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Going crazy trying to decide. Mr. B's, Antoine's or Galatoire's?

shanagain Feb 1, 2012 03:25 PM

Forgive me, I know these types of threads must be terribly annoying after the 885'th one.

I've been to New Orleans several times now, but haven't hit the big three mentioned in the title - Galatoire's, Antoine's or Mr. B's. Help. The rabbit at Mr.B's is calling my name, but Galatoire's and Antoine's are, well, Galatoire's and Antoine's.

Of the three which was your most memorable meal? As you can guess, we're staying in the Quarter and plan to dine "well" only one night of our trip, preferably in the Quarter so that we're in easy walking distance to our hotel (Royal Sonesta). But if I'm missing a "you MUST eat here if you eat anywhere!" choice, please feel free to toss it into the mix.

One caveat - my husband is allergic to shellfish, so I prefer a restaurant with more than one or two "token" non-shellfish dishes.

Thanks in advance.

ETA: NOLA? Gahhhh. We did this last year, couldn't decide, didn't decide, and had sports bar food on what should've been our "something nice for us" night. Needless to say I don't want to let that happen again.

  1. shanagain Feb 1, 2012 03:47 PM

    OK, no more edits, no more questions... I think it's between Mr.B's and NOLA.

    2 Replies
    1. re: shanagain
      texasredtop Feb 1, 2012 05:59 PM

      My husband had a wonderful filet once at Mr. B's before he decided to don the bib and eat the shrimp. He loved the shrimp but didn't want to peel them so I would give him one of mine. He finally decided to start having the shrimp as they were so good. But his steak was really good too.

      We've only eaten seafood dishes at Gal's but everything I've had there is very good. If you can't get into Gal's for some reason, you could walk around the block to Mr. B's. But I would suggest reservations anywhere they are taken.

      1. re: shanagain
        s
        shanefink Feb 1, 2012 06:18 PM

        I don’t think Mr. B’s is worth going to unless you like shrimp. The best thing on Galatoire’s menu is the pompano so that’s a good option. Antoine’s is hit-or-miss. How alergic is he to shrimp? I mean, does he get a little red and his eyes water or does his throat close and you have to rush him to the hospital. Because if it’s number one, I say get the BBQ Shrimp and deal with the consequences later. Just kidding. I ask this because I have a cousin that is alergic to shellfish and he gets sick if it’s cooked in the same fry oil that he chicken wings are cooked in. If it’s anything like that, be very careful and ask lots of questions because many restaurants use seafood stock in their sauces. NOLA is good, but it’s not at all similar to the first three restaurants you mentioned.

      2. edible complex Feb 1, 2012 05:41 PM

        Galatoire's rocks a mean lamb chop bearnaise.

        2 Replies
        1. re: edible complex
          FoodChic Feb 2, 2012 08:08 AM

          Yum!

          1. re: FoodChic
            shanagain Feb 2, 2012 10:15 AM

            I know - reading menus has been exquisite torture!

        2. shanagain Feb 1, 2012 07:27 PM

          Y'all are making it hard all over again. Such a wonderfully hard decision to be able to make.

          OK, so now I'm thinking NOLA is an "eh, it's good..." but it's not the other three. Am I reading correctly?

          11 Replies
          1. re: shanagain
            s
            shanefink Feb 1, 2012 07:54 PM

            Not really. It’s just totally different. The other three are old school restaurants with similar styles, classic New Orleans dishes and the decor would be along the same lines. NOLA is totally new school where, as someone said on here recently, Emeril tests out his new menu items. It’s much more modern looking inside. Also Galatoire’s and Antoine’s have dress codes and NOLA and Mr. B’s do not.

            1. re: shanefink
              texasredtop Feb 2, 2012 05:42 AM

              Mr. B's used to require a jacket at dinner and have a dress code but I don't remember the rest of it. It was similar to Gal's but not quite as strict. I don't find it on their web site now. It's pretty dressy even at lunch. I've only seen once someone not in dress clothes be seated and they were a group of workers in uniform overalls and they took them to the back. I've never seen anyone in there in jeans and a tee shirt and I only go at lunch.

              1. re: shanefink
                h
                hazelhurst Feb 2, 2012 07:00 AM

                I have nothing against NOLA but it is the kind of place where, after the meal, I find myself saying to myslef "It was good but I'd rather have spent the money at "A' "B" or "C" ". The reason for this is that I am more regular a customer at A,B, & C and always see friends and visit with the staff.

                Antoine's is known locally for it famous Rockefeller, of course, and that is out of your picture. But it is also generally regarded well for its meats, especially the filet with marchand du vin, which is classic 19th century style. Sides are good, solid things. Mr B's is not old line but is perfectly fine for the BBQ shrimp which, obviously, are off the playing field again. I do not know a thing about Mr B's non-seafood items. galatoire's has plenty of non shellfish stuff, trout, tasty chicken dishes, sweetbreads, lamb chops bearnaise, filet...all these are standards and the sauces are great. Do not expect what the world has been conned into believing is Fine Dining: this is a neighborhood shop with quirks. If you go, dress up and show up about 3:00. relax. take your time.

