Best Private Room for Saturday night dinner
Hi all... Coming to town in late March from New York, with 15 guys in tow for a bachelor party. After heading to NOLA some years ago for my bachelor party, I fell in love with the food, music, etc etc, and have been back for mutiple jazz fests, and look to make it a yearly tradition in my life.
We had a great private dining experience at Galatoire's that first trip and I'd like to find another restaurant of that caliber to do the same for this trip. We are all in our 30's and have the means to dine at one of the big boys, so I'm looking for something fairly high end for this meal. I completely understand that with the older restaurants it's often a compromise in either a bit of service or food quality, but we're looking for an overall, great, uniquely New Orleans dining experience.
So y'all... Please give me your thoughts on the best private dining room you've experienced in your wonderful city.
Thank you NOLA Chowhounders for the suggestions. Through what I've read here and on other posts, it seems August's wine room gets the nod most times. Unfortunately, their largest table is for 12, and I've get at least 16. GW Fins and Muriel's may not be what this group is looking for but seemed like places I'll have to hit with my wife at some point.
Given the cavernous amount of rooms available at Antoine's, I called them, albeit with much apprehension. The reviews as of late don't have very good things to say about the food or the service, which deeply concern me given the amount of money we're going to spend (we're big eaters AND big drinkers), and want to ensure we have the full experience and get our money's worth. Granted, I did speak to a waiter, Julien, who seemed very accommodating and even suggested I do a follow up call to iron the menu for the room. I booked the REX Room, and am looking forward to the evening.
Can anyone calm my fears about Antoine's? As I mentioned in my original post, I understand that some of the older spots have compromised a bit of quality over the years, but we're a group that expects a high level of service, and we all have fairly discerning palates (I mean, why would I be on CH if I didn't right?) Please tell me it's gonna be ok! Thanks again!
Antoine's is a great party restaurant. The Rex Room is more than enough for your size group and so long as there is no chandelier swinging you should be fine. Here's what you do: go down there a day before the party and meet Julien. Call him ahead and arrange a time when he's just getting off or before he goes on. You can get a look at the layout, go over the menu, etc. This way you are not walking in cold. Around town, the restaurant is favored for the Oyster Rock, the Oysters Foch, the meats and sauces. On larger parties it is my habit to call for a cash subscription for the busboy(s) becuase that's where tehhheavuy lifting is gonna fall. The waiter tips the busboy from his tip and if the cash subscription threatens to equal the waiter's gratuity then we give the waiter a chunk of that so he's not offended. You can make the offering to the busboy privately.
About 6 weeks ago I went to a dinner meeting in the Proteus Room and the dinner for 12 was better than the meal my wife and I had in the dining room a year earlier.
It wasn't a great meal but it was a good meal with good service and convinced me that Antoine's would be worth trying again. At least if were in the mood for atmosphere, history and tradition as much as for a meal.
This is a tradional menu so don't go expecting cutting edge, fusion cuisine.
Collardman and Hazelhurst - Thanks for the insight. Traditional is what we want. This is the night to throw on the jackets and act "fairly" civilized... at least for a few hours! The traditional fare is exactly what we're looking for. I was also hoping that guaranteeing 16 hungry/thirsty gents in a private room would be incentive enough for the waiters, etc to bring their "A" game, which it sounds like was the case in your experience.
Hazelhurst - I'm feeling a little naive as I eat out quite often, but I've never heard the term "cash subscription" for the busboy. Can you please explain so I don't stick my foot in my mouth when I get to the restaurant? Thanks!
Sorry for the confusion. If I sign the tab and put the tip on there then, if it is a big mob, I levy a surcharge on everyone just to help out the bus boy(s). Say the tab is $2,000 and you give him $20%...OK that's $400 and the busboy might get $80...$100. So we put the bite on people for a few extra bucks...$5 or $10 to help the kid out. But you don't want to insult the waiter. I've had parties where the cash amount got ridiculously high so I gave some extra to the waiter. But that is just a private deal...it is the way I run a table, not everyone.
Collardman is right to say this is not the cutting edge stuff. Think of these places as culinary museums without which none of the avant-garde would exist. But they'll usually be happy to playa variation, so long as it is not too far off teh Old Warhorse path. Antoine's marchand-du-vin, by the way, is a perfect rendition of the classic sauce. I'm not as crazy about their hollandaise but it is perfectly respectable.
A couple of additional options might be:
G W Fins - nice private dining room, though I think that it is full at 20, but 15 should fit fine.
Restaurant August - while they have space upstairs, the "wine room" should be just what you want.
Oops, now I see that EC mentioned Restaurant August. Missed that.
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse has a private room overlooking Iberville Street. I'm pretty sure we had more than 15 in there.
August has some nice rooms upstairs.
Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans has a great private room, and Chef Rene is there now.
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Rib Room Rotisserie Extrrdnr
621 Saint Louis Street, New Orleans, LA 70140
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse
716 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Muriel's has several private rooms. I think you would enjoy dining there. They also have a nice balcony overlooking Jackson Square if you would like to have drinks outdoors. Enjoy your visit.
Muriel's @ 801 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 568 - 1885.