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Suggestions for 3 day Mardi Gras trip

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We will be in New Orleans March 3-6 (Thurs-Sun).
Any suggestions on restaurants and reservations will be greatly appreciated.
We will have 6 adults and 2 teenagers (over 18), staying at the Ritz. We all love good food and good wine. I realize that 3 meals a day is probably too much but I would like to have a nice brunch one of the days.

Question about attire...
I realize that a jacket is recommended at several establishments (for men).
Would a nice pair of jeans and a jacket be appropriate or should we stick to slacks?

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  1. For breakfast/brunch - Mother's

    1 Reply
    1. re: jhopp217

      Thanks! We will definitely try Mother's for breakfast. While searching for it, I also came across Elizabeth's that looked very tempting.

    2. make reservations NOW! most krewes have lunches already planned.

      in the FQ/CBD/Warehouse District, I would consider Mr. B's (lunch is better), Galatorie's, Rib Room, Emeril's, August, Luke, Cochon, Herbsaint, Green Goddess, Iris, Irene's

      Uptown, I would look at Coquette, Commander's Palace (lunch is better), Clancy's, Patois, Boucherie, Brigtsen's

      depending on parade shcedules/routes, plan your meals to avoid that traffic. staying on foot is better. cabs can get around the routes, but you may get stuck. most places relax the dress code during Gras, but most locals will be dressed for the season...so be prepared for formal attire, business and cocktail attire, costumes, and cross dressing. enjoy!

      -----
      Cochon
      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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

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

      Herbsaint
      701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

      Green Goddess
      307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

      Boucherie
      8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

      10 Replies
      1. re: edible complex

        Very good advice...and of course Galatoire's auctions off the Friday before Mardi Gras and then usually closes until Ash Wednesday. Plus Antoine's and the Proteus luncheon but that is after the OP (unless the School of Design moved it,as threatened from time-to-time). But Clancy's ought to be open, if very busy, and I have gotten into COmmanders on Bacchus SUnday, believe it or not.

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

        1. re: hazelhurst

          Gosh, do you mean that we will not be able to go to Galatoire's? I was really hoping for a Friday lunch.

          Edit...I just called Galatoire's and they are going to be open Friday for lunch.
          Wheeew! Thank Goodness!!!!
          Any advice on how early to get there to get a table?

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

          1. re: ackisner

            I try to avoid Fridays and, for Friday before MArdi Gras, I have not been since they started auctioning the tables downstairs..I guess you can get in upstairs, though....or you could hope to catchit might a turned table later in the day downstairs. The crowd from Krewe d'Etat will descend on it in mid-afternoon so it'll be raucous.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Maybe we will shoot for Thursday night and I will try again on another trip to make it for Friday lunch:(
              Thanks for the input.

              1. re: ackisner

                As suggested upthread, lots of folks will be in best bib n' tucker over Carnival (even if they are not the ones who are always dressed) so if you go to Galatoire's on Thursday I seriously recommend coat and tie, slacks are ok but there will be lots of suits. But go in the mid-to-late afternoon and let it stretch out into the evening.

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

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  Suit it is...glad you told me. I HATE to be underdressed, I had rather be the opposite any day.

        2. re: edible complex

          I really want my husband to experience a good brunch. What would you suggest...Commander's Palace, Brennan's, etc.?

          1. re: ackisner

            when you say brunch, what are your expectations? egg dishes? music? formal or casual?

            1. re: edible complex

              I think we would enjoy music and maybe a little more formal.

              1. re: ackisner

                I haven't been or read any reports, but check out:
                http://www.therooseveltneworleans.com...

                otherwise, Commander's may be best for what you are looking for.
                my other brunch suggestions for something less formal would be Dante's, Atchafalaya, Patois, Cafe Degas, Lil Dizzy's on Esplanade, Rue 127 on S. Carrollton, Martinique, Ruby Slipper (also in the CBD now), Luke

                -----
                Lil Dizzy's Cafe
                1500 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

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

                Luke Restaurant
                333 St Charles, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Patois
                6078 Laurel St., New Orleans, LA 70118

                Martinique Restaurant Bistro
                5908 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                Cafe Atchafalaya
                901 Louisiana Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

                Cafe Degas
                3127 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

                Ruby Slipper Cafe
                139 S Cortez St, New Orleans, LA 70119

        3. One of the nicest brunches in town is in your hotel :-)

          4 Replies
          1. re: TaTee

            Be sure to stop by Davenport Lounge in the RC and listen to Jeremy Davenport's outstanding jazz after 9 PM on Thursday/Friday/Saturday.

