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Please help an ex-resident decide!!!!!

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Ok Chowhounds. My wife and I used to live in New Orleans and are returning in April. We will only be there two nights and as we all know, to narrow down your choices to two dinners and two lunches is a more difficult proposition than Sophie’s choice. One dinner is set in stone and untouchable; Restaurant August is a must, in my opinion. So, we are left with two lunches and one dinner.
To help you help me choose, you should know that we are up for anything. We have eaten at (and loved) such as spots as The French Laundry, Gary Danko, and Le Bernadin. On the other hand, we have thoroughly enjoyed Taqueria Corona in New Orleans and Pat’s Cheesesteaks in Philly. I love established, old school places such as Galatoires and new places such as Alinea in Chicago where you are amazed not only by the taste of the food but the by the unique and perplexing presentation. We are staying in the Quarter but are not at all opposed to taking a cab uptown for a meal.

Enough explaining. Would you choose Patois, Stella!, Le Foret, MiLa, Clancy’s, Mat and Naddie’s or Iris for dinner on Saturday night? Like I said, I did live in New Orleans but have never tried any of these before. We have eaten at Herbsaint, Cochon, Galatoires, Emerils, Delmonicos, Muriels (and wont go back), GW Fins, Lilette, Jacques Imos, Bayona, Upperline, NOLA, Commanders, Bistro at Maison de Ville, and many, many more.
What about lunch? We have our favorite spots, like all New Orleanians and tourists alike but am wondering if we should branch out. Normally, we would go to Luke and get the cochon du lait sandwich, have the charcuterie plate, share some oysters and have a few beers. We would go to Mr. B’s the next day and have the BBQ shrimp. My question is, would Coquette be a better lunch choice? Casamentos for an oyster loaf or a ½ and ½ (I am ashamed to say I have never eat at Casamentos but it always seemed to be closed when we lived there)? Is there something I should not be missing that I am? Sorry for the long post but I know if you do not thoroughly explain yourself, you rarely get a good answer. Thanks so much!

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Casamento's Restaurant
4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Bayona
430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

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

Herbsaint
701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

Upperline Restaurant
1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA

Taqueria Corona
1827 Hickory Ave, New Orleans, LA 70123

Le Foret
Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. Great opening volley- Since you are familiar with "New Orleans cuisine", I would push you towards Scott Boswell's Stella! for dinner on Saturday. The food is fantastic & its unlike anything else in the city. For lunch's, I would hit up Casamento's for an oyster or softshell loaf & Coquette's prixe fixe lunch. Its a great deal & the food is stellar.

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    Casamento's Restaurant
    4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

    1 Reply
    1. re: GDPhalp

      +1 for Stella!

      It is phenomenal- definitely the most interesting fine dining in the city!

    2. Of your choices, I'd pick Clancy's or Patois....and Coquette is a fantastic lunch choice.

      1 Reply
      1. So, Gautreau's is out? Is the consensus that I should choose between Patois or Stella!? In looking at the menus, I am really drawn to almost every app at Patois! Am I way off base in thinking that I have probably had something similar to Stella! before in another town? I certainly may be. I am just having a helluva time trying to choose between them.

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: naughtyb

          I personally don't care for Gautreau's....but I'm probably in the minority.

          Stella! is great, but doesn't exactly scream New Orleans. It has a more Asian/International influence.

          Everything I've had at Patois has been excellent. Dinner or brunch.

          1. re: naughtyb

            I really love Stella, however, I would say that it is similar fare to some of the other restaurants that you mentioned in your original post. Patois is my favorite place to eat in the city, atm. I would also go to Coquette for lunch....love, love, love eating there!

          2. I love Patois for dinner, but they also have an amazing brunch. The Anson Mills shrimp and grits are to DIE for!

            1. Dang, though we live in Phoenix now, and not SF, or NYC, your "likes" read like mine, especially if you add Restaurant Daniel to the list.

              I was going to recommend Galatoire's to do a yin/yang of NOLA fine dining, contrasted against Restaurant August, but you have already dined there. That said, I would opt for Stella! though the yin/yang concept gets erased. While not specifically NOLA Cuisine, I feel that they do some newer-style Southern dishes very well. Some argue that one can get similar food at many restaurants around the US. That might be true, but as we dine around the US and the globe, and still greatly enjoy Stella!, I will include them in this mix.

              I'll let others comment on lunch, as we have not lived in NOLA in too long, so are "out of training," and usually only do breakfast and then dinner, though maybe BonTon, depending on the days that you will be doing lunch?

              Enjoy,

              Hunt

              PS - if you are like us, the trips back have been even better culinary adventures, than when we lived in the City. Always too little time for the old favorites and for the new restaurants.

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              Restaurant August
              301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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