Please Critique My Dining Itinerary!
- lilmoses Sep 13, 2012 10:37 AM
My fiance and I are taking my mother to Nola in early November. Any tips or recommendations would be great. Here's what I got:
Pre-Lunch stop at Felix's for some raw and char-grilled oysters!
Lunch at Mr's B's for some BBQ shrimp
Pre-Dinner Cocktails and Apps at French 75
Dinner Restaurant R'Evolution
Breakfast: Grabbing some beignets to go from either Cafe Du Monde or Cafe Beignet. Enjoying them on our balcony with some coffee and Mimosas. I've only had CDM beignets in the past.
Lunch at Galatoire's (Contemplating back-up if we cannot get the first seating)
Pre-dinner Cocktails at Carousel Bar or Hermes Bar
Dinner at Nola (this was toss up between Nola and Emeril's)
Breakfast: Thinking of grabbing something from Croissant D'Or and bringing it back to the room again. Are there any other bakeries that might be better or is this place legit?
Lunch at Muriel's
Bloody mary's at Bar Tonique before we head to the airport :-(
That is a good list with a nice wide selection of venues. You may get some comments on Muriel's, but if you're after nice experiences as much as good food, Muriel's fits.
The biggest flap will be between NOLA and Emerils. I like them both but I give NOLA the edge as I've had more consistancy there, the last few times the specials have been amazingly good, and, while both are noisy, NOLA is more casual and a little cheaper. But most here will say Emeril's over NOLA.
Fri, skip breakfast and opt for a first seating lunch in the garden room at Commander's. Like sitting in the tree tops, fun, 25 cent martinis, prix fixe. A more sedate, refined lunch at August, 3 courses, $20.12.
I'd choose Emeril's and stick to his standards. Portions are generous. It is a lively space. You may be too full for dessert, order a slice of banana cream pie for the table anyway.
Beignets " to go" cool down quickly (not a good thing). Closing the bag may soften them.
Cafe Beignet.- hands down the best beignets I've ever had. And so much faster than CDM. They make them after you order them so they are fresh. It takes a few minutes but no long lines like there are at CDM most of the time.
If you just must do Galatoire's on Friday then leave as is. But if it were me, I'd attempt Galatoire's on Thursday and back up with Mr. B's if you can't get seated. If you don't get seated Thursday you can try again Friday with a different backup.
Re: Friday lunch, you really don't want the so-called first seating. Let the first mob begin to dwindle..maybe 1:30 or so, probably later. Then go.
NOLA dining does not lend itself to 3 squares a day. There is so much that is so good that 3 is tough. We have never been breakfast people so enjoying an early great lunch with a late great dinner has always been our MO. Check out the posts on Felix's economic problems before committing. Based on our last trip, Mr. B's shrimp is all that is cracked up to be and R'evolution delivers. I would highly recommend some research on R'evolution as the room they sit you in may impact your experience. Commander's as a back up on Friday is a pretty good alternative. I am a big fan of Muriel's but have always done dinner. Can't comment on lunch but it's a great room with a great location and the food and service has always been spot on.
I think Croissant d'Or is legit enough - unless you're a hardcore aficionado, in which case you may just find it acceptable. And with all due respect to breakfast on balconies, for me the best part about C d'Or is sitting there in one of the window alcoves or their tranquil courtyard - which you might prefer too. Also re. breakfast take-out, I think beignets are better eaten immediately instead of carried in a bag even a block or two back to your balcony...plus sitting at Cafe Du Monde has its own unique "when in Rome..." charm, in my opinion.
And from someone who shares your appreciation for both booze and staying somewhere in the French Quarter with its own private outdoor space, you might instead prefer to utilize your balcony by picking up a nice bottle of wine at the Vieux Carre' wine shop on Chartres near St. Louis and having a glass or two al fresco in between all of those good meals.
I'd also save your app for R'evolution by skipping the apps at the French 75, where the cocktails far outshine the eats.
While I disagree with the people I've read who recommend lunch in the garden room at Commander's Palace to every visitor, I do second the person who recommended it for you (via streetcar) if you're taking your mother and most of your other meals are in the FQ.
And lastly, as somebody who also begins his Saturday mornings in New Orleans at C d'Or and ends them with Bloody Marys at Bar Tonique, you should investigate the place I like to dine in between - Bayona, which has inspired food, would be a nice place to take one's mother, and serves a 3-course lunch on Saturdays for $20something pp. Hope some of that is useful - have fun!
I, too, am excited about the Bayona Saturday special lunch. $25 from 11:30 - 1:30.http://www.bayona.com/food-wine/lunch... I am going to call to make sure they still have this for November.
Agree with Omni on Cafe Beignet (I like the Royal location with the kitties in the courtyard), and Croissant D'Or. Croissant sandwiches are great and a lovely cafe au lait.
Disagree about Bar Tonique but perhaps I need to try their Bloody's. I was with a bunch of local teachers and the bartender was rude and the whole place just tries too hard to be hip for me. For fun/convivial bar experiences I would choose Mr. B's, Pelican Club or Domenica over Bar Tonique.
Hey, drinking's serious business ... it's not supposed to be fun!
Actually, I'd add Sylvain to any list of convivial bars ... the crowd there is always and interesting mix of locals and visitors and the drinks are made with care. It's early days yet to see what the crowd's going to look like, but the bar formerly known as Pravda, now run by the Cure folks, belongs on any serious FQ bar crawl itinerary.
But then, I like Tonique. The lackadaisical approach to hospitality means that I can sit there with a book and nobody cares.
Point well taken - when alone, I like to sit at a bar and chat with the 'tenders (see my choices above) but this idea of bringing a book is brilliant and allows for more sneaky people-watching. See in No Cal we would only do that in a coffee shop :) but you have a distinctly NOLA twist to introverted drinking!
Also, OP I think Hermes bar is over-rated.
Can any locals give an update on the St. Charles streetcar? We were planning on doing that as an activity, so wouldn't want to have this really mess it up. If we got off in the Garden District, besides Commanders that we have a dinner reservation at, is there anyplace good to have a relatively light lunch?
As far as I know, as of earlier this week, the St. Charles Line is on bus service between Canal and Louisiana, which is the far end of the Garden District. At Louisiana you get off the bus and transfer to a streetcar. You don't have to pay again, nor do you have to wait. They have a streetcar there to meet the bus. I just checked the RTA website and didn't see any different information from this, but it can change frequently so it's best to check again right before you come. This information will likely be obsolete by early November.