                1. re: hazelhurst
                  FoodChic Feb 2, 2012 08:10 AM

                  I agree about NOLA, hazelhurst. My first experience was AWFUL, returned several years later and had an oustanding dinner. The third experience (2010 at Christmas) was meh...left me without love or hate, but not wanting to go back.

                  It's like I posted yesterday, there are too many wonderful, and high quality, restaurants in New Orleans to settle for just okay food.

                  1. re: hazelhurst
                    shanagain Feb 2, 2012 10:16 AM

                    Thanks so much for your input. As I mentioned I realize it must get annoying to answer variations on the same question over and again, so I truly appreciate your help - and that goes for everyone who replied!!

                    1. re: hazelhurst
                      Bill Hunt Feb 2, 2012 05:57 PM

                      I've only dined a couple of times, and each was very, very good. We had some special-needs diners, and they did not miss a beat.

                      Just my limited experiences,

                      Hunt

                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                        shanagain Feb 2, 2012 09:40 PM

                        Bill, we're over our ridic. cornbread fight, correct? May I ask of which restaurant you've spoken of in your comment?

                        And fwiw, I don't believe for a moment that your Crescent City dining experiences are limited. Any advice? In particular, now that I've chosen Galatoire's and will likely steer toward fish or shellfish, are there any half bottles (my husband cannot/will not be convinced to like wine) that I need to consider?

                        1. re: shanagain
                          Bill Hunt Feb 3, 2012 05:15 PM

                          Oh sorry, I was referring to Hazelhurst's comment on NOLA (the restaurant).

                          For the local seafood, with some local preps, I am a fan of G W Fins, in the FQ. Do not recall half-bottle selections, but they have the vast majority of their wine list in B-T-G offerings.

                          Now, and slightly off-topic, we are big fans of half-bottles, as we love to pair wines with each course, and ordering a half-dozen bottles is out of the question, when it is just the two of us. Even if we opt for B-T-G, or full-bottles, I always thank the sommelier for having a good selection of half-bottles - something that one does not see often enough.

                          Good luck, and enjoy!

                          Hunt

                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                            shanagain Feb 6, 2012 11:41 AM

                            Thank you. :)

                      2. re: hazelhurst
                        shanagain Feb 2, 2012 09:34 PM

                        Ha, oysters are out of HIS picture, not mine! I'm the food-obsessed member of this partnership, he's ridiculously and fabulously easy-going.

                        Why, why, why is February 15th so farrrrr awwwayyyyyyy?

                      3. re: shanefink
                        c
                        collardman Feb 2, 2012 10:03 AM

                        Just a minor correction. Emeril, read corporate, rarely dictates the food in the restaurants. There is corporate input on keeping/cutting old standards. The menus and new dishes are the work of the Chef's du Cuisine or Sous Chefs. with the blessing of the Chef and sometimes corporate.

                        I think most Chef led chains give freedom to the individual restaurant Chefs. Corporate installs them because they are competent, hopefully on both the culinary and business side.

                    2. N.O.Food Feb 2, 2012 08:22 AM

                      Your initial question is easy: Galatoire's by a long-shot. I've had to eat at Antoine's twice over the last month. Blech.

                      Between NOLA and Mr. B's I'd pick NOLA. Mr. B's is a borderline tourist trap.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: N.O.Food
                        shanagain Feb 2, 2012 10:14 AM

                        Interesting. I've definitely swung back towards Galatoire's - I realized if I look at it as if "I'll never get back to New Orleans, so where should I go" then the answer is easy. I've been confusing myself with promises of later trips... but life is funny sometimes.

                        So. Here's another question (I'm like a four year old): Would you reserve a table for dinner upstairs or take your chances downstairs on a Thursday (in particular, the Thursday just a few days before Fat Tuesday)? I realize downstairs can get a little crazy with Krewe parties this time of year - which is not a bad thing at all, just wondering if it's worth it to wait.

                        1. re: shanagain
                          texasredtop Feb 2, 2012 10:38 AM

                          On dates where a lot of things are going on in town, no doubt, make your reservations. You can always see if there is something available downstairs and cancel your reservation when you arrive. But during MG, I seriously doubt you will be able to get a seat downstairs before 2 or 3 PM. And don't hesitate because the upstairs gets booked up fast too.

                          1. re: texasredtop
                            shanagain Feb 2, 2012 12:12 PM

                            :) Here's the plan - reservations at 9:30. 5:30 was available, but not exactly perfect timing for us.

                            Thanks again for your help. I am so excited. (I'll make sure my husband wears his nicest Ed Hardy t-shirt and my daughter's ipod is charged... /snark-tease)

                            ETA: Editing and second guessing strikes again... Or *should* I have gone for the 5:30 to enjoy the whole experience?

