen was doing more than going through the motions.

                                                    Hunt

                                                  2. re: BayouTeche

                                                    Bayou, The style of food in most reviews does seem to be the problem. Most reviewers are now captivated with modern fusion and odd, IMO, combinations of food and also in the descriptions of foods--"only the shrimp caught off the left side of Charlies Jones boat which only goes out on Tuesday from Venice etc"
                                                    Go to Antoine's, order Tournedos with Marchand de Vin sauce (emphasize how you want it done. Their weakness is overdoing the steak-just send it back) and watch the simple presentation of a very classic dish. As at Galatoire's the food is main point, not cuteness and fad. I go to Galtoire's frequently but keep Antoine's as the more elegant place. Notice, it has been there for 160+ years and not just by some fluke.

                                                    PS: in case anyone wants to say "Hah, they overdo their steaks. See I told you" I have eaten at Ruth's since it was on the corner of Broad and Ursuline and have had to return their steaks occasionally.

                                                    1. re: Panama Hat

                                                      Panama, the style is the problem with even many New Orleans natives today who have fallen under the spell of the newer fusion foods and "interpretations" of local foods that have wandered pretty far afield.
                                                      We even get it at home when some family members roll their eyes at us when we've brought home perfect fresh trout and announce that dinner will be Trout Meuniere. Way too simple for their tastes. They want something with some flash. What's wrong with perfect grilled pompano?
                                                      This is similar to what's happened to French and "continental" restaurants all over America. They're a dying breed. Few know or appreciate this style of classic food any longer and it's a shame.

                                                      There has been something lacking in the old elegance of Antoine's in recent years however. No more jackets for men. It's a bit down at the heels and could use a good sprucing up. There aren't the large tables of families and friends, obviously locals celebrating and having a great time with "their" waiter. The sound is different. The clinking of glasses and the laughter are gone. Even the Cafe Brulot ceremonies are rare. The flaming Baked Alaska.
                                                      Every meal there used to be an occasion. Let's hope it continues.

                                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                                        My favorite memory from 40 years ago was about the waiter- even though we were a party of around 12 people, he didn't write anything down. My sister, brother and I were all giggling about how many things were going to get screwed up- but everything was perfect...

                                                      2. re: Panama Hat

                                                        I could be horribly wrong, but you keep mentioning the date that they began. I sense that you are making excuses for their history. If the food is tired, the service is tired and the venue is tired, then they need to reflect on it. I love the architecutre, but could never state that the interior was "elegant," by any sense of the word. In my observation, they have targeted the tourist trade, and hope that they read the book, or saw the motion picture.

                                                        Now, I have NOT been back, post-K. Much could well have changed, and I hope that it has.changed.

                                                        I do not recall any glowing reviews that you have done recently, regarding the food, the service or the interior appointments of Antoine's. Maybe I missed them. Do you have any links? I'd love to read of how they are doing now, instead of how they did 160 years ago. I love history, more than most, but at some time with a restaurant, one must dine in the here and now.

                                                        Hunt

                                                      3. re: BayouTeche

                                                        That pretty much nailed my review, though I did comment on the portion size, plus the wine stemware, which was embarrassing, but I am anal about good glassware with great wines.

                                                        Hunt

                                                    2. re: Panama Hat

                                                      Going back to my last meal there, I thought that everything was very tired. The preparations, the service and even the interior, plus the wine glasses.

                                                      I'd suggest that they take careful stock of the menu (agree with MS on the portions) and explore using local ingredients, where possible. Most tasted as though it had come in on the Sysco truck the week before. I'd also like to see/expreience fare from a kitchen that puts its heart and soul into the food. I did not experience that.

                                                      For whatever reason, the waitstaff seemed to be going through the motions. In contrast, the servers at Emeril's (the eponymous one) and Galatoire's put a lot of themselves into the service. They need to have a sense of pride instilled, and share that with the patrons.

