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The Best Thing You Ever Ate: New Orleans

I got caught up watching the new show on FN titled "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," and have really enjoyed some of the episodes. It's a documentary style show in which has some of the Food Network stars talk about the "one dish" of a particular style that was the "best thing" that they ever ate.

Last night while watching an episode, I began to think about some of the best meals I have ever had, then did my best to narrow it down to a specific dish. So here are the rules: name the best thing you ever ate in New Orleans. One dish. One restaurant.

Do your best to give a description and be as specific as possible, including the restaurant where you had it. It could be a dish you had one time or something you have often. Stick to restaurant meals, because even if the best thing you ever ate was at your grandma's house, it wouldn't do much good to the rest of us. This could be a great starting point for first time visitors to the city.

For me, the best thing I ever ate was a fried soft shell crab, topped with jumbo lump crab and brown butter sauce, at Galatoire's. The light breading on the crab added just enough balance and crunch to the briny, sweet crab meat on the inside. Having been there many times, I can't narrow it down to one specific day in time, so I would say it's probably one of my favorite meals in New Orleans and dream about it often...

Who's next?

-Kevin

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  1. Gosh Kevin this one had me stumped, simply because of the plethora of "favorite dishes" in NOLA. The burger at Camellia Grill at 12:00 a.m. after one too many cocktails.....oysters on the half shell or oyster loaf at Casamento's after months without them, the turtle soup or oyster and absinthe dome at Commander's, and depending on my frame of reference or frame of mind so many favorite dishes that vary dependent on circumstances. But if I had to pick ONE all time favorite, I would have to go with the duck and Brigtsen's. Even at 8:00 a.m. my mouth is watering just thinking about it. The duck skin is crisp and crackling and the tart cherry sauce perfectly compliments the wonderful brineiness (not sure if that is a word) of the duck. Delicious!!

    4 Replies
    1. re: ScarlettNola

      The Taste of New Orleans at the Market Cafe.

      1. re: sweets672

        Where is the Market Cafe? That sounds very interesting. Thanks

      2. re: ScarlettNola

        Great topic. I feel in love with New Orleans when I came from NYC 2 years ago. There were so many unbelievable things I ate but here were the standouts:

        Galatoires- Fried soft shell crabs with jumo lumb crab meat, almonds, and menuiere sauce and Lamb chops with mushroom bordelaise. But I really could just go on and on because every dish was incredibly memorable!

        NOLA- Lacquered duck with corn and haircot verts

        Commander's Palace- Bread Pudding souffle, Veal Chop Tchoupitoulas

        Antoine's- Baked Alaska, Chateaubriand

        Emeril's- Banana Cream Pie, Lamb Ribs

        -----
        Commander's Palace Restaurant
        1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

        Emeril's Restaurant
        800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

        Galatoire's Restaurant
        209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

        1. re: steakrules85

          next time try soft shells sauteed..maybe with garlic or whatever you feel like.

      3. The crabcakes at Restaurant One is my favorite thing to eat in NOLA. I also love the cochon de lait poboy at Jazzfest but that is "seasonal" for me

        2 Replies
        1. re: robrob

          I love the Sesame & Ginger Dressed Sashimi Tuna with Cucumber & Avocado from Restaurant One. I also love their sourdough bread rolls.

          1. re: Professor Longhair

            that sounds great. just picked up my restaurant.com coupons for there, will check that dish out.

        2. This is impossible. I want to take the easy way out and list like three or four things but I will limit myself to one: The BBQ Shrimp at Mr. B's Bistro. The first taste is like a shock to the tastebuds. The garlic and the pepper are just shockingly present. The whole thing is so incredible. We went three times in a one week trip and sopped every drop of sauce each time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kukubura

            Here here! I agree!

          2. As others have said, this is a daunting task. Naming one single dish in a city filled with so many great dishes of different style cuisines is impossible. But...if I had to pick just one, i can distinctly remember the first time I ever had the lamb chops at Commander's many years ago. They had such a great flavored crispy crust on the outside, while the inside was cooked at a perfect medium rare temperature. Not sure if they still prepare them this way, as the time to which i am referring was back in the Jamie Shannon days. I dont think it gets any better than those lamb chops.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PB3nola

              The crab meat gnocchi appetizer at Restaurant August. Heaven in your mouth. They will make it an entree if you want.

            2. What a great testament to our city's food when we all have a hard time picking out one dish to call "the best ever." For me, it was at Mr. B's for lunch, long before Katrina. The entree special was a free-form jumbo lump crab ravioli, which consisted of house-made pasta sheets layered with huge lumps of crab and topped with a butter sauce that was little more than simply melted butter...with maybe a little lemon juice. It was so simple, so fresh and so damn good, I can still see, smell and taste it to this day.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Absinthe Minded

                it was mentioned above and breaks the rules slightly but the cochon de lait poboy from jazzfest has haunted my dreams (in the best way possible) since 1988. it's what cemented my love affair with new orleans.

                1. re: helltopay

                  I second that one, and I have dined at most of the great restaurants in your wonderful town (and will be adding to the list in two weeks....can't wait!) but the one dish that really sticks in my mind and that I can't wait to eat everyday during Jazzfest is the conchon de lait po boy.

                2. re: Absinthe Minded

                  Absinthe, Mr. B's has that on their menu right now. I had it two weeks ago. Can't say I was impressed as you are, but it was good, nonetheless.

                  1. re: N.O.Food

                    Wow, I haven't seen the free-form crab ravioli on the lunch menu since before "It." I think the chef at the time I ordered it was Gerard Maras, and that tells you how long ago it was. I probably won't order it again because I don't want to screw up the great memory I already have. *Sigh* Katrina changed way too many things...

                3. One of many delicious favorites, Brigtsen's softshell crab with pecans and meuniere. Equally outstanding, Cuvee's shrimp napoleon, Commander's turtle soup, Emeril's smoked exotic mushrooms with tasso cream, Bozo's oyster po boy....

                  1. Commander's Palace's "Foie Gras du Monde" is really an amazing appetizer that i havent had enough of.

                    Mr B's BBQ shrimp is up there..

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: kibbles

                      Commander's Bread Pudding Soufflle with a warm bourbon sauce is near the top of my list.

                      1. re: baldwinwood

                        One must assume by your posting name that you are a Civil Engineer...or have some association with The Great Man. A friend used to swim out to the NYDIA and eat oysters with him.

                        1. re: hazelhurst

                          When i travel to nawleans, the sight of a hot dog cart always brings a smile to my face....

                      2. re: kibbles

                        Is the "Foie Gras du Monde", still on the menu at CP's?

                        1. re: Bayareafoodiei

                          I did not see it five weeks ago, and I can usually spot foie gras from the parking lot.

                          Hunt

                          1. re: Bayareafoodiei

                            I was just there last week. It wasn't there.

                            1. re: JFarah

                              dah, a travesty...

                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/sazerac/...

                               
                            2. re: Bayareafoodiei

                              It's back on the menu as of September 1st; my husband had it at dinner...it was the best foie gras appetizer he ever had, including France.

