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First NOLA trip in 10 years and I need help - pretty please :)

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  • andyk Sep 23, 2010 09:53 AM
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My friend and I are coming to New Orleans for a bachelor's long weekend at the very beginning of October. My friend is a well respected chef and I go long distances to eat the best food I can whenever I can. We chose NOLA not necessarily because of the party (though that's nice) but because of the food scene. We are staying in the FQ and don't mind streetcars or cabs to get around if necessary. I am looking for some one to fill out the rest of our itinerary with restaurants and great places to drink (doesn't need to be the same place.)

We get in on Thursday evening and leave Monday.

Thursday Dinner - Cochon. I have been reading the boards and it seems like the small plates are the way to go.

Friday Lunch - Mr. B's for BBQ Shrimp

Friday Dinner - ?

Saturday Lunch - ?

Saturday Dinner - August

Sunday Brunch - Commander's Palace

Sunday Dinner - ?

Stella! sounds great, but we have similar world class restaurants where we are from. I am looking for places that build in some southern flair with their food. I have heard good things about Rampart, Johnnies, (sp?) and Parkway for Po Boys. I am also trying to decide whether we should go to ACME or Felix's for oysters. Laslty, I have been to Galatoires the last time I was in town, and do not need to go back, however I am curious about Gautreaus, Antoines, and even Emeril's.

Thanks!

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Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Commander's Palace Restaurant
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

Galatoire's Restaurant
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Gautreau's Restaurant
1728 Soniat St, New Orleans, LA 70115

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  1. Oh boy, you are going to get LOADS of responses to this query and everyone will have his or her opinion. I will let the oyster/seafood/poboy crowd answer all those. To be honest, I actually like the food more at Emeril's than August. For some reason August has never blown me away. I will be interested to see how you compare it to other places. If I had two or three places to recommend for good food right now, I would put Patois right up at the top. Each time I eat there, I am more and more overwhelmed by the quailty of the food plus a lot of local produce and seafood enter the picture. If someone were taking me out to dinner and asked me to pick three of my favorite places for FOOD, rather than just the whole experience, I would pick Patois, Lillete, and Coquette. I think all three are putting out magnificent food. Now, if someone were to say, I want to take you to your favorite place, I would probably say Clancy's. The food is fantasitc, the atmosphere is warm and friendly, the place is constantly packed and buzzing with people and the scene is wonderful as the food. It is LOUD and bawdy so it is hard to recommmend when someone wants a quiet, elegant dinner. Recently, Commanders Palace has been outstanding so I am glad you are going there. Also, Gautrau's sits way high on my list as well. Food is wonderful and the place is refined and beautiful so it is definitely a worthy date night. I have not been to Mr. B's in ages so I cannot comment. For some reason, it never even crosses my mind. If you want to sample true creole food, Upperline is still a gem. And, much to gasps and horrors from locals, I always find the Emeril's flagship restaurant a big treat. Go at lunch. They serve fabulous three course specials including the big assorted bread basket.

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

    Upperline Restaurant
    1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA

    1. Friday dinner - Patois
      Saturday lunch - Parkway Bakery for poboys
      Sunday dinner - Emeril's
      'nuf said - the rest of your itenerary looks great - fill these in, and it will be a perfect trip

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

      1. The only thing that I might throw into the mix is a more casual place, because otherwise I would get a case of Fine Dining Fatigue. You might try a place like Snug Harbor (Great burger plus there is live music piped in from their concert space behind the restaurant, though you will wait for a table). For a po-boy, I am old fashioned and would recommend Domilise's all the way, but that is a personal choice.

        1. For Saturday lunch go to Coop's on Decatur. Delicious, divey and a great bargain. Every visit we always end up here at least two or three times. Fantastic Gumbo, pasta dishes, fried chicken. Tons of tourists, but also many, many drunk locals and local color. I've seen many an interesting drunk marital spat at the bar !

          For drinking of course, Napoleon House, The Carousel Bar at the Monteleone. Tujaque's is also nice for a drink.

