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First night in New Orleans—seeking atmosphere, great food and drinks, out of doors preferably…

ianrjohnson Aug 30, 2009 06:17 PM

Hi all…my first post. We are a group of food nuts about to land in New Oreans—not for the first time, but our first time together. On our first night (Thursday, Oct. 1) we are hoping the weather will be good enough to eat out doors, and we're looking for a place with excellent food, not necessarily fancy, but a pretty location—something that embodies a romantic vision of N.O. We will proceed to more high- and low-end options over the next few days and much of that is figured out, but we want a great recommendation for a place where we can immediately get in the mood and have great cocktails and food…hopefully outside, and hopefully not super super expensive. (Sort of expensive is fine.) Thanks in advance for your kind advice!

  1. b
    bronwen Sep 7, 2009 10:44 AM

    You can eat out at Commander's Palace, of course, it's pretty fancy. Also very nice is the little courtyard at the Bistro at Maison de Ville. I hope it's still open.

    1. edible complex Sep 5, 2009 06:55 PM

      call to see if they are open first:

      3 Replies
      1. re: edible complex
        Ambiance Sep 13, 2009 10:15 AM

        closed temporarily due to fire

        1. re: Ambiance
          edible complex Sep 13, 2009 10:23 AM

          wasn't sure if they had reopened since then or not.

          1. re: edible complex
            Ambiance Sep 13, 2009 11:58 AM

            I just checked it - since my husband and I had dinner there the night before we got married in Jax Sq - 8 years ago next week. Wanted to go back. They were so cool that night - since it was totally dead due to 9-11, they locked the doors and served us alone. Dug in the cellar a pulled out old favorite wines.

      2. s
        swampsue Sep 5, 2009 12:04 PM

        I'm guessing you want to stay in the Quarter/downtown area, is this correct? (note-Martinique is way uptown) and though this might not be your ultimate food destination, having a cocktail or three in the Napolean House Courtyard is about as old school New Orleans as it gets, and would be a perfect place to set the mood for the trip. Their food isn't write-home-worthy in my opinion, though they have a few options to tide a hungry crowd over, but for drinks it's an absolute classic. Lots of options are easy to get to from there, you could walk over to the Green Goddess just a few short blocks away, I haven't been but it's getting some great buzz, and you can sit outside in Exchange Alley, another spot with arguable ambience.

        5 Replies
        1. re: swampsue
          lawstudent Sep 11, 2009 04:14 PM

          This is a great idea. I went to Green Goddess for lunch the other day and it was outstanding. If they have the sweet potato biscuits - get them.

          1. re: lawstudent
            FoodChic Sep 11, 2009 04:22 PM

            I've never been to the Green Goddess, but this is the third time in a week I've heard about those sweet potato biscuits. I must try these on my upcoming trip.

            1. re: lawstudent
              kibbles Sep 12, 2009 08:27 AM

              +1 Green Goddess. have been for dinner and it was amazing - creative, new & old flavors worked in interesting ways, and an incredibly gracious owner-chef.


              1. re: kibbles
                FoodChic Sep 12, 2009 11:39 AM

                I'll be in town in two weeks for vacation. I cannot wait and I will definitely give this a try.

                1. re: FoodChic
                  mrsfury Sep 12, 2009 02:12 PM

                  The crab sandwich and cuban are wonderful. Try one of the creative drinks. I love the blood orange mimosa. I have not been for dinner yet unfortunately but will when I can. A warning, it's small and they don't take reservations.

          2. p
            philmaur Sep 3, 2009 07:03 AM

            1. Bayona
            2. Cafe Amelie

            1. k
              kibbles Sep 3, 2009 06:47 AM

              +1 Cafe Amelie. not world-class food but a gorgeous courtyard.

              1. nikinik Sep 2, 2009 07:45 AM

                +1 on Cafe Amelie (most beautiful couryard in Nola (IMHO)
                +1 Martinique Bistro

                Also suggest Feelings Cafe

                Have heard mixed reviews of late on Bayona.

                1 Reply
                1. re: nikinik
                  joedontexan Sep 2, 2009 03:35 PM

                  feelings is a great choice your right niknik

                2. edible complex Aug 31, 2009 08:14 AM

                  check out Martinique Bistro
                  start w/the jumbo lump crab cobb salad! it's all good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: edible complex
                    joedontexan Aug 31, 2009 03:05 PM

                    cafe amalie on royal, Old New Orleans cookery if they are still open has a great courtyard to dine in a pretty casual place.

                  2. FoodChic Aug 30, 2009 07:32 PM

                    Bayona and its courtyard is exactly what you are looking for...food is fabulous, the atmosphere is adult but not overly stuffy, and the courtyard is to die for...romantic, elegant, and pure New Orleans.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: FoodChic
                      ianrjohnson Aug 31, 2009 04:00 PM

                      These all sound great and I'm calling Bayona for a res.

                      1. re: ianrjohnson
                        FoodChic Sep 3, 2009 03:43 AM

                        You'll love it. Report back and let us about your trip.

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