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WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO?

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We are headed to NO for New Years Eve 12/29 - 1/2/11. What NYEve events can you recommend? Also, looking for some nice places to eat, I am very picky and not into cajun, some recommendations would be great! Thank you.

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  1. Could you help us on "picky"? Then we might have better guidelines to assist you.

    3 Replies
    1. re: collardman

      A few more queries: How many does "we" constitute and what is your $ price point? If you are not into Cajun, what are your preferences? Are you staying in the FQ? Do you have a car or would you be willing to taxi?

      1. re: TaTee

        See posting below.

      2. re: collardman

        Picky - I'm a plain Jane, like my meat and potatoes and some seafood. I don't like my food spiced up. Don't like dishes that have too much going on in it. simple but tasty.

      3. New Orleans is a fairly large city.

        Where are you staying?
        Do you have an auto?
        Do you mind traveling to dine, or do you want to walk?
        As has been asked, the definition of "picky" would be good. It could mean Level 5 Vegan, or something less.
        What types of food do you like?
        What is your budget? Does that include wine, or cocktails?

        Most of all, enjoy,

        Hunt

        8 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Yes, I guess I could have been more specific, I'm new to this so please bare with me.

          We are staying at the Magnolia Mansion, B&B - French Quarter area.
          We are not renting a car.
          There are 2 of us and it is our 2nd Anniversary
          We like steaks and seafood and simple sandwiches, burgers and salads.
          Money is no problem, love wine and COCKTAILS!! lol
          But most of all looking for a fun exciting place to spend the New Year.
          Thank you.

          1. re: tdkaranj

            Magnolia Mansion is Lower Garden District on Prytania. It's not really that convenient to the French Quarter. IMO, your best bet for NYE would be the Frenchmen Street scene just outside the Quarter. Lots of restaurants, live music, street traffic. There are also several B&Bs in this area if you're amenable to changing your reservation.

            1. re: Big Easy

              But accourding to the map online, MMansion is close to Bourboun, St. Charles and French Qtr. Is this not correct? I wanted to be near the action, but not totally in the action.

              We are locked into our B&B, however we were looking for an event for NYE...I did see a place called Pat O's, $135 per person near Jackson Square, any thoughts on this place?

              1. re: tdkaranj

                It's about 2 miles from your B&B to the Canal Street edge of the French Quarter (and Bourbon Street) and a block from St. Charles Avenue.

                As for New Year's Eve, what are you hoping to get out of an event rather than just wandering around? The main even is at midnight when the baby drops (the equivalent of the ball dropping) and there are fireworks. Since you can have open containers here, you can bring your own drinks in plastic cups or cans, purchased from a store or from a bar, to Jackson Square or the riverfront and see everything.

                The Pat O's thing seems very expensive to me for nothing you can't do better on your own. It's held at the Riverfront Pat O's event space at Jax Brewery which is sterile and soulless, rather than the actual bar. Do check out the real Pat O's on St. Peter's St and have a hurricane, but there's no reason pay that much for the event. Make dinner reservations as soon as possible for that night, somewhere in the French Quarter. If money is no object, go to Stella.

                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                  Wow, I really like your way of enjoying the town. I think we will do just what you said to do. I really hate to dress up on vacation anyway!! Definetly want to hit Pat O's, heard they have awesome Hurricane's. I'm an Irish Lass myself and prefer to hang out in them old town bars..lol. I read Stella menu, too fancy for my style..but I will search some others and make the reservations soon. Thank you so much for your input, much appreciated. It's difficult going to new places and not knowing anything. Thanks again!

                2. re: tdkaranj

                  It's not really within walking distance to the Quarter. You can take the St. Charles Ave. streetcar to Canal St. (the edge of the Quarter) but I'd recommend a taxi in the evening hours.

                  There is usually something going on in Jackson Square on New Year's Eve, possibly fireworks and live music.

                  1. re: tdkaranj

                    The map is very likely not to scale. With the streetcar, you ARE close to many things, so the actual distance is not really an issue. Also, on holidays, the streetcars can be "events" in their own right.

                    Enjoy,

                    Hunt

                  2. re: Big Easy

                    OK, thanks for that.

                    You are 1 block from St. Charles Ave, and the Streetcar, that can take you to the FQ (French Quarter). There are also connections from Downtown, and I **think** (no longer a local, and some of the streetcar lines did not exist, when I was) you can get to Frenchman St. Others can tell you definitely yes, or no.

                    Pat O'Brien's will likely be filled, and in each of their rooms/venues. One thing to remember is that most of the crowd will be tourists - however, when I am back, I am a "tourist," though will not be at Pat's that night.

                    For milder dining (not heavy on the heat, or the spices), The Rib Room comes to mind for an upscale beef-oriented meal.

                    In the FQ, and not too far off of Canal St., I like G W Fins, for upper-mid-scale local seafood. Talk to the server about preps, that fit your bill. Do not be shy, and just ask for his/her advice.

