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boston chef wants to know top 5 fine dining restaurants to visit in NO

tops 5's are always tough on chowhound, but I'm in the early stages of planning a visit and want to know whats hot on the culinary scene there.

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  1. brigtsen's, herbsaint, stella, august, gautreau's, commander's, emeril's, galatoire's. Some of these aren't "hot" but odds are you'll have a great meal/experience at all of them. They are in no particular order. I stuck to "fine dining" places, too. There are also a few newer places, but I haven't been to any of them yet: Le Foret, Le Meritage, and Besh's new italian joint in the Roosevelt Hotel. For a few casual places: Green Goddess, Cochon, Boucherie.

    1 Reply
    1. re: N.O.Food

      will add Iris and MiLa (fine dining), and a Mano and Domenica in the Roosevelt (what's hot).

    2. Five hottest restaurants in New Orleans are...
      Cochon
      Green Goddess (I haven't been yet, but this is based on Chowhound reviews and the fact that Chris DeBarre (sic?) is an amazing chef)
      Dominica
      Luke
      Rambla

      1 Reply
      1. re: shanefink

        Having recently dined at both I concur regarding Cochon and Green Goddess. Commander's Palace belongs on any Top 5 New Orleans restaurant list.

      2. If money were no object, in no particular order

        Restaurant Patois
        Stella!
        Restaurant August
        MiLa
        Herbsaint

        and for lagniappe, Commander's Palace

        1. What does "hot" mean? ANd what does "scene" mean? Often I encounter mixing of varied ingredients to Make Something New...leaves me puzzeled, dismayed, and usually unhappy. What is "hot" cools down, it seem to me.

          11 Replies
          1. re: hazelhurst

            Here is this week's Times Picayune's fall 2009 dining guide recommendations, "4 chefs to watch"

            Michael Farrell, Le Meritage
            Erick Loos IV, La Provence
            Scott Maki, Rambla
            Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette Bistro & Wine Bar

            and the TP food critic Brett Anderson's top ten restaurants, and their chefs

            Commander's Palace (Tory McPhail)
            Emeril's Delmonico (Spencer Minch)
            Ristorante del Porto (David & Torre Solazzo)
            Galatoire's (Brian Landry)
            Gautreau's (Sue Zemanick)
            Herbsaint (Donald Link)
            Lilette (John Harris)
            MiLa (Slade and Allison Vines-Rushing)
            Restaurant August (John Besh)
            Stella! (Scott Boswell)

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

            Stella Restaurant
            1032 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

            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

            Herbsaint
            701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

            Lilette
            3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

            Mila
            817 Common Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

            Gautreau's Restaurant
            1728 Soniat St, New Orleans, LA 70115

            1. re: mimadeli

              Interesting list. Since I am no longer a "local," I have to admit that top set is new to me.

              Of the latter, I have not made it to:

              Gautreau's
              Lilette
              Hersaint (in too long to comment)

              Based on my last trip, I'd put CP's at the bottom, though we tried to love it again.

              I do agree with the others, though Delmonico's did not make my Top-5 list for the OP.

              Gotta' spread myself on the next trip! Too many new, good-sounding places and chefs.

              Thank you,

              Hunt

              1. re: mimadeli

                I read that restaurant section (at lunch) and was surprised to see Delmonico's that high up. When the Big Rush from this edition dies down, maybe I'll wander oveer there and see What Gives. I suppose I should branch out more but, then, I do not get excited about goat-cheese-stuffed figs and other things that could be had almost anywhere. It might be a rut, but it is a pleasant rut.

                Was good to see Mosca's get a nice comment or two. At the end, though, I found myself wistfully thinking of so many good places that are gone....function of age.

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  Delmonico has been in his top ten for about a year now.

                  1. re: N.O.Food

                    That escaped me....bt I so liked the Old Place when the ladies had it that it is hard to be in the precincts without shedding a tear

                    1. re: N.O.Food

                      I could agree with that. Unfortunately, you guys and gals get to do so many more spots, than we do. Still, as I commented to Hazelhurst, Delmonico would be about #8 for me.