                          2. While i appreciate a great meal, ultimately it comes down to basics for me. Since I have moved away three long years ago, the one thing that I can't cook or find anywhere to ease my pain is a roast beef poboy. My restaurant of choice is R&O's and the combination of the gravy, the mayo just do it for me. So when I do arrive in town, the first thing I do, before I get to the hotel, is stop for a roast beef poboy. That to me, at that particular momemt is the greatest thing I have ever eaten.
                            I recall a place on the Northshore called The Forest, which we would go to one Sunday each month for dinner. The fillet that they had there was one of the greatest pieces of meat I recall eating, but then again I was around 9 or 10 years old. I'm sure if it was still around I wouldn't feel the same way.

                            1. When I think of NOLA, I think of oysters, poboys, turtle soup.....but the one stand-out dish that came immediately to mind when I read this post: the skillet potatoes from Luke. Perfectly fried, flavored with chunks of smokey local bacon, carmelized onions, and rosemary. I love the seafood, I love the local specialities (and really, one can eat potatoes anywhere, and I have), but those skillet potatoes...

                              1. After much consideration and mental food porn, I give this one to John Besh. August's butter poached lobster served over pork belly was truly life changing (two weeks after enjoying this entree, I bid farewell to my lightweight gallbladder. I proudly tell my gastro team that I destroyed the defunct organ in New Orleans). It was magical!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: powderhound

                                  august 2002 at Mr. B's the pasta jambalaya for some reason they have never been able to quite duplicate those flavors that magical night.

                                2. it disfigured me for life. it was a flourless chocolate cake at Flagon's, which I believe they called a St. Emilion. it was decadent, it was dark, and it was sweaty. in the eternal pursuit to duplicate such a sensation, I've eaten my weight in what has paled in comparison.
                                  the bittersweet confessions of a chocoholic.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: edible complex

                                    I used to work at Flagon's. I made many Chocolate St. Emilion cakes.. I'll try to find what I did with the recipe. It was simple though, just chocolate, butter and egg yolks.

                                    1. re: BerkeleySQ

                                      oh, do bring it on! that was some wicked pleasure. thnx.

                                      1. re: edible complex

                                        FLAGON'S CHOCOLATE ST. EMILION

                                        1 lb dark sweet chocolate (16 oz)
                                        3/4 lb butter (room temperature)
                                        1/2 C cream
                                        8 egg yolks

                                        1. Soften butter to room temperature.
                                        2. Melt chocolate over simmering, not boiling, water with milk, stirring often until completely melted.
                                        3. Alternately whisk in butter cut up and yolks.
                                        4. Pour into 8" spring form cake pan. Chill to set.
                                        5. To unmold, dip in hot water and help it out with a butter knife.

                                        1. re: BerkeleySQ

                                          my heart melts. hugs and chocolate kisses!
                                          thnx.

                                          1. re: edible complex

                                            wait, you don't bake it at all????

                                      2. re: BerkeleySQ

                                        Have not thoguht about Flagon's in years...I used to live around the corner. Some fun stories around there...and the World's Worst A&P---I know there are other nominees but I stick by this award to them.

                                    2. The first time that I had the late Jamie Shannon's Shrimp Henican at Commander's Palace really stands out for me, I was blown away, and still am, an incredible dish.

                                      Danno
                                      http://www.nolacuisine.com

                                      1. i've never had a "great" meal in new orleans. over the years i've had a few that are memorable. here is one:

                                        dinner at k-pauls when kay ran the front of the house and paul cooked. i took my young bride there and we shared a table upstairs with a lawyer and his wife from baton rouge celebrating their wedding anniversary. i remember drinking a cajun martini from a mason jar, digging into the best turtle soup i've ever had, gliding through the rabbit/sausage main course and settling into a less than memorable dessert. at the end, kay gave me a gold star for finishing my meal (she stuck it on my head) and a kiss. it was quite a night. she is missed.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: steve h.

                                          That post brings a tear to the eye. I hope to have dinner there some time as my lunch was less than magical.

                                          1. re: steve h.

                                            I have fond memories of those days at K-Paul's as well. Food today is not even close to what came out of Paul's kitchen. It was simply the best. Sigh.

                                          2. OK, but this will be only dishes. No one meal contained them all, and not all restaurants will still be around, even if the chef might be.

                                            Best main:
                                            Constantine's, Oak St. (closed) and Chef Patty Constantine's Trout Almondine

                                            Best soup:
                                            Sorry, but the best Turtle Soup was at a recent visit to Brennan's. I'd always held CP's as #1, but this was the winner. Ralph's on the Park was #2.

                                            Best Dessert:
                                            Tie: Bananas Foster (or similar) at Brennan's and second place to The Grill Room, Windsor Court Hotel.

                                            Best Cheese Course:
                                            The Grill Room (was the New Orleans Grill then) at the Windsor Court Hotel.

                                            Best Non-seafood Main:
                                            Tough call, but I'd give the nod to the Rib Room's Filet.

                                            Now, this leaves out many, many great meals, and dishes, but you asked for the "best."

                                            Hunt

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                              Come on Bill, you cheated! I'll let this one slide, but I purposely made this a tough question. I've got my lists too, but the Top-10 is so Dave Letterman :-)

                                              I had to think long and hard about mine. I just don't want you to open the floodgates for any more lists on this thread. As always, I appreciate all of your writing, especially about the food in NOLA.

                                              -Kevin

                                              1. re: UptownKevin

                                                OK, you got me fair and square Lone Ranger. I'll pare down to Chef Patty's trout.

                                                Do I get to save the others for another thread?

                                                You make a good point and I'm sorry that I stepped over the line.

                                                Hunt

                                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                Brennan's turtle soup? Really???? That is fascinating. Of course, it is the same family--different branches to be sure--but CP has always given out the recipe . Is Brennan's "different" from Commander's? I have not been to Brennan's in ages so I simply have no idea.

                                                I long for the Good Old Days when we had sea turtle..that was amazing stuff.

                                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                                  I've not found any Brennan restaurant 's turtle soup to surpass CP's. It's been awile since I've been to Brennan's. My last visit was their "last chance".

                                                  1. re: JazzyB

                                                    Intriguing...my only trips to Brennans in recent years have been things like Chritmas parties..and it has been fine..I won;t knock it but the last time I paid for a meal there I wished I were at Commander's.. But, as should be obvious, I have my regular places and while I vary things a bit, I'm comfortable as the mule in his traces.

                                                    I ather your words "last chance" mean that you'd had a string of bad times.

                                                    On the other hand, I had a lunch meal at Commander's back when jamie shanon was dying---the restaurant refused to admit it but I had inside info---and the turtle soup was salty library paste and the coffee was burnt. This was before Miss Ella stepped back in to fix things....

                                                  2. re: hazelhurst

                                                    We both used to felt that CP was the hands-down winner in the past. The one, by which all others would be forever judged. Then, with the last three trips over, we just looked at each other and wondered what had happened.

