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Again...Galatoire's versus Commanders Palace...

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ernie0716 Oct 28, 2009 06:40 PM

I've read a lot of posts regarding these two institutions, but I can only have one more dinner.
Any suggestions, going to NOLA next week. Also going to August, Emeril's, Cochon, Brigtsen's.
Can't do both lunch and dinner. Thanks.

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Emeril's Restaurant
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Brigtsen's Restaurant
723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

  1. Bill Hunt Nov 20, 2009 08:27 PM

    OK, Galatoire's was not on our last visit, but Commander's was. We had done each probably several dozen times over the decades.

    You have to consider the time difference, but Galatoire's won hands down. I wanted CP to do well. They had let us down badly on a previous trip, and then we'd done two events, where they did not shine, but these were events, so did not count. For us (wife had probably 20 birthdays at CP's) Galatoire's was the winner.

    Just our observations.

    Enjoy,

    Hunt

    PS - August, while not perfect (wine), was very good. Brigtsen's has always been very good to excellent.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt
      s
      SanJoseHound Nov 21, 2009 07:25 AM

      Hi Bill,

      We plan to visit August for dinner in a few weeks, and I was wondering if the wine pairings had improved. I've read some earlier posts that seemed to suggest the food & wine pairings were a little off. Any comments about this would be very much appreciated!

      Carminia

      1. re: SanJoseHound
        c
        ChrisVA Nov 23, 2009 09:42 AM

        We did the Degaustation menu with wine pairings back in May and other than one wine (that we later found out the waiter had substituted on his own from what the Sommolier had put together) the pairings were really spot on.

        1. re: ChrisVA
          s
          SanJoseHound Nov 24, 2009 12:28 PM

          Thanks a lot - this was exactly the answer I was looking for. If you don't mind, may I ask you the price of the degustation menu, with wine pairings? I'm just trying to get a rough idea so I can complete my vacation budget. Thank you.

          1. re: SanJoseHound
            c
            ChrisVA Nov 25, 2009 08:32 AM

            It is not cheap, but in my mind anyway was well worth the price. Dinner for two with wine, tax, and tip was just north of $500.

            1. re: ChrisVA
              s
              SanJoseHound Nov 25, 2009 05:11 PM

              Just got the stamp of approval from the "boys" (my husband and our good friend) so I guess this will be our splurge restaurant for the trip. Glad to hear it sounds like the food & wine pairings have dramatically improved.

              1. re: SanJoseHound
                c
                ChrisVA Dec 2, 2009 10:19 AM

                Would be most interested in seeing your review. Hope you enjoy, I know we loved it.

                1. re: ChrisVA
                  s
                  SanJoseHound Dec 2, 2009 02:34 PM

                  Thanks, I'll definitely report back. Since I lagged making reservations, we had to take the 5:30pm slot. Since we're from the West Coast hopefully it will be OK.

            2. re: SanJoseHound
              c
              ChrisVA Nov 25, 2009 08:42 AM

              Also let me add when I pointed out to the waiter that the one particular pairing really didn't seem to hit the mark that is when he told me he had substituted for a wine that they had just recieved that he thought would go well. He then brought me the wine that the Sommelier had recommended it too was spot on.

              1. re: ChrisVA
                Bill Hunt Nov 29, 2009 07:31 PM

                Note to servers: the sommelier is there for a reason. Let them earn their keep, and do not try to second-guess them.

                Hunt

          2. re: SanJoseHound
            Bill Hunt Nov 24, 2009 07:14 PM

            I wish that I could help. The sommelier changed, after our meal, and she has gotten great reviews. I have just not been able to get back, so I can only rely on the folk, who have been able to report. So far, things sound great, and I hope to get back on my next trip.

            That was the only weakness in our, otherwise excellent experience.

            Hope that this weak-link has been addressed, and that things are much better. Chef Besh's fare needs better treatment.

            Enjoy,

            Hunt

            1. re: SanJoseHound
              Bill Hunt Nov 29, 2009 07:30 PM

              I apologize, as I have been in the air too much recently.

              I have not had the opportunity to get back. However, others, who's opinion I respect, tell me that the new sommelier has turned things around. As the food was great, and only hampered by some mediocre, pedestrian wine selections (at best), I am glad to hear this. Chef Besh's food needs to have equal accompaniments. When we last visited, it was obviously not so.

