Bachelor Party - Which Two? - Cochon, La Boca, NoLa, Domenica?
Headed to New Orleans in mid-january for a 2 night bachelor partyy; a Saturday-Monday MLK holiday stay. There are about 10 of us. Young Professionals in our early 30's. We like more upscale places, price is not a concern. We're staying at Le Marais.
I've read a number of posts. We're very interested in some cajun/creole dining. It appears there are a few spots that are highly recommended for bachelor parties; Jacque Imo's, Cochon, NoLa, K-Pauls, etc.
Since we will be there for 2 nights, I was thinking we would do one night Cajun/Creole and the other something different. The BIG problem I have is most places are closed on Sundays (our second night)
So, my choices are down to:
La Boca on Saturday (closed Sunday) and NoLa on Sunday.
[Jacque-Imo's or K-Pauls (to do something more dressy one night and casual the second), was my preferred Sunday choice or Cochon, but all are closed.]
OR we could do:
Cochon (closed Sunday) on Saturday. And Domenica on Sunday.
My concern with Cochon is that the menu is very "unique" and pork heavy (e.g. cochon, ham hock, pork cheeks, hog jowls, etc.) and this might be a little hard for some of our more unadventerous members of the group and one person who does not eat pork. Would some of the less adventerous eaters have an issue with Cochon?
My concern with La Boca is that it is a very typical argentinian steakhouse - which we have many of in NYC - and some reviewers said it was small in size? Although it appears the group menu would be very good for our crew; men certainly love steak.
My concern for NoLa on Sunday is that it may be too formal. As mentioned, I was hoping to do La Boca on Sat and something more like Jacque Imo's or K-Paul's on Sunday.
Any advice on the most suitable places for Saturday and Sunday dinner? Or other can't miss places for brunch, lunch, dinner?
Based on what I've read, I think we are going to pass on Jazz Brunch at Commanders, etc. A mistake? But certainly drop by Felix's for oysters, Central Grocery or Coop's Place while in town,
As well as do cocktails at the Carousel Bar/Sylvain/Whiskey Blue and a night out in Frenchman/Warehouse. Any advice on what to do Sunday night? Maybe Bourbon Street? And do Saturday in Frenchman/Warehouse?
I've done Cochon with a pescatarian and it worked out fine as they always have a couple of fish entrees plus delicious wood-roasted oysters and other seafood starters (plus chicken, rabbit, beef, etc entrees) but given the combination of non-pork and non-adventurous eaters in your group, I'd spare yourself the aggravation...particularly if those descriptions are polite code for "picky". Instead, pop in to Cochon Butcher during the daytime for one of their superb mufalettas made with house-cured meats, which rivals the best sandwiches anywhere in my opinion.
I haven't been in a long while and its a safe bet that someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but NOLA is relatively casual per my recollection and seems like a solid, down-the-middle Saturday choice given your group and criteria.
Since Sylvain is on your drinks list, take a look at their food menu too - they do clever interpretations of straight-forward dishes that would appeal to both the food-lover in you and the less adventurous eaters in your group. They're open on Sunday and its a nice starting location for a night on either Bourbon or Frenchman Streets.
Lastly, its hardly my food bible but seems like an appropriate reference for advising a bachelor party: Men's Journal gave a brief write-up recently for a nice neighborhood restaurant off the tourist radar (unless they read Men's Journal) that's Drew Brees' favorite restaurant - Ye Olde College Inn. The food was good on my last visit and the proprietor grows some of the vegetables served in the adjacent lots and offers live music most nights in the bowling alley he owns next door - all of which makes for a pretty unique set of elements. I'd never seen it mentioned when I do my own research here, but it came recommended by a tasteful friend in the neighborhood and might be up your group's alley (pun intended).
I think anyone who does not eat pork will not be very happy with the menu at Cochon. And it definitely helps to be at least semi-adventurous. Personally, I'd go with a Creole option over country/Cajun, if I had to pick one over the other.
