JazzFest Food Itinerary
I need some New Orleans experts to help me with my Jazzfest food itinerary. We are 3 women around 30 y/o coming from NY/SF and looking for a good mix of food that is unique to the region. We don't want to break the bank, either. We're all first timers to N.O. (and the South, for that matter).
Here is where I have reservations (restaurants like Stella! and August were fully booked) for now:
Sat night - Luke
Sun night - NOLA (I know, I know...Emeril's restaurants get totally bashed on this board), so I also have reservations at Mr. B's Bistro
Mon night - Cochon (Is it worth it for dinner? I've read that it's more of a lunch place)
I'm debating whether we should do something casual for dinner, like ACME, but not sure if we'll get that genre covered during lunch time. We're most likely going to eat Sat/Sun lunches at Jazzfest, I think?? I'd love to go to Cafe Amelie for Sunday brunch maybe before we head over to Jazzfest.
I think you will more or less have the casual aspects of the genre covered by the fare at Jazzfest. I would definitely do lunches at Jazzfest, unless you go with the brunch idea or stop at Liuzza's by the Track for a BBQ shrimp poboy (but that's an appetizer in my opinion).
Nikinik I think you hit it right on the head with the crawfish bread, but the downfall of the dish is not that saddening to me; it saves room in the belly for more cochon de lait poboys!
I'll echo jdm's warning (above)about reservation times: to be on the *safe* side, a 9 pm reservation would be the way to go. But you don't *have* to stay til the very last minute every day of the Fest, either.
I don't know what other folks on the board say but I'll endorse NOLA, unreservedly. I loved it on two separate visits, as did my companions on each occasion, and the handful of others I know who have visited from out of town have raved as well. I think it has high-quality food and good service in an attractive room without being especially fussy or formal. If the menu appeals to you, you should go. I also like Luke a lot, fwiw.
The only "oversight" in your planning is that I think it's fun for first-timers to visit one of the old-line Creole restaurants: Galatoire's, Arnaud's, Commander's, &c.
Luke is a good dinner choice but there are a zillion other places I'd go before NOLA.
Cafe Amelie's food is good and the atmosphere is great. BUT...I'm not sure I'd want to eat a full meal before going to JazzFest since a big part of the JF experience is eating food from the tons of food booths.
Just some general advice. Be carefull about planning dinners after Jazz Fest. Fest lets out at 7:00 and by the time you get back to your room, shower etc... it will be at least 9:00. Also, I typically lose about 10% of my group to exhaustion after JF. So review your reservation time and such. Good selctions. If you want to do a Emeril's restaurant go to Delmonico.
Jazz fest food is awesome. Plan on eating a lot at the festival.