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A little help from my friends so that a princess may be entertained...

Dear fellow chowhounders,
I am going to New Orleans on a conference in may. My princess Louise, who is 35 will accompany me, but not on the conference. We will arrive on may 12th 6PM and leave in the morning on may 20. We stay at Le Pavillon and have no car. We will have time to explore the city on may 13, go on a plantation tour on may 14 and do a swamp tour on may 15. The conference starts in earnest on may 16. We are both interested in the "genuine food" scene. I would really appreciate to know if breakfast is good at Le Pavillon, and, if not, a really good place nearby for break-o ( not brunch).

I have planned the following food trip:
12 may: late dinner at Cochon, drinks and peanut sandwiches at the hotel.

13 may: Voodoo museum, FQ, Cathedral, lunch at Coop´s place, tomb of Marie Laveau. Streetcar to garden district. Dinner at Casamento´s. Drinks suggestions nearby or near the hotel would be appreciated.

14 may: Plantation tour. Dinner at Brigtsen´s. Streetcar to FQ. Drinks at Laffitte´s blacksmith shop and Pat O´Briens.

15 may: Swamp tour. Dinner at August. Drinks at Napoleon house.

16 may: Brunch at Commander´s, Dinner at Broadview seafood.

17 may: Lunch at Luke´s. Dinner at Lillette. Drinks suggestions in the neighbourhood?

18 may: Lunch at August, Dinner at Luke´s.

19 may: Lunch at Emeril´s, Dinner at Galatoire´s as a grand finale.

How does this look to experienced natives? Can it be improved? Is there any reason to exchange an evening for a steamboat jazz meal? Can You name any non-touristy jazz spots with good ambience and drinks? Any suggestions for activities and sights not to be missed before dinner may 16-19? We generally have time off from 4 PM. I understand Luke´s has a very good happy hour w oysters and half price drinks...

Tks a lot for Your help and understanding. I promise to write a full review when home...

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  1. You have two meals at August? I would sub one out for the BBQ shrimp at Mr. B's (August lunch is a terrific value at $20 in if you do the prix fixe menu).

    You also have two meals at Luke, I would sub one of these out and try Bayona - they have terrific lunch small plates and the best sweat breads in town.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kibbles

      I agree with Bayona..its a gem and the sweetbreads ARE good..although I usually have them over at Galatoire's when I want them. The reviews of Le Foret--here and on the street--have been gushing. You'd think Ferndnand Point had come back from the grave from what I hear....

      1. re: hazelhurst

        Another vote for Bayona and the sweetbreads! Some of the best of ever had. Dick & Jenny's sweetbreads aren't bad either.

        1. re: FoodChic

          It has been amusing to me to see sweetbreads work their way back onto menus after being ignored (except for a few places) for forty years.

    2. Luke twice? Maybe you could stay @ Hilton St. Charles rather than La Pavillion. Then you could do a late breakfast @ Luke instead of a heavier lunch. You can go downstairs and read the paper (they have them hung on wooden rails - neat!) while princess gets dressed. They do a great breakfast too. Also the bar at Luke is great & gets locals
      from the banks and brokerage houses in the late afternoon.

      It's alot of meals and running around to get to them. United Cab 522-9771.

      Music could be Snug Harbor on Frenchmen in the Marigny. Depending on the day
      of the week, you could have dinner at Feelings on Chartres in the Marigny - this is
      a little gem of a restaurant with a patio and carriage house bar. Great peanut butter pie.
      Don't let the name put you off - it has NOTHING to do with the song either. Visually Feelings is very old New Orleans. Then either walk 1 block to Mimi's for another drink or cab it over to Snug for music. After Snug you can go to DBA or other bars on Frenchmen.

      Another music option is Vaughan's on Thursday night in the Bywater. This starts late
      and almost never on time. It can be a bit of a crush if Kermit Ruffins is playing, so wear
      casual clothes and have a big sense of humor.