              We plan on getting back on our next trip, and I hope to put them to the full test. For us, wine is an integral part of each meal, after about 10:00AM, and often even then...

              I hear that they young lady sommelier has turned the program around - good for her!

              Please let us know how you like it.

              Enjoy,

              Hunt

          3. c
            ChrisVA Nov 5, 2009 12:45 PM

            I have eaten at all of the places you list in the past year and recently did Commanders and Galitore's on the same day (brunch at Commanders, dinner at Galatoires). I would add another vote for Commanders. Galitores is a wonderfully historic place that makes you feel like you are eating in old New Orleans, but the food did not wow me. Commander's food is fantastic and the atmosphere is great too. Ask for the Garden Room upstairs and you will not be disappointed. All of the other places on your list are fantastic, August and Brigsten's are two of my favorites in the city and they will wow you. Enjoy

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

            8 Replies
            1. re: ChrisVA
              h
              hazelhurst Nov 5, 2009 01:34 PM

              Both Commander's and Galatoire in the same day is heavy hitting, indeed. I've done the opening part of lunch--turtle soup is the obvious choice--at Comander's and then decamped for Galatoire's on more than one occasion.

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

              1. re: hazelhurst
                e
                ernie0716 Nov 14, 2009 10:56 AM

                Back from NO and wanted to thank everyone who responded.
                We had great meals at Mr B's, August, Cochon, Emerils and the best ever duck at Brigtsens. Beignets every morning for breakfast. So so brunch at Antoines and unfortunately Galatoires was a bust for us. Never made it to CP, but I'll be back cause I loved NO!

                -----
                Cochon
                930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                Emeril's Restaurant
                800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

                Brigtsen's Restaurant
                723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                1. re: ernie0716
                  kukubura Nov 15, 2009 06:48 AM

                  In what way was Galatoire's a bust?

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

                  1. re: kukubura
                    e
                    ernie0716 Nov 15, 2009 08:39 PM

                    The atmosphere was great, we sat downstairs. We had a very nice waiter, good Bloody Mary's. My shrimp remoulade, the shrimp were mushy. My friend had the turtle soup which was okay. I had the lamb chops with mushroom/bordelaise sauce. They were cooked a bit more well done than ordered and I wasn't wowed by them, something I could do at home. My friend had the shrimp creole, again mushy shrimp and bland sauce. The souffle potatoes were cold and greasy.The waiter knew we were unhappy and brought a cup custard on the house, but it was very dense. Maybe it was us, other folks seemed to be having a grand time.

                    1. re: ernie0716
                      l
                      Littleman Nov 19, 2009 05:04 PM

                      My Two Cents. I love Galatoire's and CP both but "lamb chops" at Galatoire's doesn't give the diner the true NO dish that G is so famous far. The trout amadine with crabmeat or other seafood dishes is superb. You can get lamb chops in NY, Canada, CO or whereever. NO is seafood country.

                      1. re: Littleman
                        kukubura Nov 20, 2009 03:16 AM

                        I think our one lamentably chaotic Galatoire's meal to date was pretty classic. Looking at my Gal's receipt (which has been sitting on my desk since June 08) I see we had:
                        Oysters Rock
                        Crab Maison
                        Brabant Potatoes
                        Broccoli and hollandaise
                        Crab Sardou
                        Trout Meun Amandine

                        The receipt is absolutely filthy with wine and sauce stains, which makes sense because that whole night was a mess. But we did get engaged later that night (after many drinks at Carousel, out on Royal st) so the receipt is worth keeping.
                        How did we do?

                        1. re: Littleman
                          uptownlibrarian Nov 20, 2009 04:09 AM

                          Disagree. Lamb chops with sauce bearnaise is a classic Galatoire's dish.

                          1. re: uptownlibrarian
                            c
                            ChrisVA Nov 25, 2009 08:40 AM

                            I really do not want to bash Galitores, it is a historic treasure and should be on anyone's to eat list while in New Orleans, but I have to agree with the comments of the OP, the food just did not wow me. It was good but not memorable. Our server could not have been more polite or helpful, but I fear that in a city with so many great dining options, that Galiore's is not the top destination it once was. I went in really wanting to love it, but I came away thinking I have checked it off my list, but probably won't be back.

