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New Orleans restaurant for group of 10 during Jazz Fest!

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Jonathan Secor Mar 30, 2012 08:16 AM

i am taking 10 music/art students (college) to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and am looking for great restaurants that can handle a group.

Thoughts??

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  1. TaTee RE: Jonathan Secor Mar 30, 2012 10:28 AM

    Need the basics: what part of the city, what days, what meals and as Capitol One says"What's in YOUR wallet?"...what do you want to spend per person?

    3 Replies
    1. re: TaTee
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      Jonathan Secor RE: TaTee Mar 30, 2012 10:59 AM

      understood-

      staying in the quarter, but hitting most parts of the city at night to see/hear music (tipitina, maple leafeaf, frenchmen st etc) have some money thanks to a benevolent soul- $25-$40 range.

      lunch will of course be at Jazz Fest, breakfast on their own, so really looking at what restaurants for the evenings, Thu-Mon-preferably foods that they will not find in western mass.

      thanks!

      1. re: Jonathan Secor
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        alex70 RE: Jonathan Secor Mar 30, 2012 02:04 PM

        Dick and Jennys would be my suggestion. It's a fun spot

        1. re: Jonathan Secor
          TaTee RE: Jonathan Secor Apr 1, 2012 04:32 PM

          If you are going to the Maple Leaf for music, you can dine first at Jacques-i-mos. Lots of good restaurants in the Marigny/Frenchmen St. areas. You might want to take advantage of Dominica in the Roosevelt's 3-6PM Half Price pizzas...usually a safe bet with the college crowd. Take the "red lady" street car to Mandina's on Canal Street for some good food and local atmosphere. Charlie's Steak house is very New Orleans. If you want seafood, try
          the Galley Seafood on Metairie Road or Charlie's in Harahan.

      2. k
        kate7047 RE: Jonathan Secor Apr 10, 2012 11:20 AM

        I ran this question past my daughter who is undergrad at Tulane. She +1'd Dick and Jennys. It's very close to Tipitinas. Another place she liked which is very close by and really NOLA is Casamentos. About 4 blocks from Tipitinas and fantastic food but casual and cheaper. Further uptown and closer to Maple Leaf she mentioned Dante's Kitchen (I love that place too, but might be pushing the budget) and Camellia Grill. Camellia Grill is hardly fine dining but you won't find anything like it in Western Mass and it's open till 2AM if you're looking for food (burgers, fries and "freezes") after Maple Leaf.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kate7047
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          Jonathan Secor RE: kate7047 Apr 11, 2012 08:59 AM

          will definitely check out. thanks!

        2. nomadchowwoman RE: Jonathan Secor Apr 10, 2012 12:29 PM

          Just keep in mind that everything gets pretty crowded on JF nights, so with a group that size, make reservations if you choose restaurants that take them. Jacques-Imo's might be a good option (very local, foodwise, within the budget, funky atmosphere) if you're in that area, and they will take reservations for large groups, but make them now. Dick & Jenny's doesn't take reservations, but the wait can be fun.

          Unless you have cars or a big cab budget, I'd recommend against Charlie's out in Harahan or The Galley. (Besides The Galley has a booth at JF where they sell soft shell crab and catfish po-boys.) Casamento's does not stay open very late so if you're headed there after JF, you'd have to get there pretty quickly. It will be crowded.

          Another option: some pretty good food trucks will be near many of the music venues like Tipitina's or the Frenchman Street clubs. Those are very easy on the wallet, too.

          If you want to sit in a restaurant, I'd suggest you try to get reservations very soon.

          13 Replies
          1. re: nomadchowwoman
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            kate7047 RE: nomadchowwoman Apr 10, 2012 03:45 PM

            Dick and Jenny's is on Opentable now, but limited availability for JF weekend. I second the food trucks idea.

            1. re: kate7047
              nomadchowwoman RE: kate7047 Apr 10, 2012 04:02 PM

              That is great to know. Thanks. We haven't been in quite a while as my husband is impatient with long waits--and last time we were there it was a very long wait, but I do like their food a lot.

              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                uptownlibrarian RE: nomadchowwoman Apr 10, 2012 04:09 PM

                As far as I know they still don't take reservations during Jazz Fest, although they do at other times now. That's how it's been the past few Jazz Fests anyway.

              2. re: kate7047
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                BackBite RE: kate7047 Apr 12, 2012 05:19 AM

                Thanks for this tidbit! Scored a lovely 845pm reservation for 2nd Friday of Jazz Fest for me and my husband!

              3. re: nomadchowwoman
                nomadchowwoman RE: nomadchowwoman Apr 11, 2012 08:40 AM

                Thinking about some restaurants that might be able to accommodate your group during JF weekend: Cochon, Rio Mar (Warehouse District); Palace Cafe (Canal St.); Pelican Club, possibly Meauxbar Bistro (French Quarter). A few of these may stretch your budget right to the edge, depending on how you order and whether you'll be drinking, but maybe you'll want to do food trucks one or two nights to splurge a little on the others. Your main problem, with a group that size, is going to be getting a table. Without a reservation, that will be tough and mean long waits. But I'd pick out some restaurants and call them and ask if they'de be willing to put a couple of tables together. I doubt you'll be able to get reservations through Open Table at many places for that large a group .

