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Restaurant recs for 40th bday trip to NOLA

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UESgal May 28, 2009 01:47 PM

Going to NOLA for 2 nights in July for my husbands 40th birthday and having a hard time deciding on restaurants! My husband and I have both spent a lot of time there are familiar with a lot of places but haven't beeen there in a few years. So, here is my list of places! I would love some help narrowing since we're only there 2 nights:

Brightsen's
Irene's
Vizards
Cochon
Mr. B's (for BBQ shrimp)

Also, we're planning on doing the Camellia Grill for breakfast/brunch one morning and drinks at the Columns before dinner one night. Any other help would be much appreciated!!

  1. Monch May 28, 2009 02:06 PM

    For what it's worth, my wife and I have vowed that "It's not a trip to NOLA without dinner at Brigtsen's".

    I characterize it as the best dinner I've ever had.

    It would be "best meal" if it weren't for an amazing lunch at Katz's Deli...I'm a simple guy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Monch
      u
      UESgal May 28, 2009 02:15 PM

      I'm glad you agree.... Brigtsen's is probably the choice we were most sure about! My husband especially loves it.

    2. s
      ScarlettNola May 28, 2009 03:07 PM

      If you are strictly sticking with items on your list I would go with Brigtsens and Vizards for your dinner choices. I will always recommend Bayona as the ambiance is romantic and the food is excellent. Stella is also a good option for dinner, but would recommend the Chef's tasting menu. You will leave stuffed but will enjoy every minute of your culinary experience. A good lunch choice is Mandina's.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ScarlettNola
        u
        UESgal May 28, 2009 04:08 PM

        thank you. we will do brightsen's for our "old" favorite. would you pick bayona or vizards for a new spot to try? my husband went to stella and didn't love it. i think he just wanted something a little more "new orleans" that he couldn't really get here in ny..

        1. re: UESgal
          s
          ScarlettNola May 28, 2009 04:29 PM

          I really do like Vizards. Kevin Vizard is a bit of a culinary "wizard" and it is a quaint intimate dinner spot. On the other hand, we always dine at Bayona for special occasions such as a birthday or anniversary. The courtyard is beautiful and fragrant and the creole cottage is lovely fora summer night. It is still not too hot for you to be able to enjoy dining al fresco. There are Creole/Cajun influences on the menu at Bayona, but with an international flair. Bayona is my favorite restaurant for atmosphere and dining and I hope it becomes one of yours as well. Happy Birthday to your husband! For cocktails, I would recommend trying the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel. I am assuming that it should be up and running in July, and it is a big piece of New Orleans history. The Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleon is a wonderful spot for drinks as well.

      2. d
        diningismyhobby May 28, 2009 06:03 PM

        Brigtsen's is a nice choice- in the same category, Bayona, Gautreau's, or Lilette would be great too. I would definitely go to Cochon on day two (or even go to Cochon Butcher for lunch and Cochon for dinner- yes, it's that good). If you're in the neighborhood of the Columns, there's a nice wine bar down/across the street called the Delachaise.

        I think Irene's is overrated. I have heard rave reviews about Mr. B's BBQ shrimp, though.

        1. e
          empecot May 28, 2009 06:20 PM

          In my experience Brigsten's was ok, but Cochon was mind-blowing. I would also highly recommend Dick and Jenny's. Even my Louisiana native in-laws were impressed by Dick and Jenny's.

          8 Replies
          1. re: empecot
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            UESgal May 28, 2009 06:40 PM

            wow- lots of support for cochon. and i also checked out dick and jenny's menu. i was practically drooling on my keyboard. this is always my problem with NOLA.... too many restaurants on my list, not enough meals!

            1. re: UESgal
              b
              BRB May 28, 2009 07:03 PM

              If you go to Cochon, I would highly recommend the crawfish pie (shaped like a large empanada) . . . it was amazing. That and the creole bread pudding souffle at Commander's were the best things I ate on my recent 5-day trip.

              1. re: BRB
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                Indy 67 May 29, 2009 06:00 AM

                An enthusiastic shout out for the veal and crawfish entree at Commander's. Ditto to the turtle soup.

                We liked our meal at Stella! but like an earlier poster didn't think it was very evocative of NO. And from my point of view, the famous beet appetizer plate was close to a disaster. There were too many sweet elements included in the platter; I don't choose to begin a meal with dessert. Furthermore, I don't like to be told how to eat my food. ("We recommend you eat X and Y within the next five minutes or the texture will deteriorate"). Both X and Y were whipped elements that were very, very sweet so eating according to their rules was an experience in unrelenting sweetness.

                1. re: Indy 67
                  Bayareafoodiei May 29, 2009 04:18 PM

                  WOW...... Appetizer, Dinner, or Dessert the Heirloom Beet Salad is AWESOME!!!

              2. re: UESgal
                r
                Ross B Jun 2, 2009 09:56 AM

                I thought Dick & Jenny's was great. They don't take reservations, but there's a great little friendly neighborhood bar right next door. We waiter over there while we were waiting on our table.

                1. re: Ross B
                  r
                  roro1831 Jun 2, 2009 10:11 AM

                  It's been a while since I've been to Dick and Jenny's, what little neighborhood bar is right next door?

                  1. re: roro1831
                    uptownlibrarian Jun 2, 2009 02:09 PM

                    45 Tchoup is down the block. Not right next door, but close by.

                  2. re: Ross B
                    u
                    UESgal Jun 2, 2009 06:31 PM

                    thanks, it looks just right.... casual, fun, with delicious food! i think we're doing mr. b's bbq shrimp and gumbo yaya for lunch on day 1, brightsen's for dinner on day 1, and dick and jenny's for dinner on day 2.

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