            1. re: Littleman

              Perfect...we are staying at the RC! That simplifys one decision, wish they were all that easy. I am so torn on where to eat!!!! I guess I will keep reading this blog and maybe it will all come together.

              1. re: ackisner

                we were pleased with the appetizers we had at the bar in the pelican club, we had seafood martini and quail on grits, in all our visits to n.o., we had never been there.then we went to restaurant august for the first time, and had appetizers at the bar. we had the gnocchi and cassoulet, both very good. at both places the bartenders were so nice and friendly with us. i would recommend elizabeths to you. it is very "local", not too touristy.

                1. re: califkatie

                  I had forgotten about cassoulet...that is a good idea.

          2. I would recommend for a nice brunch La Forget on Camp St.(open on Friday for lunch) it also has a tasting menu with suggested wine pairing ofcourse. Commander's Palace is great for lunch and the 25 cent martini is a fun treat(5 types to try). Rest August is also open for lunch on Friday. Muriels at Jackson Square is a lovely place- Its such a pretty restaurant even if you dont do a whole meal -go in a have a nice glass of wine and try the goat cheese and shrimp crepe. (Nice jeans and a nice shirt are fine for the above-and below places)The Green Goddess is great however they would have a hard time trying to accommodate a party of your size, but I do suggest it if just a couple of you can get away! For wine, small plates, cheese,etc try the Orleans Grape Vine. Stanley @ Jackson Sq. is a great place for a breakfast and lunch, as is Elizabeths. I would skip the one place you said you would try - I'm constantly hearing tourist say that it was recommend to them and they werent sure why, there are just to may other places to try. Have a great time and Welcome to the city!

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

            Green Goddess
            307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

            4 Replies
            1. re: AStone

              Our group is growing (we just had another couple book a room), so the input for places that except nice jeans and a nice shirt will be more than helpful. My husband will bring a jacket for Galitoire's and Commander's Palace (I think we have decided to do brunch and/or lunch there). I am going to check out Muriels...having a drink and an app. might be the easiet thing with a group of this size. I am soooo exctied!

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

              1. re: ackisner

                Hate to be too detailed here but a lot depends on whether you mean "except" (meaning "rule out") or "accept?"

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  Nice jeans,etc are fine. Apparently I need to lay off the vino before writing online. Rambla on Camp is great for a group as well.

                  -----
                  Rambla
                  217 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                2. re: ackisner

                  It is hard for us to explain, or for you to possibly comprehend, the type of (at times magnificent) mayhem and sheer quantity of (inebriated) humanity we are talking about and you are about to walk into. If you are looking to eat at finer establishments, the advice about reservations cannot be under-estimated. Everything is going to be packed to the gills.

                  Endymion is not my thing, and I never do it downtown, but seeing if the Ritz offers a special viewing area is a great suggestion. Another is to (try, it's late) to get an EARLY reservation (say 4pm, that should leave you time) in the Quarter, fairly close by, walking distance for your Sunday dinner, or go someplace close and casual (like Felix's) for poboys, and maybe even get some extra takeout somewhere to take with you to eat while you watch. Expect everything to be packed, and partying crowds everywhere, all day.

                  Also, you can call and ask the Hotel, see if they have any reccomendations for what you should do for dinner (the concierges often have very good ideas and hook-ups, and might be able to get you in some where) This really goes for any of your open meal slots.

                  Have fun. Mardi Gras is a one of a kind thing, and surely worth experiencing, but it's a whole different type of New Orleans, and surely takes some savvy planning, some creative flexibility, and a very good sense of humor and adventure! Be ready for anything!!

