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Feb 15, 2012 04:06 AM

This weekend's reservations, need happy hours and bars with music

friday: lunch at NOLA, dinner at Commanders Palace
Saturday: lunch at Cochon, dinner at Luke
Sunday: brunch at Atchafalaya, dinner at Herbsaint

recommendations for happy hours with oyster specials, and good places to listen to zydeco/blues/jazz are appreciated. Staying at the Ritz Carlton near the French Quarter. Thanks!

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  1. You do realize that it's the weekend before Mardi Gras? In general, you aren't going to find lots of "specials" on the biggest weekend of the year.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      Doesn't have to be a special...just quality bar food for a between meal hangout.

    2. Jeremy Davenport plays jazz in the Davenport Lounge at the Ritz Carlton on T/F/S. Here's a link to happy hours.

      1. Just a heads may want to re-think your Sunday reservations, because I'm not altogether sure how you will get to Cafe Atchafalaya (on Louisiana) unless your brunch time is well before 11am, since most of the streets providing access will be shut down by about 10am, and whatever cab driver you get will be very unhappy. Herbsaint for dinner in the middle of the Bacchus parade may not be the most tranquil setting for a great meal either. I'm not trying to be snarky, but you should be aware that even though you can easily walk to Herbsaint distance-wise, covering that distance during a megaparade can be daunting at best. You might want to leave an extra hour or so to travel... I find that most folks who visit New Orleans during this weekend vastly underestimate the extent of road closures and travel difficulties they will have, and this often leads to stressful situations. For instance, dinner at Commanders on Friday will also be a challenge, since Commanders is "in the box" and there is only a few ways into or out of the Garden District on Friday night. To make it easy, you should plan on heading uptown around 3pm, and spend time sightseeing around Magazine street prior to your dinner reservation, and then catch the parade after!

        14 Replies
        1. re: thursby

          That is an excellent point and of course streetcar service below Napoleon shuts off that weekend, too. You CAN get "inside the box"--I had a Commander's Bacchus-night dinner with friends several years ago--but for a cab it will cost you much-o deniro.(Fortunately our host had a limo)

          1. re: thursby

            Our CP reservation is for 8:30 - still a problem?

            1. re: brightman

              That should be alright. The driver can get out of the Quarter the back way and come around behind the pardes that are still Uptown. If the lead units of the parades are already downtown, he'll have to be creative.

              1. re: brightman

                The last of Friday's three parades is scheduled to start at 7:00, meaning 7:45 at earliest if all goes well, meaning it will be passing Washington at about 8:30. So yes, very much still "a problem" for anyone trying to get to Commander's by cab. Like the poster above, I'm not trying to be snarky but have you ever been to the city during Mardi Gras? You might need to reevaluate some of your scheduling.

                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                  Well, on Friday he can get out of the FQ, up to Jefferson, across to Tchoup and down, depending on when the last units roll out of Uptown.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    That's true. As long as the parade is off Jefferson by 8ish it's possible. Just such a nightmare to have to worry about it. I'd walk to Washington at about 5, watch the parades, and walk down to dinner at 8:30.

                    1. re: uptownlibrarian

                      Your idea is better, I think although I think I'd be a bit sweaty and not good company at dinner after jumping around for stuff, even at my age (it's conditoned into me. You know what it's like). The sure fire way with a car is to cross the river and come back. That gets you off behind everything.

              2. re: thursby

                Going to Arnaud's instead of Herbsaint Sunday...

                    1. re: Hungry Celeste

                      Hey, HC...when was the last time you were there? I keep telling myself that I should rattle over there just to reconnoiter. I know I've not eaten there since the 1990's..although I like the old bar a lot. I've always figured I'd be happier at my usual spot around the corner and would feel I'd rather have spent the $ there but I am trying to be fair to them. I gather Archie's family kept the place. Have you goten bad reports of late? I've heard nothing....

                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                        Cancelled Arnaud's, booked Stella for Sunday night...

                  1. re: thursby

                    Your advice was extremely helpful. We walked from the RC to the Garden District Friday afternoon, and went to Coquettue for an early round of appetizers before our 8:30 CP reservation. Highly recommended for the food and service. we shared the roasted oysters, pork rillette, and collard green ravioli, and all were excellent.

                  2. Commander's is much better for lunch than dinner. Emeril's flagship is his best (food and ambience). Luke's food is just ok. August is far better but apples/oranges. You can walk there. Getting around will be a problem due to parades. Streetcars don't run, streets are closed. Sweet Olive (creative takes on southern cuisine) recently opened in the Saint Hotel by the Coquette folks. It's located around Canal/ Baronne. Easy walk from your hotel.