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Feb 2, 2011 07:19 AM

Galatoire's - Upstairs Ok?

Have read so much about downstairs at Galatoire's is where you want to be, but we are 6 people who might be a little tired from our day of flying in. I just made a reservation for upstairs but I am concerned about what I might be missing in the total experience of dining there. Please advise!

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  1. There is nothing wrong with the upstairs..the kitchen is the same and you can get some of the good ole waiters there. You don;t see the spirit of the place up there unless you are part of it yourself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hazelhurst

      Downstairs for the quintessential New Orleans experience. You will likely be disappointed upstairs.

    2. Hi Smilingal!
      Well, I definitely prefer the ambience downstairs. I say "prefer," which probably isn't accurate since I've never actually eaten upstairs. But I'm not a regular; I haven't eaten there since Dec.'09. Hazelhurst is the expert on Galatoire's. Maybe he can advise you on what one should pay a placekeeper. (I've never stood for a long time or paid anyone to stand in line so I can't answer that question.) Are you planning to eat there on a Friday? Or a holiday weekend? I guess I didn't realize that the line would be a big issue other than MG or other "big" weekends.

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

      1. i have always eaten downstairs, though i have never tried to go with 6 people. someone must know how to do the" pay a person to stand in line bit". i walked upstairs to look around once but it looked boring.

        8 Replies
        1. re: califkatie

          Apart from holiday parties, where those upstairs rooms are perfectly fine, I have only eaten up there once...and that was when downstairs was being re-done(the floor was literally dirt, the fans were gone, the wood sanded to the , well, wood). It is fine for parties and, for people like Bill Hunt who knkow the place and are perfectly happy to have a guaranteed table with a small party (or big). It does not have what we learn to call "the vibe" of the downstairs although the downstairs can be a quiet as a tomb.

          I used to pay a waiter's son about $50 to stand in line for a holiday party but then I just decided to go down at about 7:30 myself. the street party of the regulars was as much fun as the stuff inside later on. But coming in from out of town I have no idea how you'd find someone. A lot depends on your arrival time. If you are there and ready to go all-dressed-up by 4:30, well, just walk on in. Six people is no problem at all.

          1. re: hazelhurst

            so it is definitely sounding like we want/need to eat downstairs! I made a 6:30 reservation - and it is a Sat. night. We are coming into town that day - much earlier - and are not tied to any time frame.
            hazelhurst - what is your experience with Sat evening wait times?

            1. re: smilingal

              You never know...convention in town? Some sort of Event? Carnival parade? Saturday afternoons are usually busy but not loud...I'll go after a haircut about 3:00 sometimes. If you want to be certain for Saturday night just go about five o'clock.

              1. re: hazelhurst

                We nixed the reservation - and will be crossing our fingers that the wait won't be terribly long. Getting sooooo excited for our visit! And thankyou again to all for your patience and help!!

                1. re: smilingal

                  You'll be I said, 5:00 should be good but you can go earlier if you are worried. Have an hour or more of cocktails and appetizers before you get down to serious eating.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Heed hazelhurt's advice on arriving by 5:00. A few months ago, I arrived at 6:00 and snagged the second-to-last table in the joint.

                    1. re: BayouTeche

                      We've made a reservation and been seated downstairs anyway. And this was during Jazzfest! And I've heard this happen to other folks too. So with a reservation its no guarantee where they will seat you--you might very well get lucky and get a table downstairs.

                      1. re: jinx

                        IN cases such as that the reservation is a "fallback." All it means it that you WILL get a table upstairs but, if there is room downstairs you can switch..unless they are expecting Mr X to be at his usual table 12 or whatever....