                                                    Hunt

                                                  3. re: Bill Hunt

                                                    Ditto on the Brennan's Turtle Soup. We visited Brennan's last October and it was the best Turtle Soup I've ever had. I wanted to go back just for more.

                                                  4. It's been a few years, but the angel hair pasta and the pompano papillote at Commanders' were memorable.

                                                    1. For all of you out there who are lovers of the cochon de lait po-boy, you can get them year round, but you just need to drive to Haynes Blvd. in New Orleans East. It is very much worth the trip though, trust me. Plus, as much as I love the CDL, I think their ribs might be even better. (Blasphemy!) Here is our recent writeup on Walker's: http://blackenedout.blogspot.com/2009...

                                                      As for me personally, I have thought long and hard about it, and I can't say that I can pick one dish that was the best of all time. So much depends on my cravings that day, the context and circumstances surrounding the meal, etc. But I will say that my mind immediately went to 2 dozen oysters that I had at Luke this past year. It was the week before Christmas, so it was frigid outside but so were the raw oysters. I dabbed just a touch of either the mignonette, remoulade, or ravigote sauces with each one, but the oysters themselves were what made the dish memorable. They were just monsters - cold, salty and just everything that I wanted them to be at that exact moment in time.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Bocuse NOLA

                                                        Those P&J oysters @ Luke also rank as the best in memory (same month, even), with the possible exception of those served @ the St. Cletus oyster fest the previous month, the absolute freshness of which can only be equalled if you're on the boat or dock with knife in hand.

                                                      2. I must say the best "thing" I ever ate in New Orleans, and I've had it numerous times is the Oysters Foche at Antoines. Plump crisply fried oysters sit atop thin pieces of paté (possibly fois gras, but I'm not sure) lined toast with that rich yummy brown sauce. Heavenly! I dare say even orgasmic!

                                                        1. I would have to agree with those who stated Brennan's turtle soup. I've had so many amazing and wonderful things but that is, without a doubt, the meal that sticks out in my mind.

                                                          I was there for Jazz Fest in May 2007 and decided to walk the quarter while my husband slept in and find a place for breakfast. I found myself at Brennan's... I was completely underdressed, but "breakfast at Brennan's" was always something I had heard of and I knew my DH wouldn't be into it. So I went in and was seated near the courtyard.

                                                          Let me now say that I don't eat eggs. Not only do I not eat eggs, but I despise them. So I was horrified to see that there was not a pancake, a potato, a piece of toast on the menu for me to order. But, I had already ordered coffee and was now stuck. I couldn't afford to order an entree (nor was I in the mood for one at 10am) so I ordered the turtle soup.

                                                          They served it to me like a fine wine, pouring it into the bowl, allowing me a taste before adding sherry, and leaving me with a loaf of freshly baked bread. It was unlike any soup I had ever had and I remember every bite.

                                                          Was it the time and place, or was it the soup? Who knows... but it's one of favorite NOLA stories.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: jessicheese

                                                            Don't you love those unexpected delights? They are the most enjoyable and savored of memories.

                                                          2. after moving away over a decade ago, we still visit at least once a year and the top of the list is always BBQ Shrimp at Mr. B's. I can't wait to taste it again soon!

                                                            1. This goes back to 1978 and 1979--but I think some of you will agree if you were alive then: dinner at Leruth's...in Gretna...long gone...everything spoke of simplicity but in fact was layered in its complexity, and the effects were tremendous...there was a lobster tail in a broth,
                                                              the redfish, the asparagus soup with crab...

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: penthouse pup

                                                                I well remember LeRuth's...I had a waiter friend there and used to take dates over there from time to time but it sure seemed self-important. Warrne himself was a decent fellow...it may be just the cloud of time, but it seemed that he tried too hard to be simple. You are right about the lobster...but we are not in Maine. At the same tme, it was standard in "Fine Dining" restaurants in those days to offer Dover Sole...."flown in especially fo us." But warren did do a good job in playing with flavors and he had an excellent wine "atttic" Richard Collin's "made" him...it became trendy and very annoying toward the end. In fairness, I add that there were other restaurants in that era--Christian's pops to mind--that were Fashionable and, as a result, annoying...at least, to me and mine.

                                                                But Warren deserves our respect and thanks and I appreciate your bringing up the memory.

                                                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                  Actually, on our last trip, we looked to the rising sun off of Canal Blvd, to see if we could find Christians. The building looked fine, though I have not heard of any restaurant there, in decades.

                                                                  We missed them, during our tenure in NOLA, but had some nice meals with friends, after we moved to Colorado. The food was very good, but nothing to make the Top-5 (or Top-1, as the case may be.)

                                                                  Hunt

                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                    Chris ran a good show for awhile and it was never bad suff..I just didn't cotton to it. Most of my time around that area was devoted to Mandina's and going to funerals at Shoen's.

                                                                    1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                      I recall Christian's in the early-to-mid 1980's as being more classical French than creole (am probably incorrect) and I recall the quenelles in cream, as well as the guys with walkie-talkies near the door, presumably because of the crime scene (?) Liked it but agree with yu that it wasn't the tops...

                                                                      About Leruths: in the period I referenced, it's worth remembering that the foodie craze had not occurred, that there was no K-Paul and all that came with it (if I am not mistaken) that sophistication and nuances of chefs that we take for granted now were not the norm...in NYC, where I live, the top place was probably Lutece, and somehow, I saw Warren Leruth as a NO version of Andre Soltner--both grounded in classical cuisine but both very much with hardcore cooking experiences (Leruth from the military, Soltner from country cooking in Alsace...) Just my recollection on a different era...

                                                                      1. re: penthouse pup

                                                                        the foodie craze merits study in its own right but I think that it is simply an expansion of the numers in people who care about food in the US. There were always people who loved the good stuff, more often than not they were Francophiles. Lutece was one of a a few Top Line restaurants in New York in those days. Henri Soule worked his clever con game for years and served good stuff but he made his real money off snob appeal. Le Marmiton was a good "country style" French restaurant there and there was the incomparable Brussels Restaurant (which was another survivor of the 1939 World's Fair). There is but one survivor of those days, over on the East side, and no one talks about it anymore becuase it is simply dull and does not play loud music or have rock stars at the bar. Then too, you must remember that New York had dozens of great German and Swedish and what-have-you restaurants that began to die off in the 1960's. In 1960 you could still get offal all over town...skate was still around until the late 1960's...then it vanished and was re-discovered a few years back.

                                                                        Have a look at "Blue Trout and Black Truffles" for a view of what food writing was like circa 1940. There was lots of good stuff even in the USA then...it is just that more people have access to it today, and more profess to care.

                                                              2. My N.O. experiences aren't that wide, but #1 for me is the crabmeat cheesecake appetizer at the Palace Cafe. Of course, the Creole meuniere served with it doesn't exactly detract from the dish.

                                                                I have to name a close second though: Potatoes Lyonnaise at Galatoires. Simple fried potatoes with onions, but the best I've ever had.

