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3 Days, 3 Dinners

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Which 3 resturant's to choose that epitomize New Orlean's Best Culinary Experience?

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  1. I would choose these:

    Galatoire's for a taste, and experience of grand NOLA cuisine.
    Brigtsen's, to sample NOLA cuisine, but with a much newer twist.
    Bon Ton, for a taste of Creole w/ Cajun influences, to rather see where things came from.

    Those would be my choices, and enjoy,

    Hunt

    PS - to see where things have gone, perhaps add Restaurant August into the mix, anywhere you wish.

    -----
    Restaurant August
    301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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

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

    12 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      Mr. Hunt gave you a pretty good version of the Best Experience of New Orleans Culinary arts. But are you asking for the three "best" New Orleans restaurants? To me best is a moving target and varies by what I want to eat and what experience I want to have while eating it.

      But three places that are often mentioned here as among the New Orleans best are August, Stella and Commanders. That also gives you a bit of a culinary "time line" from old line Commanders to cutting edge fusion Stella.

      1. re: collardman

        I cannot argue.

        Though many claim that Stella! is not "pure New Orleans," I find both a New Orleans and a Deep South (some similarities, but maybe more differences) influence, plus a "New American" twist to the fare. We have enjoyed many meals, and their service (including the wine service) has always been excellent.

        If I had only three meals, and wanted to cover the spectrum, then I would do:

        Galatoire's (true old-line NOLA cuisine from one of the best ever)
        Restaurant August (NOLA cuisine, but with a bit of a twist, from a great chef)
        Stella! (combo of New Orleans meets Deep South, with a modern bent)

        Hunt

        -----
        Restaurant August
        301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

        1. re: collardman

          Great input, and appreciate the recommendations!!

          1. re: rick_perrotta

            You might also think about what kind of experiences you want to have. The restaurants listed are all of the upscale, more formal variety. If you want a more casual atmosphere, some options are Cochon, Emeril's, and Mr. B's.

            FWIW, I went to many of these restaurants when I visited in May, and the best food that I had was at Patois.

            -----
            Cochon
            930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

            1. re: rick_perrotta

              Both Galatoires and Commanders will give you a great nola dining experience. The food at both is good, rarely great. IMO, both are best enjoyed during lunch. Galatoire's downstairs, Commanders in the garden room.

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

              1. re: JazzyB

                BTW, JazzyB -- I was just reading your rant/education on another thread about Jersey eats with my italian friend (were in NY/NJ) and we were hysterical. He wants to give you a hug...good stuff. Feel free to get in touch w/ me when you head him and I'll help fill you in on the latest must eats in the city....

          2. re: Bill Hunt

            Hunt-

            You seem to be the NOLA guy around here... I'm headed there for 3 nights as well - question...how do you think the scene/atmosphere would be at August on Sunday night? Reason being many spots are closed sunday nights and since we're going friday-monday... thinking Cochon, Patois, August.... have sunday brunch at commanders so far as well...

            -----
            Cochon
            930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

            1. re: chefjasonny

              First, I have to point out that I have not lived in NOLA in many, many years. I did grow up, near-by, and did marry a young lady, who is a NOLA native, but then, I've been gone a long time, and only get back about 2x per year. When we ARE back, there are usually family events, that cut into our fine-dining schedules, so we are faced with doing a few "old favs," plus try to add something new. That does not always work out, but still we try.

              I always defer to the real "locals," as they dine there far more often, than I possibly can. While I greatly appreciate the kind words, THEY are the folk, to whom one should listen.

              We have greatly enjoyed Cochon (chairs COULD be improved upon... ), and loved most aspects of Restaurant August (some reviews on the great, plus the deficiencies for us), but have never dined at Patois. I see it lauded often here, and have no reason to doubt the reports/reviews. They are most often from "trusted posters," and that is gold to me.

              Have not done CP's Brunch in some years. I think that we hit them at some bad times, but that was a while ago, and the recent reviews paint another picture. Both the locals, plus the tourist CH's, seem to love it, and speak very highly of the Jazz Brunch.

              One of the real problems with someone, such as me, doing reviews, is that I hit a restaurant on a particular night, and might not return for many months, or even years. If I got them, on that one bad night, that is all that I have to go on, and try to articulate the potential issue. Someone else, who is a local, might be there six times, between my visits, and can factor in the good, the bad and the ugly. Their reviews are much more valid, than mine - one night, and who knows which night that was?

              Even where I live now, Phoenix, I do not get to dine out that much, as we are in the air, more than on the ground. In the last 4 mos., I have dined more often in San Francisco, than in Phoenix. Though a "local," I will again defer to others, who might have done a dozen dinners, where I have only had time for one.

              I would urge you to wait for the real locals, to comment, and trust them. While CP's has let me down in recent history, others indicate that I hit on bad nights, and I cannot argue. The "majority" rules in such cases.

              Most of all, please enjoy, and thank you for coming to one of my all-time favorite cities, especially where food is concerned. Travel safely!

              Hunt

              -----
              Restaurant August
              301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

              Cochon
              930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Bill et all-thanks for the great feedback, this was very helpfull. You can't imagine what a difficult choice it is to only choose three places from such a culinary ....this is like trying to pick out the three "right bucket's of water" from the ocean. In any case here is what I made reservations for an a little of the rational...I'll be sure to post after my dinner to let you know if they exceeded expecations

                Friday late afternoon am planning to take a carriage ride around the French Quarter and relax a bit so I wanted a place in/around FQ, typical contemporary NOLA menu, not something I had to where a dinner jacket for (elimiated Galatorie's) and thus I went with NOLA.

                Saturday-at the end of the day we'll be in/around the riverfront/warehouse district and I wanted the best culinary experience with a view of the river so I choose Galvez. This was on no one's list so if this is big mistake someone let me know!! Menu is not quite NOLA style, but seems to have an interesting mix.

                Sunday-wanted to end with the best so have a reservation at August's. I felt this consistently recieved the best praise both from communities such as this one, but also from standards (Zagat, T&L, Beard etc). Let's see if this tops the others.

                Thanks and look for the updates in a few weeks.

                -----
                Galvez Restaurant
                914 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                1. re: rick_perrotta

                  Oh, I know all too well. I am faced with the same issue, about 2 - 3 times per year, and always rely on the folk here, to help me fill in the blanks.

                  Enjoy,

                  Hunt

                  1. re: rick_perrotta

                    The only good thing about Galvez is the view. Make a resv. at Irene's for Creole Italian. Try the crabcake special if available. Kpauls for an all app meal with local flavor. Request a window table in the downstairs front room. A window table in the Rib Room at the Royal Orleans is nice, the food is good, not great.

                    Open Sunday: http://coquette-nola.com/

                    -----
                    Galvez Restaurant
                    914 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                  2. re: Bill Hunt

                    We just went over the weekend and LOVED Cochon and their sister restaurant Herbsaint. We ate a lot of good food and I would say those were our two best.

              2. Rick, are you looking for Top Culinary experiences in New Orleans or Top New Orleans Food experiences ? It would help with my recommendations.

                1. Best Poboy: Parkway Baker or Crabby Jack's.
                  Best Traditional: Galatoire's, Clancy's or Commander's Palace

                  -----
                  Crabby Jacks
                  428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

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

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fat harry

                    Take a private carriage ride. Be sure to bring along your favorite libation. Driver will be happy to stop along the way should you need a refill. Emeril's flagship is very good and open everyday. Don't miss the andouille crusted drum/sometimes redfish, monster pork chop, banana cream pie. Good coffee, cocktails are weak.