                      Gotta' do a full list, just to see where they place.

                      Hunt

                    2. re: hazelhurst

                      When you say "that high up" do you mean it literally? The list is alphabetical and in no particular order. I'm only chiming in because at the office on Friday when this came out folks were commenting on the fact that Stella and August "just made the top 10" and they went on and on for hours until someone looked at it and pointed it out.

                      Anyway... that is all.

                      1. re: haywire

                        Just the notiojn of the Top Ten..I do not follow Brother Anderson that closely.

                      2. re: hazelhurst

                        Hazelhurst,

                        Check out my review about 1.5 years back, and you'll get an idea of Delmonico. We loved the meal, and most of the service (except for the wines) was very good. I did not read the listing, but I'd put them about #8 on my list.

                        Enjoy,

                        Hunt

                        PS - my Panama just got a bit darker on my recent Hawai`i trip - thinking of you!

                      3. re: mimadeli

                        Let me chime in, if I may . . .

                        re: "4 chefs to watch" -- I've been to two of the four:

                        a) Rambla was quite good, but I didn't think it was great. Perhaps that's due to a number of similar places I've been to in the SF Bay area, or perhaps it was the hour (6:00 pm). Very enjoyable, just not "special."

                        b) Coquette was wonderful.

                        As for the "Top Ten," I've been to seven for lunch and/or dinner . . .

                        -- Commander's Palace (Tory McPhail): only been there for lunch, but have always had a wonderful experience with marvelous food.

                        -- Galatoire's (Brian Landry): again, lunch only -- Fridays, whenever we're in town -- and we've never seen a menu, but it's always been good food and lots of fun! Disclaimer: "our" waiter has come to stay with us in California and we've wined-and-dined together out here, having some truly incredible meals, among the best I've ever had, any time, anywhere.

                        -- Herbsaint (Donald Link): this was another meal I'd be hard-pressed to find anything to complain about; we had a great meal here.

                        -- Lilette (John Harris): ditto! In fact, I think it was Donald Link who suggested we go here.

                        -- MiLa (Slade and Allison Vines-Rushing): missing any sort of special "spark" to make it memorable. It was NOT a bad meal at all, just "good." In the restaurant's defense, we were there on a Sunday, so perhaps the "B" team was in the kitchen. But one waiter loudly complaining to a second waiter about a third in the middle of the dining room wasn't a good sign.

                        -- Restaurant August (John Besh): Been here 3-4 times, and each time the food has been spectacular! Service was off once.

                        -- Stella! (Scott Boswell): I'll keep quiet on this one, and presume I was there on an off night; and Scott Boswell was having an off day when he read my letter.

                        Other highly personal recommendations of mine would include

                        * Patois
                        * L√ľke
                        * Cochon
                        * Bayona

                        Cheers,
                        Jason

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

                        Cochon
                        930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

                        Bayona
                        430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

                        Herbsaint
                        701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                        Lilette
                        3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

                        Rambla
                        217 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      4. re: hazelhurst

                        You know, I really read over those terms. I stick with great food from fun chefs, and let the adjectives sort themselves out.

                        In PHX, some of those terms turn up some of the worst food in the Vally of the Sun. For me, it's about the dining, and I do not care about the "buzz." Of course, I'm "old-school," and many younger folk are looking for something else entirely.

                        That's why I listed my reference for this Chef. If he/she hated Excalibur, then they would likely not like my recs.

                        Hunt

                      5. These are my Top-5, and in no particular order:

                        Galatoire's
                        Brigtsen's
                        Stella!
                        MiLa
                        Restaurant August

                        As a bonus, I would add Bayona, and also Cochon.

                        Now, you have to realize that many, many great restaurants have not made my list. Also, not all fo my choices are pure "New Orleans," though I feel that all are great restaurants.

                        As a frame of reference, I really enjoyed Excallibur, last time in Boston. If you hate that one, please disregard my recs.

                        Enjoy,

                        Hunt