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Where should two older, handicapped, hard of hearing pescatarians go to eat? ;)

r
Rowdy Dec 27, 2010 10:21 AM

DH and I are coming to NO for the first time in many years, so get ready, folks! We have adventurous, sophisticated palates and love good food, but not a noisy atmosphere. We are mostly vegetarians, but eat fish and seafood too.

We want good typical (if there is such a thing) New Orleans food, not food that we can get at home where we have an abundance of wonderful general restaurants and good ethnic restaurants of many stripes.

We usually go to two meals a day when on vacation, so we're looking for breakfast and dinner recommendations. Do we need to make reservations at most places? Do we have to worry about dress codes (we're very casual types)? Where should we have our Saturday evening farewell dinner? We'll be in NOLA from Mon. Jan 3 - Sat. Jan 9.

We'll be staying in the French Quarter and will have a car. I'm in a wheelchair, so we can get around the FQ pretty well, and I can actually get into most restaurants without the chair, but need it for distances or for waiting in line. Going out of the FQ is a definite option for a worthy destination; but is it too much of a hassle?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

  1. l
    Littleman Dec 27, 2010 11:01 AM

    I always recommend Galatoire's which is on Bourbon and you could dine in your wheelchair easily. Galatoire's food resembles NOLA creole cuisine better than most restaurants and it's one of my favorites. There are other's as well like Bon Ton which is in the CBD and might be a stretch for you. I suggest you consider Mr. B's, Bayona, NOLA and Irene's for upscale dining. Napoleon House, Johnny's, Coop's, Mena's and Felipe's offer reasonable casual dining. Acme and Felix's are good for fresh seafood in the FQ.

    Stanley's would be my recommendation for breakfast. Mena's serves a good breakfast also. Going out of the FQ for dining if you are handicapped would not be my suggestion. There are too many fine places to eat near your hotel that sould take good care of you considering your handicapped needs.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Littleman
      h
      hazelhurst Dec 27, 2010 11:04 AM

      But Galatoire's can be _awfully_ loud...3:00 in the afternoon ought to be OK but when there is a loud party or one of those 40-year-olds-acting-like Frat-Boys things going on, well, it can be too damn over-the-top loud.

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

      1. re: hazelhurst
        l
        Littleman Dec 27, 2010 11:05 AM

        You are correct Hazelhurst. I forgot about that stipulation by the OP. I have found it to be much quieter late in the evening and for dinner. Lunch is always very loud and busy.

      2. re: Littleman
        r
        Rowdy Dec 27, 2010 12:28 PM

        And do all these places have plenty of fish and seafood choices, or just one or two?

        1. re: Rowdy
          h
          hazelhurst Dec 27, 2010 01:14 PM

          It's actually rather difficult in New Orleans to find a place without seafood. I have friends who call me sometimes to go out with them becuase they are tired of fish and want meat and they know I will go along with them so we can have a different wine than they usually have.

          If you go to Galatoire's in the mid-afternoon, it won;t be loud and you will have an experience that is the True New Orleans. It is "dressy" .

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

          1. re: Rowdy
            l
            Littleman Dec 27, 2010 01:38 PM

            Galatoire's will have multiple fish dishes. Mr. B's, Emeril's, Bayona, NOLA and Irene's will have a choice of two fish specials most likely. Bon Ton will have more. It's more classic creole cuisine than many. Acme and Felix's are on or near Bourbon and have multiple fish entrees. Seafood is readily available at most all NOLA restaurants including those mentioned here. Coop's is a NOLA joint famous for good seafood and atmosphere. I think it's a fun joint.

            -----
            Bon Ton Cafe
            401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

        2. c
          collardman Dec 27, 2010 11:15 AM

          A quiet N.O. restaurant is almost an oxymoron! It better fits the pricy places like August, Stella, Rib Room, Grill Room at Windsor Court, Emeril's Delmonico. Couvee was generally quiet (if they're still open), MiLa can be quiet. Arnauds or Antoines might sit you in a quiter room if requested. There aren't too many places where you can get quiet AND excellant food. There will usually be a little bit of trade off in one or the other.

          The chair should be no problem and neither should dress.

          As someone with a hearing problem even some of the noisiest places, like NOLA, is passable for me unless it is jammed and it often is. Even there you can try one of the upper rooms, maybe the 3rd floor, which I think is much quieter, and there is an elevator to get you there.

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

          1. whs Dec 27, 2010 01:57 PM

            The Roosevelt Hotel is universally accessible and I would recommend a drink at the Sazerac Bar--the Ramos Gin Fizz was invented there, and the room is as beautiful as the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis in NYC.