                                                      Before someone mentions that it is French cuisine, and I do not know what I am talking about, I should add that four of our favorite restaurants are French (mostly classical, with one exception) in London, Paris, Honolulu and Phoenix. It is a cuisine that we both appreciate, and we also both grew up either in, or very near, New Orleans. We are in no way adverse to French cuisine, and appreciate the best examples of it. Antoine's *could* be one of those, with a little soul-searching.

                                                      I believe that what we encountered, pre-K, was a restaurant that just did not feel that they needed to do anything, except open the doors, and they would make their bottomline.

                                                      Personally, I want them to regain their past glory. I have dined there, though not on a regular basis, since 1953. I have a vested interest in them doing well.

                                                      I would love to spend an afternoon, looking over the business and marketing plans for the restaurant. I'd love to know what they are shooting for.

                                                      I wish them luck,

                                                      Hunt

                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                        Hunt, "One must dine in the here and now" All the time?

                                                        1. re: Panama Hat

                                                          Unless one is doing a thesis on gastro-anthropology, they ARE dining in the "here and now." I am seated in Antoine's (the here) and I lift my fork (the now). What went before is but a memory, however fond, but it is the dining experience at the currnet point in time, that I will relate to now.

                                                          Sorry if I have missed your point.

                                                          Hunt

                                          2. The last time I ate at Antoine's was in 1969- when I was 13 years old! It was wonderful then- at least to a kid who was used to eating things from cans- and I'm thinking that 40 years is enough time to pass before trying again. I'm glad to see a few comments here that weren't negative- that is all the reason I need!

                                            1. All this anti-Antoinism! We are from a city, arguably with the best food in the country (at least I'd argue that!) and I don't care who you talk to- everyone has an opinion about the classic restaurants. I know people who swear by Galatoire's (as many of you do) as much as I know those who would never eat there, or Commander's, or Antoine's or any other similar place. Its personal preference. I personally love Antoine's. No so much for Commander's and can't speak to Galatoire's but I know my mother refuses to eat there. Depends on personal taste.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: jmorri26

                                                Well said. How terrible would it be to have to argue whether or not the Applebees on Industrial is as good as the one on Corporate. Or whether or not the new Outback/Bonefish Grill/Kiddie Land would have chicken tenders or poppers. See the forest for the trees.

                                                1. re: jmorri26

                                                  B.Hunt To eat in the "here and now" to me means modern fad food. I want occasionally to eat in the "back and then" and IMO no one does that better than Antoine's. If I want a classic escargo bordelaise, tournedos with marchand de vin sauce or bearnaise sauce, or other such things, where else in NO do I go; not plays on these things or fad interpretations or the chefs twist of the day, but the real stuff, where else do I go?

                                                  1. re: Panama Hat

                                                    Now I see it a different way. It's a matter of personal perspective, or frame of reference, I guess.

                                                    To me, the here and now is about what I am eating at that point in time. A restaurant might once have been great. Other than perhaps inducing me to give them another shot, I'm not eating what once might have been. I am dining on the food on my plate. This is the perspective that I am approaching Antoine's from. In my estimation, they were great once. Last two trips were anything but great, and on all fronts. It is that past greatness, that I would like to see them reclaim.

                                                    Now, over all of these decades, my tastes have undoubtedly changed. When I first dined at Antoine's I did not drink wine, other than for holiday meals with my family - never out at a restaurant. Since that first visit, I've traveled much of the way around the globe, and most of those travels have included food. I’ve also aged considerably, since then. I am no longer the same diner, that I was way back when. That must be accounted for, but then there are other restaurants, such as Galatoire’s, that still make my palate and my stomach sing. No so for Antoine’s. That is what I lament.

                                                    As I have repeatedly stated, I want them to do well. I want them to once more be mentioned in the same breath as some other restaurants with history in NOLA, though not as much history.

                                                    I wish them the best, whatever it takes.

                                                    Hunt

                                                  2. re: jmorri26

                                                    ...to a point its personal opinion. but there is also some merit to the notion of "measurable quality"..with food, or with service. ex: if you had a place that consistently received bad reviews from random people, well then you could safely say you had quantifiable data that it has unsatisfactory service. no?

