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Sep 16, 2011 09:37 AM

NOLA choices--too many!

We are visiting New Orleans Oct. 13 to 16. Three dinners. I would like to have at least one "fancy" dinner- we are celebrating our anniversary. I may stretch this to two "fancy" dinners, depending on our mood. But, generally, I'm thinking one nice, two more casual meals. For the nicer meal, I'm debating between Brigsten's and Bayona (with a possibility of Emeril's)... other suggestions are welcome. (Stella, while looking marvelous, appears to be in a price category all its own. While I"m willing to pay for quality, once you get to this strata, I'm never sure the price is worth it.) I've been to August on my one other trip to NOLA (for lunch) and it was wonderful, but would like to try new things. For more casual meals, I've received recs to Coquette and Jacques-Imos. From my research, Mr. B's looks like a great lunch option and we'll do the jazz brunch at Commander's one day. Thoughts? Thanks.

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  1. I highly recommend Brigsten's and Coquette. Coquette (and Emeri's) has lunch as well, if that helps with scheduling at all. Bayona is also awesome (the sweetbreads! the quail salad!) , but Brigsten's has a special place in my heart (and stomach.) You can't go wrong with either. If you could swing dinners at both, that would be awesome. I haven't been to Jacque-Imo's, so I can't speak to that, but you can do that as a third dinner and then do Mr. B's (get a cocktail before- and after?- at the Carousel Bar across the street at the Hotel Monteleone), Coquette, and/or Emeril's for lunch. I love CP for lunch the best, but brunch is also fun. Request the Garden Room (or the main downstairs dining room, I don't know if there's a special name for that though.)

    Have fun!!

    430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: noradeirdre

      Thank you. Is there any consequence to making more than one reservation and canceling one closer to the date?

      1. re: LizR

        I don't think so... certainly not for a 2-top. just cancel once you know what's what (more than 24 hours in advance preferably). However, if you use OpenTable (which you wouldn't for CP or Boucherie or Brigstens) it will only let you make a reservation for one place during a specific time period.

        8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

        1. re: LizR

          So long as you cancel with adequate notice - none. Just make sure that you DO cancel the unused seats, as a courtesy to the establishment. The farther out, the better.

          I usually make my reservations 2 - 3 mos. out (even when not really necessary), but if my plans change, will call (or do so on OT), as soon as I am made aware, even for international trips. I have only been a "no show" once in my life, and that was because I thought the restaurant was in NYC, and for a later trip, when it was in Chicago, and that trip got canceled. My bad.


      2. LizR,

        You are correct - too many choices. Unless you have a free month (still might not be enough), you cannot do them all. That is just a fact of life.

        My suggestion is to do a few now, and start planning your return trip, and then the one after that.

        As we no longer live in NOLA, we are faced with the same prospect. We try to fit in a few of our favorites, and then try to add at least one new one. Sometimes, that works, but sometimes family changes those plans.

        I am a big fan of Galatoire's, Brigtsen's and Restaurant August. One will not go wrong with any two, and all three are different enough, that there will be no boredom.

        I have also enjoyed Emeril's (the eponymous restaurant) and also Chef Lagasse's NOLA. Delmonico was good, but it's way down the list.

        Cochon, Stella! and Bayona have come through, and Stella! many times. We also enjoy MiLa, and G W Fins..

        See what I mean? There are several others, that have been great, but also several new restaurants, that we have just not fit into the schedules, and we are there at least once (usually twice) per year. In the course of the last 5 years, we have also missed a few new restaurants, with high recs., that have come, but then gone.

        If you can do Brigtsen's, and then Bayona, or Emeril's, that will be a good start. Pace yourselves, and just understand that there is too much to do in a handful of nights. There is no shame in coming back again - matter of fact, NOLA will love you for doing so.

        Enjoy, and travel safely,


        Restaurant August
        301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

        930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

        430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

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

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