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NY foodie finally realizes lifelong quest to go to NOLA!

Hi All,
Yes, I've been trying to get there since I was 16. Many years later, my dream will come true. I'm booked for thursday through monday. But with so many choices for good food, I find myself paralyzed and unable to actually make the resys. So I turn to you, dear NO chowhounders, to help guide my way. Here's what my vague plan is: I'd like to eat at one of the classics (Galatoire's, Commander's Palace, Antoine's or Arnaud's) on fri or sat. On the other weekend night, I'd like to eat at one of the more contemporary places (Cochon? Coquette? Patois? Bayona? Brigsten"s? etc., etc.) and by contemporary I mean regional with a modern slant. Also, I've read alot of the po' boys at The Parkway, but I'd like to hear what your recommendations are. So lay 'em on me!

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

Bayona
430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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  1. Galatoire's - no doubt about that! If you are a party of one or two you shouldn't have a problem getting seated in a timely manner for lunch on any day. I've always been able to be seated immediately even on a Friday at lunch which is their really busy time.

    Out of the next category, I like Brigsten's but I haven't been in the last two years. When we went, it was amazing! Make a reservation early or they'll be booked up.

    Try the shrimp po-boy at Johnny's. I can't vouch for the others, the oyster wasn't great but the shrimp was wonderful.

    Mr. B's bbq shrimp is a must.

    Have a wonderful trip.

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

    1. We visit NOLA often and I would recommend Galitoires, although it is very loud, we still had a great dinner and service. I like the Bistro at Maison De Ville in the French Quarter. Coquette was very good,

      1 Reply
      1. re: SFVIS

        Bistro MdV has been great in the past. They had several major changes, but recent reports have been very good, so great call. I need to get back!

        Thanks,

        Hunt

      2. Stick with Parkway for your po-boy, be it shrimp or roast beef.

        1. Glad that you could make it all work.

          My choices:

          Galatoire's
          Brigtsen's

          Then I'd definitely throw in Parkway Bakery for some po-boys (not THAT easy to get to, but worth the effort - remember, NOLA is not NYC with regards to the public transportation.

          Some other considerations:

          Cochon (maybe for a lunch)
          Bayona (very good, but in my second tier)
          Restaurant August (would be an alternate for Brigtsen's, but only if you could not get into Chef Frank's)
          Antoine's was great, but suffered some setbacks. Have not yet made it back, but they hold a very special place in MY heart.
          Arnaud's has been very good, but if you have not yet done Galatoire's, place it down the list.
          Commander's has been excellent, though has let me down in the last few years, so they got moved down on Hunt's "Must-do" list, but others still love it.
          For brunch, I would consider Brennan's, or Ralph's on the Park. There are others, and in some fine hotels in the FQ, but those two have never disappointed me.
          Coquette and Patois get a lot of respect here, but I have yet to fit them in, so cannot comment.
          Like Stella!, but I think you are running out of time, and would chose some others first.
          Another option would be the Grill Room @ the Windsor Court Hotel. Reminds me of a darker, more intimate, but slightly less spectacular, than Restaurant Daniel (Manhattan), and it would be below Galatoire's, Brigtsen's and Restaurant August.

          Now, that is definitely missing many great, somewhat funky NOLA restaurants, all of which should be considered, but with but a few nights and days, should wait until your next trip.

          For some interesting breakfasts, I recommend The Coffee Pot (nee Maxie's Coffee Pot, and the Original Coffee Pot) on St. Peter St., just river-side of Pat O'Brien's, Stanley! (Stella's "brother" restaurant) and Camellia Grill (have not been to the FQ location, but grew up at the Carrollton Ave. location). I also enjoy Cafe du Monde, but only go late, after all of the "tourists" go to bed.

          Most of all, enjoy,

          Hunt

          PS - when you go to Parkway, grab a table, and spend a bit of time, getting the "feel" of the place. Mostly, you will be surrounded by locals, having their po-boy lunch, so read up on the menus on the boards, and wait for a bit of a lull. Talk to the ladies across the counter, and do not hesitate to ask for their recs., plus instructions. They will guide you. Do not miss the Pontchartrain Beach photo gallery. While not Coney Island, it held a big place in the hearts of many in NOLA. Soak up the nostalgia, just as I do, when in NYC.

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          Restaurant August
          301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Cochon
          930 Tchoupitoulas St., 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

          Bayona
          430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

          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

          1. Galatoire's it is! I think I'll try Cochon, as well, and def parkway for the po' boys. Maybe Commander's palace for the sunday brunch. Maybe Brigsten's one of the other nights. I am not adverse to funk, at all, so feel free to let me know the high/lowlights there. Gotta be prepared for the left turn, since you never know what's around the corner!
            Other than food, it will be about the music...drinking,dancing, etc. will try to see kermit, preservation hall, assorted frenchman joints.
            CANNOT WAIT!
            on the flip side, if anyone needs recs for NY......

