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Place to eat at the bar solo?

  • ebone Apr 12, 2010 08:11 AM
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Hi everyone,

I will be in Nola starting next Wed for the weekend (and staying in the Quarter). What I am looking for from this thread is a place to dine at the bar Wed night. I will be by myself and I am looking for a comfortable bar where I can have a nice meal and a couple/few cocktails. I am not scared to go high end (or travel) for this and I have read many threads that mention August, Luke, Galatoires, Cochon, Commander's Palace, etc.

Sooo, what I am wondering is who has a nice bar to grab a bite at? Are some places too small? Do they not have a bar? etc etc...

Thank you in advance for your advice. I have already found many helpful tips for my trip through this board.

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  1. Mr B's Bistro (BBQ shrimp at the bar) would be a good pick, I think. If you can go there for lunch the portion is still generous but it's much cheaper.

    Commander's is not much of an eat-at-the-bar sort of place. You'd miss all the atmosphere. That said, it's a great place to go to the bar before you eat because the bartenders are very interesting and will tell you lots of cool insider info while you sip a pre-meal cocktail.

    Galatoire's has its bar upstairs so you'll miss the show if you eat there.

    Napoleon House is a great inexpensive eat at the bar sort of place.

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    Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
    500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Mr B's Bistro
    201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    2 Replies
    1. re: kukubura

      You can eat "in" the bar at Napoleon House....don't think they actually serve food "at" the bar. I could be wrong though.

      1. re: BayouTeche

        I've ordered and eaten a muffelletta while sitting at the bar at NH.

    2. A lot would depend on how crowded the restaurant is. If you've got patrons clamoring for a drink behind your back then it might not be the best experience. That being said, I have had a good experience eating at Mr. B's at the bar. Iris has a good bar scene, as does Fins. The bar st Cochon is a tad short, and you might fee like you are in the way, and I have scene people eating at the bar at herbsaint.

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      Cochon
      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

      1 Reply
      1. re: CharlieH

        I suppose I could clarify a bit. I don't mind it being busy or having to wait around for a few to get a seat, time will not be an issue at all.

        Where have people had good experiences eating at the bar? Good food is obv a must, but maybe a place with better service or bartenders than others...

      2. Coop's Place on Decatur is perfect for dining solo. A gritty little bar with terrific jambalaya (maybe the best in the quarter).

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        Coop's Place
        1109 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

        1. I should also note that I am coming from Boston and while the food does not have to be traditional Nola all the way, I would certainly like for it to be influenced by the City. I have been to Nola once before, but that turned out to be focused a lot more around drinking than eating. This time I would like it to even out a bit.

          1. Emeril's has a "food bar"...Where you can sit, dine and watch what's going on:

            Emeril's:http://www.emerils.com/restaurant/1/E...

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            Emeril's Restaurant
            800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

            2 Replies
            1. re: Suzy Wong

              Same at NOLA

              1. re: Suzy Wong

                Maximo's has one as well.

              2. My favorite places to eat at the bar are Coquette, Iris, and Patois. Of these, Patois is my favorite food, but Wednesday night is Coquette's cocktail special night, which would probably tip my scale in favor of Coquette.

                I believe you can eat at the bar at Napoleon House, although I haven't actually done so for probably three years or so.

                Another option might be Cure, which is a serious cocktail bar (non-smoking) with a kitchen that puts out enjoyable, but not really "New Orleans-y," small plates.

                Last but not least, you could eat at the bar or at a table at the tiny Green Goddess. They work to source local ingredients as well as exotic stuff that you don't see every day, and there are definite New Orleans influences represented. Also, great but not cheap cocktails.

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                Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
                500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Green Goddess
                307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

                6 Replies
                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                  "Wednesday night is Coquette's cocktail special night"
                  Can you elaborate, pleae, uptownlibrarian? I will be at Coquette in two weeks, happily, on a Wednesday!!!!

                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                    Well now I can't remember if it's Wednesday or Thursday, actually. In another thread someone said it's Thursday. At any rate, all their specialty cocktails are $5, whichever night it is. Sorry.

                    1. re: uptownlibrarian

                      Let's get to the bottom of this! Coquette is def on my short list and $5 cocktails would certainly sway me a bit...

                      Anyone know for sure? I was going to start a new thread on that, but I don't want to oversell it so I can't even get a seat ;)

                      1. re: ebone

                        I checked the chalkboard on my way home tonight - Wednesday is $5 wine by the glass night, so Thursday must be the $5 cocktail night as someone else pointed out. Sorry!

                        1. re: uptownlibrarian

                          I'll live.

                          1. re: uptownlibrarian

                            Thanks! Somehow I think I could survive on either of those deals...