                                                    while its easy to say "Oh that's just your opinion," that conveniently ignores the reality -- that many people are ranking it as poor, in their relative experiences. rack up enough of those, and all of sudden that IS the rank of that place, relative or no.

                                                  3. I noticed most people who have written something negative have not been to
                                                    Antoine's in awhile. Go again! One experience does not mean much.
                                                    I have been 13 times in the last 25 years. Went Apr 16th 2009. it was wonderful.
                                                    The new Hermes bar is a new instant classic.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: danielmcm

                                                      You are probably close on this. My last visit was just pre-K, so things have likely changed. Still, over my lifetime, I've probably dined there 25 times, as well, just not since Katrina. My first visit was about 1956, and they do hold a special place in my heart. Still, last visit was horribly lacking, in my book.

                                                      As I've stated, I hope that they find the magic and get it going. If they wished to sit down with me, and discuss what I found objectionable, I'd be glad to give them an afternoon, and I'd even pick up my food and wine tab.

                                                      It is comforting to hear that your recent visit was good. I will take that as a good sign, and hope that things are getting back to what I once knew.

                                                      Hunt

                                                    2. I agree that Antoine's is resting on it's laurels. A real problem for them is that folks with the memory of those laurels gets smaller & smaller. The move to open the Annex Bar was long overdue but will this really help Antoines bottom line at this point is the better question. For me Antoines does a couple of things special - love the Colbert sauce on Foch and anchovy salad. But there are too many other restaurants that have innovative menu's to try. The real tragedy here is the continual family mismanagement and their inability to allow for outsiders to bring them into the 21st century. To have all that room on the upper floors sit empty, unused, deteriorating for decades...just such a waste. This is way before Katrina, this is back when Roy Jr and then Randy were the GM's.
                                                      Arnauds had Archie Casbarian's vision to turn it around - Melvin Rodrigue (whether you like him or not) has done that for Galatorie's - the other big independent groups (Family of Restaurants, Homebase, Besh) all have had the ability to recognize and admit that
                                                      somethings don't work, aren't profitable, aren't what the customer wants, etc and do changes even if that means having an outsider consulting with them. Antoines hasn't -
                                                      hopefully the side of the family that is now running it will turn it around. Otherwise it's
                                                      a prime site for yet another boutique hotel, especially with the Royal St driveway.....

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: savory south

                                                        I had forgotten about this thread- as it happens, I had lunch at Antoine's just yesterday. Was it a world class experience? Sadly, it wasn't. But it was still pretty damn good, the service was impeccable, and I would certainly return. And my meal was just slightly over $20 and well worth it.

                                                        I do hope that they find a way to survive and prosper.

                                                      2. I went to Antoines for the first time in May, & had a great meal with 2 of my friends. I am sorry that other people are having bad experiences, but I would recommend this place to people from my dining experience.

                                                        We went & had a drink @ the bar. The bar was lively with lots of people mingling, drinking, & all around having a good time. We had so much fun at the bar talking to all the great people in there that we had a couple after dinners drinks in the bar as well.

                                                        I thought the food was great and service was very good. The meal distinctly sticks out in my mind we ordered the (I had to look at the menu b/c I couldn’t remember the names) Huitres en coquille a la Rockefeller, Escargots a la Bourguignonne, Chateaubriand, Filet de truite Pontchartrain. Cerises jubilee.

                                                        1. I've been once (2007) and was wowed by the space, the sense of history, and the overall ambiance. We got a tour of pretty much the whole place after they closed and it was awesome. The service was obviously trying to be very old fashioned and the guys were trying but there were definite problems (plus we had to go back the next day when we realized that we had been charged for an extra entree). The food was... good, but not nearly as good as other places we've been in NOLA and given that it was by far the most expensive meal we've ever had in New Orleans (or anywhere, for that matter), that's a problem.

                                                          I would be horrified if it closed (and I live in a city where EVERY restaurant is closing right now) but at the same time I would love to see them really revamp the place. That would be the only way I would go back (unless we win the lottery and can throw away that kind of money on ok food)