              2. First off, thank you all so much for all the input! I have enjoyed looking into all these restaurants.
                So far, this is what I have come up with:
                Thurs. Felix's (lunch), Galatoires's (dinner)
                Friday Cafe du Monde, Mr. B's (lunch), Cochon (dinner)
                Saturday: Commander's Palace (brunch) and THEN THIS IS WHERE I NEED HELP!!
                (Thinking of going to see Endymion and need suggestions of where to eat that is close and if we should do lunch or dinner...no idea what the crowd is going to be like before or after?? I think the parade begins around 4 p.m. Will we need a cab, if so, is that even possible during Mardi Gras???)
                Sunday: Port of Call before going home

                As far as drinks are concerned, I have promised my husband that we will stay off Bourbon b/c he thinks it is going to be insane. My plan is to hit some of the nicer bars, i.e. Davenport Lounge (Ritz), Carousel Bar, Napolenon HOuse, etc.
                Also, I am dying to try a Sazerac after reading other's reviews. I have been to NO several times (3 last year!) but I haven't ever had one.

                -----
                Cochon
                930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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

                Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand
                800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                Port of Call
                838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

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

                Felix's Restaurant & Oyster
                739 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                5 Replies
                1. re: ackisner

                  Endymion is a Super Krewe. This can be translated as big...or, more accurately, Mega Big. It is $&%^#*ing huge. The crowds will be enormous. Canal will be a sea of people and the Quarter will be jammed-packed after the parade and pretty damn busy before (it starts at 4:15 up at City Park but won't get to you at the Ritz area for awhile). Obviously, lots of places in the Quarter will be open to take advantage of the hoopla. I am shaking my head thinking of where I'd go. You will have been at Commander's already..that was my first thought becuase it is off the parade route (they come in for their share the next night). Something Uptown would be good, though. Coquette or Clancy's, Brightsens..don't know 'bout reservations at this point but it is worth a shot. You will certainly be able to get a cab at the Ritz but you ain't goin' nowhere until that parade gets by....and no one knows f'sure how long that takes...there's always the unexpected.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    ADDENDUM: Actually, you can get out of the Quarter during the parade...go the back way...and a cab driver can do that with ease...for some reason I was just thinking that there was no sense explaining the navigation to someone unfamiliar with the city...a bifurcated thought....

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      I have been thinking this entire time that we would have to leave the Ritz to go see the parade.....can we watch it from our hotel? If so, I may move Commander's to dinner.

                      1. re: ackisner

                        I don't know what arrangements the hotel may have for viewing but you can sure go down to Canal Street...you won;t be lonely down there I can assure you. Call the Ritz and ask them.

                    2. re: ackisner

                      Felix's is best for oysters 1/2 shell, with an Abita, standing at the bar. Unless the Ritz has viewing stands, I wouldn't watch Endymion downtown. I think Palace Cafe has viewing stands for patrons. Give them a call...now!

                    3. the parade starts at 4p.m. in city park. how long does it take to get to canal st. and the ritz? an hour? so if you are going to watch the parade, it will be going on at dinner time. so that means eating real early or kind-of late-ish. with that many people around canal st. i would cab out to the uptown area, where there are lots of great restaurants. but definitely a reservation is in order that night.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: califkatie

                        Endymion will still be on Canal at 8:00 or 7:30 at the very earliest for a speedy parade--and we aren't even considering breakdowns. Remember, that thing is HUGE.

                      2. My own personal feeling is only plan to go to places that you can walk to, except lunch Thursday and Friday. It's just not worth the time sitting in traffic during parades. Floats going to and from parade routes, dozens of school buses for the bands, trucks for horses, emergency vehicles, and all the citizens who are trying to zip around and catch the parade at their favorite spot. Just not worth it. If you timed it right and were able to get out of the Ritz to a restaurant, you may have a difficult time getting back. Or vice versa. Take it from someone who has learned her lesson the hard way, even though she should have known better.

                        1. Wheww...I am a little overwhelmed! I am so glad I asked the question or else we would end up being at a total loss. I took your advice and called the Ritz, they do not have a viewing area. However, if all goes well she said the parade should pass through. That being said, I think we will just play it by hear and hope we get to see it, but not break our necks trying. I am going to make an EARLY reservation for that night TODAY, somewhere within walking distance. Food is going to be more important than a parade to most of our group;)

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: ackisner

                            good food within walking distance, MILA, le foret, herbsaint, august, pelican club, bayona, le meritage,iris. well, just a few suggestions. i would go to opentable.com, put in the date and time you want. it will tell you who has openings and at what time. i think that will help you rather than calling places individually.

