Wine Shop Help, Etc..
I'll be staying in NOLA for a few days, flying in this evening and leaving Saturday. I've lined up the restaurants I'm interested in trying but two places encourage BYO, and I would like any suggestions for a good wine store in or around the French Quarter, since naturally, as a tourist (gulp, I hate that word) I'll be staying there and I'd rather not spend half a day hunting down my wine for dinner and brunch across town. I work in the wine industry in New York so I tend to like an eclectic selection also heavy on Old World, small production bottlings, so any wine shop that might have that focus is certainly right up my alley.
Also, just for good measure, below is the list of places I'll be eating. Any comments or suggestions about them are welcome.
Stanley (B'fast and maybe Lunch)
Dante's Kitchen (Dinner)
Also, I'm keen on trying Arnaud's French 75 Bar for their Sazerac, or possibly the Sazerac Bar.
Try the Wine Institute of New Orleans for your wine store. On Tchoup, 600 block I believe in the Warehouse District, a short walk from the French Quarter. They are open late too making it even more convenient. I wound up buying wine there last visit and was quite pleased; you can sample several wines while there for a small fee as well
Yep it's the Warehouse Dist. If you go there walk a block toward the river on the cobblestone street (Lafayette) and look to your left. The Piazza D'Italia is beautiful, especilally at night. It's nice in the daytime too if you are not venturing out at night. Take off your shoes and walk to the top of the fountain, yes you can do it without getting in trouble.
Bacchanal in the Bywater- http://bacchanalwine.com/- has some great wines and an awesome vibe. If you are staying through a Sunday- you must go to Chef night. It's great food served on a paper plate with a paper plate price. Usually a great band and cool local characters. The cheese plates there are great as well.
It would be a LONG walk from the French Quarter, but it's a great bike ride (if you had access to a bike) or a quick/cheap cab ride.
Nikinik said it all. Your choices are good, but perhaps you should try Mat and Naddies for a great lunch or dinner. I also love Bayona. I am not certain if the Sazerac Bar is open yet-I had heard the Roosevelt will re-open the first of June. In regards to cocktails, I have been hearing a lot of hype about Cure. www.curenola.com My brother has been there and says the cocktails are classic and wonderful. You may also want to try Bar Uncommon at the Pere Marquette hotel for a good Sazerac.
Last year, when news broke that the Fairmont and the Sazerac Bar were being renovated, I had two near-simultaneous thoughts: "Hooray!" and "I wonder if they could get Chris McMillian to oversee the Saz?" It's been a while since that gorgeous, historic bar has had the top-notch bartenders it deserves. Here's hoping.
I don't know about small production bottlings, but the only real wine shop in the French Quarter is Vieux Carre Wine and Spirits in the 400 block of Chartres St., next door to K-Paul's. I often stop by there and grab something one the way home, and the family of Sicilians who own it are always very helpful and on point with recommendations on Italian wines. It doesn't sound like you'd need help though!
Edit: I googled it, and there's a place called Sidney's Wine Cellar at 917 Decatur Street, but I've never been there. Maybe someone else knows more.
EAT (Brunch) - LOVE it!!!! And love that it's BYOB!
Stanley (B'fast and maybe Lunch) - Very good, solid choice.
Luke (Lunch) - I've never been.
Cochon (Lunch) - It's been really good for me...but seems to be hit or miss on reviews here.
Petunia's (B'fast) - LOVE it!
Boucherie (Dinner) - I enjoyed it but I'm not as impressed with it as a lot of people are. Their apps/small plates definitely shine above their entrees. Definitely wouldn't have picked it as a dinner choice.
Dante's Kitchen (Dinner) - Very good. The service can be slow at times.
I would HIGHLY recommend skipping Boucherie because I'm not so sure it will meet your expectations for dinner and also because you're already going to Cochon. I would instead go for Lola. It's one of my favorite restaurants. Very small, funky vibe and it's got some incredible food...and it's also BYOB and there is a great wine shop across the street. It's in a beautiful area of town too. Some of my favorite items there are:
Crab Tropical salad
Garlic shimp appetizer (OMG Good)
Paella!!!!! (they are very well known for this)
Grilled lamb with gorgonzola sauce
AND THE BREAD WITH THE GARLIC SPREAD (NUFF SAID)!!!!!
And it even made this list...
I would not recommend Lola over Boucherie either. I have only been to Lola once but was not impressed at all. The calamari tasted like rubber and the lamb stew was good, but really salty and not exactly what I wanted. I was expecting more veggies but only got one carrot! The seafood paella was good though.
How can you not love the collard greens & grit fries and the duck confit salad at Boucherie? I am addicted to this place. It is a great lunch option as well though. I would go to Boucherie over Cochon. And pick up a bottle at Hopper's Wines (the owner is always there and he is happy to help you pick the perfect wine) in Broadway Square.