                            1. re: shanagain
                              texasredtop Feb 2, 2012 02:32 PM

                              Whatever you do, don't cancel one reservation until you have another in it's place. There are parties and other things that will block places out for the entire night that you won't be aware of until you call. You're not going to get the "experience" upstairs that you do down. You'll get a better glimpse of it at 9:30 I'm sure as the party will have had time to get in full gear by then. You could go a few minutes early and request to remain downstairs in the entry area while waiting on your table and see what the hoopla is all about. I've never been at night but Fridays at lunch and all week days at lunch the week before Christmas are profound hoopla. lol

                              1. re: texasredtop
                                edible complex Feb 2, 2012 07:57 PM

                                go early and sit upstairs at the bar have a Brandy Milk Punch before your 9:30.

                                1. re: texasredtop
                                  shanagain Feb 2, 2012 09:15 PM

                                  That's exactly what I did - made the 5:30 then cancelled the later res.

                                  And I'm going to follow both edible & N.O's advice, in a way, as well - we'll go ahead and show up a bit early, enjoy a drink or three (thank goodness my husband isn't allergic to *that!*), cross our fingers and hope for a downstairs seating.

                                  I am so excited that it's almost ridiculous to think I'd thought of any other restaurant during our stay.

                                  And I've decided not to even bother looking at the online menu (uh, again, lol). I am at the mercy of our waiter, which sounds exactly as it should be. Although, I am agonizing over the wine list... I'm a planner at heart, I can't help it.

                                  Also, SCORE! A reason to buy a new dress. Y'all just don't know what rural western TX is like... and I know many of you don't care to. ;) But I'll make the jello shots (er, yeah) the next time you're out Abilene way as a humble (pineapple juice, coconut milk, rum & lime) thanks for everyone's help. :)

                                  1. re: shanagain
                                    texasredtop Feb 3, 2012 05:51 AM

                                    Oh sweetie, I do know what western rural Texas is like - lol. And it is wonderful too, in its own way. Enjoy your meal at Gal's, enjoy the show at Gal's, enjoy your whole trip! I always love making a trip to NO and feel like I'm home even though I personally never lived there. My Maw Maw was born there but raised up on the Atchafalaya. My great grandmother taught school there. When Maw Maw and Paw Paw got married, they moved there and he was a street car conductor. They moved away long before I was born but I went there often growing up. It's draws me in and makes me feel like time has not moved quite so fast. It brings back memories and comforts me. If I go too long without being there, I get cranky.

                                    My husband says Gal's has the best shrimp remoulade in town, and I love the souffle potatoes. Please don't forget to report back.

                                    Bring a big purse and carry some comfy shoes in it for the parade.

                                2. re: shanagain
                                  N.O.Food Feb 2, 2012 07:56 PM

                                  Personally, I would make a res at 530, show up, and try to sit downstairs. If it's a long wait, you can sit upstairs with your reservation. If it's a short wait, you can have a drink at the bar. I like downstairs better, primarily for the decor, not so much for the scene that can develop certain days. I'm not sure about that thursday, though. It could be quiet or it could be nuts--I'm guessing nuts.

                                  Imo some of the best parades, e.g., Muses, are that Thursday so that might be a consideration. If you can get in around 530, you'll be finished eating by the time Muses gets down that way.

                                  1. re: N.O.Food
                                    shanagain Feb 2, 2012 09:18 PM

                                    We caught the Muses parade last year and wouldn't dream of missing it this year, so my only hope is that I have time to run back to the hotel and change shoes for the parade.

                                    1. re: N.O.Food
                                      h
                                      hazelhurst Feb 3, 2012 05:55 AM

                                      There will be a certain Secret Organization gathering at the Monteleone that day and many unnamed members will appear at the restaurant in the afternoon before they may-or-may-not be riding in a parade beginning uptown. They will descend upon the restaurant in unnkown numbers at about 3:00. It should be easy to get in for downstairs by 4:00 or 4:30 because many people eating there have to be Uptown by 5:00. This leaves plenty of time for a relaxed dinner AND get to see Muses et alia.

                                      1. re: hazelhurst
                                        texasredtop Feb 3, 2012 06:00 AM

                                        Secret organization? Occupy Bourbon Street? :-)

                                        1. re: texasredtop
                                          h
                                          hazelhurst Feb 3, 2012 06:08 AM

                                          Actually, when that all started, we had an "Occupy Galatoire's" event in solidarity.

                                          1. re: texasredtop
                                            Bill Hunt Feb 3, 2012 05:18 PM

                                            LOL!

                                            Hunt

                                          2. re: hazelhurst
                                            shanagain Feb 6, 2012 11:42 AM

                                            Such fantastic advice, thanks!

                                3. r
                                  rouxdauphine Feb 3, 2012 08:47 AM

                                  You can also hit the Hermes Bar at Antoine's during Happy Hour - reasonably priced beverages and a pretty good bar menu.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: rouxdauphine
                                    FoodChic Feb 3, 2012 12:33 PM

                                    Love Hermes!

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