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Sep 9, 2012 04:39 PM

3 day trip to New Orleans end of September - Need Advice

My fellow Chowhounders, I live in Boston and have been very impressed with the quality of restaurant advice on this board. I am hoping to get feedback/suggestions for a 3 day weekend trip with my wife (our first trip alone without the kids in too many years!). Our trip is the last weekend in September, and we are staying at the Garden District B&B (Magazine St). We arrive on Fri afternoon, and then fly out Monday afternoon.

We both love food, and tend to prefer modern, inventive and fun cuisine. Our dietary issue is that my wife is pescatarian and keeps kosher, so she eats no meat, but does eat fish but not shellfish or catfish (I eat everything). In general, we've found that a really good restaurant with at least one dish she can eat is better than a less-good restaurant with a lot of vegetarian friendly choices.

Would love to get other Hounds' comments/ suggestions on food, or also any music/other suggestions for that weekend, or in general. Also, we are thinking of spending the morning/early afternoon hiking at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, so would appreciate comments suggestions on this as well. My draft of an itinerary is below:

Friday (arrive 12:45) possibly late lunch near the hotel
Dinner: Cochon
Cocktails Cure!

Jazz brunch at Commander's Palace
Dinner at Green Goddess

[Possible morning/early afternoon hiking at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park]

Breakfast/lunch: undecided
Dinner at Dick and Jenny's

Breakfast/brunch undecided,

Many Thanks!

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  1. Your selections are good, but I don’t think you will be blown away by anything. Green Goddess has lost chef Chris deBarr so not sure it’s still up to snuff. Dick & Jenny’s has seen better days and I think Cochon is overrated. Try some of these- Herbsaint, Coquette, Clancy’s, Root, R’evolution and I like Surry’s or Old Coffee Pot for breakfast.

    6 Replies
    1. re: shanefink

      I agree with shanefink re: over-rated Cochon, and concur about both Herbsaint and Coquette. I would heartily suggest Boucherie for one of your dinners, and Dante's for brunch. Both close to Carrollton/Riverbend and an easy cab ride (or combo walk/streetcar combo) from your B + B. Modern, inventive and fun!

      You might want to consider Patios for a late Friday lunch if you can get there by 1 or so - they close at 2pm and are on Laurel & Webster close to Uptown side of Magazine. Have fun - I do not get back to NOLA until November and would love to hear about your trip.

      Off all of these Coquette is closest to your B + B and is one of the BEST bistros in town, IMO.

      1. re: karendor

        I think you are right on Coquette although I am far from regular there since I just default over to Clancy's. I canot figure how Cochon could be considered pescatarian or kosher but the place never impressed me so maybe there is something I overlooked.

        1. re: karendor

          shanefink & karendor, I'm curious what don't you like about Cochon? The lunch I had there was very solid.

          1. re: karendor

            I agree re: Cochon. I wanted to love it, but always leave thinking "I should have gone elsewhere".. Totally underwhelmed.

            1. re: JazzyB

              Well, I'll say this (and have said it before): Cochon may be just dandy for someone from out-of-state who hasn't seen this stuff before. I'd rather get the same thing(s) from some place on HWY 352 or HWY 31 or an number of other places. Nothing _wrong_ with Cochon but my impression is that they cannnot do it just like (say)Arnaudville because they are appealing to a larger group. That's just a guess. But cracklins is cracklings, and some people prefer one version, other like something else. There ya go... [And I'm not keen on the trick presentation but that is something that always galls me).

          2. re: shanefink

            Agree - D&J's used to be one of my faves, but the food there is so disappointing the last few times I've been back. Also agree that Cochon is overrated and Herbsaint is much better. I thought Root was neat but one of my dishes was an epic, oversalted failure, so they are still working out some kinks, I guess.

          3. I like Shanefink's suggestion. Also, Jean Lafitte Park took a beating in Isaac so check to see if they are even open. My guess is that many of the boardwalks have been damaged. There are few alternatives as all the swamp tours around N.O. were also in heavily storm damaged areas. If we get a few more cold fronts the alligators will also have started thinking about hibernation.

            1. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions! I've taken your advice and modified our plan:

              Friday (arrive 12:45) possibly late lunch near the hotel (maybe Magasin Vietnamese?]
              Dinner: R'evolution
              Cocktails Cure!

              Jazz brunch at Commander's Palace
              Dinner at Coquette

              Morning/early afternoon hiking at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. Looks like the park is open but some trails remain closed due to damage from Isaac. Hopefully more will reopen in the next few weeks.

              Late Lunch at Galatoire's
              Possible dinner at Three Muses (any thoughts on the quality of food and music here?) or maybe Baru - I am thinking we will want something lighter after the big lunch.

              Breakfast/brunch undecided,

              I am disappointed to hear Dick and Jenny's has gone downhill. I went there about 6 years ago on a business trip and enjoyed it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Tom_Swift

                While Coquette is good, I'd liken it to a "poor man's August". August is more polished and a notch or two above. They offer a vegetarian degustation for about $60. Their desserts are excellent, especially the napoleon of nougatine with chocolate bavois and salted toffee ice cream.

                That being said, there's a good chance you'll want to eat light after brunch at Commander's. Perhaps a first seating at brunch and a later dinner rsv.

                Food at Three Muses is good. Be forewarned...ordering an array of small plates can run as much as dinner elsewhere.

                1. re: JazzyB

                  I always have better service at Coquette. Look around next time you’re there. Everyone really seems to be enjoying their job. I like that.

                  1. re: shanefink

                    Sorry I wasn't clear. I meant the food was more polished, although the service is as well however, not a determining factor.

                2. re: Tom_Swift

                  If you are going to Galatoire's Sunday afternoon, remember (A) jacket all day--you'll have the Sunday church crowd there and (B) if you are there from, say, 3:00 onwards, you won't want dinner.

                3. Thanks again. Seems like opinion here and elsewhere on the board is divided on Chochon, but after looking at the menu it definitely looks like a bad fit for my wife.

                  Looking at the map, I decided to replace our Coquette dinner with August, and will try to get to Coquette for lunch when we arrive, since it is so close to our hotel.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Tom_Swift

                    Tom_Swift, sounds like a very fun plan to do Coquette for your first lunch. It is so much fun, and the service is usually top-notch. August is (in my mind) much more sedate and white-tableclothy but not to be missed. I think Three Muses is great fun for music/ambiance (very small, sit at the bar) and the food is good for the setting (small bar) but it reminds me of fun "tapas" in any locale not necc. NOLA-Centric. It is certainly a great spot to launch an evening on Frenchman street. For that last breakfast you may want to consider the earlier recommendation of Surrey's Cafe and Juice bar as they have the two Magazine locations; Surrey's Café and Juice Bar 1418 Magazine Street 504-524-3828 · (more info) · Surrey's Uptown 4807 Magazine Street 504-895-5757