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Where to go vs. where to repeat?

j
jennyo Feb 11, 2011 08:28 PM

Coming to NO for three nights next week from NorCal and I feel like I need to try some new things, but also make my first-timer friend and second-timer husband happy. On the first trip with husband we went to Galatoire's, Coops Place (lunches), Cochon, K-Paul and Commander's (dinners). My trip in the fall with a different friend resulted in forays to Galatoire's (spectacular Friday lunch), Louisiana Bistro, Drago's, and Napoleon House (dinners) and Stanley for a breakfast.

I made a Monday night reservation for MiLa but have left the rest of the time open. We arrive on Sunday afternoon and depart early Wednesday morning. Would like to hit Galatoire's again, preferably for lunch on Tuesday. Any recs for the rest of the time would be appreciated. I am intrigued by a co-worker's tale of the chicken bon femme at Tujague's as well, is it worth it? Also want to try good BBQ shrimp. Suggestions?

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Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

Tujague's
823 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Louisiana Bistro
337 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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  1. b
    betheroo RE: jennyo Feb 11, 2011 08:57 PM

    I do love the BBQ shrimp at Mr B's, that is always on my list in one way or another for my annual trip....dinner or an app serving at the bar. Galatoire's is almost always on the list as well. How about the lunch special at August? I love the fried chicken at Fiorella's, Clover Grill is a classic, just not for the faint of heart...Camellia Grill now has a FQ address as well.
    No info re: chicken bonne femme but the bar ( and bartender Paul) at Tujaque's is wonderful. never miss Cdoissant D'or either. Mmmmm only 27 days until I am back!!!

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    Clover Grill
    900 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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

    Fiorella's Cafe
    1136 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

    1. l
      Littleman RE: jennyo Feb 12, 2011 07:45 AM

      I would work Emeril's in for dinner one night. Go back to Galatoire's also. It's always great. Go to Mr. B's for lunch and get the BBQ shrimp and gumbo. If you have time have lunch at Coquette or Lilette and stroll down Magazine visiting the neat shops and stores in that area.

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

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

      Lilette
      3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

      7 Replies
      1. re: Littleman
        s
        shanefink RE: Littleman Feb 13, 2011 05:50 AM

        I wouldn't go to MILA on a Monday night. It will be too empty. Lots of fine dining restaurants are closed on Sunday and Monday so you are going to have to "settle" for some of our other restaurants. Some places that you might want to try on your visit that are different than where you've been before are Herbsaint, Clancy's, Jacques Imos, Dominiques, Coquette, A Mano, Meson 923, Emeril's and I would agree that it's worth it to try the BBQ shrimp, but I would go to Mr. B's for a snack or light meal and go elsewhere for my entrees.

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

        Herbsaint
        701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

        1. re: shanefink
          c
          collardman RE: shanefink Feb 13, 2011 08:38 AM

          Why would one not go to a good restaurant because it is too empty?

          As one who dislikes crowds I would find that good news.

          1. re: collardman
            s
            shanefink RE: collardman Feb 13, 2011 08:54 AM

            I hate sitting in an empty restaurant. To each his own.

            1. re: shanefink
              c
              collardman RE: shanefink Feb 14, 2011 10:18 AM

              Thank you. That answer works. I wasn't sure if there was something else like service or general inattention that you had noticed.

            2. re: collardman
              Bayareafoodiei RE: collardman Feb 13, 2011 04:59 PM

              I concur, I had a fabulous dinner at Mila on a uncrowded weeknight. No crowd and extra attention, what's not to like.

              1. re: Bayareafoodiei
                Bill Hunt RE: Bayareafoodiei Feb 15, 2011 05:48 PM

                I agree completely. At MiLa on the last visit, it was only partially full. Looked great. Unfortunately, there was one, over-the-top table, beyond the partitions, and they ruined the evening for all the rest of the diners. Imagine if the place had been full of such folk.

                Nah, I do not need crowds - just great food and service, with some excellent wines.

                Hunt

            3. re: shanefink
              Bill Hunt RE: shanefink Feb 15, 2011 05:46 PM

              I am sorry, but I am not following on the logic of not going to a restaurant on an "off night." Yes, I did see the response.

              Personally, I do not feel the need to be validated by crowds. If the food is great, and the service is to match, who needs a crowd? Again, and on a personal level, if I know that a restaurant has a slow night, I will seek them out (so long as the food and service are up there), just to make sure that I have the full attention of the staff and the kitchen. I would also be glad to help them out on that slow night, and enjoy myself without a lot of people vying for attention.

              I have had too many bad experiences, at really good restaurants, when they were filled to capacity, and stressed above normal. The place may have been loud and "happening," but if that does not translate to great food and service, I am at a loss as to what I should be enjoying.

