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Dec 18, 2010 09:24 AM

Out of town students looking for romantic dinner

Hey all,

I am a very excited grad student and making my first ever trip to NOLA in January. It is also the first trip together with a special someone and I would love to go out someplace fancy where we can get all dressed up. Should I do Commander's Palace or are there other, less-well-known, places that might also be a bit lighter on the wallet?


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

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  1. Where are you staying. Will you have a car. Are you staying in the FQ or CBD. If so you should go to Stella, Irene's, Galatoire's or Emeril's because you can walk there. If you are staying Uptown or in the GD go to Commander's, Coquette, Patois, Clancy's or Brigtsen's. Take the streetcar. Good luck.

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

    1. For a romantic dinner in a lovely and comfortable setting, I recommend Mr B's Bistro. The room itself is more intimate than Commander's, which can get kind of raucous, and IMHO, the food is as good and the service often better.

      Brigtsen's is another possibility. Enjoy!

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

      Mr B's Bistro
      201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

      2 Replies
      1. re: marthasway

        I can't think of anything less romantic eating bbq shrimp while wearing a bib. Sorry, but Mr. B's is not the place to go. I also can't think of anything that would impress her more than the Garden room at Commanders Palace. There are more romantic places, but let's assume that she wants to have fun as well. Commander's price is also somewhat reasonable because their meals are three courses and you won't need anything else. You can get out of their for under $150 with a few cocktails included.

        1. re: shanefink

          There's more to the menu at Mr B's than BBQ shrimp, and I've had and observed some less than stellar service at Commander's, such as bickering waiters. The BOD (brennan on duty) was nonplussed with my concerns on one occasion.

          Yes, I've had a great meal or two at CP, but I'd rather stick with my tried and true of.which I have happy memories.

      2. While you are pondering Littleman's questions (can be very, very important), I'll just throw out some of my choices, and in no particular order:

        Restaurant August - lots of local ingredients, prepared by a top-notch chef, and crew. Heavy New Orleans influence.

        Brigtsen's - a bit less formal, but very nice. They may lack that "romance factor," over others, but more than make up for it with the food. Service is very friendly, and "familiar."

        The Grill Room, Windsor Court Hotel - lovely, very, very romantic. The food, with a heavy NOLA influence was great, but they have undergone a change, since we last had dinner with them. I need to sneak my wife away for some well-deserved R & R, and she hinted, "take me to the Windsor Court," and let's have dinner one night at the Grill Room. I'd love that." As a side note: in Oct, Windsor Court hosted a "high tea," for my wife and her party, and exceeded her expectations on all accounts - and she grades very hard!

        MiLa - a mix of Mississippi & Louisiana cuisine for a chef-couple. Dark, well-appointed, with good service and very good food. More modern in the decor, than others, but very nice, none the less.

        Stella! - Not so NOLA influenced as most of the rest. It looks like one's wealthy aunt's parlor, but the food and service have always been great. There is a strong Southern elegance, that accompanies the food.

        Bayona - We've only dined indoors, and it's always been very good, but others here say that for romance, the courtyard is not to be beaten. Chef Susan Spicer always comes through for me on the food. Gotta' ask for the courtyard, weather permitting.

        That's my "short list," and depending on the answers to Littleman's questions, some might fall off quickly, but someone here should be able to fill any gaps.



        Restaurant August
        301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

        430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

        Windsor Court Hotel
        300 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Susan Spicer is my all time favorite NOLA to Emeril. She came up to MS for a James Beard event and we really had a great time. She's a wonderful chef and a wonderful lady. Emeril is also a great person and a great chef too.

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

          1. re: Littleman

            Did she not just win a recent award? Seems that my wife read something from New Orleans Magazine about her?

            She has always done "it" for us.


          2. re: Bill Hunt

            Did the Windsor Court really call it "high tea"? Bet they did. American establishments consistently get it wrong. High tea is a workingman's meal, with substantial foods such as fish and meats. It is traditionally taken in early evening, just after the day's hard labor. Afternoon tea, or "low tea," is the one with dainty cucumber sandwiches, scones, clotted cream etc. It was popularized - some would say invented - in the early 19th c. by the Duchess of Bedford, who found that it warded off her late-afternoon sinking spells. My guess is that afternoon tea owes its origin to hypoglycemia.

          3. My vote is for Commander's...going there for lunch tomorrow. Always a great meal, $0.25 martinis at lunch during the week and fantastic service.

            1. Lots of can't-miss tips from my fellow New Orleans chowhounds, but here is one more. Gautreau's is a small, elegant restaurant off the beaten path Uptown. Excellent wine list, and the chef has won many recent awards and honors. One of the most romantic restaurants in the city, IMHO, and you will want to dress up. As for prices, they are a bit lower than Commander's or August, but otherwise on a par with most of the other restaurants to which you have been tipped.

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