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Apr 8, 2010 01:25 PM

A Mano or GW Finn's

Which one for my next splurge dinner? I know they are worlds apart. Which one is better for food and which one is better for the overall experience?

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      1. re: lawstudent


        Le Foret's tasting menu is very nice. They didn't offer a wine pairing the last time we went but you can get an inexpensive bottle of prosecco, which makes things a bit more festive. Coquette is another favorite. go to for gift certificate (last 2 days, use code TREAT).

        Le Foret
        129 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

      2. I'd say A Mano, but that's only because I haven't been and am interested to hear how it is. Selfish I know. I'll probably get there on my own though, so don't choose for my sake.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gastrotect

          I liked A Mano, but I left feeling a couple things: Disappointed, given my love for La Boca and Rio Mar (all run by the same folks) and HUNGRY.
          The atmosphere was terrible- super pretentious (the complete opposite of La Boca, where they make you feel like part of their family). They sell themselves as regional Italian, but the staff is way too uptight to make it feel like a small town Italian restaurant.
          The portions were incredibly small for the prices, leaving me wanting more at the end of the meal. They don't really promote themselves as super fine dining, so it's difficult to realize that you need to order several courses to have a full meal, until you've seen the portions.
          I do have to admit that the gnudi was delicious and simply prepared. Also the gnocchi with oxtail ragu was tasty. The cassata was great and that was a pretty large serving. Patois would be a better treat for your splurge dinner.

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

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

        2. My wife and I ate at A Mano last night for the first time, and we both agreed it was wonderful. We started with their housemade salumi spread - 5 homemade salumis. I'm no salumi expert, but all of these were very good. I liked this version much better than charcuterie trays from Cochon, Domenica, and St. James Cheese.

          We also got the Insalata di Mare or seafood salad. This was my highlight of the meal. Simple presentation: octopus, squid, onions, celery, salt, pepper, and olive oil braised down and served over slices of baked potato. Served chilled. This dish was outstanding, considering the simplicity of the presentation and preparation. An excellent warm-weather dish.

          Entrees were the oxtail ragu gnocchi and the gulf-shrimp P????. Both were excellent. The oxtail was decadently rich and served over "roman-style" gnocchi. This wasn't traditional gnocchi. It was more like polenta, which came as a surprise, but it was still delicious. My shrimp dish, whose name escapes me, was comprised of large gulf shrimp, perfectly cooked, served over P????? pasta. The pasta was large tubes (at least 1" diameter), and the sauce was a spicy tomato meat (one of their salumis). I wish I remembered more details about this one; sorry I don't. The overall effect was a slightly spicy gulf shrimp tomato-based sauce served over perfectly cooked pasta. In sum, both entrees were fantastic.

          Desserts were the chocolate/pistachio semifreddo and the custard (since I can't remember the proper name) with La. strawberries and wine reduction. Both were excellent, but I'd probably give the nod to the semifreddo.

          All in all, the food was great, in keeping with the other A. Garcia restaurants. Service was good, but I got the sense our server was fairly new. Even so, he did his job well. My only problem with the meal came when we were told they didn't have any sort of sparkling water. I'm not sure if they were out or if this is a permanent thing, but I like a little Pelligrino or something with my meals. I know they have sparkling at La Boca and Rio Mar, so maybe it was just a one time thing. Anyway, this small miss didn't mar the evening in any significant way, and we'll definitely be heading back. Sorry again for the lack of specificity in my review. I tried to take mental notes but apparently they got lost.

          The whole meal was about 85 bucks pre tip, with no alcoholic beverages.

          Fins is great, but I don't recall ever liking a meal this much at Fins.

          By the way, I graduate law school this may! Thank God!

          930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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

          123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

          1 Reply
          1. re: N.O.Food


            85 bucks without alcohol is too much for me, even when splurging. I guess I'll have to wait until I start making the big bucks before I try A Mano. It sounds fantastic.