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Where should I take a visitor from France?

g
GTCmom Jun 15, 2011 08:58 PM

I'm picking up a 20 year old frenchman (the son of a friend) at the NO airport tomorrow night and would like to drive him around the city a bit and then take him to dinner with my husband and two kids, ages 15 & 7. I don't think we want fine dining b/c of the kids and the fact that he'll likely tire early. I'm trying to think of something a bit bistro like, with an attractive setting and fairly light food (I have found that our traditional, heavy creole food takes a bit of getting used to for the French). After he's been here for a week or so we'll have po-boys and chargrilled oysters but I would like to get off to a slow start.

I've been to Herbsaint once several years ago and enjoyed it-would it fit the bill? I would welcome any thoughts or suggestions.

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Herbsaint
701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. Bill Hunt RE: GTCmom Jun 15, 2011 09:26 PM

    A couple of thoughts here:

    I would go for the best meal, possible, and not try to equate New Orleans French with Parisian French. Go for the best.

    Second, and this depends on the flight and also the class of the cabin, but when going to Paris, or London, we are pretty well fed in FC, or BC, but I want to do fine-dining on that first night. When we are hosted, I express my desire to dine at the best, to my host/hostess, though I am very much American (US).

    When we host guests from Paris (or near-by), I will never try to find a Parisian FR restaurant, but will go for the best that Phoenix has to offer. Same for the wines, as there are many wonderful US wines, that never see the light of day in Paris. While I have many wonderful FR wines in the cellar, I will often go with a great Zinfandel, that our guests will likely never have tasted.

    Now, I do not know about dining with children, as I have none, so that might be a major consideration, that I have never experienced.

    Still, Herbsaint should work well, but so would many other New Orleans restaurants. I would try to not over-think the choices, and go with what you believe to be the best.

    Enjoy,

    Hunt

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    Herbsaint
    701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

    1. c
      collardman RE: GTCmom Jun 16, 2011 10:56 AM

      For casual bistro in a neighborhood convenient to part of a driving sight seeing trip, Cafe Degas comes to mind

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      Cafe Degas
      3127 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

      5 Replies
      1. re: collardman
        Bill Hunt RE: collardman Jun 16, 2011 07:17 PM

        Nice idea. I have not dined there, but my wife has, and sang their praises.

        Good call,

        Hunt

        1. re: Bill Hunt
          g
          GTCmom RE: Bill Hunt Jun 16, 2011 07:42 PM

          Thanks to you all for the input. I couldn't get a res at Herbsaint and think I will try Cafe Degas.

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          Herbsaint
          701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Cafe Degas
          3127 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

          1. re: GTCmom
            Bill Hunt RE: GTCmom Jun 16, 2011 08:24 PM

            Well, I greatly respect Collardman's and my wife's recs., and hope that it fits the bill.

            Going back a bit, the NOMA had a Degas in New Orleans exhibit, and it shed some light on his time in NOLA. Hope that the restaurant fills the bill.

            Enjoy, and please report,

            Hunt

            1. re: GTCmom
              j
              JazzyB RE: GTCmom Jun 17, 2011 04:53 AM

              Go to restaurant.com and pay $3 for a $25 gift certificate for Cafe Degas. Use coupon code "dad" at checkout.

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              Cafe Degas
              3127 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

              1. re: JazzyB
                FoodChic RE: JazzyB Jun 17, 2011 09:01 AM

                I got two $50 gift certificates for $15!

                Thanks for the sharing, JazzyB!

        2. edible complex RE: GTCmom Jun 16, 2011 08:45 PM

          for French food, I luv Ciro's Cote Sud and Martinique. Clementine's on the Westbank.. Chateau du Lac on Met. Rd. and Crepe Nanou.

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          La Crepe Nanou
          1410 Robert St, New Orleans, LA 70115

          Cote Sud
          7918 Maple St, New Orleans, LA 70118

          Martinique Restaurant Bistro
          5908 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

          Clementine's Belgian Bistrot
          2505 Whitney Ave, Gretna, LA 70056

          Chateau Du Lac Wine Bistro
          2037 Metairie Rd, Metairie, LA 70005

          1 Reply
          1. re: edible complex
            uptownlibrarian RE: edible complex Jun 17, 2011 07:02 AM

            I heard Clementine's closed - I fervently hope it's not true but I haven't tried to call to check. Anyone know?

          2. BayouTeche RE: GTCmom Jun 17, 2011 05:18 AM

            Personally, I think you're courting disappointment by taking a Frenchman to a French restaurant in NOLA. I'm pretty sure he can get better French food around the corner from his house than from Cafe Degas. I'd go for local flavor....maybe Brigtsen's or Patois.

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

            Cafe Degas
            3127 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

            2 Replies
            1. re: BayouTeche
              c
              collardman RE: BayouTeche Jun 17, 2011 12:08 PM

              There are very very few French restaurants in New Orleans. I don't consider Cafe Degas a French restaurant but it is a New Orleans bistro. But I won't argue with your suggestions either, or any other decent uptown place. But to eat as part of a driving tour, I wouldn't go into the hassel of getting into the FQ or even CBD/Wearhouse.

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              Cafe Degas
              3127 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

              1. re: BayouTeche
                Bill Hunt RE: BayouTeche Jun 17, 2011 07:46 PM

                I agree, and that was the thrust of my first post in this thread. Go for great food, and especially local food, as that is something that one will not likely get in France.

                I like to show what I have on hand, and not try to compete with what the guest might have available.

                Hunt

              2. t
                Tonto RE: GTCmom Jun 22, 2011 04:10 PM

                Meaux Bar and Le Foret

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                Meauxbar
                942 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                Le Foret
                129 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                1 Reply
                1. re: Tonto
                  j
                  JazzyB RE: Tonto Jun 23, 2011 06:51 AM

                  LeForet was wonderful before the chef left. I have not been since his departure but have heard it has slipped considerably.

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