New Orleans Rehearsal Dinner
I am trying to plan a rehearsal dinner in New Orleans in November but we have never been there. I have been searching online but by the time you add the 30% for tax and service charges the price is around $100 per person. There will be about 50 people attending. Does anyone have a recommendation for us? $5000 for dinner? Wow.
From their website:
Minimum guests required is 40 and maximum is 60 guests.
The price, $65.00 per person plus 9.75% tax and 20% tip. This price
includes your open bar during the cocktail hour and wine with dinner.
Requires a deposit of 20% of the total amount to secure the date.
All dinner parties are three hours long.
I had an awesome rehearsal dinner at Mother's. They have a private room next door. It was fabulous! Quality New Orleans food. We even had an open bar and it was affordable!
30% tax & SC is standard. Also some places will require 75% non-refund advance
during season, which November is. $ 75 - 125 is the average white tablecloth rate.
Nap house is great. If anyone has issues with steep stairs, it won't work as there is no elevator. This is an issue at alot of Fr Qtr places - so keep that in mind.
Should we assume you want the Qtr ? If so, other options are one of the rooms upstairs @ Arnaud's (the ballroom might be too big but there's plenty more). Arnaud's has the Germaine Wells museum on the 2nd floor which gives you're guests something to walk around in. Pat O' Brien's at the Jax Brewery is another option - food is actually OK and the view is great. Japanese room @ Antoine's would work for 50 also. Muriel's has a private dining room too.
If the bride is working with a hotel for wedding guests, you might see what they can do
for a rehersal dinner, if costs from independent restaurants are still too steep. Good luck.
For 50 people I'd try to do a buy-out of a small restaurant. Try Iris, Boucherie, Bistro Daisy, maybe Lillette? What day of the week is it? And what time are you aiming for? Often at small restaurants if you are doing a buy-out at a time they wouldn't be open anyway, you can negotiate something that works for both of you. On the other hand, Friday at seven and you are definitely going to end up paying $100 a person. Good luck!
we were able to book out all of casamento's for our rehearsal dinner. what fun! oysters, gumbo, crab claws, abita beer flowing and shrimp sandwiches/trout plates. you've got an oyster bar upfront and a quaint little super clean old school tile restaurant. i think for about 40-50 people it came out to about 2800. but...we did it on a thursday night. good luck
I had mine at Tommy's Cuisine in the warehouse district and it was great. They had several menus to choose from. Food was outstanding!
You can do much better than the Napolean House, no balcony, no access to outside space, There is hardly a window to look out from. Food is seriously meh, I work in the quarter and don't eat there. A lot of resting of the laurels going on over there. Shame too. I guess its more profitable to just pay the back of the house minimum wage and source everything from Sysco. (You can't even get a sandwich with fresh bread, consistently stale. Muriels would be a huge upgrade, balcony, good food. If you are serious about spending 100 a head there are number of other options. If you are serious about trying to do something for less call Bachanal and see if they would put something together. There are a number of non traditional alternatives available if you are willing to put some effort into it.
The upstairs apartment at Napoleon House is very nice. It actually has two balcony's.....one on Chartres and one on St. Louis. You can include the courtyard as well if you like. Not sure what the extra expense would be. Hardly a window? Have you been up there. There must be 6 floor to ceiling windows on each side. I myself was initially concerned with the food because I'd never been impressed. However, the catering menu is totally different than the restaurant menu. It's as good as, in fact better, than I've had at most receptions I've attended.
Muriel's is very nice as well, but considerably more expensive in a much smaller room as I recall. You may also be sharing the balcony with another party.
I stand corrected, they do have two balconies, I guess the weather must have been bad the night I was there. I did notice that all the windows are shuttered, do they open those for parties? My memories of my evening there was that it was one big hostage situation. I guess I am sensitive in that area, and probably a little prejudiced against them, but I do think they deserve it. ch
All great ideas. Keep in mind that November has Saint's games, Thanksgiving, Bayou Classic and the big Realtor's convention 11/5-8/10, so it's a compressed calendar.
The buy-out idea is great if you can do this on an "off" night like a Wed or a Sunday. If you have to have the dinner on Friday night, that's prime time.
If you can go outside of FQ, there's Board of Trade (inside space and the courtyard).
BOT has Pigeon for catering, on Tchoupitoulas there's Rosy's Jazz Hall & NO Public Belt Railroad space (they can do cocktail parties in old RR cars), Audubon TeaRoom (probably too big) and the smaller Audubon Golfcourse Clubhouse (this is a gem and you can set tables out on the ground under the trees). Also uptown is Valencia Club - if
you want something more casual. House on Bayou Road & Pitot House are other non-restaurant options. Some require a local wedding planner to book. Good luck!
re: savory south
I'm not sure you could do a buyout of any restaurant in town for less than 5k - a price that elicited a shriek from the OP. We looked at buyouts for our rehearsal and they were all in the 10-15k range, and these were small restaurants. Although I don't remember any of the other places we looked at for a buyout except Cuvee. Ended up at Ralph's on the Park. Excellent food and service, but the price was 100+ a person.
Maybe Rosy's could do something more affordable. It's not in the qtr though. Good luck.