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Romantic restaurant in Quarter

chickstein Sep 27, 2009 12:18 PM

Hi All!

I need a romantic restaurant to celebrate my husband's birthday next Saturday night. We are staying in the Quarter, but I am not opposed to going outside. I have dined at the usual suspects, including Stella, Brennan's, Palace Cafe, August and Muriel's. I am curious to hear what you suggest though.

Thanks in advance.

  1. edible complex Sep 27, 2009 12:25 PM

    check to see if Bistro at Maison de Ville has reopened. the courtyard is lovely there, weather permitting.
    also love the window tables at the Rib room.

    2 Replies
    1. re: edible complex
      TaTee Sep 27, 2009 12:33 PM

      Not sure what hubby deems "romantic," that is usually a feminine thing. They usually want good food and we like the ambience :-) thing. Would recommend Irene's...get a lot of both. http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...

      1. re: edible complex
        JazzyB Sep 29, 2009 06:12 AM

        Ditto window at Rib Room.

      2. r
        RoxRan0804 Sep 27, 2009 04:01 PM

        Irene's was what I thought of. My husband and I just had dinner there and it was very romantic. At least I think so!

        1. Bill Hunt Sep 27, 2009 09:03 PM

          Hello Chickstein!

          Sorry that I did not see this one earlier. I owe you big time.

          For me, I'd go just outside of the FQ to The Grill Room (nee New Orleans Grill) at the Windsor Court Hotel.

          I know that I am probably too late, but you would have loved it.

          Enjoy, and Happy Birthday to your hubby!


          PS - going back to Blackberry Farm for the fourth time in Feb. My wife cannot get enough, thanks to you. We now seem to have a "permanent cabin - the Speckled Sussex."

          PPS - Can't wait to get back to San Antonio and Le Reve, thanks to you, again.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt
            chickstein Sep 28, 2009 06:34 PM


            I have a new one for you that you should not miss. Artisan in Banner Elk NC. Oh my, you would love this place. The food, the wine, it truly was magnificent. One of the best meals I have had.


            1. re: chickstein
              Bill Hunt Sep 29, 2009 06:47 PM

              Duly noted. I knew Banner Elk decades ago. Have not been back since the late '70s. Maybe we'll check out one of those Lexus 570's at Blackberry Farm and head over there. Still have not decided whether I will trade in my Landcruisers for the LS-570's, even though we took the one from BB F for a long spin in the snow last Winter.

              Just cannot think of any way to say "thanks" enough. You are Dr. Frankenstein, and my lovely wife is your "monster!" She cannot get enough, and I am happy to tag along. I only wish that I had gone with NetJets, or that someone had PHX to TYS flights - direct.

              I'll try to check out Artisan. If they do lunch, we can spend a lovely day driving the countryside, dine (not too much wine), and then get back to The Barn. BTW - BB F has reopened the Main House dining room, and offer some different fare. We're doing a weekend of wine events there, but hope to try the Main House. The Barn is nice, but we both missed aspects of the Main House dining room.

              I'll let you know, and if we cannot do it, I'll find a way to get to Banner Elk and stay for a couple of days. My wife has been having some meetings in Nashville, and I'll drive a half-day to spend a few nights with her, and great food in the Smokies.

              Thanks, and hope you get some great recs. here.


              1. re: chickstein
                Bill Hunt Sep 30, 2009 09:33 PM

                Shared this with my lovely wife, and her comment was, "hey, I just read an article on them." She could not recall if it was "Southern Living," "Food & Wine," or other, but she is looking for the article now.

                I also have one for you. Les Mars, Healdsburg, CA. We just did an event for a good friend, who owns Benovia Winery, and had a wonderful time there. The attached restaurant, Cyrus, was great, and the inn was outstanding. Of course, you probably know the owners and fly on their Citation 30 weekly, but I could not resist trying to share with you.


                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  chickstein Oct 3, 2009 06:17 AM

                  Bill, I have dined at Cyrus and yes, it is one of the best restaurants ever.