                            1. re: califkatie

                              Open table was a great suggestion and boy, was I blown away to realize everything is almost booked already! My choices are Nola or Herbsaint at 9:30 or Mr. B's at 5:30 or Cochon at 6.

                              -----
                              Herbsaint
                              701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                              1. re: ackisner

                                If you are talking about Endemion afternoon I'm not sure I'd want to cross Canal Street.. You could do an end run and get to Couchon early or hope that things would be clear for Herbsaint late. The only sure things wwould be Mr B's and NOLA, both on the Ritz side of Canal. They are both good choices but their menus and atmosphere vary so look on line and see which one tickles your gustatory fancy

                                -----
                                Herbsaint
                                701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                1. re: collardman

                                  Good to know, it is very hard to figure out all of these details by looking at a map. I think for the ease of the evening and the group size, we should stick to NOLA or Mr. B's.

                                  1. re: ackisner

                                    NOLA or Mr. B's would probably work well for you, but I thought I'd mention that those places that do not have anything left on opentable may still have availability if you give them a call. Many restaurants do not offer every table online.

                                    1. re: ml77

                                      my thoughts in all this was, yes, stick to the french quarter, as that the side of the street your hotel is on. crossing canal will be impossible,probably. i really like mr. b's. usually hit it every trip. but if your party want to watch the parade, a 9:30 at NOLA would be perfect. good luck.

                                      1. re: califkatie

                                        Try Galatoire's. They don't take resv. downstairs. It's hard to imagine many would fight the traffic ,blocked streets, crowds and horrendous parking that dining there would entail. For you however, it's merely a few steps from your door.

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

                                        1. re: JazzyB

                                          Many years ago they stayed open until Sunday but then they began closing for the weekend. I honestly don;t know what the status is right now because I have not evn tried to go down there on the final weekend since about 1980. Give 'em a call 525-2021.

                                    2. re: ackisner

                                      If you do want to go to Commander's Saturday night--and it might be do-able--you can watch part of Endymion and then get a cab from the Ritz. The end run is fairly easy. The cabby will know it but basically you go out the back way...you might get over to Basin with no trouble...then on to the interstate which passes OVER Canal(this is essential). If Uptown is snarled you simply take the bridge over the river then turn around and come back..you can get off right away and use Tcoupitoulas to assault the Garden District from the river side. this would get you to CP for a late-ish reservation.

                                      1. re: hazelhurst

                                        I would expect that tchoupitoulas could be difficult this year - they may even close the exit for a while. Because of the renovations to the Superdome, Endymion is ending at the Convention Center this year. Hazelhurt, if you haven't been to town that weekend in over 30 years, you can't even imagine how bad the traffic has become.

                                        1. re: expatorleanian

                                          Oh, I've been..I just never try to eat in teh Quarter and besides, I usually attend a few functions (with food) on balconies in those parts and am pleased to say that my navigation and parking skills remain sharp. the tchoupitoulas trick is great for getting into the Garden District on Bacchus Sunday. I last did it a few years ago.

                                          1. re: hazelhurst

                                            I keep hoping to run into you at the Milan during the festivities - maybe this year we'll wear name tags?

                                            1. re: hazelhurst

                                              I once lived neat Tulane University and was attempting to get to a Bacchus party near Touro Hospital, and did the same thing - drove across the river and came back across to get past the parade route. It all depends on the timing - the floats line up on Tchoupitoulas hours before the parade, then who knows where they're heading afterwards. I have been stuck in traffic so many times for so long while the police department blocks streets to let floats go by, that I have foresworn going anywhere that requires a vehicle.

                                              1. re: expatorleanian

                                                I have relayed all this great information to my group and we have decided to eat a late lunch (maybe Mr. B's) and skip over dinner. Maybe we will alleviate some chaos!

                                                1. re: expatorleanian

                                                  Yeah, it's a local art form, f'sure