              2. c
                Coconuts Oct 30, 2009 08:02 PM

                We had a great meal at Commander's, and food that would have been more at home at a nursing home cafeteria at Galatoire's. The sweetbreads were completely devoid of salt, the asparagus was overcooked, and one of the sauces was broken. It was JazzFest in 08, but so was our Commander's visit (as well as MiLa, which was also excellent).

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

                6 Replies
                1. re: Coconuts
                  h
                  hazelhurst Oct 31, 2009 07:36 AM

                  I like the nursing home cafateria line..reminds me of Quentin Crisp's shot at Wilton's which he said wass favored by the english aristocracy becuae it reminded them of bland food served in their childhood by nannies....

                  Send the asparagus back.

                  1. re: hazelhurst
                    c
                    Coconuts Nov 1, 2009 10:45 AM

                    When *absolutely nothing* is prepared with any care at all, there's no reason to bother sending anything back.

                    1. re: Coconuts
                      h
                      hazelhurst Nov 2, 2009 04:54 AM

                      Well, no one learns that way.

                      I'll make sure they hear the complaint.

                      1. re: hazelhurst
                        e
                        ernie0716 Nov 2, 2009 06:38 PM

                        So it looks like Galatoire's has won the spot, my friend really wants the atmosphere, we'll try and order carefully. Also will go to Central Grocery, Mr B's,Parkway, Cochon and either Dookie Chase or Willie Mae's (yup, fried chicken) for lunches. Phew, anyone ever see the movie La Grande Bouffe?

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                        Cochon
                        930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

                        1. re: ernie0716
                          kukubura Nov 3, 2009 03:43 AM

                          Now you only have to figure out which lunch you're going to swap out for Commander's! ;) (seriously, do this)

                          1. re: kukubura
                            e
                            ernie0716 Nov 4, 2009 07:38 AM

                            I know, a very difficult choice!

                2. h
                  hazelhurst Oct 29, 2009 09:22 AM

                  If you rush your meal at either one you will miss much of what it is all about. Commander's is probably your best bet since Galatoire's takes some people time to learn. The Commander's "experience" is more akin to what :"fine dining" is thought to be elsewhere although it still has its distinct style. It has been, I've noted before, a roller coaster place for over thirty years but when it is on, it is bang-on, and evidently it is doing well right now--but I still cannot get the memory of that dreadful coffee out of my mind.

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hazelhurst
                    e
                    ernie0716 Oct 29, 2009 06:05 PM

                    Thanks for all your tips! I'm having a hard time trying to get to all the food in a mere 4 +1/2 days!

                  2. TaTee Oct 29, 2009 09:00 AM

                    I love them both, but if I could only choose one, I would make luncheon reservations at Commanders. The $0.25 martinis are the first thing to order, and ask the waitstaff to keep the garlic bread coming throughout the meal. I would have the 3 soups, Shrimp Henican and one of the luncheon specials. They have brought back my favorite dessert, the praline parfait, so I would recommend that.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TaTee
                      kukubura Oct 29, 2009 07:54 PM

                      One time they had a crawfish strudel that was sitting on top of some other lovely things (I really wish I would remember what) that was just out of this world. I could eat that every day!

                    2. N.O.Food Oct 29, 2009 07:31 AM

                      To me, Galatoire's is more of an experience type of place and is less about the food. The food there hasn't changed in a hundred years. In some ways that's good; in some ways that's not. That said, there are many things that Gal's does well. Search the board for some stuff to order. I'd give Gal's a 10 for New Orleans experience and a 7 for food.

                      Commander's is more about the food. It's less of a traditional new orleans experience, even though the experience at Commander's is great. They can really make you feel at home. Probably because Commander's is in a big uptown home. I'd give Commander's an 8 for experience and an 8 for food. I will say that Commander's seems to be better for lunch than dinner - whatever that's worth.

                      There's lots of good shrimp poboys. Crabby Jack's, Parkway, Domilise's, to name a few.

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                      Crabby Jacks
                      428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

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

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: N.O.Food
                        kukubura Oct 29, 2009 07:59 AM

                        I'm one of the big Commander's pushers on here but I agree that it shines for lunch. If you can swing that, do it for sure.

                        My Galatoire's experience was... complicated. I'm going to hold off on final judgment until I can try it one more time.

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

                      2. e
                        ernie0716 Oct 28, 2009 09:20 PM

                        Also, best shrimp po boy?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ernie0716
                          Bill Hunt Nov 20, 2009 08:24 PM

                          Felix's, across from Acme.

                          Hunt

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