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Recs for dinner - 3 couples in NO for upscale and fun dinner

I am a small business owner and will be in New Orleans for a conference next week. I am bringing my two employees and our spouses - a total of six people. I've seen Delmonico's, Emeril's, CP, Arnaud's, Antoine's, and Galatoire's mentioned, but I'm not sure as I've only been to New Orleans twice, the last being 10 years ago.

I'd rather stay away from anyplace stuffy, but some place that could accommodate 6 people without feeling crowded. I want to treat them to an upscale but fun New Orleans dinner. $50pp max with liquor and wine. We are staying at Canal & Bourbon and walking would be great, but if we need to take a cab it's no big deal.

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

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

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  1. G W Fins is a nice casual fine dining establishment with a lively bar and it's close to your hotel. Good luck.

    G W Fins @ 808 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA. 504 - 581 - 3467.
    http://www.gwfins.com/nola/

    3 Replies
    1. re: Littleman

      I will "second" GW Fins. They are often "off the radar screen," but do a great job. The seafood has always been fresh, the preps NOLA influenced, and the service great.

      I also enjoy Galatoire's, and have never felt that they were stuffy, in any way. We always do reservations (nowadays), so sit upstairs, but it is quieter there, and the food and service are still excellent.

      Out from the FQ, I love Brigtsen's, and the food and service are the tops. The setting is a tad less formal (even with the formality, the above are NOT stuffy - that is not normally a trait of a good NOLA restaurant), but still elegant.

      Enjoy,

      Hunt

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

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

      1. re: Bill Hunt

        I see GW Fins being reviewed in Gambit but haven't read the review yet.

        1. re: collardman

          I'll keep my eyes open for that.

          We have dined there, from shortly after they opened, and though not on every trip, we have enjoyed their food very well. Normally, I do not see them mentioned that often, but until they "do me wrong," I will continue to sing their praises.

          Thanks for the H/U,

          Hunt

    2. I think your price is a bit of a problem. You might be able to hit it if there are a few light drinkers and light eaters in your group. Delmonico's is definitly not in the mix.

      If it was family you might have some control on what is ordered but if you are treating good employees you probably want them to feel special and have a good time. I think you could probably do it at most any of the good restaurants for about $75 pp.

      Emeril's, CP, Bon Ton, Luke, GW Fins, Mister B's, NOLA, all might fit for good food with a N.O. flare and possible acceptable cost.

      Check to see who is having specials. If a few of those look good that might bring your per head average down.

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

      Bon Ton Cafe
      401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

      Mister B's
      210 Crescent Ave, Lockport, LA 70374

      1 Reply
      1. re: collardman

        Thank you. Though I read it, when I got to typing, I passed over the price point. Though not all THAT low, when we are dining, the wines quickly kick the total prices up, and I loose track.

        Good point,

        Hunt

      2. I'm not sure how price exactly shakes out but I feel that you can't beat Commander's Palace for vibe. The energy there is awesome. The service is both impeccably detailed and casual and loose. We've only ever gone for lunch but we go every time. It's a genuinely special place.

        Antoine's and Arnaud's won't give you what you want. Emeril's is a board fave for food (more than Delmonico) and Galatoire's is a different experience altogether. But CP is special, to me.

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

        1 Reply
        1. Cochon would do you well here. In the neighborhood, easy going, not stuffy, not necessarily old New Orleans food (but certainly contemporary NOLA scene), better than the odds foodwise, and well within your price range.

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          Cochon
          930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

          2 Replies
          1. re: montuori

            but not really "upscale new orleans", so I wouldn't recommend it for that. more of a casual cajun option.

            for "upscale but not stuffy" I would consider Coquette, Emeril's, Lillette...

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

            1. re: kibbles

              I agree. While very good, it IS very casual, and especially the seating.

              While we have enjoyed Cochon, it would be in our "casual" group.

              The surfaces are also rather hard, so conversation can be hampered, if any business is to be discussed.

              Hunt

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              Cochon
              930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

          2. If you're coming next week, COOLinary menus will be in effect. I'd recommend Pelican Club -- $35 prix fixe dinner with delightful selections, which leaves a $15 pp wine budget -- bringing it in if not exactly on your price point, not egregiously over. Easy and pleasant walk from where you are staying and since you're considering a taxi (both ways, I presume) add that to your wine/drink budget and you'll do fine.

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            Pelican Club Restaurant & Bar
            312 Exchange Alley, New Orleans, LA 70130

            2 Replies
            1. re: rouxdauphine

              plus Pelican Club's special is all July as well as August.

              1. re: kibbles

                Pelican Club is one of the best kept secrets in the FQ

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                Pelican Club Restaurant & Bar
                312 Exchange Alley, New Orleans, LA 70130