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VIsiting New Orleans for the first time-need recs please!

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I am coming to New Orleans with my husband to celebrate his 40th b'day in November. Please recommend good eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We will only be there for 3 nights and 4 days. It will also be a first trip away from kids, so one romantice/special place for dinner would be nice too. We want to experience the food, the people, the culture...don't love really touristy type places, but I understand Cafe Du Monde is a must. We are up for anything! Love all types of food, too.

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Here is my short list for dinners, that you will always remember. The first has a real "romantic factor," and the second is not bad - though neither is the third.

    The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel
    Stella! (some argue that it is not NOLA cuisine, and I will not dissect the roots, but it is good)
    Restaurant August (some argue that Chef Besh takes too many liberties, but I am not one of those)
    Brigtsen's (Chef Frank Brigtsen takes NOLA cuisine in a slightly different direction)
    Galatoire's (old school, but great. For romance, get a reservation and dine upstairs - same food, just in a quieter venue)

    Breakfast:

    Old Coffee Pot (mixed reviews, but I love it completely)
    Stanley! (Stella! brother restaurant, and great, innovative breakfasts)
    Camellia Grill (have not dined at the new one in the FQ, but I loved the original in River Bend)

    Cafe du Monde (I would go early, or late, and avoid the crush)

    Enjoy, and happy b'day to your hubby!

    Hunt

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

    Camellia Grill
    626 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

    Coffee Pot Restaurant
    714 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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

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

    Windsor Court Hotel
    300 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

    6 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      Bill

      Your knowledge of NO is always appreciated. Specific question about Galatoire's. I haven't been for years, but hope to re-visit during the upcoming T'giving week. Question is, how long is the typical wait time for downstairs at dinnertime? Does is vary by day of week, and most of all how early should one arrive to keep the wait down to, say, 10-15 minutes?

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

      1. re: johnb

        It has been a long time, since I did downstairs, and stood in line. Over the last several years, we have had guests, and short times, so have done reservations for upstairs. Cannot help you there, but others will be able to.

        Enjoy,

        Hunt

        1. re: johnb

          My wife and I were there on a Friday afternoon in mid-May. We got there at about 1, and waited about 2 hours, which was fine with us as we were prepared for that. Downstairs was pretty empty when we left around 5. I would think that Thanksgiving week would not be crazy crowded. If you're really wanting to avoid more than a 15 min wait, then why not make a res and sit upstairs?

          1. re: ml77

            I, and more recently my wife, have been to NO many times, but this trip we are accompanied by friends who haven't been. I'm being relied upon to pick the places we will eat for the week. I plan to include Galatoire's, and think they'd enjoy the downstairs Galatoire's (old NO) ambiance, but doubt they'd be up for standing in line more than a half-hour or so, so I'm trying to decide whether up or down is preferable on balance. I already spoke to the restaurant and they made it pretty clear they take a dim view of those who make a reservation then jump to the downstairs if they can, so once the decision is made that's it. That's why I'm asking about the likely wait times.

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

            1. re: johnb

              JohnB,

              It depends on the night. It might be quiet, and the wait will be minuscule, or there could be a large group in town (or a large group of locals), who want to dine downstairs, and will reach the line before you. Those are the vagaries of the line - might be moments, or maybe not.

              If my guests have plenty of time on their hands, then we do the line. If they are between other appointments, then we dine upstairs, and make reservations.

              I have seen evenings, where they would ask the line, "does anyone want to dine upstairs?" and take folk there, from the line. I have seen folk, who arrived at a long line, and then called on their cell phone, and gotten reservations upstairs.

              It can be a bit like the lottery - you might get in in moments, or spend a good portion of the night on the sidewalk. It depends on how important dining downstairs is.

              Good luck, and hope that things go very smoothly for you, and for your guests.

              Hunt

              1. re: johnb

                Just send someone down there at 4:30 and grad a table for however-many-you-have. Just hope that your table-sitter isn't too sloshed by the time you get there. Or, alternatively, all of you go at 4:30---or 5:00. Lines don;t usually start to form until after 5:00..more likely between 5:30 and 6:00

        2. it's been a long time but we always enjoyed the all you can eat brunch buffet at the court of two sisters.

          1. Seeing as how I've only ever been there the one time I can only make recommendations based on that wonderful 10 day experience rach22, unlike Bill, hazelhurst and many on the repeat offenders ;)

            Having said that if you'd like my two cents it'd probably be easier for you to just read my dailies: A Canknucklehead in NOLA DAYS 1-8. Maybe there's something for you by way of a related experience or three. Any questions fire away! Or just watch the regulars like I do.

            bourbonstjoe