Looking for new places to eat
Hi all, I am planning a trip to NOLA end of March. Used to live there, so I am familiar with the old standbys (Arnaud's, Commander's, emerils's etc), but we want to try some newer spots for at least one blow out meal, maybe 2 and also mid price. we also want to try some spots that might be oldies but we've never tried. So far, we're thinking about Cochon, Wilie Mae's and that's all we know about. we'd like to focus on New Oleans food (that is, not mexican or chinese, that sort of thing). What do you suggest? Thanks!
OK, first some questions, please:
"New," as of when?
Assuming that you will have an auto, and are willing to drive. Is that correct?
Is there a price range? Looking at the "possibilities," I'd guess "no," but wanted to be sure, especially with the "blowout dinner" comment.
There WILL be lots of suggestions, and almost all will be good to great ones.
Most of all, enjoy,
re: Bill Hunt
Haven't been back in about 6 years. We might have a car, still deciding. We have friends in Lafayette so we'd need a car to get there, I guess. But probably more local is better. we can get around NOLA by cab, or streetcar/walking. Hotel is the Marriott.
There's no price limit. Can't do it up every meal, but a splurge or two is fine. We also like the cheapies, too. I'm familiar with a lot of them (had to be-it was college, after all), but i know there's a lot we never tried that would be fun to experience.
I have heard about John Besh (is that the right name)-his places any good?
Am hoping for lots of ideas!!
I have only dined at Chef Besh's Restaurant August, and Dominica. While we had a great meal, and "over-the-top" service at Dominica, August is our choice. It is high-end, with an interesting "local, but innovative" menu. Dined there three times, and they ranged from very good, to excellent. They are on my short-list of recs. I really like most aspects of Chef Besh. Have not done Luke, but there are many, who sing its praises. I just cannot comment.
Now, have you dined at Stella!? If not, for a bit of a splurge, I'd add that FQ restaurant to the list. Some complain that it does not have a pure NOLA menu, but I have had six wonderful meals there, and enjoy the "Southern" influence, plus many NOLA elements.
Have you done G W Fin's in the FQ? If not, it offers local seafood, done with some interesting local recipes. It is a bit down-scale from Restaurant August, and Stella!, but very nice. They have also had some of the most attentive service, that we have encountered.
For something off the "culinary beaten path," if you have not done MiLa, it would be worth a look. It is a "fusion" restaurant, but likely not what one might think of, when the word "fusion" is mentioned - It's Mississippi & Louisiana "fusion." See what I mean?
Now, over six years, many of the locals will likely have dozens, upon dozens of great recs for you, and hopefully those will be new to you.
Like you, we do not get back, as often, as we'd like. When we do, we try to hit some of our great favs., and then add a new restaurant, or two. However, with the new restaurants, we have unfortunately just missed some - came and went, between some of our trips.
Trust the locals on this board - they are very, very good.
Enjoy, and travel safely,
Dijon is opening tonight! Chef Chris Cody, formerly of Pellicano, at the former FIRE location. A friend went last night and loved it.
My take on Besh Restaurants
Restaurant August (Fine Dining with white linen)-- my favorite fine dining in NOLA Chef de Cuisine Mike Gulotta puts out innovative local farm to table food with French techniques that makes Chef Besh proud. In addition, Pastry Chef Kelly Fields is a phenom--her take on banana pudding keeps my wife coming back (and threatening to eat dessert first). She has something to satisfy anyone's palate for dessert and Chef Fields always surprises. FYI the 3 course Prix Fixe lunch is a great deal ($20.12 in 2012...)
Domenica (Casual/Business Chic)--we continue to be addicted to the pizza's that Chef de Cuisine Alon Shaya turns out from the wood burning oven (spicy lamb meatball is to die for)--they even deliver in the Common Business District. If you want authentic Italian, this is the place to go--amazing charcuterie, pastas, roasted meats, and a die for roasted cauliflower. Pastry Chef Lisa has an amazing butterscotch cake in a jar that is my wife's 2nd favorite dessert in NOLA. Also the salted caramel banana king cake was to die for. A great place for a lunch or dinner any day of the week.
Borgne Restaurant (Casual)--Newest entry in the Besh empire, Chef de Cuisine Brian Landry has captivated my wife (a native of the Outer Banks of North Carolina + an adopted native of Charleston, SC) with his take on seafood. Great shareable apps that themselves make a great meal (including one of the great beers on tap or in a can). Restaurant August's Pastry Chef Kelly Fields has her grandmother's hummingbird cake on the menu! The entire menu is slowly being fine tuned (45 days since it opened). Great plea to catch lunch or dinner anytime of the week.
Luke (Casual)--A French-German Brasserie at its best, this was my first love of the Besh restaurants. Amazing raw bar, crab omelet, burgers and sandwiches, and comfort food (schnitzel, court bouillon, cassoulet, etc). A great light but filling lunch or hearty dinner in the heart of St Charles....love it so much my wife + I named our first son Luke!
American Sector (Diner/Casual)--Everything that you want out of a great diner--fried shrimp, great homemade pickles, large portions of meatloaf, great oyster stew, and milkshakes. This was my wife's favorite until Borgne and she keeps going back when I am out of town. Worth a trip for New Orleans classics and dinner specials with Chef Besh's twists.
Besh Steak (Casual/Business Chic)--Great steaks, I prefer to Emeril's Delmonico as a steakhouse. However this is a loud restaurant from the casino. But when I want a steak, we take people here. Have not tried Manning's which has had great early reviews
La Provence (Casual/Business Chic) I have yet to make it up ti La Provence because of the drive + my wife's schedule. Have made Easter Brunch reservations and will try to make it across the lake...
Remember--if you want fine dining/foodie level John Besh, you must go to Restaurant August. Domenica has earned raves as an Italian eatery. Borgne + Luke are under rated because the average New Orleans restaurant is above average in fresh seafood and fried seafood.
However, if you want consistently great food, all of his restaurants are great, and one of them will fit your needs and be memorable (though, besides Domenica, they currently are not foodie destinations)
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
333 St Charles, New Orleans, LA 70130
25020 Highway 190, Lacombe, LA 70445
Emeril's Delmonico Restaurant & Bar
1300 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130