In NOLA tonight solo for work. Need a spot with great food and a bar to relax
Mr. B's would fit the bill. Not a fan of the Grapevine....I'd skip. Italian? Maximo's would be good and has a dining bar. Iris has great food and cocktails....though it's been dead every time I've been. Herme's Bar? Nice drinks, Antoine's menu. French Bistro? Meauxbar....and stop by Bar Tonique (a block over) for cocktails after.
820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Everyone raves about them Garlic Shrimp at Mr. B's...(I am a local heathen in that I do not partake of seafood). I think it's a good bet for you, because it is also known to be quite friendly at the bar.
For something a little more casual, and certainly not 'traditionally local in cuisine' you might try the Green Goddess in Exchange Alley. Not fitting your criteria, no bar to speak of, (and I haven't been in awhile) but they have some fancy cocktails and really interesting food offerings with outdoor seating in a pretty alleyway, which in this weather is just divine!!
307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130
Mr. B's is nice. I was going to say go to Galatoire's but now realize you asked about a nice bar. The French 75 Bar at Arnaud's is outstanding. Have a cold drink and order some great food. Good luck.
Arnaud's @ 813 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 523 - 5433.
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130