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

          1. Emeril's flagship is his best. The "emeril's originals" are items that have been on the menu forever, with good reason. Patois, Coquette (!/2 price specialty cocktail Thurs.), Lillete, Mat and Naddie's are all very good. Cochon, or perhaps Cochon Butcher for lunch. I am in the minority that doesn't like Gautreau's. To be fair, I've only been once. The food was bland beyond belief with pairings that didn't work. There was nothing that makes me want to go back. Luke has 50cent oysters, 1/2 price libations daily, 3-6.

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

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

            Gautreau's Restaurant
            1728 Soniat St, New Orleans, LA 70115

            Cochon Butcher
            930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

            1. Guys thanks so much for the recs, please let me know if there are any other options I should consider.

              3 Replies
              1. re: andyk

                I don't see Brigtsen's mentioned.

                For our part, this has become a "don't miss" on any New Orleans visit.

                Great food, welcoming service, perfect for us....

                Regardless of everything, you're goint to have a blast...eat well!....how can you not?

                -----
                Brigtsen's Restaurant
                723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                1. re: Monch

                  I would definitely second Chef Frank Brigtsen's, and it's only a streetcar ride from the FQ. Also, along the way, you get to tour a segment of the Garden District, and it's a lovely ride.

                  A definite "must-do."

                  Along the way, I would add MiLa, as you will likely not get that blend of culinary style anywhere else on Earth.

                  Enjoy,

                  Hunt

                  -----
                  Brigtsen's Restaurant
                  723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Agreed, 100%

              2. Andy you have received a lot of wonderful recommendations. I second just about all of them. Mikey is entirely right with those suggestions. And GD also. Here's my suggestions.

                One suggestion for sure is a trip to the WWII DDay Museum in the CBD. You could go on Friday before you go to Garden District/Uptown. It's on your way. American Sector is a John Besh run restaurant in the Museum. The museum is outstanding.

                American Sector @ 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 528 - 1940.
                http://www.nationalww2museum.org/amer...

                Thursday - You have picked Cochon and that's a great choice. The food is not entirely typical of most NOLA restaurants. It's more country I would say but nevertheless great.

                Friday - Take at least half a day to have fun in Garden District and Uptown. Make a day out of it. Take the street car to Washington and get off. Head SE on Washington to Magazine. Turn right and you will run into Coquette. Stick your head in the door to check out the place. Then walk about 10 blocks on Magazine to Lilette. You will pass Mahoney's Po Boy's. You should have lunch at Lillette. You can get po boys later in the FQ or MC. Walk Magazine about 20 blocks maybe 25 touring the great shops there. You should have dinner at Coquette. Hang around for lunch, shopping, have a few drinks around 5 PM at a nice bar along Magazine then have dinner at Coquette. You may tire during the afternoon. Head N to Creole Creamery for a great ice cream snack. Consider also Patois and Clancy's. They are a few blocks apart in Uptown.

                Lilette @ 3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 895 - 1636.
                www.liletterestaurant.com/
                Coquette Bistro & Wine Bar @ 2800 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 265 - 0421.
                http://www.coquette-nola.com/
                Clancy's @ 6100 Annunciation St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 895 - 1111.
                Patois @ 6078 Laurel St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 895 - 9441.
                http://www.patoisnola.com/
                Creole Creamery @ 4924 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 894 - 8680.
                http://www.creolecreamery.com/

                Saturday Lunch - I know you have been to Galatoire's but consider going back. It's my favorite NOLA restaurant in FQ. Check Galatoire's Friday and see if there's a line at 11 AM. They open at 11:30 and don't take reservations downstairs which is where most like to sit. Go to Galatoire's Saturday for lunch. If you rather go to Parkway instead. Take the streetcar to Jefferson and get off. Go NE to Parkway for good po boys. You could walk back and tour NOLA on your walk.

                Saturday Dinner - I would go to Emeril's. It's my favorite NOLA restaurant not in FQ.

                Parkway Bakery & Tavern @ 538 Hagan Ave., New Orleans, LA 504 - 482 - 3047.
                http://www.parkwaybakeryandtavernnola
                Emeril's @ 800 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 528 - 9393.
                http://www.emerils.com/restaurant/1/E...