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            Cochon
            930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

            1. In the French Quarter you should go to Coops. It's a dive bar with great food like gumbo, red beans and jambalaya (best jambalaya ever). I asume it is is still good. Last time I was there was in 2004. I don't think you will do much better than that in the quarter. There's lots of bad tourist traps with mediocre food. I also like the Roast Beef Po Boy at Johnny's..

              1. btw, what's the difference between the first floor of Galatoire's and the 2nd? I see no resys for the first, only the second.

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

                4 Replies
                1. re: catciao

                  The upstairs is a group of three dining rooms and a small bar. It is perfectly pleasant but it is not what we have come to call "The Show" of downstairs. THe ground floor room is a single room with a high ceiling from which fans hang. It is brightly lit from the fans and single socket lights at the tops of mirrors that run along the sides. It is a much more fun environment than upstairs. You will see at once the relaxed , but be-suited, nature of the place. You can also go at anytime in the afternoon so reservations need not be a worry.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    thanks, hazelhurst.
                    not so worried about a wait if there's a cocktail to help endure

                    1. re: catciao

                      With a couple, or small group, it's easy to send "runners" out onto Bourbon St. for drinks, if there are not enough flowing quickly enough. However, do not fill up too much, as the wine list and cocktails inside of Galatoire's are really part of the meal.

                      Enjoy,

                      Hunt

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

                  2. re: catciao

                    While I think that Hazelhurst has covered nearly every base, re: Galatoire's upstairs vs downstairs, I have to admit that over the last dozen years, we've dined upstairs, with no qualms. Now, in each case, we had guests, and almost everyone in the group had time constraints, so we opted for going the reservations route, and upstairs. Just great!

                    That said, I also must add that over the decades, I have dined downstairs, and have stood in line to do so, and did greatly appreciate that tableau, that unfolds on the lower level - it has sort of become a "been there, done that... " sort of thing with me.

                    Were I on vacation, with no time constraints, and especially if I had NEVER dined downstairs, it would not be a contest - I would stand in line, and dine on the lower level.

                    Though, I admit to being much older now, so quiet dining is something that I do not take lightly. Upstairs is quieter, and a tad more relaxed, but the real "New Orleans Galatoire's experience" IS downstairs.

                    I know that this is a lot to consider, so I will close by stating, you cannot go wrong, either way.

                    Enjoy,

                    Hunt

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

                  3. Commander's is outstanding. Go to Commander's for their weekday lunch special and 25 cent martini's. If you don't have a car take a cab or take the streetcar to Washington and walk 2 blocks to CP. After lunch walk 3 blocks to Magazine and go to the right. Then visit the neat shops and stores on Magazine in the 3,000 to 5,000 block area. You can walk back to SC and catch the streetcar or ride the Magazine bus back to the FQ. Ask for a table in the Garden Room overlooking the courtyard at CP. Good luck.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Littleman

                      That sounds like a great plan.

                      In the last few years, our CP excursions have been for culinary events and a couple of dinners. The lunches have not been sampled in far too long, so I might fall back in love with CP, if I just switch the times, that I dine there. Going back a bit, the lunches and brunches were spectacular, even though I appreciate wines, more that martinis... [Grin]

                      Hunt

                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        LOL-the concept of runners to get drinks while you're waiting is funny to me, though I know it's part of the scene there. Not sure it would work in NY! Anyway, I was thinking there would be a bar to sit at while waiting, but it sounds like you actually have to stand in the line, so....whatever works at the time, I guess. We'll probably go on Friday night.
                        Saturday night I made resys for Cochon. We'll either do the lunch or sunday brunch at Commander's-that one we'll play by ear. The rest of the time will be spent walking around, listening to music and dancing. Couldn't think of anything better at this moment.
                        And as for me, I appreciate both martinis and wine. It just depends on the mood...

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                        Cochon
                        930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                        1. re: catciao

                          Yes, it is best to have a "designated waiter-in-line," so having a runner for the group works too. Just save room for Galatoire's wines and cocktails. Let the amateurs get bloto in line, and just keep your cool. It will be well worth it.

                          Enjoy,

                          Hunt

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

                    2. I'm just finishing up a trip in NO. I hate to start off with a negative, but I ate at Brigtsens last night and was severely disappointed. The service was fine but the meal was just sad. From the reviews on the boards I was hoping for much better. On a positive note, I ate at Mr. B's, Herbsaint, and August this week and had wonderful meals. August was truly amazing. I had been there before and liked it but this time I did the tasting menu and it was one of the best meals I have ever had. I have reservations tonight for Cochon, which was excellent last time I was there.

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                      Cochon
                      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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

                      Herbsaint
                      701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130