                  2. Emirils and NOLA both feed at the bar and I think you can do it at Luke too. At NOLA you can sit at the bar bar or at the kitchen bar, which some call the chef's bar, and watch the open kitchen.

                    i made a similar request of the SFO foodies last month and had four pretty good solo bar meals in San Francisco (actually one was a superlative meal)

                    1. You may consider the Hermes Bar at Antoine's. Happy hour 4-8, $4 cocktails & wine.....they have a bar menu but you can also order anything from the regular menu.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: BayouTeche

                        Redfish Grill on bourbon street has a good bar to eat at and order the bbq oysters they are great.

                        1. re: BayouTeche

                          +1 on Coquette. Other than Coquette, I think Emeril's probably has the best bar dining out of the above-mentioned options. I would not recommend eating in the bar at Luke, which is very small and not particularly comfortable for a full meal experience. I don't think any of the other restaurants mentioned in your original post would be preferable for bar dining either. Across the street from Emeril's is Tommy's (creole italian) which has a good dine-in bar. Another option would be the Swizzle Stick bar at the Lowe's Hotel. The Hermes bar is great, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend eating there by oneself - the setup isn't really conducive to solo dining.

                          -----
                          Emeril's Restaurant
                          800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                          1. re: latasche

                            Sooo Emeril's is still good? It's not just some celebrity chef tourist-mill that is printing money off of the name?

                            -----
                            Emeril's Restaurant
                            800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                            1. re: ebone

                              It is excellent!

                              1. re: ebone

                                The restaurant gets a lot of skepticism from out of towners on this board, but it's very good and I actually prefer the bar dining scene there to the actual dining room. Yes there are tourists at the restaurant, but locals dine there on a regular basis.

                                As a side note, I dined at the bar at Coquette last night and it was amazing. Wednesday night is $5 wine by the glass and Thursday night is $5 cocktails, just to clear up any confusion.

                            2. re: BayouTeche

                              plus $2 domestics, including Abita and Sam Adams!

                            3. I second Swizzle Stick, great cocktails, mixologists, and food. It's a big bar so easy to find a spot, and because its in a hotel there are often single diners there. Coquette and Iris both good choices. I also like dining at the (small but servicable) bars at Herbsaint and Cochon. And there's always Acme. Or Mandina's. I've also dined solo at French 75, which is a separate room from Arnaud's so has more of a bar feel than a restaurant feel. But they'll serve the full Arnaud's menu, it's a pretty, classic room and the drinks are awfully good. But last time I was there some cigar smokers had taken over. That was a while ago, may not be an issue now.

                              -----
                              Mandina's Restaurant
                              3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

                              Cochon
                              930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                              Herbsaint
                              701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                              1. Pelican Club is good for bar dining. I actually prefer the bar to the restaurant.

                                -----
                                Pelican Club Restaurant & Bar
                                312 Exchange Alley, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                1. I always eat at the bar when I go to Luke, so I would throw that in for a rec.

                                  1. So, after much research I have hardly reached a conclusion. I suppose a lot will depend on what I end up doing tomorrow afternoon and where my travels take me. The clubhouse leader for a meal is Cochon, but Coquette got a lot of love from you guys and is still in the running. I am sure I will duck into another establishment or two for a cocktail or cocktails even (Swizzle Stick bar maybe...). I can't say its really a problem that there seem to be too many great options. I will report back with what I find.

                                    -----
                                    Cochon
                                    930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ebone

                                      I think you'll have fun at Cochon. They have a food bar that faces the kitchen (in addition to the regular bar towards the front of the restaurant), and that's a fun place to eat.

                                      Not to throw a wrench in the works, but if you end up feeling like a great steak and a few pisco sours, you can eat at the bar at La Boca, a fantastic Argentine steakhouse on Fulton St.

                                      -----
                                      Cochon
                                      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

                                    2. I like Cochon Butcher (next door to Cochon, warehouse district) and Port of Call (edge of the Quarter, near the Marigny triangle). Both of these places have inexpensive but fantastic food, and the people working there are interesting to talk to.

                                      http://www.foodorleans.com

                                      -----
                                      Cochon
                                      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                      Port of Call
                                      838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

                                      1. I was in N.O. for a week alone the week after Madri Gras. I ate at many places, mostly at the bars. My favorites were Emeril's and Boucherie. At Emeril's the people in the kitchen talk with you and you can easily see all the dishes being made and finished. Everyone there was very friendly. At Boucherie I had a great experience also. You can't see the kitchen like at Emerils but the food was great and the bar staff kept me entertained...another friendly place.

                                        -----
                                        Emeril's Restaurant
                                        800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                        Boucherie
                                        8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118