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Nov 4, 2009 09:28 AM

Authentic New Orleans Small Reception - Help

My husband and I were married in Hawaii on October 15th. We eloped, alone, no family knew we were even out of town. I grew up in New Orleans, he in Minneapolis. We now live in Minneapolis. We want to celebrate with our friends and family in Spring 2010 - two parties, one in New Orleans and one in Minneapolis. It's a little late, but it's too darn cold here to have the kind of party we want.

Because it's so much after our elopement, it won't be like a Wedding Reception. We've already decided that the one here will be in his father's backyard, tents, table/chairs, simple catering, with a titch of Luau feel. For the one in New Orleans, we don't have the option of someone's backyard, so we need a Location. This is where you come in.

Location. Location. Location.
Here's what I need: holds 100, authentic New Orleans homecookin', simple, cash bar option, close enough to Uptown/Quarter that my out-of-town guests don't need a car, buffet-style option, no need to hire outside catering or rent any decor items, a house band would be awesome - but at least the option to bring in, Friday night or Sunday morning, AND less than $30 a head.

Right now in the running: Crescent City Brewhouse, The Columns Hotel, maybe Mother's?

I've searched and received tons of information from the typical wedding reception places. But, I'm thinking we don't need all that hoopla.

More importantly, I want authentic New Orleans, not the boxed version for the tourists.

Have you had or attended a wedding and were just impressed by the reception?
Do you have a favorite location that you know has space for receptions?

Because I'm out of town, when I get into town, I won't have too much time to jolt around sampling and scouting. So, be my eyes, ears, and tastebuds. Most important to me is giving my guests real homecookin' New Orleans food from real New Orleanians without the "jazzy-ness", cajun-ness or any other Ness's that makes it feel like a theme.

Columns Hotel
3811 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

Crescent City Brewhouse
527 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. One of the nicest receptions (on the casual side) I've ever been to was at Rosy's Jazz Hall, which is located uptown on Tchoupitoulas St. The food was good, but it was definitely an open bar situation. I'm not sure if they do cash bars there. I've been to other events there (birthday parties, etc.) that have been open bar too, but never a cash bar.

    Another option might be upstairs at Napoleon House. I once (about two years ago) attended a nice reception there with passed appetizers and a buffet and the food was nice. But again, it was an open bar. I don't remember exactly how much it cost but I remember being surprised at how low price the price was when the host told me afterwards.

    The Columns Hotel is lovely for atmosphere, but the food has not been particularly good the few times I've eaten there.

    Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
    500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    2 Replies
    1. re: uptownlibrarian

      I am a violinist and have played two beautiful weddings at Rosy's. I was there to perform for the ceremonies, which were both held in the garden, but the hall is beautiful and very "New Orleans"; both wedding parties held their receptions there. I didn't try any of the food on my way out, but the guests seemed to love it.

      1. re: midcity

        A violinist? Really? I heard Joe venuti play at Rosy's in the Franklin Pierce Administration...and then went out with his mob. It was great.

    2. Napoleon House (apartment upstairs).

      Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
      500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

      3 Replies
      1. re: BayouTeche

        The room at the Napolean House is a little samll for 200.

        1. re: CharlieH

          OP said she needed room for 100. I think Napoleon House would be great.

          Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
          500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          1. re: CharlieH

            Oh, sorry, I edited... realized that I'm inviting 200 total for the Minnie and NOLA events, so I'm not anticipating ALL to get to NOLA.

            Thanks though!

        2. I have always had a good time at the City Park pavillion..must have been to a half dozen wedding receptions there. City Park chould have the information. the food has always been good...I think they do their own catering but honestly am not sure if you could get someone else in there. I've never been on the business end of it. If you have nice weather, it is a lovely little spot.

          1. Ok, now that we have the number sttraight, thought I was going crazy for a second, the Pavilion at City Park is a little big and would feel cold and empty, maybe if you kept it in the botanical garden area, they do their own catering so that would be all in one. Better I think would be the Audubon Tea Room, perfect size for 100, in the Park, nice outdoor are under the Oaks. Food is quite good also. No idea weather you could do that for $30 a head though. If that is out of your price range then I would go for the Columns or Rosey's which is a very neet place, former Jazz Club, I don't think they do their own catering. The Country Club, New Orleans is another option, don't be put off by their website, they do straight parties also, neet space. Very New Orleans. Napolean House is probably big enough, but Muriels would be much nicer, proabbly same prcie, they have a balcony overlooking the square, Napolean Hous does not, plus Muriels has goos food and, NH does not. Oh and if you want the Audubon Tea Room call within the next five minutes because New Orleans is hugely popular for events in the spring and so is the ATR.

            Country Club
            634 Louisa Street, New Orleans, LA 70117

            1 Reply
              1. re: edible complex

                Ohhhh... a fancy crawfish boil? That's an idea.

                Thanks for all the suggestions, keep them coming! I have looked into many of the suggestions already. Rosy's so an amazing space, does their own catering, but their prices are about $40+ a head. Crazy to me. Audubon Tea Room is even more and a little more fancy than I'm imagining.

                Any ideas of something more like a large in-restuarant buffet?
                I've looked into House of Blues, but decided chain restuarants need to be out.
                Acme Oyster House is one I plan to visit as well.
                Pat O'Briens wanted $40 a head... must be all in the name. Can't imagine it's for the food.
                Muriel's would be amazing, but the pricing is more than I care to spend as well, even though the locale and rep make it more worth it.

                I may rethink the amount of people I invite. If it ends up being less than 100 people, I would love to up the cost. Calcasieu would be really great for all my foodie friends.

                Keep 'em coming!

                Acme Oyster House
                1202 N Highway 190, Covington, LA 70433

                House of Blues
                225 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                1. re: makelifeinteresting

                  not sure of the cost, but i attended a very casual, fun reception at parkway bakery once. it's in mid city but not from the French Quarter. sunpie barnes was playing and the food was great.