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Dec 7, 2009 10:05 PM

Advice for a first timer! Sugar Bowl / New Years

I am going to be in New Orleans for the first time for the Sugar Bowl. I realize that the town will be totally nuts for the New Years/Bowl Game. I am looking for recommendations for two dinners (one new years night) and any lunch/brunch recs. I won't be there for Sunday jazz brunches (which disappoints me), but any other Lunch/Brunch recs would be greatly appreciated.

As far as dinners go, I was looking at Stella, Restaurant August, Lilette and Mila as maybe my top choices for at least one really nice diner. Any thoughts on those choices? Anything I missed that's a can't miss? Off the beaten path jems are also greatly appreciated.

I realize that I haven't given a whole lot of specifics here, but this is my first trip and I want to do it right. Help me out Chowhounders! Thanks so much in advance for any advice.

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  1. make your reservations now and be sure to reconfirm; and by all means call if you have to cancel them, as it is easy to get caught up in celebrating NOLA and deviate.

    below is my response to someone asking about December in NOLA:
    the above thread on December in the Fr Qtr
    thread on non touristy eats


    My favorite restaurants in the French Quarter are:

    Galatoire's (jacket required for men at dinner): oysters rockefeller, oysters en brochette, seafood stuffed eggplant, lamb chops béarnaise, crabmeat au gratin, fried soft shell crabs w/crabmeat, godchaux salad, soufflé potatoes.

    Mr.. B's: great gumbo Ya-Ya, BBQ shrimp, any fish of the day plank grilled, and profiteroles for dessert.

    Irene's: the duck is amazing, and the chicken rosemarino is a classic Creole Italian dish.

    Muriel's at Jackson Square: good gumbo, goat cheese and crawfish crepes, puppy drum, and double cut pork chops.

    Iris in the Bienville House for veal cheek ravioli, mussels, foie gras, duck confit, sunchoke and cauliflower soup, scallops and skate wing.

    Go to Cafe du Monde (riverside of Jackson Square) for beignets and coffee any time of day.

    Check out Stanley on Jackson Square for breakfast or lunch. Scott Boswell also has Stella!, but this is his casual restaurant that cranks out some good food too:

    For raw oysters: Desire Bar in the Royal Sonesta, Bourbon House, Acme or Felix's in the Qtr., Luke in the CBD on St. Charles Ave., Pascal's Manale and Casamento's Uptown.

    For good drinks: Carrousel Bar at the Monteleone (a must visit), French 75 Bar at Arnaud's, Lafitte's Blacksmith, Absinthe House, Napoleon House, Hermes Bar at Antoine's, Chart Room on Chartres, Sazerac Bar at (recently reopened) The Roosevelt.

    Central Grocery for muffalettas. These are great for the plane ride home. Be sure to check their hours, as they may be closed when you fly home. They pack well, so you can buy a day before flying. If you like your muffalettas warmed (which I do), then eat at Napoleon House or heat up the CG when you get home. I find it opens up the flavors of the meats, cheese and olive salad.

    Green Goddess is the newest and most talked about in the Qtr.
    Menu looks amazing:

    Other Breakfast places:
    Croissant D'or (great pastries
    )617 Ursulines Ave
    (504) 524-4663
    Open Wed-Sun 7am-2pm

    EAT (great brunch and BYOB

    If you have a car or will take the streetcar, head Uptown for J'Anita's, Martinique, Clancy's and Patois.

    J'Anita's in the Avenue Pub on St. Charles Ave. for great BBQ for lunch. They also have the best fish sammich ever!

    Martinique Bistro on Magazine has great food and a beautiful courtyard.

    Clancy's on Annunciation is terrific; get the oysters w/brie, sweetbreads, the smoked soft shell crab and the veal chops. and their frozen Brandy Alexander's are good for dessert.

    Patois on Laurel for rabbit, moules frites, and pork belly. This has become one of the best new restaurants and well worth trying. Open also for Friday lunch and Sunday brunch, if that fits in your schedule.

    Or, head to Mid-City for Mandina's on Canal St. for turtle soup, oyster po boys, and trout or Parkway Bakery and Tavern for the best roast beef po boys.
    (Mandina's is cash only.

    In the CBD, across Canal St from Fr. Qtr., try Rambla in the International House Hotel for great tapas, Luke on St. Charles for oysters at the bar, duck and rabbit pate, choucroûte maison, and moules and frites, Domenica in The Roosevelt for goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms, grilled radicchio, and any of the pastas and pizzas. If you are in town for lunch Friday, Restaurant August has a 3 course for $20.09 that is stellar. Other places: Herbsaint and Cochon (both Donald Link restaurants), Rio Mar and La Boca (both Adolpho's restaurants) and his new place, a Mano.

    Mandina's Restaurant
    3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

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

    Avenue Pub
    1732 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Restaurant August
    301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

    930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

    Casamento's Restaurant
    4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

    Rio Mar Restaurant
    800 South Peters, New Orleans, LA 70130

    J'Anita's Restaurant
    1906 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA

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

    701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

    La Boca Restaurant
    857 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA 70130

    International House Hotel
    221 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA

    217 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Green Goddess
    307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Bourbon House
    144 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Chart Room
    300 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Mandinas Restaurant
    4240 Highway 22 Ste 2, Mandeville, LA 70471

    1. What a great list EC!

      Allstate's Sugar Bowl is a huge corporate event, that really starts on the 26 and runs thru
      Sunday. As such, alot is already on reserve. I'd try going on open table to see what's there asap - really, do it this weekend at the latest. Restaurants may ask for a cc# for reservation, because of the higher # of no-shows that sports events draw.

      Keep in mind that Wed & Thurs is fan fest in the Jax Brewery area - NOPD usually blocks
      off a section of Decatur because of this, so allow more time if you're walking about this
      area of the quarter. There is always a really good band for this - e.g. Blues Travelers -
      that draws a crowd. The tailgate party at the Dome starts early too, again always a good
      band, lots of crowds walking down Poydras for it.

      If you find your first choice group is booked-up, try Brightsens, Clancy's, Upperline, Patois, Gautreau's, Lillette, La Petite Grocery - places further out from the CBD & FQ that
      you would need to drive to. It always seems that every Florida fan drives in for the game!