                  In case you haven't heard, Le Reve closed this week. Andrew and Maureen are opening a more casual concept in the Pearl Brewery.

                  Also, the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta closed for good this week.

                  This economy is annoying me!

                  1. re: chickstein
                    Bill Hunt Oct 5, 2009 07:50 PM

                    Wow! I've been trying to find a way back to San Antonio, just for Le Reve. I am greatly saddened. It was a wonderful blend of great service and wonderful food. Oh well, at least we made it, and greatly enjoyed it. While the rest of the dining experience was good, only Le Reve would bring me back. I wish them great fortune on their new endeavor.

                    We've never done The Dining Room in Atlanta, but have done the Chicago restaurant. It was good, but on our most recent trips to Chicago, have gone elsewhere. Same for our Oct. trip. Just nothing to bring me back. Sadly, I feel the same way about Charlie Trotter's.

                    As an update, we're doing the Taste of the South with Larry Turley at Blackberry Farm in Jan. Some great wino, foodie buddies have decided to join us. She writes cookbooks and does a lot of TV food work, and he's just a golf-playing, cigar-smoking wino, like me.

                    Let us know how your "romantic dinner" in NOLA goes.

                    For us, the economy has not hit home, with the exception of some great restauranteurs shutting down. That does NOT mean that the wolf is not at the door, or at least coming down the steps!

                    Take care, travel safely and dine well, as though there was any question on that last part.

                    Many thank-yous for your trusted and greatly appreciated recs. You have NEVER steered us wrong. We need to find a way to gather someplace, someday, and I'll be buying. OK?


                  2. re: Bill Hunt
                    strawberrygoldie Oct 17, 2009 03:51 PM

                    The restaurant is Artisanal, and it is fabulous.

                    Also try The Hearthstone, also in Banner Elk.

                    1. re: strawberrygoldie
                      Bill Hunt Oct 18, 2009 07:36 PM

                      Thank you for the clarification and for the links.

                      Next time over that way, when it's not snowing like a banshee, we'll definitely give them a try. Been too long, since we were in that "neck of the woods."



              2. Bill Hunt Sep 27, 2009 09:11 PM

                Now, from your list, I'd do Stella! first, and August second. This does not reflect negatively on August, but I really loved the "Old South charm" of Stella! The food was great at both, though Restaurant August did get graded down on the "sommelier's pairing." However, there is a new sommelier, and I have yet to put her to the test. Others have sung her praises, so my one reservation is now probably moot. Either would be very good.



                PS - we're doing the Turley event at Blackberry and hopefully the Blackberry Farm event at Tru in Chicago. You have created a "monster," but thanks.

                BTW - when at Blackberry Farm, Sam Beall is always on his toes, and his three other sommeliers are working overtime. I hope that he gives them "hazard pay," when we show up!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  chickstein Sep 28, 2009 06:32 PM

                  Hi Bill!

                  I am staying at the Windsor Court and have dined there a lot. You are right, excellent choice. I decided on Stella. I recently had the pleasure of hosting Scott Boswell at our winery so I think we will go there.

                  We are doing Commander's for lunch.

                  1. re: chickstein
                    Bill Hunt Sep 29, 2009 06:55 PM

                    Stella! will not disappoint. We've always been seated to the River-side and the tables seem to be separated a bit more. Lovely venue (reminds me of a grand Southern home, like my aunt's), and the food and service have been excellent. We've had great wine service there, whether doing limited wines for our family group, or the more intensive service for just the two of us.

                    Some argue that the cuisine is not really NOLA, but I find that Chef Boswell does a great job of taking local ingredients, and recipes, and doing his "thing" with them. We have always enjoyed each visit, and we do grade "hard."