                                                                1. Fried Oysters at Jacque-Imo's Harvested that morning, lighly dusted in cornmeal, still sizzling when brought to the table. Simple and Sublime.

                                                                  1. I have many memories of wonderful dishes in New Orleans, but my favorite things lately are the
                                                                    Sweet and Sour Lobster w/ Fried Green Tomatoes at Emerils and the Oyster Appetizer with 3 Granitas, vodka and caviar at Stella. I could literally eat my weight in them....when I tasted them for the first time I was so delighted at the fresh, clean flavors...needless to say we ordered a second round.

                                                                    1. Tough topic! I've had so many incredible dishes (not including JazzFest fare) it's tough to decide. But I will go with my entree from my very first visit to Brigtsen's:

                                                                      Blackend Tuna Steak with Red Bean Salsa, Avocado Cream and Smoked Corn Sauce

                                                                      A dear departed friend had waxed rhapsodically about Brigtsen's forever, and especially that dish. When we were presented our menus that was the first thing I saw... perhaps a little guidance from the other side?

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                        Like you I had it the first and then probably the first ten times I ate there; it was the only thing I could order. Loved it even though I always thought tuna was not a favorite fish. But that corn sauce, OMG. It was very hard the first time I ventured from that dish, like it would be for an alcoholic to stay on the wagon at Galatoire's on Friday afternoon . . . before Mardi Gras.

                                                                      2. Restaurant August --- Lemonfish with Lobster Foam and Microgreens-- Simply Orgasmic

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: koogle

                                                                          Yes, August! The truffled gnocchi with lump crab meat! Unreal, simply unreal!

                                                                          1. re: FoodChic

                                                                            I had lunch at August last Monday (day after the Super Bowl) and the gnocchi wasn't nearly as good as it was in September. Sadly, the gnocchi was oversized, mushy, and unappetizing. I was so let down, but I chalked it up to being the day after the game of all games. I suspect when I visit in April, they'll be just as I remembered.

                                                                        2. softshell crabs alvin at the bonton cafe (in season)

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: vegas

                                                                            Rocky & Carlo's veal parmesan with macoroni & cheese with red gravy. The fish with cream sauce I had at Adolfo's. The stuffed pork chops at K-Pauls. The redfish menuire at Coops. The trout with crab meat at Galatroire's. The shrimp stuffed quail at Commander's Palace. The duck at Dante's Kitchen. A study of Duck at Emeril's. Roast beef po-boy at Mandina's. Turtle soup at Commander's Palace, Mandina's, and Felixes. Thinking about these dishes makes me want to go to New Orleans which I can not do for a while.

                                                                            Bigray in Ok

                                                                          2. Just got back from a week in NOLA. Went to Mr's B's for bbq shrimp based on all the recommendations on Chow, and everyone was right on. Fantastic. Put the obligatory bib on, stop talking, and eat.
                                                                            But i have to add two:
                                                                            Acme Oyster House - Charbroiled oysters with butter and cheese - This is a must. The raw oysters and craw puppies were amazing as well.
                                                                            Donna's Bar & Grill (Rampart at St Ann) - Charlie's bbq chicken and bread pudding were brilliant. We were served as part of a post midnight NYE buffet, but i believe they serve on normal nights too. Charlie was a chef on Amtrak for years, quit in 2000 to cook at Donna's (his wife) place. DEEE licious. Oh, and the live music at Donna's is some of the best in the city.

                                                                            Aside: Went to Brennan's for brunch. Fantastic food, but the wait and the service were below expectations. You could chalk that up to the fact that it was New Year's Day and the staff were probably bumbling due to hangovers.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: zachias31

                                                                              I know this is an old post, but is Donna's still around? That was my first stop on my first trip to NOLA. Charlie made red beans and rice and some amazing chicken just as a free meal to accompany the music. I fell in love with the city right then and there.

                                                                              1. re: ndukka562

                                                                                no

                                                                            2. The Mississippi rabbit at Mr. B's - braised with apple cider, applewood smoked bacon, roasted shallots and shittake mushrooms - served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Mmmmmm *drool*

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: TheSprinkler

                                                                                trout meuniere at mandinas in about 2001 it was great

                                                                              2. Crawfish Etoufee at the Bon Ton.

                                                                                1. Such a hard question ... the BBQ shrimp at Mr. B's, Brigtsen's duck, crawfish monica at the fairgrounds, banana cream pie at Emeril's, duck po boy at Crabby Jack's, that damn addictive pancake at Surrey's are all distinct possibilities.

                                                                                  I would have to go with the orange-cranberry-jalapeno glazed turkey sandwich at Winnie's sandwich shop when it was open.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mikek

                                                                                    That was a good sandwich. Have you tried the special Thanksgiving poboy at Parkway? It's the Tuesday special I think, but I'm not positive.

                                                                                    1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                                                      Thursday special.

                                                                                      1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                                                        I have, and it was fantastic. But that sandwich at Winnie's was an absolutely perfect bite of food. It is a shame they had the oddest and most inconsistent hours, because that place put out some ridiculous food. Their brunch wraps (the hummeggible, specifically), were delicious stuff.

                                                                                      2. re: mikek

                                                                                        The duck at Brigtsen's was moving... so succulent and undeniably well seasoned. The whole meal was a 10, but the duck was so outstanding that I go back as often as possible.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Brigtsen's Restaurant
                                                                                        723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                                                                                      3. I'll add the white beans and rabbit at New Orleans Food & Spirits to the list, Thursday munch special

                                                                                        1. Easy!!! but I will have to go wayyyy back to 1975 at La Provence in Lacombe when Chris K was cookin. His steak au'poivre was to die for and today - still, I'm disappointed with everyone elses version. It's working there, for him, that I fell in love with food and Louisiana.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: lexpatti

                                                                                            And the quail gumbo.

                                                                                            1. re: lexpatti

                                                                                              Lexpatti, I just happen to have that recipe for Steak au Poivre, Robert Aimes which I got from Chris back around that time....it, too, for me was an life changing experience:
                                                                                              4 8 oz filet steaks
                                                                                              2 tbs butter
                                                                                              1 tbs. green peppercorns in brine, drained
                                                                                              2 tbs. shallots (french) minced
                                                                                              1 pt heavy cream
                                                                                              2 tbs. lemon juice
                                                                                              Brandy (unfortunately the recipe doesn't state how much)
                                                                                              Cook steaks to desired doneness and set aside.
                                                                                              In a seperate pan saute in butter the shallots and peppercorns. Flame with brandy. (I would use maybe 3 tbs) considering the small amount of aromatics)
                                                                                              After the flame subsides add the cream and and lemon juice and cook until reduced by half.
                                                                                              Add salt and pepper to taste and add steaks to pan with sauce to heat through.
                                                                                              I've made this several times and it's right on with his preparation.
                                                                                              I hope you make this soon and can relive the memory

                                                                                              1. re: Liz Gober

                                                                                                hey, I'm just seeing this. Very kewl - that does sound right. I would take cracked peppercorns and press them into the steak. mmmm, now I'm hungry for it. :-)

                                                                                                1. re: lexpatti

                                                                                                  As I recall they didn't press black pepper into the meat. They simply cooked the green peppercorns in the sauce after sauteing them. Good luck. I'm glad you found this. We've talked about and enjoyed this dish for years.

