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Will this itinerary win over my husband?

Saturday (arrive 2:30)

Lunch – Verti Marte (always the first stop for an All That Jazz; hoping they've reopened before 11/6)
Dinner – Felix’s (oysters?) / Green Goddess

Sunday

Breakfast – Stanley
Lunch – Dong Phuong’s
Dinner – August

Monday

Breakfast – Luke
Lunch – Parkway/Liuzza’s
Dinner – Dante’s Kitchen

Tuesday

Breakfast –
Lunch – Cochon Butcher
Dinner – Eleven79 or Brigstens or Patois

A little about us: my husband is a chef (Northern Italian but his greatest influence in his early days was Paul Prudhomme) and we are both serious foodies with high standards, be it high-end innovative cuisine or a really good hot dog. I have spent six weeks in NOLA over the past five years doing rebuilding work and my husband has joined me on two of those trips. We have fallen in love with the city and are seriously considering moving there from the NYC area. We are viewing this as an exploratory trip of sorts.
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I’m feeling a bit of pressure to wow my husband foodwise on this trip – there’s a lot riding on it! I have had more of an opportunity to experience different places in the city than he has and have found some favorites that I want to share with him this time (Green Goddess, Dong Phuongs, Liuzzas). His experiences during his two trips were hit and miss but we have been to and loved Herbsaint and Cochon a couple times each. We both love Verti Marte and Felix’s. Everything else on the list is new to both of us.

We’re looking to experience a range of cuisines throughout the city, exploring some new neighborhoods and some local favorites. We are staying in the lower Quarter but will have a car - I know my way around pretty well.

Any input is appreciated.

Thanks!

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  1. It sounds perfect. I guess Eleven79 makes sense if you want to try the Italian side of things, although nothing is going to quite compare to home. You might want to hit Magazine Street at some point. I would suggest grabbing a bagel and lox at Stein's Deli (it will remind you of home) on Tuesday morning and walking around the neighborhood for a while. It's really hopping these days. The biggest thing we are missing here is greasy, yummy New York Chinese food. I haven't found anything close. And I don't regret my move from LI one bit.

    6 Replies
    1. re: shanefink

      I agree, Nola falls short with NY re: Italian, Chinese AND delis. Nothing like freshly sliced belly lox and a bagel hot out of the oven. I'd skip Stein's. Brigtsen's appetizers shine. I'd make a dinner of an assortment.. August 's tasting menu w/wine pairing is always enjoyable. FWIW, I moved from Jersey 25+ years ago and would never move back. Nola, no place like it, no place I'd rather be.

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

      1. re: JazzyB

        Nice to hear from a couple of former tri-staters - I'm in CT (though from NY) so we complete the trifecta. Thank you both. Hope to join you soon!

        We've tweaked the itinerary a bit. My husband thought our last meal should be a little more special so we're thinking Bayona or possibly Brigstens for Tuesday night. Unfortunately Patois, which looks great, isn't open Tuesday. When I was in Nola in May I ran into Anderson Cooper and he recommended Eleven79 - that was my main motivation in wanting to go there. :)

        We plan on spending time in the Magazine Street area either Monday after Luke or Tuesday morning.

        1. re: lunabug

          Eleven79 is very good, and I love it, but if your husband is an NYC-based Italian chef, it's not likely to wow him (though the inclusion of many dishes with local seafood on the vast menu does put a distinctive NOLA spin on the cuisine).

          Also wondering if Dante's Kitchen will win him over, (It's good, too, but I'm not sure it's in the win-him-over category. Maybe . . . Would be helpful to know what he wasn't impressed with when he was here.)

          For dinner, I'd probably choose Brigtsen's over Bayona (for dinner, Bayona is inconsistent, IME), but I'd consider moving things around to be able to go to Patois or Coquette. If you loved Herbsaint, I think you'd really like either of those. More casual, but also excellent is Boucherie.

          Another Sunday night option is the guest chef night at Bacchanal, an experience that might win him over. (Since August is open every night, you might consider going to August on Monday when so many other places are closed.)

          -----
          Bayona
          430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

          Herbsaint
          701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Dante's Kitchen
          736 Dante Street, New Orleans, LA 70118

          Boucherie
          8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

          1. re: nomadchowwoman

            Yes! Bacchanal, definitely! What an excellent idea. I've always wanted to go there and I think he will love it. So I'll reschedule August to either Monday or Tuesday.

