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WHICH ONE FOR DINNER: MiLa, Herbsaint, or Le Foret?

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Coming to N.O. for Christmas for 5 nights. Have my dining just about figured out, but undeceided between the above three restaurants. Which one of these would you choose and why?

Other dinner spots I wish to go are August, Pelican Club, Grill Room, and Commander Palace. Lunch spots, Napolean House, Muriel's, and Arnaud's for Sunday Brunch.
Waiting to see who will be having Reveillion Dinners for Chrstmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Staying at the Montelone, and taking a cab is no problem. Haven't been to N.O. in about 15 years!
Can't wait! (I do know what it means to miss New Orleans!)

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

Le Foret
129 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. MiLa has a great lunch prix fixe, maybe you could fit a lunch in at MiLa and then hit Le Foret dinner? I haven't been to Le Foret yet, but apparently it is a really great special occasion type place.

    BTW, we had Christmas dinner at August last year and it was flippin' fantastic.

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    Le Foret
    129 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

    1. If I had to chose between those three, it would definitely be Herbsaint. It is warm and cozy in the December too. Mila ieaves me a bit cold especially at dinner. Lunch is great though and a bargain.

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      Herbsaint
      701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

      1. 5 nights is a long time in NOLA. You have chosen restaurants that are all in the FQ or CBD with the exception of Commander's. I would plan a day to walk and shop on Magazine in the 3,000 to 5,000 block area for lunch and fun. You could do that after Commander's but I would try to include at least one more trip to the GD or Uptown to Coquette, Lilette, Patois, Clancy's or Brigtsen's. Actually I would take a cab to Commander's for lunch then go back to FQ On another day head to Magazine after lunch in the FQ and walk Magazine ending up at one of the above for dinner. You could stop by The Column's hotel for drinks on the porch before dinner and watch the traffic on St. Charles. I would have dinner at Clancy's or Brigtsen's if it were me.

        Take one day to tour the WWII DDay museum and have lunch at American Sector. Bon Ton is another fine choice for lunch in the CBD serving outstanding classic creole cuisine. Domenica is a good choice for happy hour half price drinks and pizza. There are quite a few great lunch specials at Domenica, August, Emeril's, Luke, Mila, Antoine's and others.

        American Sector @ 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 528 - 1940.
        http://www.nationalww2museum.org/amer...
        Bon Ton Cafe @ 401 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 524 - 3386.
        http://www.thebontoncafe.com/
        Domenica @ 123 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 648 - 6020.
        http://www.domenicarestaurant.com/

        I would probably pick Le Foret of the three choices you asked about.

        1. Many restaurants are closed for Christmas. Your best bet will be hotel restaurants. A window table in the Rib Room (Royal Orleans) would be lovely.

          Of the 3 you are debating, Le Foret is the most upscale and formal. I suggest the tasting menu. MiLa has a $20 prix fixe lunch. (a bargain). Dinner is often desolate. Herbsaint is delicious, however in my experience, it's been inconsistent.

          I prefer Commander's for lunch in the garden room. Dinners have been disappointing.

          August is excellent lunch and dinner. Coquette and Patois as well.

          Emeril's has a $20 prix fixe lunch M-F. The fried chicken and waffles is terrific.

          Welcome back, enjoy!

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

          Herbsaint
          701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Le Foret
          129 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

          6 Replies
          1. re: JazzyB

            Thanks so much for all the replies so far, I really appreciate all your assistance and great suggestions!
            Please keep them coming.

            1. re: IEM11

              The Rib Room at The Omni Royal Orleans would be very nice for Christmas. 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.

              Link to Restaurants open on Christmas.

              http://www.nomenu.com/christmas/index...

              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.
              http://www.restaurantaugust.com/

              Mila @ 817 Common St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 595 - 6774.
              http://www.milaneworleans.com/

              Bistro at Maison De Ville @ 727 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 528 - 9206.
              http://www.hotelmaisondeville.com/din...

              Galatoire's @ 209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 525 - 2021.
              http://www.galatoires.com/

              Brennan's Restaurant @ Royal St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 525 - 9711. *
              http://www.brennansneworleans.com/

              1. re: Littleman

                Sorry to contradict, Littleman, but you will get a compliment from me for Brennan's. It's a classic. And so is Galatoire's. Can't beat the civilized convenience of dining at either if you are staying at the Monteleone. Just stroll out the hotel doors, and you will be at your table in 5 minutes tops. Or at least having a drink and waiting for your table.

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

                1. re: erikschwarz

                  Thanks again for all your replies and suggestions, I really appreciate it.

                  1. re: IEM11

                    Your choices are spectacular, and are probably 3 of my top 10 in the city. You will be exceedingly pleased no matter which you choose. They take local fare, and put their own twist on things, making their dishes both unique and flavorful.

                    Herbsaint is business casual, exceedingly skilled kitchen, boisterous, and fun. Two of the best meals I've had in the 7 years I've lived here have been there, and the place is ALWAYS wonderful, despite Jodyrah's experience to the contrary.

                    MiLa is the most adventurous of your three choices, going a bit beyond the local standards to try new things. It is quieter, more hushed tones, and subtle in ambiance and cooking style, but also a fabulous high end choice. It IS in the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel, despite Littleman's comment to the contrary.