                                                                                            2. Having grown up in NO, there were so many great places to eat, most of them unknown to tourists. Steaks at Tucker's, Charlies, Nancy's would melt in your mouth. Seafood at all of the (now gone) local joints on the lakefront, Jim's Fried Chicken, Tony's on Bourbon. As we say "ain't there no more". I could go on and on. One place still little known is Crabby Jacks on Jefferson Hwy, serving lunch only, run by the owners of Jacques-Imo. Best lunch in town. Ye old College.
                                                                                              Inn. I feel like catching the next flight out.

                                                                                              1. The lobster dumplings at GW Fins. Really delicious.

                                                                                                1. This is a really hard question! After thinking about it for some time, and as much as I love seafood, I'd have to say it was the lamb with a sweet hot sauce at Louisiana Bistro. We were served this as part of the Feed Me menu and it may rank as the best thing I have ever eaten anywhere.

                                                                                                  1. Just about anything at the old Uglesich's

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: wwhite

                                                                                                      I miss them too, they were my favorite and I hadn't gotten to try near enough of their dishes yet.

                                                                                                      But my new loves are the bbq shrimp from Mr. B's and the boudin balls from Boucherie.

                                                                                                      1. re: wwhite

                                                                                                        The shrimp with the BlueCheese was off the charts. Probably the best thing I ever ate there.

                                                                                                        1. re: wwhite

                                                                                                          oh my gosh yes...i was waiting for someone to mention Uglesich's

                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                          Uglesich's
                                                                                                          1238 Baronne St, New Orleans, LA 70113

                                                                                                          1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                                            You ever look at their recipe for BBQ shrimp? Five shrimp, SIX sticks of butter!

                                                                                                            But -- damn! -- it was good . . .

                                                                                                        2. i went to NO for the first time last year and loved it all. from the first meal at casamento's (i asked them to open a branch in NJ) to the cochon du lait po boy i picked up on the way to the airport (now that's good airline food) it was all good. but the best dish was the wood grilled oysters at cochon. i had them as an appetizer and they were so good i had them again for dessert! briny, spicy, smoky, what a dish!

                                                                                                          1. If I had to pick just one thing, including what isn't anymore, it would be hands down, blackened redfish served over grilled shredded vegetables, topped with emulsified lemon butter...served at Commanders when Prudhomme was exec. chef ...way before the blackened "craze".

                                                                                                            1. Cheeseburger at Le Petite Grocery. Makes my mouth water just to think about it! Split this with someone as it's way too much for one person.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: mimi60

                                                                                                                Ugh! I wouldn't give them my business for anything. In my top two of worst customer service!!

                                                                                                              2. Now that I've been to New Orleans more recently, I feel like I can legitimately contribute to this discussion.

                                                                                                                Oyster po'boy at Parkway Bakery & Tavern
                                                                                                                Oyster po'boy at Mahoney's Po'Boy Shop
                                                                                                                File gumbo at Brigsten's
                                                                                                                Shrimp cornbread with jalepeno smoked corn butter at Brigtsen's
                                                                                                                Cafe Brulot at Galatoire's
                                                                                                                Vegetable bisque at Commander's Palace
                                                                                                                Oyster & Absinthe "Dome" at Commander's Palace
                                                                                                                Woodfire Oyster Roast at Cochon

                                                                                                                1. The best entree I've ever had in New Orleans was a veal chop over goat cheese grits at Commander's. I had some kind of awesome truffle dish and some foie gras earlier in the meal. When the veal chop came it was perfectly medium rare, just to the point that it bled into the goat cheese grits, which were also outstanding. Light herby flavor to the grits (thyme I'm sure), just the right sear and salinity on the chop. Not a scrap left when I was done.

                                                                                                                  1. I've been thinking about Darian's Fried Chicken and Waffles at Emeril's sort of ALL the time since having it last weekend! It's Corn Waffles with the crispiest, most delicious, boneless and full of flavor dark meat chicken. There's a cabbage and watermelon slaw on the side, and they serve it with a special syrup made with Crystal hot sauce, and maybe some mustard. It's not only the best thing I've eaten in New Orleans, it's one of the best things I've eaten anywhere. It is freakin' mind blowing! Followed it with the 2nd best thing I've ever eaten in New Orleans, Emeril's Banana Cream Pie. Also, a "ever eaten anywhere" thing. Lots of GREAT restaurants in America that are acclaimed far and wide, by the "experts" and food lovers. To find not one, but two of the best dishes ever in the same restaurant is wonderful. What a beautiful gift Emeril and Darian have! Here's a photo of each. Can hardly wait to go back and have this again.

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    1. two words: bahn mi

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: ironballs

                                                                                                                        One word: where?

                                                                                                                        1. re: ironballs

                                                                                                                          I'm glad I'm not the only one advocating a poboy from a non New Orleans style restaurant: Eggplant sandwich at Lebanon's Cafe.

                                                                                                                        2. Several thoughts: (1) No offense to everyone who <3 s Commander's and Brennan's, but Galatoire's has the BEST turtle soup in this city. (2) Get your butt over to Patois and have the duck confit (lunch or dinner) and be ready for your eyes to roll back in your head in pleasure. Don't be embarassed - this is the normal reaction. (3) When you're done with that, mozy over to Clancy's and get the lamb chops - to DIE for.

                                                                                                                          1. Back in the early 80's, I thought the Oysters Dunbar at Corinne Dunbars and a redfish smothered in a crawfish sauce at Le Ruth's were the two best things I ever ate. More recently, like some others here, the BBQ Shrimp at Mr. B's blew me away.

                                                                                                                            1. The Foie Gras 3-Ways at August - yes, it is as good as the version at The French Laundry.
                                                                                                                              The Gnocchi at August
                                                                                                                              The Duck at NOLA
                                                                                                                              The Foie Gras Du Monde at Commander's Palace - for those who like it seared.
                                                                                                                              The Pecan Pie grilled (with icecream....at breakfast....) at Camellia Grill.
                                                                                                                              The Banana Bread Pudding at Brigtsen's

                                                                                                                              1. The duck, pepper jelly and cashew butter sandwich at Bayona.

                                                                                                                                1. This is easy for me, you'll see why: I have to say it was the after-dinner French macarons at August. They bring them out to you with some toffee while you're waiting for the check. We were there in May, and they brought strawberry macarons with a thin disk of dark chocolate sandwiched in the center. I ate one and announced to the table, "This is the best thing I've ever eaten." Our server heard me and looked back over his shoulder and smiled really big. I wonder if anyone else has ever said that? Anyway, it changed my life.

                                                                                                                                  It's possible that I was in a trance because the entire meal at August was so wonderful. But other people at the table ate the macarons and agreed they were outstanding. Better than Sucre's or any others I've had. Must try.

