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Aug 16, 2011 05:23 PM

Court of the Two Sisters

We are coming down in October and a nostalgic favorite that keeps coming up is Jazz Brunch at the Two Sisters. I have tried to steer my friends to 1) Commander's Palace for Lunch and Martinis and 2) August for the Prix Fixe. I don't mind going to the Court of Two Sisters if the food is decent. It does get rave reviews, as well as panned - especially their dinner service. Opinions? Is it possible to go there and have a drink? They have a sandwich menu, but that doesn't look particularly appealing either...

Thanks, as always!

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

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  1. The Court of Two Sisters does not get a lot of love on this board.

    I have dined there, but far too long ago, as to be useful now. Then, it was very nice, and the food that we had was good, to very good. However, that was then, and this is now.

    I only hope that someone can step up, and give you a current review, to help you - one way, or the other. I wish that I could.

    Good luck, and enjoy,


    5 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      Thanks for your honesty, Bill. I know that it is not a favorite here...I just have a hard time reconciling my objection to going there when I read so many current good reviews. I would love to hear from someone who has been there recently.

      Looking forward to my trip!

      1. re: shanemio

        I will fall over if someone from N.O. who frequents this forum has been there recently or not-so-recently. I literally have not talked to a local who, when asked about it, doesn't give a "You go there?!" look. If it's a gem, a lot of us are missing out for our negative stereotypes.

        1. re: sanglier

          Are you okay down there? :) I think I am starting to get a better picture. It is one of those places that some people just love, is always busy, you may have tried once or twice and was okay, but you still can't quite figure out why people go there...

          1. re: sanglier

            Have you ever seen one of those experiments where a concert violinist is put to playing in a subway station, apparently needing money? Almost everyone walks right by someone on a Stradivarius playing magnificently. I often think Court of Two Sisiters could be in that position. Put a World Class cook in there...someone who has but to lay hands upon Evian and it becomes Tattinger Comptes de Champagne--you know the type...and I suspect that the "knock" on the place would trump. We've heard such awful things for so long it the "dog/bad name" scenario. It's a shame. As I have noted before, every reception I have been to has been fine but I have not gone to lunch or dinner there in 40+ years..I'd just rather spend the money elsewhere. I really should go give them a try just to see what is going on.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Well, that may also be the case here. They do get a lot of positive reviews from tourists. Who are not all without taste and standards...
              PLEASE do go! I really would LOVE to hear from someone who has been there recently and did the Jazz Brunch. I think the dinner service is a done deal. People continue to complain about it...

      2. My only experience there was a local tourism industry event where everything was staunchly mediocre. And I can't even attribute it to being served buffet style since that's exactly what their jazz brunch is. I have enjoyed their turtle soup at French Quarter Fest, but one soup does not a brunch make.

        I believe you can go for just a drink and I read several years ago that the lady bartender has been there forever and does good work. I've wanted to do this for a while but it's one of those things that I don't think of when I can do it and can't do when I think of it! *edit* Oops, just googled that bar and found out that Flo Woodard has passed away. RIP.

        1. I've been there two or three times since moving here, always with my parents [my father loves it] and always for jazz brunch/lunch. I've actually always had really good meals and drinks there. Sure, it's not really fine cuisine, and it wouldn't really be on my list of top places for brunch or dinner, but I always have enjoyed it when I've gone, and the service has always been excellent. The courtyard is beautiful. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded of why tourists love this city too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: midcity

            Thanks MC. Like I said, it is one of those nostalgic things. My friends love and know good food. And they want to go to The Court of Two Sisters. Since I am only one of five, we will see. They are usually pretty good about letting me cruise direct and I do have a list of places ready to go.

          2. So, I thought I'd take my 6 year old daughter to Court of Two Sisters for brunch about a year ago. She likes buffets. I would say overall it was the worst meal I've had in New Orleans in quite some time. There was nothing remotely enjoyable about the food, the music only passed us once for a brief moment and the service was so rushed that the turn and burn was too obvious. Brennan's brunch wasn't that much better and the price was crazy expensive (thank goodness I had a gift ceritificate). If you want a great brunch, go to Commander's and do lunch somewhere else.

            9 Replies
            1. re: shanefink

              THANK YOU. Just what I was waiting for. I will most definitely pass on this one.

              1. re: shanefink

                That is a shame. I was hoping for better things.

                Have done both Saturday and Sunday brunch at Brennan's recently, and our experiences were just the opposite - very good food, excellent service, and a very casual, and highly relaxed atmosphere. We were not rushed in any way, and it actually seemed that the service staff wanted us to spend the entire afternoon with them.

                I had not been a Brennan's fan, but on a whim booked them for a Saturday brunch. They were excellent, and to the point that we took guests there, on Saturday and Sunday, over the last few years. We have never been let down, and I have had to eat my previous thoughts, though they applied to my earlier (back when we lived in NOLA) episodes. Have I changed? Had Brennan's changed? I cannot say, but they made me a fan, as painful as that might be.

                On a recent, previous trip, someone recommended that our group do Court of Two Sisters. Based on our previous experiences at Brennan's, my wife replied, "maybe some other time. I am taking these people to Brennan's," and she felt, as I did, back in the 70's.

