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Best high-end restaurants for a birthday dinner?

gjrubino Jul 16, 2009 05:29 PM

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. Bill Hunt RE: gjrubino Jul 16, 2009 07:15 PM

    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
      louisiana RE: Bill Hunt Jul 17, 2009 04:06 AM

      For a birthday I wouid say Commanders Palace. Happy bday

      1. re: Bill Hunt
        gjrubino RE: Bill Hunt Jul 18, 2009 08:05 AM

        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
          edible complex RE: gjrubino Jul 18, 2009 03:42 PM

          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
            ScarlettNola RE: edible complex Jul 18, 2009 05:09 PM

            Hotels.com 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. j
        JazzyB RE: gjrubino Jul 17, 2009 04:56 AM

        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
          steve h. RE: JazzyB Jul 18, 2009 04:09 PM

          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. s
          ScarlettNola RE: gjrubino Jul 17, 2009 06:21 AM

          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. thew RE: gjrubino Jul 18, 2009 04:11 PM

            i love august

            1 Reply
            1. re: thew
              louisiana RE: thew Jul 19, 2009 08:41 AM

              I love August to but have more fun at commanders

            2. f
              fm1963 RE: gjrubino Jul 20, 2009 11:50 AM

              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
                Bill Hunt RE: fm1963 Jul 23, 2009 08:29 PM

                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.


              2. y
                Yankeestuckintexas RE: gjrubino Jul 26, 2009 05:21 PM

                oooo.. Stay away from Stella!. Not that the food isn't ok (just ok IMHO) - it's the atmosphere - so stiff - you can hear a pin drop. It is the kind of place you know immediately that you have to whisper.

                Brigstens gets rave reviews - but I thought it was just so-so. Cool location, though.

                Personal favorite - Louisiana Bistro on Dauphine - cool little place - romantic - quiet - but the filet mignon with crawfish butter sauce was to die for. Crawfish are now out-of-season - but this place is the best.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Yankeestuckintexas
                  Bill Hunt RE: Yankeestuckintexas Jul 26, 2009 08:26 PM

                  Wow, you have had just the opposite of experiences with Stella!, than I have.

                  Glad that I always dined on the nights that I did, and not on the nights that you did.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                    mrsfury RE: Bill Hunt Aug 1, 2009 08:29 PM

                    The sommelier was even joking with us at Stella. We had a good time, without being loud but were not whispering either. Chef Boswell came out and talked to us for a while. He's quite interesting.

                2. g
                  gjrubino RE: gjrubino Aug 1, 2009 01:47 PM

                  Thanks to all who have responded. I will be going to NO next weekend, and have chosen Stella, August, and Bayona, w/ brunch at Commanders on Sunday. Any last minute suggestions???

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gjrubino
                    kukubura RE: gjrubino Aug 1, 2009 08:55 PM

                    BBQ shrimp at Mr B's for a lunch or a snack (split a plate at the bar)
                    If for some reason one of your nice restaurants doesn't pan out, consider The Pelican Club.

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