First trip...need some advice!
OK...so next week is our 25th Anniversary so I am surprising her with a long weekend trip to New Orleans. I had this romantic ideal in my head where I just "kidnap" her from work and don't tell her where we are going. Well, reality has set in and I'm not really prepared. In addition to having to pack all our stuff (I'm a guy remember), I haven't really planned anything or know what to do. I need some help...Please!
This our first trip to New Orleans. I got a room at a Bed and Breakfast (Grand Victorian), so that is taken care of. Beyond that, that is it. Not sure where to eat, what to see, or what to do. I want it to be fun. I would like to eat somewhere where we can make reservations (so not waiting around), but not too stuffy (or outrageously expensive) so don't have to bring a coat and tie. My wife isn't the most adventurous eater (no strange meats), but I do what her to experience the food down there. I thought about doing one of those cocktail tours, but not sure if they are worth the money or not. Also we are both HUGE Tennessee Titans fans, so Sunday we will have to find a sports bar to watch the game (it's the Colts!), so any recommendations there would be great.
I am so freaked out and overwhelmed. I want to give her a great trip and don't want to be down there just wondering what do to.
Thanks in advance for any help and for the patience. I'm a guy, so I need to be told what to do....
You'll probably get lots of great advice, but I'll chime in with one...Brigtsen's. It's at the end of the St. Charles streetcar line, and you're right on St. Charles if I am right. Please see their menu at: http://www.brigtsens.com/
It's too bad that you're set on the game. Sunday jazz brunch at Commander's Palace, just a couple of blocks from your B&B. Both are, in my opinion, not to be missed.
Places I like:
Walking along the river near the quarter
City Park's Celebration in the Oaks http://celebrationintheoaks.com/
There are not many places that require a jacket and tie so you'll be ok there. I'd look over the many restaurant suggestions on this board then go on line and look at menus so you know what to expect.
Places near you:
Upscale: Commander's, Coquette, Lilette, Gautreau's
Casual: Joey K's, Parasol's
Dessert: Sucre, La Divina
All these places are either on or close to Magazine Street. I recommend walking around the Garden District and Magazine Street. Check out the cemetery across from Commander's. Definitely hit Parasol's for a roast beef poboy. Wander around the quarter and people watch. Eat at cafe du monde. Wander through the Marigny (east of the quarter). Definitely check out the WWII Museum. Check out the Audubon Zoo and/or park. Go behind the zoo and wander along "the fly." For the game, go to Bruno's, Cooter Brown's, or the Rendezvous, which is within walking distance. Also, ride the st. charles streetcar. Agree with all the other recs, too.
For a sports bar with some NO charm (in a loosely interpreted sort of way), I would take the streetcar down St Charles to Cooter Brown's, go up on the levee to see the river briefly, then settle down at Cooters, order at least a dozen raw oysters and maybe some hot food - a po boy or fried oysters and watch your Titans play and hopefully beat the Colts. ( It would sure be sweet to have the Saints as the only undefeated team.)
If you can, get a current guide book of NO, and let your sweetie choose places & things she wants to do and see. (Being surprized is nice but being in control is better. )
I would highly recommend some shopping on Magazine street - there are a lot of small unique boutiques, antique stores, and coffee shops, cafes in various clusters all a long the length of Magazine.
Hopefully the weather will be nice durning your visit & congrats on your 25th anniversary!!
One thing about your post struck me: my husband isn't an adventurous eater, either. I might be jumping up and down about a new restaurant, but he's loyal to the ones he likes.
For what it's worth, his favorites in New Orleans have been Domenica (authentic, contemporary Italian); MiLa (nouvelle New Orleans); and Taqueros (upscale Mexican tapas). They each had straight-forward dishes that appealed to him, and I think they're all fantastic, too.
I've never been on a cocktail tour, so don't know if it's worth it. You might consider some sort of pairing dinner, so you can sample drinks & food at the same time. A few months ago we went to a great 5-course Abita beer tasting dinner at Delmonico's (you could check out the Abita website and see where they might be doing it next)
I think one of the Brennan restaurants, Bourbon House, also does frequent pairing dinners.
If you're looking for an upscale bar with a great drinks list, I've heard a lot about Cure. (Haven't made it over there yet)
As for football, Cooter Brown's is a local favorite.
We found another one called Squeal, just a few blocks further up the St Charles streetcar line; get off at Oak St. and walk a few blocks (it's a charming, "Main Street" atmosphere with shops and restaurants along the way) Squeal doesn't have as many flat-screens as Cooter Brown's, but it does have great BBQ.
I hope all this helps, and happy anniversary! A very thoughtful gift!!