            1. paz5559 Dec 27, 2010 03:03 PM

              GW Fins

              1. jfood Dec 27, 2010 03:24 PM

                Get in the car go across st. charles to uptown and go to Brigtsen's. There are four steps leading into the house-resturant. The ladies will love you to death with their kindness and chef frank will cook you an amazing old-NOLA meal. and there is a chance that the fish on the plate was caught by frank in the morning.

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

                1. r
                  Rowdy Dec 28, 2010 12:10 PM

                  Okay. Dinner is starting to shape up, thank you very much, and breakfast is still murky. We'll be staying at the Astor Crowne Plaza in the FQ. Is anything there worth bothering with, for either breakfast or dinner? My nostalgic DH wants to go to Cafe du Monde one morning, but I'd love other breakfast suggestions. And, as with dinner, the food trumps all other considerations.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Rowdy
                    l
                    Littleman Dec 28, 2010 01:40 PM

                    Camellia Grill is a very famous breakfast joint Uptown that's been there a long time. They recently opened a place in the FQ you should try for sure. Mena's serves a good country breakfast near your hotel. Clover Grill serves a reasonable breakfast too. Go by Croissant D'Or for outstanding breakfast pastry and coffee. Fiorella's has a good breakfast. Stanley serves the best but I would not miss Camellia Grill.

                    Camellia Grill @ 540 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 522 - 1800.
                    http://www.neworleans.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=538890&catid=436&Itemid=4468
                    Mena's Palace @ 200 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 525 - 0217.
                    http://www.menaspalace.com/
                    Clover Grill @ 900 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 598 - 1010.
                    http://www.clovergrill.com/
                    Croissant D'Or @ 617 Ursulines Ave., New Orleans, LA 504 - 524 - 4663
                    Fiorella's Cafe @ 1136 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 553 - 2155.
                    Stanley @ 547 St. Ann St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 593 - 0006.
                    http://stanleyrestaurant.com/

                    1. re: Littleman
                      rozz01 Dec 29, 2010 07:44 PM

                      Clover Grill would be fun for the food and entertainment, but the access might be a little tight...

                      -----
                      Clover Grill
                      900 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                  2. Bill Hunt Dec 29, 2010 08:13 PM

                    OK, we travel back to NOLA with M-I-L, who is totally wheelchair-bound. Getting her into the seat on the plane is the total limit. I also dislike noisy restaurants.

                    Now, for most of the criteria, I really like G W Fins. Great seafood, wheelchair accessible (many times), but tends to be a bit louder, than I like. Every restauranteur in the Phoenix Area knows how I feel. The seafood is local, very fresh, very well-prepared, and is not likely something that one can get "at home." The noise-level is not over the top - just a bit more than what I find perfect.

                    For an upper-end experience, I recommend the Windsor Court's Grill Room. They accommodate my M-I-L, with out missing a beat. While the menu is not totally seafood, there is much to choose from. The ambiance is wonderfully quiet, and oh so elegant. There is just bound to be enough seafood, to satisfy almost anyone.

                    Trying to recall other places that accommodated M-I-L, AND had mostly seafood, plus an acceptable noise level. Most spots in my memory fail in one area, or in another.

                    My wife mentioned NOLA, Emeril's restaurant, which has major seafood courses, and we dined upstairs, where it was very quiet. The elevator accommodates her mom nicely, and the staff had the table ready for her wheelchair. Very good food, great service, and upstairs, it was quiet. My wife suggested a later dining time, and also a request for upstairs, due to noise levels below, especially earlier on. While I did not survey the entire upstairs, it seemed small, and the elevator put you right there. Again, they had the table prepared for a party of 5, with the spot for the wheelchair prepared, closest to the elevator.

                    Stella! has been very accommodating for M-I-L, is quiet, and offers many fish/seafood dishes, all done well. The staff even rushed to the van, grabbed M-I-L, and had her through the backdoor, at the table, before we could even get the valet ticket. By the time we got in, she also had her iced tea, just as she likes it. Could not ask for more. The menu is broad, but will cover the seafood/fish bases nicely. Call ahead, and I'd bet that they would structure their "tasting menu," just for you. Love their smallish wine list too, as it pairs nicely with their kitchen.

                    I am sure that there are others, but those come to my mind, as being close to the criteria specified.

                    Enjoy,

                    Hunt

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

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                      r
                      Rowdy Dec 30, 2010 12:54 PM

                      Thanks to all for your suggestions. It's clear we all love good food, and I appreciate the time people put in to help one another enjoy the bounty of NO. It must get a little tiresome, with all the people who come to New Orleans for the food! Your suggestions have helped point my research in a clear direction.

