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Need recommendations for non-touristy, atypical places to host a rehearsal dinner in New Orleans

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to see if any of you knew of any special little gems around New Orleans (does not have to be in the Qtr) to hold a casual, low-key, non-traditional rehearsal dinner. I recently read on one of the boards that someone had a private gathering at Casamento's and I fell in love with the idea. However, they only host private gatherings on Sunday, Monday, or Wednesday nights.

I would love to know about a place that exhibits that wonderful NO charm, that serves amazing food, and, most importantly, is easy on our wallet.

I'm excited to see all of your suggestions! Thank you!

Scarlett

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

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    1. re: N.O.Food

      N.O. Food, it will be for the evening of May 11. I expect approximately 50 to 60 people.

    2. Ernst Cafe has a large private event room upstairs. It's a great bar with good food that's over 100 years old in the CBD on S Peters. Good luck.

      Ernst Cafe @ 600 South Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 525 - 8544.
      http://www.ernstcafe.net/
      http://www.nomenu.com/reviews/ErnstCa...

      1. What does "easy on our wallet" translate to in dollars and cents?

        9 Replies
        1. re: TaTee

          TaTee, we were thinking about spending approximately $20 pp, and hoping that that will include beer and wine. Does that help?

          1. re: reevesfs

            I don't think those numbers are reasonable. You might be able to do beer/wine OR simple food for about $20 pp. Maybe.

            A six pack of beer and half a pizza at someone's home will be $10pp

            1. re: collardman

              I agree 100% but I sure would love to hear if it can be pulled off. My thought was to do a crawfish boil...that time of year ought to be just about right---weather depending of course---and you gotta figure that post Morganza flooding the 2012 crop ought to be pretty good. Now the question is: where to do it? (Or who do they get to do it?)

              1. re: hazelhurst

                Hazelhurst, what a wonderful idea! We'll definitely look into having a crawfish or shrimp boil. Where would you recommend having it that could accommodate 50-70 people? City Park or Audobon Park?

                Collardman, I agree it's not a lot of money, but since we're out-of-towners, our rehearsal dinner is going to involve everyone that's coming to the wedding, so having a nice sit-down dinner two nights in a row isn't an option for us. We therefore wanted something fun and cheap. Thanks for your insight, though. We may want to rethink our budget for that night.

                1. re: reevesfs

                  An idea for cost for a crawfish boil. April 2008 we had a boil for 100 people as a wedding reception for our daughter. (The actual wedding was a family only beach wedding in FL so we needed something to gather all the N.O. and far flung friends and relatives.

                  The cost was about $35 pp including catered crawfish (Mr. Mudbug), tables& chair rental, wine, beer, sandwiches from Langenstiens for non crawfish eaters, pastry and two wait staff to help with wine, buffett and clean-up.

                  The venue was free, a friends large house and large patio in the FQ. We were concerned about rain so had tents on call but cancelled them the day before.

                  So the tempreture ended up in the low 40's and it SNOWED. Locals being who they are the tables were lined with people in hats, coats, scarves wishing they could peel crawfish while wearing mittens. And being who they are we almost ran out of beer.

                  So even a crawfish boil is not without costs.

                  1. re: collardman

                    Thanks, collardman. That's definitely helpful. I didn't even think about alternative options for those who may not like shrimp or crawfish. Do you know of any places (like restaurants) that might have space for a larger party that can do a boil? Do you think that may be a better way to go? Thank you so much for your response!

                    1. re: collardman

                      It has only snowed twice in the past 10 years - 12/25/04, and 12/11/08

                      1. re: paz5559

                        Sorry I don't have access to the digital photos. While those two dates are well know for their accumulation, as a local you know that it has snowed/sleeted in this area many more times in the last ten years. The Easter weekend in 2007 (my error when I put 2008) had pretty incredible weather and we ended up tipping the Mr. Mudbug staff heavily for perfromance above and beyond the call.

                      2. re: collardman

                        Mr Mudbug is a good idea..I'd suggest Audubon Park over City Park but that is only because Audubon is so easy to get to...and it is swell that time of year. And its across from our beloved tulane (well, that is a personal matter.) I'll look into competitive pricing so you might have an option. I invite other hounds ere to do the same..cannot have too many folks out lookin', ya know.

            2. lil' dizzy's cafe , ye olde college inn , praline connection, joey k's, parkway bakery and tavern.

              1 Reply
              1. re: califkatie

                Califkatie, these all look like great places! I'll definitely be calling some of them to check on their prices. The menus look exactly like what I was looking for. Thank you for your recommendations!

              2. Your pricing is probably not very realistic, especially given the amount people are likely to drink in NOLA, but maybe try the Columns Inn. I haven't had the actual food really, but you can't beat the atmosphere and location.

                2 Replies
                1. re: jenniferpdc

                  Jenniferpdc, a good portion of our guests are coming from Utah and are Mormon, so won't be imbibing, so hopefully that would bring the cost down. Thanks for the columns inn rec, I'll definitely check it out.

                  1. re: reevesfs

                    That explains the $20/per person. Maybe someone can give you an idea of the food. I've only had the happy hour buffet and that was years ago. But it's a really beautiful place right on the St Charles streetcar line. I wouldn't recommend staying there though, the guest rooms can be a little rundown.

                2. So where did you end up going? I'm in the same boat.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: soccerTOOLsu

                    Hi everyone. We decided to go with Mr. Mudbug catering. Collardman was right: we definitely couldn't do it on $20pp. They quoted us $1722 for the event based on 50 people, it includes the shrimp boil (with sausage), a jambalaya, and some portabella mushroom pasta for those who aren't big fans of shrimp (or of eating animals). That comes to about $34pp. We still haven't even bought the drinks (going with just beer and some bottled root beer/cream soda). Thanks to everyone who responded and gave me some direction.

                    Also, we are having it at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum's Courtyard.