            I appreciate your advice about Dante's - it looks like a great neighborhood joint, but maybe not wow-worthy enough for this trip. Boucherie looks amazing and will probably be our Tuesday night choice, leaving August for Monday. Boucherie will also be interesting as we are exploring the idea of starting up a food truck if we move there and I know that the Boucherie chef runs the Purple Truck.

            As far as what has underwhelmed him in the past, it's hard to put a finger on it. Our first trip was early in 2006 and we had no idea what we were doing foodwise and were working so hard that food wasn't the priority. I'd be embarassed to say where we ate. We did manage to make it to Herbsaint for the first time on that trip - that was the highlight. I think the biggest standout disappointment on his second trip was Dick and Jenny's two years ago. We thought it was mediocre at best, nothing was really prepared right or well, and we continue to be confused by the raves it receives.

            I'm excited to share some of my recent faves with him and to explore new things. Thanks for helping to put the finishing (?) touches on it. Of course, we are a spontaneous pair who like to keep things loose, so none of this may happen at all!!! But it's good (and fun!) to have a plan!

            Thanks, all!

          2. re: lunabug

            While I have enjoyed Susan Spicer's Bayona, I would choose chef Frank Brigtsen's. His take on NOLA cuisine is unique, and wonderful. It is located in a lovely, homey "house" in the River Bend Area, and is well worth the streetcar ride (more fun than a cab). Brigtsen's is a favorite of ours, and that is not only because much of my wife's family grew up in the River Bend (and Upper Garden District). We try our very best to get there on each trip, but did miss it on the last two, due to familial duties.

            Enjoy,

            Hunt

            PS - Bayona will also delight.

            -----
            Bayona
            430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

          3. re: JazzyB

            If this was facebook, I'd click "Like" to your last sentence....

        2. Lunabug............I like your choice of August. Luke and Stanley are outstanding also. I just can't eat 3 meals in NOLA in the same day. I love that cajun food so much I would not have room for dinner if I had breakfast too. I see you are considering several restaurants that are Uptown. I suggest that you have lunch in that area on Tuesday and explore Magazine Street in the 3,000 to 5,000 block area. There are some great shops, restaurants and bars along Magazine. Shopping is really fun there. There are several nice po boy joints there including Tracey's, Mahoney's and Domilese's. You could get your po boy lunch, explore Magazine, have drinks at Column's Hotel on their porch on St. Charles then have dinner at Clancy's, Coquette, Dick and Jenny's or Brigtsen's. It's a fun area to visit and dine for half a day or so.

          I would also consider visiting the WWII DDay Museum in the CBD and have lunch at American Sector. You could have your Cochon Butcher lunch and then visit the museum.

          American Sector @ 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 528 - 1940.
          http://www.nationalww2museum.org/amer...
          The Columns Hotel @ 3811 Saint Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 504 - 899 - 9308.
          http://www.thecolumns.com/
          Tracey's Restaurant @ 2533 Constance St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 899 - 2054. http://traceysnola.com/
          Mahoney's Po Boy Shop @ 3454 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 899 - 3374.
          http://www.mahonyspoboys.com/
          Domilise's Po Boy's @ 5240 Annunciation St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 899 - 9126.

          13 Replies
          1. re: Littleman

            Littleman--Regarding your Monday dinner suggestions, neither Brigsten's nor Patois are open on Mondays.

            1. re: Philly

              Thanks Philly. It's difficult to keep up with who's open and who's closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday's. I edited my post to Tuesday instead of Monday.

              1. re: Littleman

                I would opt for Patois over either Brigsten's or Eleven79, and go to Stella! Saturday night

                If Verti Mart hasn't opened and you don't mind the drive, I would head out east to Walker's for a cochon de lait

                1. re: paz5559

                  Thanks - I hadn't heard of Walker's. Looks great, We'll be out that way on Sunday, though for Dong Phuong's. Our back up plan, if VM isn't open, is to head straight to the Merliton Festival on Saturday.

                  Anyone know the latest on VM? Last I heard they were shooting for a Halloween weekend opening.

                  1. re: paz5559

                    +1 Patois. Brightsen's is solid good food but doesn't really thrill me the way Patois has.

              2. re: Littleman

                I think we've decided to nix off breakfast at Stanley and will opt for a bite from Croissant d"Or while we wander the Quarter on Sunday morning. All of Stanley's breakfast options looked pretty heavy and I wouldn't want anything to hinder my enjoyment of Luke that night.

