Wedding Dinner for 15 in French Quarter
I'm having a small wedding in October, and after the ceremony I'd like to go out to dinner with my guests. There will only be 15 of us, I'm trying to keep it simple. We'd love to find a restaurant in the quarter with a balcony we could have drinks and passed apps on before we are seated for dinner. We are considering Arnauds, and Murials seems to be booked for that night. We'd like to have something unique to NOLA, but some guests won't eat seafood. Any suggestions? Thanks
While not in the FQ, Ralph's On the Park is not but a cab drive away. Situated across from City Park, the views from its balcony are spectacular. Just attended a luncheon there and the food was superb and the drinks were served on the balcony. Just thought it was worth mentioning.
you might try Westin at Canal Place. they have a great courtyard overlooking the river and then you could have dinner at their restaurant or head into the Qtr for somewhere else.
also call Maximo's, as they have a balcony and might accommodate.
K Paul's has a balcony,.
Bayona and Cafe Amelie have courtyards.
Rib Room has a great private dining room and you could start w/drinks on their rooftop.
430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112
Rib Room Rotisserie Extrrdnr
621 Saint Louis Street, New Orleans, LA 70140
912 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Maximo's Italian Grill
1117 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
There's not much in the way of quality dining combined with balconies in the FQ. Arnaud's is a notable exception, and if the quality of food and service is important, then you should definitely go with this choice. You stated that Muriel's appeared to be booked - count yourself fortunate, as this restaurant is not known for good quality food, only a balcony that happens to overlook Jackson Square. It would be a good venue for drinks, but would probably not be able to handle a party as large as yours.
Most balconies in the FQ are narrow, so difficult to find something that would suit your needs. Most restaurants do not like to serve food on balconies, as sudden weather changes quickly make a mess of everything - I used to work at one of these places, so have firsthand knowledge.
You might think about going for a pre-dinner cocktail party on a balcony, but you shouldn't expect food. You could then go somewhere with a lovely courtyard, such as Broussard's, or take one of Arnaud's rooms. Either restaurant offers fine service, atmosphere and food.
While I wouldn't call my experiences outstanding I would recommend Muriel's. The ambiance is great. The last two times were for "special occasion" so there were 15-20 in the group. The service was very good, not always east to pull off with a large group. The food was good, so that's where I have to back away from outstanding. Nothing wrong with being good with a kitchen that can handle a large group.
We have done events, of a similar size, at Arnaud's and they have come through for us. The general themes of the meals have differed, and it HAS been some years now.
Still, Arnaud's does not get a lot of love here, while Murial's does. I have been to the latter twice, and for culinary events, but did not appreciate either meal. Venue was nice, but that is the best that I can add.
Though without that balcony, two other spots, that have come through for us, are:
G W Fins (about the same size group)
Broussard's (much larger group)
re: Bill Hunt
I second Bill
Arnaud's has many small private rooms that could accommodate your party and the food is great.
I second Bill Hunt's suggestion of Broussard's. Lovely courtyard and in October the weather is usually great for outdoor dining. If you are a fan of oysters, do not miss the Oysters Broussard. Out of this world. lovely atmospher and fine food.
That is a great point about the Oysters Broussard...it is one of the forgotten variations that does work well (unlike so many depressing House Oysters that are KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce). Glad to hear you are seconding Arnaud's. I am grateful to Archie for saving the place but I have not been there for a long time and I don't even know if the Casberian family extended the lease or bought it outright...