      If you want to treat you're princess right, you must take her to Sucre on Magazine.
      If Hermes opened a chocolate shop, this would be it. Perfect place for take-home gifts.
      Absinthe truffles, cafe diabolique creams. You can walk there from Commander's.

      Have fun. Thanks for visiting the city and spending $$$.

      1 Reply
      1. re: savory south

        I second Snug Harbor. You will love it.

      2. We stayed at Le Pavillion over Christmas and really enjoyed it. It's a nice, historical property. We ate breakfast there once, the food was fine (somewhat expensive) and like in most places in New Orleans, plentiful. In fact, we each had coffee, then shared an order of scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, and fruit, and were both full; it think it was around $20 for the one breakfast and two coffees. And I've been to August, Luke, Bayona, Commander's Palace, Brigtsons, Cochon, Coops, and Cassementos and enjoyed them all, but like many have said, I wouldn't plan two meals in one place....there are MANY great places to eat in New Orleans!

        1. Voodoo museum in the 1000 block of Royal is closed, due to a fire in October. Could be reopened by now, but I doubt it. Judging by your degustation plans, I suggest you pack sans-a-belt slacks and tell the princess to bring a mumu for travel home :-) Lots of food...but all delicious. Two places I think you have overlooked are Broussards in the FQ and The Bon Ton in the CBD.

          1. That is an ambitious schedule & I hope you don;t have a Paul Dudley White lurking in your life. Check with NOPD about advisability of Marie Laveau grave..used to be dangerous ground but I have not talked to anyone who has been over there since the storm. Also, Casamento's closes for the summer but I think they may still be open when you are in town---I never really pay attention and usually just notice and say "Oh! Its closed." Hansen's might be open by then and you can get the non-pareil snowball(sno-bliz) in the universe. Someone on the board may know the exact dates.(Or you could call Judge Hansen's chambers--his secretary is used to it.)

            You have an exceptionally cholesterol-packed final day. I advise showing up for dinner early--about 4:30--and relaxing. Coat & tie, please.

            8 Replies
            1. re: hazelhurst

              Hansen's will be open by then. I read they will be open next month (not on their website). Plum Street is already open as well and while not as good as Hansen's, serves a pretty darn good snowball.

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  I'll double check when I get home and post if that's different, but I could swear that is what I read. I thought it was a bit early for them, but maybe since Ashley ( I think that's the twin that is running it now) lives next door it just makes sense to open earlier and make the money.

                  1. re: roro1831

                    Sure..but it messes up the fun of my favorite Uptown Dinner---dinner at Casamento's and dessert at Hansen's--it's like Brigadoon..there is (or were) only a few precious days when you can do it...

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      Well, I will do my research as soon as I walk in the door and let you know. Count your blessing that you can at least go to Hansen's whenever you want as it is not typically open on my visits to the city, except for JF, but I don't make it over there on that visit. Now you have made me really miss snowballs, I hope you feel good about that. lol

                      1. re: roro1831

                        While we are ever grateful to Ashley, we all miss Ernest and Mary sump'in fierce.

                        1. re: hazelhurst

                          Hansen's Sno-Bliz Happy Mardi Gras, y'all.

                          Here's a little Mardi Gras Hansen's scoop: I talke with Ms. Ashley recently and she told me that Hansen's will most likely open for the season around the end of March.

                          I stand corrected, may be as early as later this month

                          1. re: roro1831

                            Pandora's Sno Ball's on Carrollton was already open this past wknd so it's that time of yr already.

                            Drinks and music in the Marigny/Frenchman this wknd will be more alt rock than jazz with the Foburg Fest going on.

                            901 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

            2. Definitely DO NOT substitute one of your meals for the steamboat jazz meal. I agree with the other posters that there are too many great places to do more than one meal at Luke and August. How about Domenica?

