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Feb 20, 2012 03:05 PM

Galatoire's (after all the agony of deciding)

After agonizing over our choice for Thursday night, we stuck to the Galatoire's reservation. We arrived at roughly 9ish, were immediately seated downstairs, had a sazerac in my hand before I knew I'd ordered it, and turned my decision making over to our young waiter, Scott*.

We actually ended up with only two courses, which worked perfectly, as we just weren't that hungry (though we should've been as we hadn't eaten all day).

My husband (of the seafood allergy) started with the duck & andouille gumbo, which was, hand's down, the best thing on the table. Seriously, it was fabulous. Smoky and perfectly seasoned, it has become the gold standard for gumbo, forever raising the bar for us. My turtle soup was rich and delicious. A winner, but I'll dream about that gumbo.

His pompano with lemon caper beurre blanc was the 2nd best of the night (he has a knack for always receiving the best item of the night). Just perfection. My (off-menu) speckled trout with crabmeat Yvonne was delicious, if the crabmeat, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms were maybe a bit overwhelming for the trout. Still a perfectly executed piece of fish, with a liberal HEAP of crabmeat, it was rich just to the point of excess, begging for a bit more and then more again lemon. You can imagine that after that, dessert was simply (sadly) out of the question.

In short, while the food was good, and even excellent in spots, the dinner wasn't worth the money for the food, but for the absolutely wonderful atmosphere and service. So yes, I get it. And we'll be back, no question. There's just something about the the whole effect that makes it such An Event, but at the same time you leave feeling as if you've had more fun at an elegant restaurant than you'll have once back outside on Bourbon. (Well... ;)

Some highlights - the silver is lovely, the dining room is splendidly raucous, and it was rather fun to be both the youngest AND most sober patrons in the room, and trust me when I say that particular bar isn't set too high!

I appreciate the advice given on my earlier thread, and enjoyed every moment of our dinner.

*Scott, I am embarrassed to admit I don't recall exactly what we tipped you, I definitely hope it was enough for your help!

Galatoire's Restaurant
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. Glad that you "mostly" enjoyed the meal at Galatoire's.

    I am less a fan of some of the various seafood renditions (and not specific to Galatoire's here), as I find that some of the crabmeat + other things, a bit "overwrought," and I usually enjoy a bit more simple prep, and especially for speckled trout - a lean trout almondine, or similar, is more to my liking, than the various "stuffed," or "topped" versions.

    Thank you for your review!


    PS - I hope that you DID tip Scott adequately. When I have been drinking (almost every meal after breakfast, something that happens to me often), I worry about similar... [Grin]

    5 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      I agree - I think I really messed with my memory of that fish by having oysters on the half shell the next night - I've been craving simple lemon-butter on broiled filets ever since we arrived home.

      1. re: shanagain

        LOL, yes, we have hit Galatoire's, after a week of indulgences, where we DID sample some very, very rich dishes, only to ask, "Do you not have something without a pound of butter... ?"

        Once, we both could handle it, day after day, but then are much older now (I am, but wife seems not to be, but that is material for another post), and after a week of indulgent, fine-dining fare, in a wonderful city, like NOLA, we sort of "hit the wall," and back off a bit.


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          NO is my favorite dining city on earth and Galatoire's is one of my favorite places there. In fact, I just realized that I have never been to NO and not eaten there. Having said that, every time I head home after three or four days there I crave a green salad with little or no dressing!

        2. re: shanagain

          They will be happy to do the fish with less butter or even none...or they way your Aunt Daphne did it with Saltine crust and mustard if it comes to that.

          1. re: hazelhurst

            On a previous trip, we were "overloaded," an my wife made just that request. I was met, and with a smile. Nothing wrong with that, at least in MY book.


      2. Nice write-up! I've been the youngest there but probably not the most sober...

        1 Reply
        1. im a little confused say the dishes were fabulous, delicious, perfection, excellent, heaps of crab, plus the was service good and the atmosphere fun...but the meal wasnt worth the money? what made it fall short?

          4 Replies
          1. re: kibbles

            I think this sentence sums it up best - "In short, while the food was good, and even excellent in spots, the dinner wasn't worth the money for the food, but for the absolutely wonderful atmosphere and service." But you have to emphasize the word "food" in that sentence. (Oh, Chowhound, what is WITH the lack of bolding/italicizing on the boards, anyway?)

            His gumbo was amazing, my turtle soup was very good - but nowhere close to that gumbo. His fish was delicious, as was mine, but mine *needed* the lemon juice and salt I added to cut the richness a bit. So for the food alone, it wasn't worth the price. (By the way, heaps of crab is a good thing... but as I pointed out, it overwhelmed the trout a bit.) So there are some subtle problems amid moments of perfection/excellence and deliciousness. Maybe I'm just nitpicking. It's been known to happen. :)

            The atmosphere and service, however, elevated the experience to one that I wouldn't have missed for the world.

            1. re: shanagain

              Suare sounds like nitpicking to me! :)

              1. re: shanagain

                if heaps of crab overwhelming the trout is a problem, call me a problem-solver :)