                                                                                                                                  1. Kevin, I'm going with the sadly departed Marisol, formerly on Esplanade Avenue. The chef, Peter Vasquez, had a dish called foie gras "en bocal". It was a whole lobe of foie gras that was placed in the glass vessel, or "bocal", with Sauternes wine and various spices to marinate for X period of time. Then, when ordered, it was placed in boiling water to heat through, then simply served with cracked black pepper and sea salt on toast points. One hundred percent pure decadence! Sigh...

                                                                                                                                    1. It is easy for me to name three, impossible to name one.

                                                                                                                                      My first bite of the trout meuniere at Galatoire's was one of my most memorable restaurant moments ever. My sister-in-law and I went back several hours later and ordered it again.

                                                                                                                                      The gumbo and bread pudding at Eddie's became my favorite dishes at my favorite restaurant ever in New Orleans (with the oyster stuffing not far behind). I've still never had better examples of two of my favorite delicacies. Eddie Baquet, R.I.P. http://www.frenchcreoles.com/Food/cre...

                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                      Galatoire's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                      209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                      1. foie gras creme brulee at Cuvee. foie gras and sugar! Yes , There is a reason I've put on 25 lbs since I moved here!

                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                        Cuvee Restaurant
                                                                                                                                        322 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                        1. Peakseason oyster loaf, dressed, from Casamento's

                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                          Casamento's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                          4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                                                                                                                                          1. As I read these posts, I could not stop thinking about a Chocolate Creme Brulee at Ralphs on the Park that I had about a year ago. It was a special, so I doubt I will ever see it again, so I will have to attempt a recreation.

                                                                                                                                            The chocolate in it made it an excellent dessert that I am sure I would have talked about for a week or two, but what really pushed this dish into the stratosphere was the Jalapenos. They caramalized a couple of Jalapeno slices on top, and as best as I can tell, squeezed a little of the juice across the top of the dessert. The combination of the chocolate with just a little bit of heat from the peppers and the all too familiar carmalized sugar crust was simply amazing.

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: tigerbuilder81

                                                                                                                                              Shrimp Uggie with an oyster Po Boy in December 2000.

                                                                                                                                              Nothing else was even close, including the sublime duck at Brigstens, the many soft shell crab and cochon de lait po boys at fest, the heavenly Commander's Brunch, the awesome 2007 trip to Coop's place for the crawfish and tasso pasta, the ridiculously good Eggs Florentine at Elizabeth's this past spring, the wonderful shrimp & grits app at Herbsaint, the classic duck pappardelle at Maximo's, the burger at Port O' Call, the oysters at Acme & Felix's, the debris at Mother's, the turtle soup at Brennan's ... nothing came close.

                                                                                                                                              OK, the BBQ shrimp at Mr. B's did ...

                                                                                                                                              but Shrimp Uggie is still "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" in N.O.

                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                              Herbsaint
                                                                                                                                              701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                                                                                                                                                artichoke vincent from vincent's and their stuffed chicken and of course corn and crab chowder. potato salad from world deli in metairie galatoire's shrimp remoulade. hot cafe du monde beignets. drago's charbroiled oysters. the lump crab with creamy remoulade at br prime steak house at the beau rivage. wow. that is insane.

                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                drago
                                                                                                                                                New Orleans, LA, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                                                                                                                                                  Re: Bob MacAdoo's Uggie's poem;I love this post.

                                                                                                                                              2. the hand churned, made fresh daily butter at chef john besh's restaurant august.

                                                                                                                                                1. Lobster/Shrimp & Porcini Risotto at Stella!
                                                                                                                                                  A sensual encounter best savored with your eyes closed.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Only one trip to NOLA (on an expense account 20 years ago). Three memorable dishes: Crawfish Étoufée at Galatoire's; Chicken Bonne Femme at Tujagues; best fried oysters of my life at Molly's Irish Pub on Toulouse in the French quarter.

                                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                                    Galatoire's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                    209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                    Tujague's
                                                                                                                                                    823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

                                                                                                                                                    Molly's Irish Pub & Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                    732 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                    1. I saw one episode of "The Best thing I ever ate" and one of the chefs, I think it was Aaron Sanchez, mentioned the gnocchi dish from August. It wasn't as spectacular as he chalked it up to be. The gnocchi were slightly mushy, instead of being tender and fluffy.
                                                                                                                                                      Our favourites in New Orleans was the humble looking but delicious fried oyster and bacon sandwich from Cochon. The saltiness cut through the richness of the oysters like a razorblade. They were the perfect compliment to one another. The buttery rolls at the beginning of the meal were incredibly addictive too.
                                                                                                                                                      Also, they make a mean Fried Chicken dish at Emeril's NOLA restaurant. So crispy on the outside and tender/juicy on the inside.
                                                                                                                                                      We also adored the stracci: torn pasta, oxtail ragu & fried chicken livers from Domenica. Fat pappardelle pieces of pasta helped to mop up the nest of tender ragu meat. Crispy-crunchy golf ball sized fried chicken livers lined the perimeter of the huge bowl of pasta. It was a hearty but addictive dish.

                                                                                                                                                      http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com

                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                      Cochon
                                                                                                                                                      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                      Emeril's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                      800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                      Domenica
                                                                                                                                                      123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                                        I had the gnocchi at August about 3 weeks ago and mine was mushy too. No flavor at all either. I guess Aaron had it back when you got something for your money at August.

                                                                                                                                                        I liked Cochon's rolls and the bacon/oyster sandwich was okay. I won't get it again though.

                                                                                                                                                        Fried chicken livers and pasta? That's different!

                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                        Cochon
                                                                                                                                                        930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: texasredtop

                                                                                                                                                          So unfortunate about August's gnocchi dish. However, I can vouch for the tangy goat cheesecake my father selected. The creamy rectangular prism had an assertive flavour and a crumbled crust sprinkled over the top (gave it a deconstructed look. While it was not the best dessert in New Orleans that we had, it was quite enjoyable.

                                                                                                                                                          Would have to agree with you on the Oyster/bacon sammy at Cochon. While I loved every bite of it, it's not a repeat dish for me either

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, go try the Stracci! We got the large size. It's so filling you don't need to follow it with a fish or red meat dish.

                                                                                                                                                          http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com

                                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                                          Cochon
                                                                                                                                                          930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                                            I prefer the gnocchi at Patois, as well as Herbsaint's olive oil seared gnocchi with lemon, tomato, parm over August's.

                                                                                                                                                            Lilette's truffled parm toast with marrow is something everyone should try. Deliciously decadent.

                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                            Herbsaint
                                                                                                                                                            701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                            Lilette
                                                                                                                                                            3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                                              sugarcube, I totally agree about the oyster/bacon sandwich.
                                                                                                                                                              I really expected more than what I got out of it. There are so many other great options in the area that would keep me from ever seeking it out again.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                                                                                yeah +1. it just seemed alrite.. guess id rather get oysters somewhere else and focus on other items next time at Cochon.