              That is one reason that I do not go to restaurants participating events, like Restaurant Week. I want the best that they can offer, and not what is being shoveled to the masses, who are lined up 10 deep.

              Maybe we just have different ideas of what a great dining experience should be? If I know that Monday through Wednesday will be jammed, as will Friday and Saturday, then, if possible, I will go on Thursday, and enjoy myself.

              Enjoy,

              Hunt

          2. jfood RE: jennyo Feb 13, 2011 05:09 PM

            I spent my birthday weekend and had two brilliant meals.

            Brigtsen's was an A+++ for service, dinner, everything and I thought i had reached nirvana.

            Then on the big day...August took the experience to a level that you can not explain, only experience.

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

            4 Replies
            1. re: jfood
              steve h. RE: jfood Feb 13, 2011 05:40 PM

              I'll second Brigtsen's. Taking the street car out there just makes a fine meal even better. It's a family-run place in a modest, multi-room house on a quiet side street. Patrons, for the most part, appear to be faculty from neighboring universities. I took Deb there for her birthday two years ago. Frank Brigtsen was on everybody's culinary radar before Katrina. He was one of the first to open after the storm. His food is very good. All-in-all, a worthy destination.

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

              1. re: steve h.
                nomadchowwoman RE: steve h. Feb 22, 2011 10:14 AM

                I think Frank Brigsten flies a bit under the radar because although he's been around awhile (he was a F & W best new chef 20-something years ago), he hasn't expanded (though he and his wife have recently taken over a modest seafood place in a suburb) or become a TV personality. He's usually back in the Brigtsen's kitchen, cooking. But the restaurant's always full, popular with locals and (savvy) tourists.

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

              2. re: jfood
                Bill Hunt RE: jfood Feb 15, 2011 05:49 PM

                Two of my favs, Jfood. Glad that you are still heading down. When does little Jfood graduate? Will you still head to NOLA, after that graduation?

                Enjoy,

                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  jfood RE: Bill Hunt Feb 15, 2011 07:05 PM

                  15 more months. I love the music and the culture so probably yes to >graduation.

                  Besh was over the top. Me and two gorgeous women and the server called us "you guys" and it did not budge the meter.

              3. b
                BerkeleySQ RE: jennyo Feb 15, 2011 05:34 PM

                Galatoire's does a wonderful Chicken Bonne Femme... I'd get it there instead of Tujaque's.

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

                1 Reply
                1. re: BerkeleySQ
                  j
                  jennyo RE: BerkeleySQ Feb 19, 2011 11:15 AM

                  Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Flying in tomorrow afternoon and can't wait to arrive in my favorite city in the US! Will report back after the food coma wears off.

                2. j
                  jennyo RE: jennyo Mar 6, 2011 06:05 PM

                  Late getting back to this but wanted to follow up. We arrived Sunday evening and after walking around the FQ and getting some drinks, we ended up at Coop's Place about 9pm. Tried originally to go to Napoleon House but it was closed. After about a 20 minute wait at the door, we opted for seats at the bar because no one appeared to be leaving the tables (why would they?) I had the Chicken Tchoupitoulas, husband had the Coop's Taste Plate, and our friend had Chicken Fettucine Alfredo. All very good, washed down with Abita's Mardi Gras Bock. Since we had been up since 3:30am PST to fly in, we turned in early.

                  The next morning my friend and I got up about 8 and walked over to Cafe du Monde because she wanted beignets and I desperately needed coffee. Went back to the rental townhouse and chilled until my husband got up, then headed slowly over to Stanley for "second breakfast." I love Stanley so much! I love the drinks, and the building, and of course the food--everything about it. I had the eggs benedict with fried oysters (YUM!) and a Mega Mary. My husband had the corned beef hash which he said tasted fine but thought the "chunks" were too large. My friend got the french-bread-pizza-ceasar-salad-sandwich, which sounds so bizarre but totally works! After this we shopped and walked around some more, got a to-go Pimm's cup at Napoleon House, and then went over to the French Market where we took a shuttle to the Old New Orleans Rum Distillery for a tour. Great tour!

                  After coming back, we hopped a bus over to the Bulldog on Magazine Street, so I could show my friends the cool fountain made of beer taps (my husband is a beer fanatic). After getting back to the FQ, we hit the Carousel Bar, then the Chart Room, where my friend made some "friends" who were interested in buying "us" (her) more drinks. So we followed them to Johnny White's Bar, where after about 3 more beers I was getting hungry and also wanted to change clothes (I was still in shorts and a tank top from the morning--AMAZING NOLA WEATHER). I was reluctant to leave my friend with the guys, but she had a key to the townhouse and knew the address, so my husband and I left with a plan to get something to eat at Napoleon House.