              1 Reply
              1. re: NOLALVR

                Gotta 3rd that! The steamboat food is terrible. Other suggestions:

                Pelican Club
                Green Goddess
                Atchafalaya Restaurant
                Cafe Degas

              2. As everyone else has pointed out, two meals each at two restaurants seems repetitive, but maybe you have a reason? If you're looking for fun, exotic ingredients in an upscale atmosphere like August, try Stella! or Iris for one of those two meals. I love Luke too, but I agree that doing Mr. B's (just to take one example) would be a different place with a similar price point and atmosphere.

                I'm really curious about your Sunday dinner at Broadview Seafood. Did you read about it someplace? What's the impetus to choose that?

                Drinks near Lilette is an interesting question. Depends on what you're looking for. Great cocktails would lead you to Cure, but that's a short cab ride rather than a walk to Lilette. Then there's the Delachaise, which is really the only other even slightly upscale place that has decent drinks in that area. The Columns Hotel has a beautiful wide porch and gorgeous interior and bar, but the drinks are tragic and way overpriced. Lots of local joints though: Mayair, Milan, Ms. Mae's, and also others that don't begin with the letter M. Maybe you could grab a dozen raw at the very cool oyster bar at Pascale's Manale? Again this would be a short cab ride from Lilette but it's a fun thing to do. Oops, I've just checked a hunch and it looks like Lilette is closed on Mondays - unless you know something I don't. Maybe swap your Tuesday dinner at Luke with Lilette.

                For jazz, just hit Frenchmen St. You'll stumble upon something great.

                2 Replies
                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                  Dear friends! Thanks a lot for all these wonderful suggestions and good advice. We promise to abstain from the river cruise ( I did one as a 13-year old during the bicentennial- at which time I also walked into a bar near Preservation hall and, after having listened to Sweet Emma and her band mustered my courage to ask for a mint julep!). We will substitute lunch in the FQ on may 13th with Bayona, dinner on the 14th with Café Feelings (piano evening...). We will definitely drop into Snug Harbor before returning to the hotel via Lafitte´s bar.
                  Tks a lot for pointing out that Lilette is closed on mondays. We will do that on sunday instead of Broadway seafood and go to August on monday. Have anyone tried the degustation menu w wine pairings? Is it horribly expensive?
                  We won´t skip Brigtsens but do it on saturday...
                  Tks a lot for tips of Cure, Delachaise and Pascale´s Manale. Also for Mimi´s and Sucre. I am sure my princess will be overjoyed!
                  Any more suggestions of what to do between meals, especially for my princess who will not be attending congress 17-19 of may? Are any of the neighbourhoods unsafe to walk in/through where we have chosen to pick restaurants? Any other breakfast suggestion in the vicinity of Poydras street except Luke, which we will use?
                  Promise a full report afterwards :-)

                  1. re: Rustscheff

                    If memory serves correctly, August degustation w/wine $175pp. Menu changes. They are very nice about swapping out a course should there be a need.

                2. Nix Broadview Seafood, questionable neighborhood. I picked up crawfish to go (once, parking near the door) and don't recall any dine in. Consider Patois for dinner. We've had the tasting menu at Le Foret a couple of times. It was very good. They are also open for lunch.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: JazzyB

                    Poor broadview seafood...bayou road is beautiful...isn't it right at the end near McHardy's? If so they have great takeout boiled shrimp and crawfish...and Esplanade to Bayou to Broad is certainly safe enough...

                    1. re: nolapark

                      I never meant to criticize the fine establishment, it just seemed out of place in OP's list. "One of these things is not like the others." I don't think it really works for the OP as they don't have a car and you can't eat in there. There's nothing wrong with Broadview, I was really just wondering how he heard about it.

                      1. re: uptownlibrarian

                        I thought something of the same but did not articulate it...I was stil trying to get over "Le Pavillion" instead of the De Soto.

                      2. re: nolapark

                        The route is safe enough. I am reluctant to send tourists to the neighborhood.

                    2. Just a friendly reminder, Folks, posts not discussing food or drink will be removed. General tourist information is out of scope for this board.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                        Oops! I didn´t know I asked forbidden questions. Nevertheless I thank You all for Your insughtful replies and look fwd to report back in the beginning of june...