Domenica is a restaurant that is really hitting its stride, and it has an energy that I think will appeal to your group, if you are ok with going with Italian cuisine one night.
I don't consider NOLA to be especially dressy, and that would be especially true on weekends, when you won't get the after-work folks in their business attire.
At last report, Felix's still had not regained its liquor license, so if you go there you may want to bring along a beverage from another establishment in a "go cup." If the object of your visit to Central Grocery is the famed muffaletta, you might consider a visit to Cochon Butcher instead. They serve up an outstanding muff, and that would give you a chance to check out a Donald Link establishment, if you don't end up dining at Cochon itself.
A good alternative to a brunch at a top tier place like Commander's would be Atchafalaya in the Irish Channel or Elizabeth's in Bywater. Casual atmosphere and very good food at both places and a chance to see other parts of town.
I think Bourbon Street gets old in a hurry, but an evening of music on Frenchmen Street is great fun. Three Muses on Frenchmen serves some very tasty small plates craft cocktails.
In addition to Frenchmen, give a thought to St. Claude (just after Elysian) as well ... Siberia, the Hi Ho, the All-Ways, and (on Franklin St.) Mimi's usually have something going. A little further out than Frenchmen but the scene is trending upwards. All that's still a walk. As I'd mentioned in a previous post, there are pop-ups in Siberia and Hi Ho and a kitchen at Mimi's ... all decent good bar snack/soak up the booze food.
Further out in the Bywater is Bacchanal, always fun in a group -- wine centric, if that matters and would be a cab ride.
Drink wise: in addition to the Carousel Bar and Sylvain, in the Quarter there's Bar Tonique on N. Rampart and Pravda/Perestroika on Decatur. The latter has recently been taken over by the crew from Cure which means top notch drinks and $6/drink happy hour before 8 in the lower part of the FQ. I'm pretty psyched about all that. They also have a huge courtyard if the bar's looking full. Impossible to find though since the sign's gone ... two doors or so upriver from the Abbey.
Thanks for the feedback.
No one commented about La Boca. Does that mean it should be a pass? I was drawn to it by it's highly touted group menu - which seems to be a good value for a meat-forward group.
Personally, I love the menu at Cochon and it seems to have gotten tremendous feedback for a bachelor party venue. But I am concerned about some of the "picky" eaters not enjoying themselves.
So in terms of a good pairing for Saturday/Sunday night which would be most conducive to a bachelor party atmosphere with one night Creole and one night other:
Cochon/Domenica or Sylvain
Jacque Imos/Domenica or Sylvain
NoLa/Domenica or Sylvain
Galatoire's/Domenica or Sylvain
Doing some further reading, it seems like a number of people have recommended Jacque Imos for the scene itself. It seems like there are some differing opinions on JI's.
I'm now kind of leaning towards JI's/Sylvain or Domenica (which ever would have the best atmosphere) for the single men in the group?
Or, is La Boca a scene as well?
The scene itself is definitely what is not in dispute about JI's. I have only eaten there once, and I didn't think the food was memorable, but I try to reserve judgment based upon just one experience before I'd discourage anyone else. I would not go out of my way to go back, but I would not hesitate to return as a prelude to music at the Maple Leaf. I'll defer to other more frequent patrons.
As young professional single guys, I think you'd find the scene more to your liking at Domenica over Sylvain. Domenica draws a diverse demographic, but (at least when I have been there) it has been heavily weighted toward young professionals. It is modern, lively, and fun, and the food is first rate.
I don't think of La Boca as having much of a "scene" but if you want to go in the steak direction, I think you'll have a perfectly good time there.
NOLA and Jacque Imos both have fun atmospheres...those are places that come to mind for your group. Domenica is fun place as well and you could have drinks after dinner the sazerac bar. All three are good choices. Sylvain is rather small. I think of it a date night place to go instead of a group of guys.