                    Le Foret is not as stuffy as has been portrayed, and they are very good as well. They cook the standards to perfection, and have an incredibly attentive staff, but will blow you away with their execution, rather than their culinary adventuress.

                    I am surprised Stella is not on your list - it should be!

                    Personally, I would skip Brennan's, Commander's, and Emeril's. I think Brennan's, frankly, is an over-hyped tourist trap. Commander's has just never impressed me - it is a power player's spot, but the food is a notch below the places you are considering. Emeril's is consistent, but there is nothing subtle about the place. It is very good, consistent, and a standard. The service is precise and almost showman-like. There is, however, very little nuance in the execution there - it is, as Emeril so accurately puts it, BAM, in your face, kinda flavors. Not my style, but hey, different strokes ...

                2. re: Littleman

                  Hotel Maison de Ville has been closed and for sale for at least 2 years. The Bistro, however, is still there and is as good as ever.

            2. Throw a dart and pick any one. They are all great restaurants.

              1. Based upon my experience at MiLa, I'd pass on this one . . . but Herbsaint and Le Foret have been superb!

                Note: I should admit that I do *not* live in New Orleans, but visit 1-2x a year, and have for a long time That said, the above comments are based upon having dinner only once, each, at MiLa and Le Foret, and at Herbsaint three times.

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                Herbsaint
                701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Le Foret
                129 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                2 Replies
                1. re: zin1953

                  Agreed about MiLa. On a slow night with almost no one in there, they my wife & I facing the doors to the kitchen. No excuse for that. The appetizers were OUTSTANDING... Honestly, they were really unbelieveable. The entrees kinda left us flat. We had high hopes, but the Lamb had too many chewy parts to be considered acceptable. The desserts were terrible & the waiter did not know what one of them was. He also argued with me about what my dessert wine was supposed to taste like, even though I have personally ordered it at least 5 times from other restaurants.
                  Herbsaint, however, is killer. Been there 4 times with guests for meetings & never missed once.

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                  Herbsaint
                  701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  1. re: W.L.T.E.

                    Thanks to everyone for your replies. I believe we going to try Herbisant this time around.

                2. I would definitely not waste a lunch on the Napoleon House.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Hungry4Good

                    i would -- good muffaletta, good rb poboy, shrimp remoulade stuffed avocado, one of the best veggie sandwiches around, top-notch atmosphere, great courtyard, and good drinks. whats not to like?

                    1. re: kibbles

                      Napoleon House is great for drinks and unique atmosphere, but the items you mentioned (plus the bruschetta) are the best on the menu. Stray from them, and caveat emptor. They put out some very bad food - the fish sandwich, the green salads, and the cheese board have been especially terrible in my experience - and get away with it because the surroundings are interesting.

                      1. re: uptownlibrarian

                        Though they apparently has fans of it, I've never been one for their muffaletta, from the institutional-grade cold cuts to the blah olive salad.

                        1. re: Hungry4Good

                          i dont eat olives really so im not much of an expert on them -- but practically all sandwich restaurants use standard cold cuts. most all of these restaurant deli meats are processed, salty, and full of nitrites.

                          that being said, NH has several good items in addition, as mentioned, and is a fine casual choice for a visitor in new orleans. the atmosphere cannot be beat.

                        2. re: uptownlibrarian

                          every restaurant excels at some items and fails on others, from NH to August (believe it or not but we had a horrendous chicken-roll thing at August, completely over-cooked, dried out and in general very lackluster). to cite that they have some fails sorta misses the point -- we recommend that which is good. if NH has good items, then its still worth recommending...especially when the food is only part of the equation there.

                          (much how we generally all feel Commander's food is good, not great, but the atmosphere makes it fun & worth it).

                          1. re: kibbles

                            Well, you said "what's not to like?" The answer is 85% of the menu. Of course the point is to highlight the strengths, but if the weaknesses are nigh-on unavoidable, why not share my experiences with others so they may avoid my mistakes? I don't think that trying to help folks have a good experience at NH misses the point.

                            1. re: uptownlibrarian

                              the vibe i get from this thread is that NH is to be avoided due to the food ("I would definitely not waste a lunch", "is great for drinks", "They put out some very bad food"), which i disagree with and am attempting to negate. you can have some good food at NH (their veggie sammich is one of my favorites anywhere) all while enjoying some of the best atmosphere the quarter has to offer.

                              i havent sampled the entire menu (we stick to the basics there and we like em) but we nor our guests have ever been upset by the food at NH. unlike, say, my most recent experience at August...yet i cannot dis-recommend August for having crummy chicken, either. its really not what they do, evidently.

                              1. re: kibbles

                                I'm throwing in my 2 copper.

                                The Napolean house is a fantastic building and atmosphere, the food, that I have had,...not so much. I really didnt care for the muff. And its not that its a heated version which I like at times. I also felt that the cold cuts were subpar and kinda bleh. Just didnt compare to CG imho. Also got an antipasto salad which kinda sucked..no not kinda, it did. The seafood gumbo was standard fare. But hey ..the Pimms were realllly good :)