                                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                                Cochon
                                                                                                                                                                930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: texasredtop

                                                                                                                                                              I've discovered the gnocchi is hit or miss. The first time I had it I was blown away. The second time it the gnocchi was noticably larger, had a terrible texture and not a great flavor. The DH and I had it in December and it was just as I remembered the first time - perfect in size and texture with a wonderful creamy sauce.

                                                                                                                                                              I think it may depend on who is making them...it's the only logical solution I can come up with for the two different experiences.

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: sugarcube

                                                                                                                                                              funny how everything works -- i love the gnocchi at August but found the oyster & bacon sandwich at Cochon unmemorable.

                                                                                                                                                            4. My latest fave is the pecan crusted fish with the meuniere sauce that I get at the Palace Cafe on Canal.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cestlavie455

                                                                                                                                                                Although not my absolute favorite, I also really liked the pecan crusted fish with Creole Meuniere I was served at Bourbon House (another Dickie Brennan restaurant). In fact, I liked it so much I asked for a bit more of the sauce -- they brought me a gravy boat full. The bread was an excellent vehicle for the extra sauce. Then I jumped in a cab and made it to the airport just in time to catch my flight home.

                                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                                Bourbon House
                                                                                                                                                                144 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                              2. The best thing I've ever eaten in NO has been the seared fois gras and peach first course at Iris.

                                                                                                                                                                Following that shortly would be a party at which we shucked and ate a sack of LA oysters just a month or two before the spill, pizza from Pizza Delicious and (surprisingly) Elizabeth's BBQ shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                1. The best thing I ever ate was a Turducken, the original, no limbs hanging off, just pure turkey, duck and chicken with three individual dressings. I have since made it three times and each time it gets better and better. It is an enormous amount of work, but well worth it! K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen Cookbook version is the best, but most folks will not want to go to all that trouble; pity because anything that delicious is worth the work...seriously!!!

                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                  K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                                  416 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cookingwithdenay

                                                                                                                                                                    Very tough indeed..
                                                                                                                                                                    Got to go with my first trip to Commaders the crab imperial devine... Very close second Emerls recpipe for Chrispy Redfish topped with a crawfish cream sauce on a bed of black eye pea
                                                                                                                                                                    Jambalaya ..

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Peristyle around 1998....perfect Sweetbread Appetizer with perfectly sized and crunchy bites of Sweetbreads, Potato, Pearl Onions, and Applewood Smoked Bacon. Can't remember the name of the sauce but I do remember it was applied delicately, thicker than molasses, and had a lovely sheen.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: yehyourite

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, yes, that was almost always on the menu. Perfection.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I absolutely loved anything from Lemon Grass Restaurant. I visited there many years ago and actually went there twice in one trip. Probably some of the best meals I have ever experienced. I believe it is closed now.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ottojr

                                                                                                                                                                        Lemongrass' chef is now in his kitchen at Cafe Minh.

                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                        Cafe Minh
                                                                                                                                                                        4139 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

                                                                                                                                                                      2. One of the best things I have had there was Fish Ferdinand at Jazz Fest. Does anyone know where you can get this in a restaurant?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Some kind of Foie Gras and cornbread appetizer at emerils before he went on TV, back when he ran his own kitchen. Best bite of food Ive ever put in my mouth anywhere, and Ive travelled qquite extensively.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. I live in NO back in the early 70s and there was Acy's Pool Hall on Camp St at Magazine St. This place had the best muff. they made their own dressing and the olive oil would saturate the bread while it was being toasted. It was a true sin. But then who knew?
                                                                                                                                                                            How about Pascal Manallie's BBQ shrimp? Or a plate of red beans for 19 cents at Buster Holmes? Some great oysters stew for Cassaminto's on Magazine? Soup and half a Po Boy at Liuzzie's? Damn I can go on? Mandenia's red gravy? Sorry, I stop

                                                                                                                                                                            1. l have just read all of these 145+ posts and have distilled my choices down to one, and only one. The beignets at Morning Call followed by the beignets at Cafe du Monde. Now more difficult to do a back to back as Morning Call has been in Metarie for some time. For my creds had a kid go to Tulane so l could visit a lot and eat . Heading down in January and from this list will eat at Casamento's, Cochon, August, and Commander's Palace, as well as Mosca's as l do still love it.

                                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                                              Cochon
                                                                                                                                                                              930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                              Casamento's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                              4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                                                                                                                                                                              Mosca's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                              Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

                                                                                                                                                                              Commander's Palace Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                              1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                Consider Brigtsen's for one meal - you'll not regret it.

                                                                                                                                                                                http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                                                Brigtsen's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: uhockey

                                                                                                                                                                                  Do l take out Cochon or August ?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd take out Colchon. August is more $ but Cochon is a City Effort to gussy up country stuff (for the most part)

                                                                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                                                                    Cochon
                                                                                                                                                                                    930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                      Didn't go to Cochon, but comment on that. Seems like mostly charcuterie to me which can be gotten anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The service at August was kind of average, in my opinion, but the food was good and regionally different. I really liked Luke (Besh's other spot) as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                      Cochon
                                                                                                                                                                                      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                    Instead of Paris in October I will be with the Mister in New Orleans. Will check these recommendations and get back to all. Was thinking of adding Herbsaint but
                                                                                                                                                                                    want a true New Orleans place.

                                                                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                                                                    Herbsaint
                                                                                                                                                                                    701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: t14072

                                                                                                                                                                                      After another incredible week in this great food town here's some more of my favorite dishes in the city:

                                                                                                                                                                                      Galatoires- pompano with crabmeat Yvonne
                                                                                                                                                                                      Antoines- lamb chops with alciatore sauce and pOmmes souffles
                                                                                                                                                                                      Emerils- pork chop
                                                                                                                                                                                      Restaurant August- gnocchi, banana rum cake
                                                                                                                                                                                      Upperline- roast duck, spicy shrimp with jalapeno cornbead, fried oysters wit remoulades sauces
                                                                                                                                                                                      Willie maes- dark meat chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                      Mothers- bread pudding
                                                                                                                                                                                      Luke- bread pudding
                                                                                                                                                                                      Commanders palace- pecan crusted gulf fish, foie gras du
                                                                                                                                                                                      Creole creamery- chocolate amaretto cheesecake, steens molasses and oatmeal cookies

                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                      Restaurant August
                                                                                                                                                                                      301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                                      Emeril's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                      800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                                      Galatoire's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                      209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                                      Upperline Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                      1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Let me add another Commander's Palace item.

                                                                                                                                                                                    They do an off-the-menu fried oyster dish that is fabulous. You'll have to forgive me that I don't remember the preparation, it was late-90s last time I was there, but I was with someone in the know who told me to order it. What I do remember is that is was not a regular fried oyster and tartar sauce dish and that it was served with some house made sauce - and that is was the best thing I ever ate in N'awlins.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. On 2 visits in the early 90's, I ate at Brigtsen's, Commander's Palace, Chez Louisiane, Dookie Chase, etc. but the meal I remember best was a soft-shell crab poboy at Streetcar Sandwiches out on South Carrollton in 1992. I think I ate it on my 2nd day ever in NO.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Second best would be a salad with the house mustard vinaigrette at Bon Ton Cafe. Also memorable was the first meal I ever ate prepared by a NO chef: blackened prime rib when Paul Prudhomme brought his restaurant to San Francisco in the mid 80's.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Commander's Palace Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                      1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                                      Brigtsen's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                      723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                                                                                                                                                                                      Bon Ton Cafe
                                                                                                                                                                                      401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                                                                                                                                                                        We were also great fans of the long gone, much missed Streetcar Sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                          What happened to them? I think I was last there in 1995. I sent a co-worker there a year or two later and she told me the business had been sold to Middle Easterners and that they had falafel on the menu along with po-boys.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The last meal I had from New Orleans, was a muffeletta from Streetcar that I took on the plane. It was great too. On that last day in town, I rode the streetcar out to South Carrollton to pickup the poboy and then came back and lunched at Bon Ton. I wish they would send me back to the South on business again.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Bon Ton Cafe
                                                                                                                                                                                          401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Boucherie!!!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Boucherie
                                                                                                                                                                                        8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I have a new best thing I ever ate in NOLA. Not exactly NOLA but on the Northshore, in LaCombe at Sal & Judy's. Took my parents there for their 51st anniversary last Friday and wow talk about good. The service was impeccable. Had the Softshell Nicholas. I have never had softshell crabs other than deep fried but these were pan sauteed and I don't think I will ever go back. The entree was only $31. With the two crabs and at least a 1/4lb of lump crabmeat this was fantastic!!! We will be back!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Sal & Judy's Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                          27491 Highway 190, Lacombe, LA

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Is it best to make reservations for these places or can you walk in off the street?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Aussietraveller

                                                                                                                                                                                              definitely always make reservations if you can.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. This will sound utterly insane, but bear with me, please.

                                                                                                                                                                                              My first meal during my first visit ever to New Orleans was during a conference in 2004. The meal which crystallized my awe for the quality and importance of dining and service in this great city? Seafood gumbo at the NOLA convention center. Seriously. The french bread was perfect; steaming hot, chewy and crusty, the server made sure to "dig out" some choice bits of lump crabmeat (and shells), shrimp and a single perfect oyster which she noticed after plating the rest of the dish, perching it just so on the fluffy gumbo-soaked rice. She then gave a bit of a friendly smirk and stated, "Baby, if you don't enjoy this, you come back for directions to my house for chicken and sausage gumbo." That was perhaps the only time in my life I wish I could lie effectively through my teeth, because I'd have done anything to secure that invite.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Have I had better gumbos? Probably. Better meals in the city? Absolutely. But I'll never, ever forget that gumbo, and what it represents to me to this day.

                                                                                                                                                                                              And.. a cheat! Not a restaurant meal, really... We like to stay at the Iberville on Iberville & Dauphine ever since that same visit as it shares the kitchen with the Ritz. And trust me when I say that I will never, ever, have a better cheeseburger than that from the Ritz's room service. (I'd happily stay at the Ritz, of course, but the Iberville is, shall we say, friendlier to our budget. We'll be in NOLA for the early part of Mardi Gras/ Thursday-Saturday before Fat Tuesday, staying at the Royal Sonesta.. and I'm considering booking a res at the M Bistro at the Ritz for lunch... just for that ridiculous burger and the sake of "tradition.")

                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                                                                "Baby, if you don't enjoy this, you come back for directions to my house for chicken and sausage gumbo."

                                                                                                                                                                                                Great anecdote!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kukubura

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've never felt more welcomed than in New Orleans, everywhere we went. I cannot wait to go back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kukubura

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agreed!! What a perfect example of the soul of NOLA. I love this story!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jessicheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                      It IS a perfect example. She's the one that stuck, but every restaurant we've been to I was addressed as "baby" or "cher" and it never, ever felt forced. I realize some might feel as if this was just pouring on the tourist-friendly charm, but I honestly believe we'd have been welcomed into her home for supper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Reading this post makes me miss my adopted hometown sooooo much. Can't wait to get back for the first time in over a year and a half...less than a month!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyways, I can't break it down to an idividual single dish so here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  App: Crabmeat cheesecake from Palace Cafe
                                                                                                                                                                                                  -I tried so hard to recreate this for thanksgiving last year and it just didn't work. The sauce broke and I almost started to cry.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Entree: Chicken and Waffles from Cuvee
                                                                                                                                                                                                  -I was heartbroken to hear this place closed. My first meal there was one the of the best meals I have ever had in my entire life. The chef overheard my friend and I talking about a dessert another table had and had it sent over to us....after we had a sample dessert plate. That dessert? A homemade orange moonpie. I loved everything about it. It was soo good. Even if the rest of the food had been meh that still would've been one of the best meals of my life. I've had chicken and waffles other places but this is the best on the planet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dessert: Bread pudding souflee from Commander's
                                                                                                                                                                                                  -I know it's cliche and overdone but cliches are cliche for a reason. This is not only my best dessert in the city but one of the best desserts ever. I even hate raisins and love this dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now I'm all hungry for nola food. Time to plan my food journey for next month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: thdiz1396

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I remember Cuvee's chicken and waffles being more like coq au vin and waffles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Paneed rabbit over pasta shells in tasso cream sauce at Jacques-Imo's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. This is a tough one, having eaten so many meals in my favorite food city over the years. But if I have to narrow it down to one (and this may only be because I can't get it anymore), I would say the Trout Meuniere at Chez Helene. I may have eaten better food, but I have no better memories of food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Runners-Up include:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Soft-Shell Crabs at Galatoire's
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Butternut-Squash Shrimp Bisque at Brigtsen's
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oysters Mosca and Chicken Grande at Mosca's
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pompano and Crabmeat Maison at Galatoire's
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Crawfish Etoufee and Corn-Crab Bisque at K-Paul's
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shrimp Arnaud
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dookie Chase's Gumbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fois Gras du Monde at Commander's
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cane River Shrimp at Upperline
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chargrilled Oysters at Drago's
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bananas Foster at Brennan's
                                                                                                                                                                                                      And the memory for which I'm most grateful: On the last day of my very first New Orleans visit (April 1976, I was 20 years old), I was directed, almost by accident, to Buster Holmes, where I had the best plate of red beans and rice (with sausage) ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Happened upon this thread while preparing for an upcoming visit: Looking forward to stretching out and eating like a king for 23 days, starting April 8. It'll be my first visit in two years, my first of that kind of length in over five. Can not wait.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Boatman

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Prudhomme's crab and corn bisque is terrific. The best i've had was offered as the soup du jour at Cafe Giovanni a couple years ago. Wonderful flavor and spice. Can't imagine why it's not a menu fixture. My husband also has fond memories of Buster's $1 red beans. Get Brigtsen's softshell(offered as a special). Inquire as to availability when you make your reservation. You'll need to reserve that too as they sell out early every time. IMO, the best in town with pecan menuniere.