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Sep 5, 2010 08:22 AM

Antoine's - last minute reservation or walk in?

Anyone know if this is possible? I will be here (first time!!) for a conference for a few days in early October and I MUST try oysters rockefeller at Antoine's, the problem is I'm not sure what our exact schedule will be so I don't want to risk an advance reservation I can't keep. We will only be 2 or 3 so not a large group, does anyone know if walking in on a Monday-Wednesday night will be OK or are reservations required? What are the chances if I call up in the afternoon?

I read some of the comments, but I don't care if I'm in the front room with all the tourists as long as I can get in, on the website it looks like a pretty big place. What's it like that time of year?

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  1. I've always walked in. however even if they are unable to accommodate you, there is always the bar. serves the full menu.

    1. I don't think you'll have a problem as a walkin. You might call a day ahead or early that day to see what they have on the books in case there is a big tour or convention party planned


      1. I agree with the comments hereinabove scribed. The only addition I can offerif to ask for The Annex---"the barn" as we call it---and, if you are to essay Oysters Rock, I believe that you should have the escargot bourgiuonne as well... my father developed a fine counterfeit Rock recipe after YEARS of research wherein he would have Rockefeller and I'd have escargot...then we'd switch. Please, try this trick. You'll like the spirit of the food and the fun of the inquiry

        4 Replies
        1. re: hazelhurst

          Thanks for the replies, I'll call when I get there and try to get a table in the Annex although from the website I can't see much difference between that and the main dining room. I had the Antoine's cookbook years ago and always wondered which greens (no spinach) went into the original Oysters Rockefeller and have always wanted to know. I heard watercress and parsley? But I have to check it out for myself. I don't suppose you want to share your father's counterfeit recipe?

          I'll have escargot, too - I love it but it's not often on the menu, the last time I had it, it tasted mouldy (probably due to not selling many) so I haven't ordered it since.

          1. re: hsk

            The recipe is scrawled in his Escoffier cookbook and that is packed up in a box with most of my other cookbooks---I really don;t need the recipes after fifty years of reeading the things just for pleasue. The recipe is,as I said, based on the escargot...the keys to it are reduction (it takes about five hours to make) and watercress/parsley, as you divined. And, of course, about three metric tons of butter

          2. re: hazelhurst

            let me ask, what is the appeal of the barn? perhaps by not having grown up with it, ive never understood. there are so many other interesting dining rooms that actually look & feel like dining rooms and not a giant dark shed...what is the appeal? maybe i havent gone when its busy enough, too empty?

            1. re: kibbles

              Well, for better or sorse, everything thinks the tourista are in teh fornt room--where I may have eaten twice--and the barn is perfectly comfortable...not as much traffic if you are over on teh kitchen side. For just a couple of people, I wouldn't care for any of the other rooms, save for the stain glass window room. Proteus Room etc are great for parties, though

          3. While reservations are always recommended, walking in, especially prior to the Autumn tourist rush, should not be an issue. When you get the schedule, maybe call them a bit ahead of time, and ask.

            Also, there has been a lot of good buzz, regarding Antoine's recently. It seems that some things have changed (some might argue "changed back"), and the scene is more promising, than at points in the past.

            For me, this is great, as Antoine's is my very first memory of "fine-dining," as a child, and I have been saddened, not THAT long ago. Please report on a wonderful time, and great food in a great NOLA tradition.



            6 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              We arrived early enough on Saturday to get a reservation, we were seated in the main dining room at the front, very polished service from tux-clad waiters. I actually found the oysters rockefeller a little disappointing, not at all what I was expecting (cellphone pic atttached). If I'd had them anywhere else I might have complained but given that this was where they were invented it wasn't going to happen. They wouldn't say what was in it the "secret family recipe" but I thought there was some kind of filler base (maybe turnip?) with the secret 6 greens (no spinach) swirled over top of the oyster. Interesting, but the Oysters Foch were better, in my opinion.

              Entrees were great, perfectly cooked trout and the best soft shell crab I have ever had (to be fair, I've only evern had it in sushi restaurants previously). I loved it, the history and old world ambience. Bourbon Street was hopping and it was a pleasant walk back to the hotel. They said the Oysters Foch are available in the bar as an oyster po' boy so I hope to come back to try that.

              1. re: hsk

                Glad that almost everything was good. I have very fond memories, and hope that they regain their former glory. We were there just pre-K, and were disappointed. Some reviewers were unkind, shortly afterward, and that broke my heart. Later reviews have been much, much better, and I am hoping.

                Thanks for reporting,


                1. re: hsk

                  the oyster foch poboy is a great bar item. $2 beers and $3 mixes (and a wine special) 4-8pm helps it go down :)

                  1. re: hsk

                    I was also disappointed with the oysters rockefeller.I could only taste the goop on top of these tiny little oysters. I was expecting something on the order of a "casino" style dish served sizzling on the half shell. These were,well "yuch".

                    1. re: srqmike

                      There were several gourmets in the 1930's who agree with you--one called Oysters Rock "a fraud". I like it myself but I like a lot of those 19th Century/early 20th preparations. I have been sorry to see some classics vanish with the Revolution du Jour

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        Though the ingredients are not at the top of my list, when that dish is "on," it is very good.


                2. OP, be aware when you call that Antoine's has opened a little cafe called Antoine's Annex on Royal St., so you might have to be specific that you're not trying to make a reservation for that place.