                Just to put things in perspective, last year I spent considerable time (probably three weeks prior but I don't remember exactly) trying to get reservations for four the first weekend last year and six the second weekend, . We were able to get a res for six at Mike's on the Avenue, but it was packed that night (and while I know people who really love it, that night was a little disappointing). We also managed to get a table at Ralph's on the Park. And I was able to get a table for four at Sylvain on a Monday night. But none of these were first choices, and I was working with much smaller groups.

                1. re: nomadchowwoman
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                  Jonathan Secor RE: nomadchowwoman Apr 11, 2012 08:58 AM

                  Thanks for all the great ideas!

                  Currently have reservation at Herbsaint and Elizabeth's..it maybe food trucks from there! Or waiting in line with everyone else at Parkway.

                  1. re: Jonathan Secor
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                    montuori RE: Jonathan Secor Apr 11, 2012 09:21 AM

                    Both good choices. Since you have wheels, keep the possibility of Maurapas Foods (on Burgundy in the Bywater) and Bacchanal (the corner of Poland & Charters) in mind.

                    Maurapas gets busy but might be able to take a reservation still. Their dishes ring in at a reasonable price (I think everything's less than $15) and the food is very good. I had a flounder special (pan fried with grilled head on shrimp on top over braised greens with a scallop broth) there this week that was as good as you'd get anywhere. They also have a reasonable selection of veg options and a fine bar program (including some fancy non-alcoholic bevvies).

                    Bacchanal is a wine shop/bar that serves pretty high quality food on paper plates in their courtyard. (The disposable servingware doesn't do it for me but the food's good and they serve their wine in real stemware, so that's okay.) They finally got their music license, so will no doubt have entertainment. Really a low-key place that does a great job at what they do. I could see a group of students digging this place. (One of the big differences between eating outside in NOLA vs. MA is that the temps don't plummet once the sun goes down. Eating outside up north becomes a test of having the right clothing, that's not true here and should be taken advantage of!)

                    1. re: Jonathan Secor
                      nomadchowwoman RE: Jonathan Secor Apr 11, 2012 03:43 PM

                      Herbsaint is absolutely wonderful imo, so if you have a res there, hang on to it.

                      I second montuori on the Bacchanal idea and agree that it would probably be a hit with a group of students.

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
                        mzscahlett RE: nomadchowwoman Apr 22, 2012 09:32 PM

                        Completely agree w/ nomadchowwoman on Herbsaint. If you can budget it, you won't be sorry. Another late night option that is a big crowd kinda place might be Pascal's Manale. It's family style and not terribly fancy, but their BBQ shrimp is authentic and local and loads of fun for a big party to dine on. Enjoy!

                    2. re: nomadchowwoman
                      nomadchowwoman RE: nomadchowwoman Apr 23, 2012 11:14 AM

                      I want to withdraw my suggestrion for Palace Cafe. Not that it was ever a great place, but I thought it might be able to accommodatena large group. I happened to end up there a week or so ago, on a very pleasant night. We got a nice outside table, but that was the last happy part of the experience. The place was teeming with tourists,obvious because the couple of waiters were asking people first thing where they were from--and then suggesting drinks for them. After I ordered my drink, the waiter said "you must not be from around here because you ordered such a boring drink," at which point he tried to talk me into a Planters Punch, implying that that's what the locals drink (?). I informed him I was indeed a local but still wanted a martini. When the drink came, it was so awful, I had to send it back (something I almost never do), and another waiter suggested I try something else as though I didn't understand what a martini should be like. (Really, if a place like PC can't make a decent martini, they're in trouble.) The replacement drink came long after my sister had finished hers.

                      During the interminable wait for our food, we asked for bread four (!) times. We never got it. When the food finally arrived, it was cold. Mine was a salad, which would have been fine cold, but i had ordered a version with fried oysters (cold fried oysters--not good). My sister's dish was something with crab, a quich-like dish that might have been ok at room temperature had it not been sauced with a cold buttery mushroom sauce.

                      I got the impression that PC assumes its patrons are mainly tourists who won't care/ know the difference between good and bad food and service--an excellent reason for tourists and everyone else to stay away.

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
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                        hazelhurst RE: nomadchowwoman Apr 23, 2012 11:49 AM

                        Quelle disastre! I thought about suggesting Palace Cafe earlier but decided not to since I've not been in forever. There had been some talk about using it for a celtic society annual St P. dinner but now that you've posted, I think we'll give it a miss. Thanks for the heads-up.

                        Of course, it could get back on track....stranger things have happened(as I said last week, I was at Antoine's and it was markedly better than my previous visit pre-K/)

                        1. re: hazelhurst
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                          Jonathan Secor RE: hazelhurst May 1, 2012 06:36 AM

                          Thank you all for the great suggestions-

                          Had great dinners at Rio Mar and Elizabeths. Great food at both and great service. Herbsaint was a little less kind to the larger group. Food was decent, but came with poor service and no apologies for over an hour wait and folks getting food at different times. Rio Mar was great. Great service, food was fantastic, in particular their New Orleans version of Sepia, squid in its own ink.

                          1. re: Jonathan Secor
                            nomadchowwoman RE: Jonathan Secor May 2, 2012 10:11 AM

                            Wow, sorry to hear that about Herbsaint, one of my favorite restaurants. But I'm glad you were happy at RM and Elizabeth's. Hope you enjoyed the Jazz Fest.

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