                    For the "romantic" aspect, I was thinking more of the seating, and the lighting, at the Grill Room. Though I did not tell her who this was for, when I asked my wife for her NOLA "romantic" choices, she said "table #8 at CP's, and then Stella!" Now, considering that two of four visits to Stella! have been hosting her NOLA family, so "romance" is not really an issue, this surprised me. When pressed for The Grill Room, she said, "oh yes, that was great too... "



                    BTW - we need to talk about your winery. My e-dress is in my Profile. We're flying for a full month, but will be home for the latter part of Autumn and much of the Winter. If you get a moment, please drop me a line.

                2. Bill Hunt Sep 27, 2009 09:23 PM

                  My wife, the Blackberry Farm fanatic, says that table #8 (now #308) at Commander's Palace is her vote. We did her birthdays there for many years, even after we moved from NOLA. It is OBVIOUSLY not in the FQ, but is a short cab-ride away.

                  Now, the last time that we celebrated her birthday in NOLA, we had booked table #8 (pre-K) about 6 mos. out. I called and also FAX'ed to confirm table #8. All was good. When we arrived in NOLA, I called again to confirm. When we arrived, I was told that some "important people" had decided that they wanted table #8, so we were forced to dine elsewhere in CP's. This did not sit at all well with me, and I am not sure that I have completely forgiven them for this transgression, but that was long ago - the day after Chef Shannon died. Still, that is where my wife chose of all the spots in NOLA, including the location, where I proposed to her - maybe she now regrets that dinner?

                  Enjoy, and please let us all know where you chose.


                  PS - from your list, she chose Brennan's, and there was once a time that she'd never have said that, so they have changed things from the '70s.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                    kibbles Oct 1, 2009 01:25 PM

                    ah so #8 is now #308? i remember asking for 8 based on your comments and being told there is no 8.

                    1. re: kibbles
                      Bill Hunt Oct 1, 2009 10:19 PM

                      That was a report on CH. I have not confirmed with Commander's Palace. If you talk to them, please update, so we will all know.



                  2. w
                    Windsome Sep 28, 2009 12:29 PM

                    The best combination in the FQ for romantic setting and quality food is Bayona. Nothing else really comes close. Dine in the patio if weather permits.

                    1. c
                      catherinelacey Sep 28, 2009 02:01 PM

                      I second Bayona. Actually, I am going to strongly advise you to go there. I lived in New Orleans for 5 years and ate at almost every restaurant in the city and for inventive, delicious food in a romantic atmosphere, Bayona is your best bet. Susan Spicer is an amazing chef. I even went there only months after Katrina and it was still as amazing as ever.
                      Nothing else, except maybe Upperline (uptown) comes close.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: catherinelacey
                        chickstein Sep 28, 2009 06:35 PM

                        I think we will try that for Friday night. I have never dined there. I need to try it.
                        Thank you for the reccomendation!

                        1. re: chickstein
                          Bill Hunt Sep 29, 2009 06:59 PM

                          Chef Spicer has a very good restaurant, and we greatly enjoyed it. However, I have to admit that we were always hosting family, and believe that we always dined inside. While the food is great, and the venue nice, I think that I missed the "romance," but we NEVER dined on the patio. I'd go, just for the food and the service. The wine list is nice, though slightly limiting. It works with the cuisine, and is fairly priced, or was. I'd just have liked to see a bit more depth, especially with FR whites, because they go so well with much NOLA cuisine. Maybe the sommelier reads the reviews, and agrees?


                      2. f
                        foodophyle Sep 29, 2009 09:13 AM

                        This is vote #3 for Bayona. It was the first place I thought of when I saw your topic. Weather should be delightful on the patio, which have twinkle lighting and its tres romantinque!! (excuse my mispelling)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foodophyle
                          don515 Oct 1, 2009 01:39 PM

                          Vote 4 Bayona. One of best things is the service is relaxed not stuffy.


                        2. l
                          Liz Gober Oct 5, 2009 08:15 PM

                          STELLA !!!!!

                          1. j
                            Jeff_NO Oct 8, 2009 09:52 AM

                            For a more lively, but still quite romantic atmosphere and delicious food, I'd go with Bombay Club. Upscale, contemporary creole menu, great bar and live piano. It can get a bit loud near the "stage".

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