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Headed to NOLA tomorrow - quick critique of Thursday dinner plans, pls...

My husband & I are headed to NOLA for the first time (for both of us - very excited!) tomorrow and will be there for 4 days/3 nights.

We're hoping to "plan" some meals and stumble into the rest of them. I've gleaned suggestions from this board and from friends who live in & around the area but I'm finding a great deal of inconsistency re: some restaurants. Since we're down south, we're hoping to experience proper creole cuisine at some point, thus we've strayed from Stella!, Coquette, and MiLA (more fine dining, less regional) and Dominica (menu reads like Cinghiale in Baltimore, MD, or many places in NYC) but I'm second guessing myself on our current reservations.

Right now: we're reserved at Herbsaint for dinner tomorrow, Emerils for Friday lunch and Cochon for Friday dinner. Saturday is entirely open. There is definitely a po boy lunch in our future (perhaps Ignatius?) and beignets (a trip to Cafe du Monde, no doubt!) but is there anywhere else we definitely want to hit for some real New Orleans cooking?

Please advise - I'm sure wherever we end up will be fabulous but I always appreciate CH input!

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Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

Herbsaint
701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. Li'l Dizzy might fight the bill...any of the Famous Places can give you the battery of turtle soup, trout in various ways etc. You'd need to dress up for something like Commanders, I suggest. There is always Mandina's for the neighborhood take on local favorites and you won't be affected, as I am, by its post-Katrina look. Other possibilities are Ralph's, perhaps Clancy's.

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    Mandina's Restaurant
    3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

    1. Perhaps one of the Bistros along Magazine Street would fit the bill, like Lillette, Patois, or Coquette. After all, we do have a strong French heritage as well. If you prefer the Quater there is Meauxbar. I assume you decided against Galatoires.

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

      1. Looks like you have a great trip planned out to me! Im a big fan of brigsten's if you are looking to fill that last nights reservation.

        1 Reply
        1. While I am a frequent diner at Emeril's and much prefer the food over Commander's, I highly recommend Friday lunch at CP in the garden room. Just a wonderful,fun time. reserve Emeril's for dinner, it 's when they really shine. IMO, Cochon is best for sharing some appetizers for lunch. You will need resvervations for most fine dining.

          Take a private carriage ride in the evening. Bring your favorite libations or ask the driver to stop at Napoleon House and grab a couple of Pimms Cups.. enjoy!

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

          Cochon
          930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

          1. Very good suggestions, all of them. Brigsten's seemed to be a little removed from the CBD and so on - is it somewhere to just walk into without a reservation on a Saturday evening?
            Appreciate the input - will let you know what we work out!

            2 Replies
            1. re: nycreba

              Open table has an option to put in date/time. It will show availability of all participating rest. Saturdays without a revs can be tough.

              1. re: nycreba

                Brightsen's - a really good choice! It is located in Riverbend, which is only a few minutes by cab from downtown. Can take streetcar during the day, but don't walk at night...You will definitely need reservations.

                Po-boys - during the day, take the Red Streetcar towards City Park. Walk a few blocks along Bayou St John and you will find really good roast beef po-boys at Parkway Bakery. You should wash them down with a Barq's.

                Could also try the muffaletta at Central Grocery - can buy just half of one, get drinks to go, and head to Jackson Square or the Riverwalk for a picnic.