                Wow - I had forgotten that Besh was doing the restaurant at the DDay Museum! That looks amazing and fun - right up my alley! The museum was definitely on the itinerary, but I don't have an open lunch slot! The plan for Monday lunch involved getting a fried shrimp poboy at Liuzzas, a roast beef at Parkway and taking them up to the lake for a poboy picnic with some sides from Robert's Fresh Market. Should we bump that for lunch at the museum? Maybe we'll make it weather permitting...

                Why aren't we staying another day!?!?!

                1. re: lunabug

                  I am in the minority, but I have found that almost every dish (other than the sliders) at American Sector is a wierd modificatyion on what you expect, and not for the better. Others will tell you differently, but I would skip American Sector

                  1. re: paz5559

                    Paz.......can you tell me what the "weird modification on what to expect" dishes are at American Sector. I didn't notice anything "weird" myself. I think the museum should be on everyone's list that visits NOLA and American Sector simply improves the quality of the museum. Thanks.

                    1. re: Littleman

                      i get what hes saying. some of the dishes are interpretations of the namesake item. ex: the bologna sandwich is not like what one would expect based on the name alone. (whether its better or not is open for argument...but this sandwich is not on my repeat list).

                      to be fair i havent tried enough of the menu.

                    2. re: paz5559

                      We had the chicken wings, burger, sloppy joe. All disappointing. Hardly what I'd expect from Besh. I wouldn't waste a meal at Luke either. The food will not "wow". Go for the daily happy hour 3-6, 1/2 price libations, 50 cent oysters. Grab a snack from the menu to sample the fare. Patois, Coquette and Lilette are better options...just my 2 cents.

                    3. re: lunabug

                      there are a couple dishes that aren't super heavy at Stanley -- the breakfast poboy, despite hollandaise isnt a belt buster. but cant go wrong w/ d'Or, either. best croissants in the at least the city (imo best ive had outside europe).

                      1. re: kibbles

                        This is a very tough question, as there are some high end and low end highlights that we revisit regularly. FIrst, on the dinner end, we have loved Matt and Naddies on several visits, and we also love Jaques-Imo's, though that tends to be a more polarizing choice. Nola is also usually quite good. For breakfast--ELizabeth's, La peniche, Feelings (sunday brunch) are also favs. Finally, for a great burger, Port O'call (yes, I know, you're not in NO for a burger, but this is one of our top 3 worldwide!). ANd, for traditional, we were pleasantly surprised by BonTon cafe. Agree also with Brightsen's --never disappointed there.

                        -----
                        Matt and Naddie's Restaurant
                        937 Leonidas Street, New Orleans, LA 70118

                        1. re: moodoc

                          Oh yes, we know all about Port of Call!! My husband is very disappointed that we won't have time (or capacity!) to go there this time. But you never know, we may go with the flow and end up there at some point!

                          Thanks!

                  2. Lunabug,
                    If you have not yet made a decision about breakfast on Tuesday, I would love to suggest my favorite breakfast spot, Surrey's.
                    On Magazine Street, Surrey's creates everything in house from scratch, including their bagels. Now I wouldn't suggest a bagel to a NYC'er. But as a breakfasat sandwich or just as the side bread they are wonderful. What is exceptional are the juices (fresh squeezed, usually a selection of 7 to 10) the Bananas Foster French Toast (3 large slices of french bread, stuffed with their banana caramel cream, then cooked in a traditional egg-sugar batter) Traditional Shrimp and Grits, and their Crabmeat and Avocado Omellette (jumbo lump and beautiful avocado with 4 different cheeses)
                    I have never been to a better breakfast spot in the city.
                    It was featured on that show Diners drive ins and dives but dont let that keep you away, it truly is a wonderful place to have an exceptional breakfast,
                    I have been in the restaurant business for a long time in this city and I do believe that your husband (as a chef) and yourself (as the wife of a chef) would thoroughly enjoy Surrey's.
                    For less than half of the gratuity you gonna pay at August. (By the way, a fine choice. I worked for John for a year at La Provence in Lacombe)

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: louisianaredsoxfan

                      How are the waits on weekday mornings, LRSF?

                      1. re: louisianaredsoxfan

                        sounds delicious. how long is the wait? is this at the original or new location?

