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Looking for quick tips for this weekend in the French Quarter

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Good morning New Orleans board- our trip to NO is approaching this weekend, and I'm pretty excited! Have been quietly searching this board for months for recs, and as a result we have lunch reservations on Sat. at Bayona, dinner on Sat. at August, and Sun. brunch at Commander's Palace. What I'm looking for now are suggestions for kind of a bar-crawl/sampling (with no reservations needed) for Fri. night- I kept that night open to just go with the flow, but I'd like some tips so I can spot a chowish spot vs. a tourist trap.

Some parameters: we're staying at the Ritz in the French Quarter, so we'd like to take off on foot from there and explore the FQ. Ideally, I'd like to hit a couple of spots in search of things like; the best fresh oysters, best bbq shriimp, ettoufee, gumbo, jambalya, beignets, etc. In addition to restaurants, we'd also like to mix in some bars to try some "classic" NO drinks (I'm a little fuzzy here on what that might be- more of a wine drinker- so rum punch?, sazerac?, etc). Basically, when I step foot out from of my hotel, anything I place I should look out for? We'll walk quite a bit, so farther away is fine.

No price/budget limits (although since the rest of the trip is pretty upscale, I'd like to try some more casual offerings on Fri), but I'm not a big fan of crowded/touristy/college bars. Thanks so much in advance- this board has already been great for planning purposes.

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

Bayona
430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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  1. I posted a similar question around Thanksgiving. Here's what I heard: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/744651

    Also, here's a post I put up about best places for classic drinks: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/747763

    Def do BBQ shrimp at bar and Mr. B's, and oysters at Acme. If you want to mix it up, I love the margaritas (carrot lime, pinapple cilantro) and nachos at El Gato Negro. Coop's is good for fried chicken and jambalaya in a super dive atmosphere.

    1 Reply
    1. re: princsoreo

      Yes, oysters at Acme...make sure you get some chargrilled! DELICIOUS!

      Also add Hermes bar at Antoine's, it's a lovely spot in the heart of the quarter.

    2. I didn't read the above links so these places may have been mentioned:

      re classic N.O. cocktails, The Carousel Bar in The Monteleone Hotel is a must, as is The Sazerac Bar (restaurant as well but I'm refering to the bar) in The Roosevelt Hotel...French 75 Arnaud's bar with lighter dining....

      http://www.arnaudsrestaurant.com/fren...

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      Monteleone Hotel
      214 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

      Arnaud's Restaurant
      813 Rue Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

      The Sazerac Restaurant-Roosevelt Hotel-New Orleans
      123 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA 70112

      1 Reply
      1. re: Suzy Wong

        Glad that you separated the Sazerac Bar, from the Sazerac Restaurant. The former was great, and made me feel as though things had not changed since 1979, when we left NOLA. The latter, however, was a grave disappointment, as was the Roosevelt, and we had the highest of hopes Besides the Sazerac Bar, Dominica's was a standout, and in several ways, but that does not fit into the OP's requests. Guess that one could say that our "Roosevelt experience" was 50-50, with half being great, but half being horrible. Such is life.

        I will also heartily second the Carousel Bar. Not to be missed. Besides evening drinks, they do some of the best Bloody Marys on Earth, and used to open quite early. Great way to start a day. Check times now.

        To the OP, travel safely and enjoy,

        Hunt

      2. Have a Pimm's Cup at the Napoleon House in the courtyard. You can thank me later. ;)

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

          1. You guys are great! Thanks so much! We are having and amazing time here. Just a quick check in, I'll add a full report when we're done. Last night was a total success. We started early at Acme with a half dozen fresh oysters and a half grilled. By far the best oysters I've ever had. I had no idea oysters could be so HUGE and juicy and succulent. Great start. From there we headed to Mr. B's (I'd called for a reservation, good thing too because it was packed by 6 and they were turning people away) and hubby had the bbq'd shrimp. So good, really an amazing dish, and wonderful with the bread (I'm embarrassed we went through 2 loaves!) One small caveat- it's not a big serving for the price- $26, but as we were sampling dishes at various spots, it was perfect for our purposes.

            From there we went to Carousel bar, and that was quite an experience. Such a wonderful, classic bar. I had an Americano and hubby had a brandy punch as his "dessert". Great cocktails, and even though I'm not one for hard alcohol, I really liked the Americano, great spicy notes. From there we had to walk it off a bit and went down Bourbon to Frenchman street. Our intent was to stop at 3 Muses as rec'd on a thread, but it was packed so we went next door to a bar called Maison, I think? Just had drinks there (a rum punch for me- good, but SO sweet!, I could only drink a few sips), but they had a great live band that was a lot of fun.

            So it was perfect night! Today we've hit Cafe du Monde (for the record- I am NOT a fan, the beignets were great, as reported, but the service and just overall system there was terrible, almost more than I could handle. We stuck it out, but I was uncomfortable almost the entire time). Followed by lunch at Bayona. This was amazing- I love their Saturday "light lunch" option- I wish more places portioned their meals like this! I had the best piece of salmon I've probably ever had in my life. I bought the cookbook and am looking forward to trying out some recipes. Service here was amazing! So friendly and conscientious. Just a note- we reserved on Opentable and noted we'd like to sit in the courtyard- a request that was granted with no problem.

            Thanks all! On to more eating- Restaurant August tonight, then CP tomorrow. Love the tip on Napoleon House, we'll try to swing by there tomorrow night.

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

            Restaurant August
            301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

            Bayona
            430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112