Another NY'er coming to New Orleans
We were in New Orleans about 9 years ago for a few days, and didn't end up going to any of the name restaurants, many of which people say aren't worth it anymore anyway. We will be there again in 2 weeks. We are staying in the French Quarter, and would like your thoughts. I am not looking for things that I can find in NY, but someplace where we can get some more traditional New Orleans style food. If you want to know our tastes, I love shrimp and grits, but hate okra.
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, fried eggplant, crabmeat canape Lorenzo..
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: Carousel 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:
If you have a car or will take the streetcar, head Uptown for J'Anita's, Martinique, Clancy's, Patois, Coquette and Boucherie.
J'Anita's in the Avenue Pub on St. Charles Ave. for great BBQ for lunch. They also have the best fish sammich ever and the St. Chuck Duck po boy!
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.
Coquette is on Magazine St. and is open for for both lunch and dinner. The menu changes, but if they have the cod, get it. They have a great drink list, and I love their French 75's. There is also a great Pinot Noir from Melville which compliments their food.
Boucherie is on Jeanette just off Carrollton. They are open for both lunch and dinner. Get the Mussels w/Collard Greens, Fries w/Parm, Boudin Balls, Pulled Pork Cake, Brisket, Smoked Scallops and the ChocBacon Brownie. The Cote du Rhone works well here.
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, La Boca, a Mano (all Adolfo Garcia's restaurants).
What is the deal with shrimp and grits everywhere? Done right, it's tasty ( i had the CP version at lunch recently and quite enjoyed it) . But I don't recall it being a traditional gulf coast dish. Is it just one of those Southern regional dishes that anyone from the north figures is everywhere? Grillades and grits, or as we call it over the state line in east Texas, 'breakfast steak' and grits-- is traditional but I'm not sure if it's a popular restaurant dish. I'd love to see a proper veal version of that on a menu!
You might be right superk. I was actually thinking of that, is it southern, or is it a traditional NO dish? Probably the former, but I just wanted to give everyone an idea of what our tastes are. Mostly it is that okra is one of my "I hate" foods, even though it is an ingredient in most gumbos, which I believe is from LA.
Going back to my youth (very long ago), it was not something that one was likely to see. Over the recent decades, it has come front and center. We now encounter it all through the Tidewater, down to northern FL, and then around the Keys to Texas.
In my opinion, the two restaurants that do the best job are Vidalia (Wash. DC), and Ralph's on the Park. Obviously, much depends on one's tastes, but this is a dish that we've now tried in about 12 states, and only been wowed by two renditions, regardless of what we each grew up with. Wife (the NOLA native) and I had the discussion on "shrimp and grits" not that long ago. We both traced our first encounter to Savannah, GA, maybe 20 years ago. Maybe some local culinary historian can shed some light on the dish. It just did not seem to exist in NOLA, when I was young, but maybe I just missed it.
I haven't been to New Orleans in a couple of years, but one of the most memorable meals I've ever eaten was at Louisiana Bistro on Rue Dauphine. We chose Chef Mars' Feed Me option, where he comes and talks with you about what foods you like and what you can't eat. Then he creates a meal for the table. You can get 3, 4 or 5 course options. The restaurant is very small. Less than a dozen tables, IIRC. He fixed us the best lamb chops I have ever had in my life. Open for dinner only, they are closed Monday and Tuesday. Service was outstanding. It was my 14yo daughter's (food afficianado in training since a small child) first trip to New Orleans, and Chef Mars went out of his way to make this an outstanding Chowhoundish meal for her. We will be going back in the next couple of months and a visit there is on our agenda.
Will you be flying in and will you have a car? I ask because we like Morning Call out in Metaire much better for beignets and cafe au lait than Cafe du Monde. I used to go to it all the time in the Quarter before they moved out to Metairie in the 1970s. In Metaire, I've only been to the Severn St. location (they have another on Veteran's Blvd, I think) and usually stop by on the way to the airport from the Quarter. From the airport it's about 7 or 8 miles.
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