                Sunday Lunch - Commander's Palace. You can't find that kind of food and atmosphere anywhere in the U. S.

                Sunday Dinner - This might be a good night for Acme or Felix's or Johnny's Po Boy's.

                Commander's Palace @ 1403 Washington Ave., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 899 - 8221.
                http://www.commanderspalace.com/

                1 Reply
                1. re: Littleman

                  Johnny's closes early. Emeril's is open Sun. dinner. I would not go to Lilette/Coquette/Patois on the same day (too similar...French Bistro ). If you want more local flavor, Brigtsen's would be good (consider an all app dinner). Folks seem to either love or hate Coops. I am among the latter.

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

                  Brigtsen's Restaurant
                  723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                2. Had to shutter when I saw Mister B's Bistro. Felix's and Acme. Not good choices at all, IMHO. Emeril does still reign for fabulous tasting food - although Delmonico's the worst of the three. Order garlic crusted texas redfish with bacon butter sauce if you want to die and go to heaven. Best, casual oysters and shrimp - French Market Restaurant (green striped awnings on Decatur and St Phillip)

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

                  Mister B's
                  210 Crescent Ave, Lockport, LA 70374

                  1. We're in New Orleans this week. visiting my mother in law. Here are some tips:
                    - You won't go wrong with Cochon. Had dinner there on Thursday and will go to Cochon Butcher today for lunch. I also plan to bring back of their Andouille and Tasso.
                    - Some Chowhounders may not agree with this reco, but we love the Camellia Grill. Go for lunch or breakfast and ask to be seated in Marvin's section. We only visit once a year, but Marving remembers us. Getting there is a breeze on the street car.
                    -Drago's for charbroiled oysters. We prefer the location in Metairie over the restaurant located in the Hilton.
                    -Casamento's on Magazine St. for oysters.
                    -The Columns Hotel for a cocktail.

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                    Columns Hotel
                    3811 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

                    Cochon
                    930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                    Camellia Grill
                    626 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

                    Cochon Butcher
                    930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    1. Wow, some of these recs are truly amazing.

                      I have heard great things about Brigtsens, what should I expect when I go there?

                      "Ambiance" mentions that Emeril's Delmonico is the worst of the three Emeril's places. I had been planning on going to Emeril's (eponymous) , is this the best of his restaurants?

                      Casamento's vs. French Market Restaurant for oysters. If I want a dozen or three what is the best place in and out of the FQ?

                      Does anyone else think Mr B's is not a good choice for BBQ shrimp?

                      BTW, Littleman, I really liked the things to see recs on the way to food :). For those of you in the know, is there a Katrina tour that puts money toward the rebuilding process more so than the entrepreneurs pocket?

                      Thanks for the amazing responses!

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                      Casamento's Restaurant
                      4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

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

                      Brigtsen's Restaurant
                      723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                      Emeril's Delmonico Restaurant & Bar
                      1300 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: andyk

                        Chef Frank Brigtsen has created a haven in an old, River Bend house, that is homey, but with old City elegance. His take on NOLA cuisine is unique, and well executed. The wine list is a bit light, but that is the only drawback that I can possibly have. The wine list is serviceable, but is the one weak point.

                        With the graciousness of the staff, you will think that you are dining in an elegant New Orleans home, but with a world-class chef in the kitchen.

                        It is not to be missed.

                        Enjoy,

                        Hunt

                        -----
                        Brigtsen's Restaurant
                        723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                        1. re: andyk

                          The Katrina tours benefit no one except the (non-9th ward residing) tour bus companies. I would avoid them; the folks I know in the Lower Ninth are pretty scornful of them.

                          1. re: andyk

                            Go to Mr. B's for great gumbo ya ya and for the bbq shrimp, as they do each dish remarkably well.

                          2. Your post couldn't have been more perfect for me, as we are planning a return trip after many years. Please post a review and replay of your dining experiences. I do hope you have a wonderful trip.