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Jan 12, 2010 05:35 AM

Four meals decided, but one bourbon-fueled wild card left

My wife and I will be returning to New Orleans this weekend. On our last trip I made the mistake of honoring a dinner reservation at Bayona after a gluttonous Friday lunch/martini fest at Galatoires (I distinctly remember being stunned that it was still daylight when we stumbled out at 3pm). Through no fault of the restaurant, the subtleties of that evening's meal were lost upon me - although I still remember that delicious garlic soup, which cut right through any palate fatigue.

We arrive this Friday and have a 1pm reservation at August. I suspect the atmosphere is much less debauched than Galatoires, and I promise I shall behave in a more civilized manner. After that we were thinking of taking a break in the hotel room, and then roaring out for a late afternoon/early evening tour of some of the classic bars in the FQ (eg, the Sazerac, French 75, Old Absinthe, Carousel). What would you suggest as a proper meal (or snacks) to accompany fairly sated bellies and a head full of amber fluids?

On a similar note, Saturday's lunch will be at Parkway Tavern and then the Saints kickoff at 3:30. What bar/tavern would you recommend for a couple of adults who'd like to GET A SEAT and watch the game. We would prefer not to be swallowed up by a sea of frat boys. A relatively civilized oasis, some jewel of a place that they could mix up a decent cocktail and serve a memorable snack during the game - but not as as dead as a mortuary. Does such a paradise exist in your fair city?

fwiw Dinner that night is at Cochon, and Sunday breakfast will be at Stanley's.


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  1. Hey Fast Eddie, I can totally relate to your Bayona story!! I did the same thing in October with Bistro Daisy..everyone raved, but I can't remember much, leaving me wanting to return. I have eaten in Bayona a few times, the food is excellent, I actually had the garlic soup the last time I was there, which was last january and it was FANTASTIC. The whole fixed price lunch was fabulous. I have eaten dinner there too, always great. I was to August last October and found it to be top notch. I love foie gras and after the waiter told me they would make me anything I wanted even if it wasn't on the menu I asked for foie gras as an appetizer...oh my GOD!!! Foie gras three ways, so rich and creamy, to die for, only thing it was so rich I could barely eat my entree, that said the food is very rich and satisfying, so you don't need a lot of it. Great restauant, great service, very nice choice. I love the Carousel Bar and you can always run across the street and grab some BBQ shrimp at Mr. B's Bistro. Have a great time I head back down January 25th!!! Go Saints!!!

    1. do let August fool. I had a 1pm and left at 4:30 after many cocktails and bottles of wine.
      Mr. B's is a great suggestion to grab a bite while bar hopping. You can eat at the bar. They serve a mean burger if you need to load up. Also check out Hermes Bar at Antoines's.
      The Rib Room bar is also nice, as is Touche' next door. I like the bars at the Chart Room and Chartes House (which has a fireplace).
      To watch the game, you might head to Ernst Cafe, La Cote Brasserie, Luke and Allegro.
      These are where most of the tailgating happens. Check to see who has TV's. I think Rib Room is also doing a game special, but again check to see if they will show the game.
      Have fun in Drew Orleans, Breesiana! Geaux Saints!

      6 Replies
      1. re: edible complex

        Thanks for the heads up on Mr. B's, it doesn't seem to get talked up very much but the menu looks great. That picture of the fried oysters on their website should be censored. I'm assuming the full restaurant menu is available in the bar?

        You mention Ernst Cafe, La Cote Brasserie, Luke and Allegro as popular tailgating places. What are the chances they'll clear out some and leave some seats available come kickoff?

        1. re: fast eddie

          with this game, it's anybody's guess how packed everywhere will be. for regular games, the tailgating sometimes started 2 days in advance. a lot of people will be camped out and cooking this weekend all along Poydras St. (rain or shine). enjoy the show, smells and sights!

          1. re: fast eddie

            Emeril's is where we'll be prior to heading over to the dome. They are open for lunch 11-2 and will keep the bar open for watching the game.

          2. re: edible complex

            I love Hermes bar and I believe I saw an ad in the Gambit about drink specials during the game there. If I have the energy to do it big for the game, that's where I'll be.

            1. re: lawstudent

              You can watch a game at Antoine's? Awesome, I'm all over that. This press release is hilarious, I love the last line:
              "New" is not a word one associates with Antoine's. The 169-year-old French Quarter restaurant is a fierce guardian of Creole tradition. But anyone who recently strolled past New Orleans' oldest eating establishment couldn't help but note a major addition: a bar that opens onto St. Louis Street.

              The Hermes Bar at Antoine's (725 St. Louis St.) debuted the Friday after Mardi Gras. The official grand opening, though, will be Friday, April 17. Stop by for free Champagne and hors d'eouvres starting at 4:30 p.m. and stay for the 6:30 p.m. ribbon cutting.

              "We just waited until after Easter," said Wendy Chatelain, Antoine's director of sales, "for those people who gave up drinking for Lent."

              The new bar also has a menu with a new dish: an oyster Foch po-boy, made with fried oysters, Colbert sauce and pate de foie gras. It's the first time Antoine's has offered a po-boy. Customers can also order from the restaurant's full menu.

              Will we soon see other changes at Antoine's?

              "No, not at this point," Chatelain said. "This is enough."

              1. re: fast eddie

                "for those people who gave up drinking for Lent." ...so very true!

          3. Make the Sazerac your last stop on the tour and try to get a seat at the bar at Domenica for dinner. The food is amazing and they have lot of small plates and pizza that will fill your needs.

            2 Replies
            1. re: shanefink

              Just curious - New Orleans is such a tradition-rich place, and one of the traditions I greatly admire is the booze-drenched Friday luncheon. I've witnessed what goes on at Galatoire's, so please tell me what do y'all do after you settle up the bill at 4pm? Do you go home and sleep it off, or just move the party elsewhere?

              1. re: fast eddie

                go across the street to Old Absinthe House, then French 75 at Arnaud's, then Rib Room Bar, then Hermes at Antoine's, then Chart Room on Chartres. then go to Felipe's for margaritas and mexican food to absorb the drinks. cheers!

            2. Also, for the game, there are lots of cool restaurants Uptown on Magazine Street that are active, but not packed and offer great atmosphere for the games.

              1. I will second or third Mr. B's! Enjoy Parkway - It is excellent!! They have a bar with televisions so you may consider watching the game there.