First timer in New Orleans at Christmas
We re a family of five, school age and teen kids, who are considering spending Christmas in New Orleans as something different and special. Is this a good time to go and where should we stay? We don't like the big generic hotels and would love to find a hidden gem close to the action. Meal suggestions would be great, too. Thanks
Last time I was in New Orleans around Christmas time I had the Reveillon Dinner at Upperline. Reveillon (French for awakening) was a grand breakfast served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve during the old Creole Days. Now the tradition is updated and restaurants serve a multi-course dinner echoing the feasts of New Orleans' early days. I took my mom and we both loved it -- the food was good as ever at Upperline and we loved learning more about New Orleans history.
1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA
The kids and the teenagers will enjoy a break from the FQ restaurants after a while. Take the family to Jacquimos on Oak Street. Funky surroundings and good food. You can take the St. Charles Street car there, but take a cab home...unless of course yall will have your car with you.
Also on Oak Street, good BBQ at Squeal and upscale wine bar at Oak Wine Bar...good food, too. Another kid friendly suggestion, dinner at Ye Old College Inn on South Carrollton and walk around the corner to Rock n Bowl...music and bowling.
You might want to look here too for ideas:
Click on "Christmas New Orleans Style". .
French Quarter Festivals Inc keeps a good list of sponsored events for Christmas and is always worth keeping an eye on. Don't miss walking through the (formerly Fairmont) Roosevelt. Don't miss the Reveillon Dinners.
I think the Roosevelt Hotel is as "close to the action" as it gets when it comes to christmas in new orleans. They do the lobby up real fancy like. Domenica's a good choice for food, too. Christmas is a really great time to visit. Come on down.
123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
Planning on giving Domenica's a try in October, and will report.
My worry is that we will be hosting M-I-L, who will be celebrating her 90th in three days. While she does do some seafood, it is chicken that she always gravitates to. I was actually thinking of calling the Roosevelt and having Popeye's plated and served to her - and paying for the pick-up and delivery.
At a wonderful French wine tasting diner, we did similar. There was a more limited menu that night, based on the great wines. No chicken. The sommelier had a waiter go across the street to a Jim Dandy, or similar, and the kitchen plated it for M-I-L. She never knew, and the tips were very gracious. Maybe a repeat is in order?
Still, hope to report on the restaurant, as wife and I, plus M-I-L's nurse, will be dining from the menu.
123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
As Littleman points out, Chowhound is all about food.
Christmas Season can be a delight in NOLA, though with the passing of some of the great department stores on Canal St., things have changed.
You will find some seasonal menu items added, and these might not be at all traditional to your family, depending on where you live, and grew up. Lot of great traditions.
Littleman has a lovely list of restaurants, and some may, or may not have special menus.
Trying to sneak this one in, but if the newly renovated and reopened Roosevelt carries their old tradition, a stroll through the lobby is well worth the trip. Same for Fulton St., which is not that far from Restaurant August, and just over from the Windsor Court's Grill Room. There are possibly interesting places on Fulton St., but 7onFulton was a let down for us. Vibrant bar scene in the other room and on the patio, but the kitchen seemed to have already left for the night.
Not sure exactly which restaurants will do special Christmas Season menus, but by about Oct, you should start seeing those on the Web sites. Given recent history, I have a feeling that many will "pull out the stops" this year.
Now, do your children enjoy getting dressed up for dinner? Around the holidays, things do take on a bit more formality. For most, it's great fun, and they will have fond memories for a lifetime.
Weather can be wonderful (spent many holidays in shorts), or can be rather cool. It all depends.
Most of all, enjoy, and build those memories that the family will recall forever,
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
The Royal Sonesta is in the heart of the FQ. Begue's is the high end restaurant and is a hidden gem. They might have a holiday buffet going on. Desire is their oyster bar, more typical N'awlins kinda place. Actually had an Xmas dinner at Desire and it was most enjoyable, but much of that may have to do with the fact my ex-bro-in-law was working there at the time.
300 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Discussing hotel rooms here is not permitted but I will suggest dining at hotel restaurants because they are all open for Christmas. The Rib Room at The Omni Royal Orleans would be very nice. August Restaurant is also very nice and Mila would be a good choice. They are open on Christmas. They are not hotel restaurants though. Here's a link to NOLA restaurants open on Christmas. The ones I recommend would be Bistro at Maison De Ville which is a small restaurant in a small hotel in the FQ which might be a good place for you to stay. I love Galatoire's which is a NOLA institution. Brennan's is one of my favorites but you won't get compliments from this board. It's been around a long time and the food is very nice. Check out Le Richelieu Hotel.
Link to Restaurants open on Christmas.
Omni Royal Orleans Hotel @ 621 St. Louis St., New Orleans, Louisiana 504 - 529 - 5333.
Restaurant August @ 301 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 299 - 9777.
Mila @ 817 Common St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 595 - 6774.
Bistro at Maison De Ville @ 727 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 528 - 9206.
Galatoire's @ 209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 525 - 2021.
Brennan's Restaurant @ Royal St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 525 - 9711. *
Le Richelieu Hotel @ 1234 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 529 - 2492.
Though not always so, I have become a fan of Brennan's, over the years, however, I have changed my mind. I once dreaded when we had guests, and they wanted us to take them there. I cannot tell you whether I changed, or whether they did. About 5 years ago, we were back in the City, and I wanted to take my wife to brunch. We were at the Ritz, so Brennan's was not far away. While walking to back of the Quarter for breakfast, I had to wait for a delivery truck out front, and on my way back, decided to stop in. It had been 35 years, since either of us had dined there. I made reservations. My wife was surprised, but played along. The meal was excellent, as was the service. Next trip down, we went back, and the group had such fun, that when we were back the next year, and everybody wanted to go back. Same thing for last year. The family has asked if we can go back this Oct, and I hope to allow that to happen. I changed my tune completely. Now, if they start letting me down, I will be quick to take them to task.