                In some ways, I wish that we had done Court of Two Sisters, just to know for myself.. OTOH, if Brennan's keeps up their great service and food, not sure that I need to go elsewhere in the FQ.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  Oh Bill, you just make this harder! My two choices for lunch are Commander's Palace and August. Maybe Brennan's for breakfast, but it is in competition with Stella! for our last meal before we take off. We are not going to be there during the weekend, so brunch at Brennan's is not an option. The Court of Two Sisters has brunch everyday of the week...

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

                    1. re: BerkeleySQ

                      Sorry, I don't consider 9am-1pm open for "lunch" on vacation. But thanks for the link.

                    2. re: shanemio

                      Picking the dining in NOLA IS hard, but I never meant to make it any more difficult. Though we get back between 2 - 3 times per year, we are always pressed for dining time. Now, we do have familial duties, so not every night, or day, is available.

                      I try for a couple of "old favs," and then try to throw in something new, but some trips just do not allow for that. When faced with limited dining, I will go to the "old favs," and hope that the next trip will allow for something new.

                      As for Brennan's, as I stated, I was not really a fan, when we lived in the City. We went, but usually when our guests insisted. They were off my radar for easily 2 decades, and not on my "must-do list" for visitors. Then, and totally by an odd chance, we dined there, and were greatly impressed. We dined there again, and everyone was impressed. On the third trip, with some of the same folk, they flat insisted that we do another brunch there. Did they change? Did we change? I cannot tell you, but the same restaurant, that failed to impress way back when, certainly did on those trips. In that first brunch back, I think that I had a few criticisms, but they were minor. On the next two trips, cannot think of anything, that would have made it better, unless the sommelier had presented me with a bottle of Le Montrachet, "on the house!"

                      Now, we love Stella! Some on this board do not. Again, they have always come through, and we have had maybe 5 great meals there.

                      CP's was our "go-to," but had some mis-steps. We kept trying to rekindle that old flame, and it just would not "light." We were there hosting about 2 years ago (?), and it was better, but nothing was really clicking. Maybe Thomas Wolfe was correct, that "you can never go home again... " I keep trying, and the great majority of this board finds things that I once did, but can just not recapture.

                      For Court of Two Sisters, it's been way, way too long, to be of any use. They were good, when we were living in NOLA, but they never made it into the "Top 20," in our book. Now, being # 21 in NOLA is not bad. [Grin] We almost tried them, a trip, or so back, but the group demanded that we go back to Brennan's for brunch. Were it just my wife, and me, we'd have done Court, just to see, but we were out voted by our guests, so I just do not know.

                      In NOLA, the food will always be very good to great, so there are not THAT many places, where one would run for cover. Still, with finite time, one does want to maximize their dining. I understand that, all too well.

                      So long as the food is great, and the service is good, I do not mind if the table to our left is all from Boston, or Seattle, so long as they behave themselves, and enjoy.

                      I envy anyone heading to NOLA, as most seem to be able to indulge, more than I am.


                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        Thanks and NO apology necessary. All this agony over where to go, what to choose, oh so many great places, is half of the fun. I am a planner. And every trip I go on, the planning is almost as much of the experience as going. I learn, research and ponder all my options weeks, and sometimes, months in advance and it just makes that much better when we are there.

                        1. re: shanemio

                          I understand. We are heading to O`ahu in Sept., and I have booked every dinner for the 10 days. That is just how I do it.

                          In Oct., we're in London for a week, and I have most evenings booked already, including several board dinners. I hate missing out on a restaurant, 'cause they were booked.



                  1. re: shanefink

                    I went about a year ago as well, as a friend was paying and desperately wanted to go. It was terrible. Even with someone else paying I wished I was someplace else. It is a very pretty setting, though.

                  2. I had brunch there last Sunday, and I'm sorry to admit, it was not up to par. First, there was only two buffet stations ( 1 hot /1 cold) and this is not sufficient enough to handle the amount of people. I made the mistake of getting cold items first, and when I went back to get hot entrees, the line was far too long to wait. The food was average at best. On my next trip, I'll make the adjustment and not go for the "deal" of a voucher included in my trip. Spend the money for a QUALITY brunch.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: 50INNOLA

                      Thanks for the up to the minute report! I appreciate the feedback and sorry about your brunch.

                      1. re: 50INNOLA

                        Thank you for being the lab rat! I was in town this past weekend and was going to take one for the team and try the buffet but my wife wouldn't go for it.

                        I couldn't get her to Pascale's Manale either, but we did end up Friday night at another seldom mentioned place, College Inn.

                        It got chosen as it has "New Orleans food" and was the only place that didn't have a waiting line into the street. Our first try was Mandina's, then cruising up Carrollton, Esplanade, then back toward uptown and College Inn with no outside line. The wait was still an hour but we coaught one empty bar stool on the far side of the bar and could watch the moving stage show which made the hour pass quickly.

                        The food was decent and we would return. I do miss some of the old blue plate specials but we felt that we got a fair exchange for our time and money. (and the bartender was pouring very stiff drinks).

                        I just didn't understand the aging uptown guys wearing baseball caps while dining. The place is casual but not that casual.

                        Mandina's Restaurant
                        3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119