                        1. re: kibbles

                          I checked out the new location (Magazine where Refuel used to be, rather than the juice bar on Carondelet) a couple weeks ago, and as far as I could tell the menus were the same. The waits on the weekend get to be 30 or 45 minutes at least if you're not there by about 8:45, so if it's 11 and you're starving, it's probably not the best choice.

                          I do really like the food, but be aware that extras like juice can really bump up your check. They're cash only (which I hate) but both locations have an ATM.

                          When I went to the new location, the service was very bumpy, to the point that the experience was unpleasant and I am hesitant to return. I've never had anything other than great service at the original location.

                          -----
                          Carondelet Cafe'
                          222 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                          1. re: uptownlibrarian

                            I agree completely, the original location is the one to attend. I have been there the last few times between 10 and 1030 and my waits for my wife and I have never been more than 15 minutes. But when we go with this couple the 4 person wait can be substantially longer. Basically, in my experience, for every person you add to your party over 2 you can add 10 to 15 minutes to your wait.
                            Is it worth it? Yes. Unless you have 10 people.

                        2. re: louisianaredsoxfan

                          Thank you so much! That looks perfect for us. And I remember seeing that show and making a mental note of it (yes - my husband dives for the remote whenever Guy Fieri comes on the screen). Thanks for the reminder! This will be the first time that I take advice from a Red Sox fan...

                          Just 10 days until our trip! I will definitely report back.

                          Here's the current itinerary:

                          Saturday (arrive 2:30)

                          Lunch – Verti Marte/Merliton Festival
                          Dinner – Felix’s (oysters?) / Green Goddess

                          Sunday

                          Breakfast – Croissant D'or
                          Lunch – Dong Phuong’s
                          Dinner – Bacchanal
                          Fourth Meal? - Pizza Delicious

                          Monday

                          Breakfast – Luke
                          Lunch – Parkway/Liuzza’s picnic by the lake
                          Dinner – Boucherie

                          Tuesday

                          Breakfast – Surrey's
                          Lunch – Cochon Butcher
                          Dinner – August

                          1. re: lunabug

                            That looks great lunabug; can't wait to hear how it all goes.

                            1. re: lunabug

                              curious on Luke for breakfast -- i havent had it there or heard of anyone's experience w/ breakfast there. have you read or heard something special about it? or is that your hotel?

                              1. re: kibbles

                                Well... we've always had Luke on our to-do list and don't really have room for it for dinner. The menu is intriguing and they also offer a breakfast buffet - I am an absolute sucker for a breakfast buffet. It might be good time to branch out and try Stanley, though. We'll see...

                                And we're not staying in a hotel. We've been fortunate to have found a great spot in the lower Quarter where we always stay. It helps to give a real taste of life in the city, plus a fridge for doggie bags!

                                  1. re: lunabug

                                    They have a great chicken & waffles for breakfast at Luke...

                                1. re: lunabug

                                  Re: pizza delicious....we called on our earlyish escape from the fiasco at the dome Sun. Got a pick up time of 5:30. When we picked up our order ,they were giving callers 9:40 pick up time. If you don't want to wait hours, you can buy pepperoni slices at the window. Yes, it is delicious and IMO the best in NOLA , but if you''re from NY/NJ , nothing you can't get at home.

                                  1. re: JazzyB

                                    ah so you decided to try it... best in the the city! i agree. our favorite is the house-made sausage, garlic & pepper when they have it. cheese is great.

                                    what time did you call it in? i got thru at 5:10 and it was a 7:30p pick up. i dont really understand how thats possible..! must still be at 1 oven capacity.

                                    1. re: JazzyB

                                      Yeah, we were planning on just picking up a couple slices on the way back from Bacchanal. It will be interesting to us to see what's considered great pizza in Nola and we love the pop-restaurant idea.

                                    2. re: lunabug

                                      Edited to add, i see you have already been to Dong Phuong...I have to say Ba Mien a few blocks before is just as good...You must go to the bakery connected to Dong Phuong. And go early if you're able, they are usually packed on Sunday for lunch....Croissant D'Or, great choice....

                                      1. re: Suzy Wong

                                        Yeah, I've actually only ever been to the bakery side - for banh mi, buns, etc. We were planning on doing that, eating at Bayou Sauvage and getting back into town to watch the Saints game somewhere. Thanks for the tip on Ba Mien. Maybe we'll hit that as well! And I think we're going to be early birds all week - between the time zone change and the clocks changing that weekend, we're going to be two hours ahead of ourselves!