                  Until we walked there and found out they had closed at 5:30. By now it was almost 10pm and the (not very many) places that had been open were closing down. I did an open table search on my phone and found a place called Sylvain which had tables available up to 11pm. The menu looked more San Francisco than New Orleans but we were pretty hungry so we went in. We started with the chicken liver crostini, and then shared the poached egg over grilled asparagus. Both outstanding! Then we shared the crispy pork shoulder. OH. MY GOD. It was amazing--like a carnitas crab cake--crispy, and gooey, and porky, and tasty. I loved it! Great wine selection, but my husband hipstered/rednecked-out by ordering a $2 can of Schlitz.

                  The next day we went to Galatoire's. I knew that the bar opened at 11 but when we got to the front doors they were locked. I called the restaurant from my iphone and asked if someone could come let us in so we could go to the bar. Someone came out, opened the doors, and then promptly locked them behind us after we entered. Which made me wonder if there is another entrance somewhere? We had a couple bourbon milk punches and then made our way downstairs at 11:30. We ordered the souffle potatoes, and the grand gout appetizer. I ordered the Stuffed Eggplant, my husband ordered the Crabmeat au Gratin, and my friend ordered the broiled pompano. Food was very good, atmosphere was lively, table-neighbors were friendly and service was excellent. We were unable to stay all afternoon, because we had a 2pm bicycle tour scheduled, but we stayed as long as we possibly could and still have time to run back to the house, change clothes, and then run over to Washington Square Park on Frenchman Street for the tour.

                  *(Not a food-related topic, but the Confederacy of Cruisers bike tour is fantastic, as are the bloody mary's at Marie's Bar).

                  After the 3-hour tour, we wandered back through the FQ towards the townhouse. After a bit of rest, we made our way over to Restaurant August for dinner. After reading wonderful reviews of it here and other places, I was very excited to cap off our trip with this dinner. And while all of our dishes were very good, I wasn't completely wowed. To start I had the beet salad with crab, bacon, quail eggs, and mizuna. I greatly enjoyed it! My husband had the foie gras three ways, which he said was good but underwhelming. My friend had the seafood bisque, which she liked a lot. For mains, I ordered the lamb duo, which was comprised of lamb sweetbreads (yum!) and a seared loin (meh). My husband ordered the sugar and spice duckling, which he liked but described as "super rich." My friend got a fish dish, which I can't specifically remember, but she said it was too much like the bisque and was somewhat disappointed. Notwithstanding the mixed outcomes, we all were stuffed. We pondered dessert (I has intrigued by the goats milk cheesecake) but couldn't do it. After clearing the table, our waiter brought a plate of mignardise which included THE MOST AMAZING PRALINE I HAVE EVER EATEN. This little extra made the whole dinner worthwhile! But I really expected to be raving about all of it, not just the lagniappe.

                  Anyway, overall a great quick trip. Plan to return soon, because I didn't get any BBQ shrimp or muffalettas.

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                  Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
                  500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  Restaurant August
                  301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  Coop's Place
                  1109 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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

                  Stanley Restaurant
                  547 St Ann St, New Orleans, LA

                  Chart Room
                  300 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jennyo
                    Bill Hunt RE: jennyo Mar 7, 2011 06:41 PM

                    Jennyo,

                    Sorry that Restaurant August did not shine for you. Especially with beets, I have only encountered two US chefs, Chef Joseph Lynn at Blackberry Farm (harvested the beets from the garden, just before dinner), and Chef Thomas Keller (French Laundry and Per Se), who did beets better than Chef Besh. Sorry that he did not wow you.

                    Thank you for the detailed review,

                    Hunt

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                    Restaurant August
                    301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                      j
                      jennyo RE: Bill Hunt Mar 7, 2011 07:30 PM

                      In Besh's defense, I enjoyed the beets almost as much as the praline. But overall as a meal, I have been more wowed. Maybe my expectations were too high. We have eaten at French Laundry, Gary Danko, Spago, Chez Panisse and I expected something along those lines based on reviews.

                      1. re: jennyo
                        Bill Hunt RE: jennyo Mar 8, 2011 04:39 PM

                        In our limited dining there (live in AZ now), that has been the level of the food.

                        Sorry that it was not for you.

                        Enjoy,

                        Hunt

                    2. re: jennyo
                      b
                      Blumie RE: jennyo Mar 8, 2011 07:28 AM

                      You are so lucky to have ended up at Coop's rather than Napoleon House, and doubly lucky to have sat at the bar, which is far more interesting than sitting at the tables among the other tourists.

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