                    One staple of New Orleans is the po-boy (often called poor-boy), which is sort of like a sub, or hoagie, but with local ingredients. I am partial to the shrimp po-boy at Felix's, just on the edge of the FQ, and not far from G W Fins. There is no heat, unless you add Tabasco, and not that much spice (really hidden in the batter). Across the street, towards Canal St. is ACME Oyster House - similar to Felix's in many ways. One, or the other, would be a nice sandwich lunch.

                    There are several more, like Stella!, Bayona, and more, that are not at all heavy on the spices, and probably with very little heat.

                    As for entertainment venues, I'm getting too old for many, other than maybe a quiet band in the corner, and have not made it up until Midnight but once in many years. I toast the New Year in London, or maybe NYC, and then sip my Port, prior to bedtime... [Grin]

                    However, others can help you there. I was just thinking of how we get you to the FQ, or Uptown (streetcar), and then restaurants, that fit your bill.

                    Enjoy, and travel safely!

                    Hunt

                    -----
                    Bayona
                    430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

              2. You have chosen to stay in a lovely part of town with great architecture and I have always been curious about the Magnolia Mansion. You would be in walking distance of wonderful restaurants like Coquette. Places like Lilette and Abyssinia are a little further away on Magazine Street. Prytanaia also has an array of restaurants and bars near Delachaise Street and also at Upperline Street. There is also Delachaise (with small plate food options) and the Columns Hotel (with a blissful view from the porch of St. Charles Avenue). Personally, I find The Quarter too crowded and unpleasant for NYE. I think the show at Tipitina’s (a short cab ride Uptown) would be accessible and fun. It is a little pricey but includes bands like Galactic.

                -----
                Columns Hotel
                3811 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

                Delachaise
                3442 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

                Tipitina's
                501 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

                Lilette
                3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

                Upperline Restaurant
                1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA

                5 Replies
                1. re: AmuseWord

                  Thank you, the Mansion looks amazing and hosts sound like wonderful people. While I don't mind crowds, I chose to stay away from the to at least rest when needed, if there is such a think in N.O. I'm not to big on fancy menus, I like simple dishes, meat and potatoe, seafood and rice, etc...too many spices or fancy sauces are not our thing. I want romantic but simple, considering our Anniversary is New Years Eve! We enjoy the walking the streets with drinks and just stopping by a local pub and getting your groove on a bit and moving on, so perhaps the best thing for us is what the "uptownlibrarian" suggested, just move around and enjoy!

                  1. re: tdkaranj

                    visit the website-nomenu.com. he lists restaurants by type of food and by neighborhood. you are in a fun part of town. you can go one way and hang out in the Arts/Warehouse district. Then go Uptown to visit tons of cool restaurants and bars. You can go into the French Quarter for about 1000 different restaurants, bars and music joints. Or onto Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny for one of the best music streets in the world. there is so much to do in New Orleans, it's just plum crazy. For New Years Eve, i would just hang out. The Quarter has so many place to have fun, i'd hate to pay alot of money and be stuck somewhere.

                    1. re: califkatie

                      With all the recommendations to hang out and have great food and many different places..thats what we will do. Thank you all for your wonderful recommendations!! Happy New Year 2012!!

                      1. re: tdkaranj

                        I think you will do fine. i recently spent 3 days with a guest that was seriously picky and your explanation takes you out of that grouping. I think you will find most good N.O. restaurants will have something on the menu that will call to you and most will also make adjustments (hold the....., no....., etc) to try to please you.

                  2. re: AmuseWord

                    I'd like to second AmuseWord's sentiments ... the Lower Garden really is a nice part of town. When we were looking for a place to live, this neighborhood was in the running. Don't miss walking up Magazine St., there are some pretty cool places (Loisel Vintage Modern, Dirty Coast, St. Joe's bar, Mahony's, and so on). Note that there's a bus that runs up and down Magazine that's (usually) far less crowded than the streetcar.

                    A couple of things I'd add in your neighborhood: if the Circle Bar (at Lee Circle) is open again when you're there, stop in. There's usually music going and always a laid back crowd. If you're a fan of beer at all, stop at the Avenue Pub on St. Charles. The only thing I've ever eaten here are the dumptruck fries but but do they fill a certain need...

                    Also -- maybe it's just me -- I think NOLA's a great walking town. A meandering walk from where you're at to the FQ would take you by the St. Charles Tavern (2-for-1 highballs in the afternoon), the Circle Bar, Cochon (sit at the bar, try a couple apps ... they sound complicated but the reality is that it's solid Southern cooking), Lucy's, Vic's, and the Swizzle Stick Bar. So yes, it's a mile and a half but one with plenty of refreshment options along the way.

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                    Avenue Pub
                    1732 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    Cochon
                    930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                    Mahony's
                    3454 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA