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Jul 16, 2009 05:29 PM

Best high-end restaurants for a birthday dinner?

I will be visitng New Orleans for 3 nights, and am solicting opinions regarding "best" high-end or "special occasion" restaurants in NO. How does Stella compare with Brigstens or Bayonna? Is the Commanders Palace brunch as good as advertised? Any suggestions for special meals or special places in NO for this short trip would be apreciated.

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  1. My personal list would be, and not in any particular order:

    The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel




    All have been great for us, and I've done reviews of each (Galatoire's might be to long ago, but there are tons of threads on it) over the last five years.

    How large a party will you have? Where will you be staying and will you have an auto? These could tilt favor towards one vs another.

    Happy Birthday,


    4 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      For a birthday I wouid say Commanders Palace. Happy bday

      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Thank you for the reply. We have eaten at Sella and loved it. I was considering trying Bayona and August this trip. I am deciding between Windsor Court and the Ritz carlton for hotels, and I will have a car.

        1. re: gjrubino

          check into the Roosevelt. just opened and part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection. internet rates start at $139. check out the Sazerac Bar and Restaurant. and depending on your dates, Besh's Domenica restaurant may be open.

          1. re: edible complex

   had a summer special at the Roosevelt that includes: Buy 2 nights, get the 3rd night free, 2 complimentary Sazeracs at the Sazerac Bar, Two breakfasts at the Sazerac Restaurant, and a voucher for a future night. (complimentary) Pretty unbeliveable, but true. Not sure if they are still running it or not.

      2. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how reasonably priced our "high end" restaurants are.

        I prefer CP for lunch in their garden room.

        Brigtsens is located in an old home. The interior is a bit shabby, service is friendly/very good . The food is very good. My one complaint is that most entrees come with the same mashed potatoes and sauteed veggies.

        I am in the minority of those that are not big fans of either Stella or Bayona.
        I'd rather dine at Cuvee, Herbsaint, Emeril's (flagship) or August.

        Galatoire's is quintessential NOLA. The food is classic old school. Forget the menu and let your waiter guide you along.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JazzyB

          i'll second jazzyb's thoughts. i took deb to brigtsen's for her birthday last october and we were not disappointed. skipping bayona is a good idea. galatoire's? always a good choice.

          haven't figured out a birthday dinner for this october yet. deb wants to see the saints/giants game so i guess i have my work cut out for me.

        2. Commander's Palace is the best "special occasion" restaurant IMHO. Have been there for birthdays, anniversaries, etc and love it. Brigtsen's is wonderful, but is a very small space, and not necessarily conducive for parties. I love Stella. The chef's tasting will take you several hours, but is highly recommended for a celebration. Bayona is a beautiful space and the courtyard is lovely. You will win no matter what you choose in this group. Also consider Restaurant August or Galatoire's. I would tend to steer you away from Arnaud's or Antoines. I have not been please with those two as of late. Happy Birthday!

            1. re: thew

              I love August to but have more fun at commanders

            2. I have not been to Brigstens or Stella, but Bayona is fantastic. It's also intimate and romantic in scale. Definitiely try it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: fm1963

                I've been fortunate enough to dine at all three in the recent past.

                Bayona is everything that you mention. The food, and the service were excellent, as well.

                Based on the total experience, I'd give a slight nod to the other two, but that might vary, night for night.

                Do yourself a favor and fit the other two into the mix. It will be a win-win situation. You may still feel that Bayona is the top of the three, but are not likely to have anything but stellar meals at the others.

                Though we have always dined indoors at Bayona, I hear wonderful reports on their courtyard. The descriptor "romantic" is most often used for that venue.