                      Here's what I've come up with so far: GW Fins on our arrival night, Jack Dempsey's on Tuesday with a local friend (in her neighborhood), Wednesday at Brigtsen's, Thursday lunch at Felix's with late dinner(8:30 ish) at Galatoire's, Friday at Bon Ton, Saturday sendoff dinner at NOLA. All comments welcomed!

                      For breakfast possibilities, we're opting for Camellia Grill, Stanley, Mena's Palace, Clover Grill, Croissant d'Or, Cafe du Monde and possibly La Peniche.

                      One vexing question I'd like input on is the Galatoire's plan. Is 8:30 a time when the restaurant will be relatively calm, but not yet sinking into the torpor of evening fatigue, or should we go at a different time? If so, what would a good time be? Given Hazelhurst's wonderful descriptions of this restaurant and its history, I want to be sure we catch it at its best and will adjust accordingly.

                      Thank you so much!

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

                      La Peniche
                      1940 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                      Jack Dempsey's Restaurant
                      738 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

                      Clover Grill
                      900 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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

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

                      Bon Ton Cafe
                      401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      Mena's Palace
                      200 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      1. re: Rowdy
                        l
                        Littleman Dec 30, 2010 02:27 PM

                        Galatoire's does not take reservations downstairs where you want to be. I'm not sure how they accomodate handicapped upstairs. There may be an elevator. Please try to go downstairs. Thursday night is a good night to sit downstairs as there should not be a line outside. Go around an hour to an hour and a half early and check on the line. If there's no line you may want to go on and dine at that time. I never go more than an hour before the time I prefer to dine and I have never had to wait. Be patient. If there's a line go across the street to Feliix's and have a few drinks and oysters while someone stands in line for you.

                        You plans are perfect. You will love Finn's, Brigtsen's, Camellia Grill, Stanley's, Mena's and Clover. You will really really like Stanley for the outstanding breakfast with fresh LA seafood ingredients. If you can remember ask for Richard to wait on you at Galatoire's. Have a great trip. I admire your courage and wish you the very best time ever. Good luck.

                        1. re: Littleman
                          Bill Hunt Jan 2, 2011 06:40 PM

                          Littleman,

                          Not sure that I agree with you here. The OP was looking for "quiet," and downstairs is seldom "quite," though can be. Upstairs is not always quite, but is more often so, than is downstairs.

                          Yes, downstairs, with no reservations, is more dynamic, but the noise level is usually elevated. Will depend on the actual night.

                          We often do upstairs, due to the reservations, and our guests' schedules, and the food and service have always been great. Is the "mood" the same? No. Is the ambient noise level quieter - always? No, but it most often is.

                          If I am doing business, and do not need to see, or be seen, I will always opt for upstairs, and take my chances on quiet.

                          I do enjoy the "scene" downstairs, but not always.

                          Just my personal observations,

                          Hunt

                        2. re: Rowdy
                          h
                          hazelhurst Dec 31, 2010 06:45 AM

                          The last orders are put in at 9:00 and the place will start closing up in about an hour. They usually get the last folks out for about 10:30 or 11:00PM but sometimes there are inconsiderate oafs who stay so they can claim to have closed the place. I'd go at 5:30 and just hang out. Better yet, go at 4:00 and watch the slower pace then see it pick up.

                          They have an elevator behing the right-side entry to the back...One passes it en route to the new restrooms

                          1. re: hazelhurst
                            Bill Hunt Jan 2, 2011 06:42 PM

                            We've used that elevator for M-I-L several times, and it works fine.

                            Hunt

                          2. re: Rowdy
                            Bill Hunt Jan 2, 2011 06:28 PM

                            Do not know Jack Dempsey's so must pass.

                            While I have been to CG, post-K, I still wonder about the wheelchair access. Maybe I have missed something, or something has changed. Others, in other similar threads, have mentioned that it is "wheelchair friendly," but that was not my experience. Gotta' check that out, as M-I-L would love to do breakfast there with us.

                            If Galatoire's can accommodate you at 8:30PM, I'd go for it. Some nights might be slower, than others, but the staff will definitely give you an experience. Just relax, and turn them loose. Tell your server about your likes, and dislikes, and ask what is recommended. The food and service will be great.

                            Enjoy,

                            Hunt

                            -----
                            Jack Dempsey's Restaurant
                            738 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

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

                        3. Suzy Wong Jan 1, 2011 10:47 AM

                          I agree Bon Ton is a great choice for an old school experience and classic cajun cuisine. Galtoire's another fine option....

                          If you eat seafood, you can find something anywhere....You'll be fine....

                          -----
                          Bon Ton Cafe
                          401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

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