Suggestion for a few more restaurants
We are going to New Orleans next Thursday for four nights. Due to some personal issues I've been very lax on my usual obsessive vacation food planning, so I need your help!
I've only been to New Orleans once and it was during JazzFest, so I've only been to August and the upstairs area at Cochon. My wife has never been. We'd like to get a good sampling of all of the different genres of New Orleans food. Also interested in some of the newer, more cutting-edge places. No real food or budget limitations.
So far, we have reservations at Herbsaint, R'Evolution, and brunch at Commander's. We are staying at the Roosevelt so will probably take advantage of the happy hour at Domenica when we land on Thursday afternoon.
So schedule so far:
Thursday L: Domenica
Thursday D: Herbsaint (though maybe we move this to Friday since we will have a late lunch)
Friday D: Maybe Root or Maurepas for something new . Is there a long wait at Maurepas?
Sat L: Commander's
Sat D: ?
Sun L: ?
Sun D: R'evolution (Reviews seem good, but is it "New Orleans" enough for a first time visitors? Or it is just a nice place like what we'd find in NYC. Maybe do one of Emeril's places instead?).
Monday L:? 3pm flight so have time for an early lunch. Central Grocery is closed on Mondays.
Places I was looking at to fill in:
Dragos esp for grilled oysters (or casamento's?)
Thinking of driving out to the plantations maybe Friday so could do lunch somewhere interesting in that area. Any ideas?
So what are we missing? Any more suggestions? What essential food items are we missing? (I guess po-boys one day for lunch?)
Thanks in advance, and apologies for the lack of research before posting....it's been a rough month.
You have a good start. You will have to get other's opinion on R'evolution, but it certainly fits cutting edge. In the Roosevelt area consider MiLa and Bon Ton for takes on LA food.
Emerils or NOLA are another version, all within reasonable walking distance.
"...is [R'evolution] "New Orleans" enough for a first time visitors?"
I would answer yes to that question. The theme of the restaurant is the seven nations that comprise Louisiana heritage, and so the ingredients (and even the cocktails) are all tied to that theme. The decor in the various dining rooms is imaginative and reflective of Louisiana history. And I don't think you can expect to find dishes like the wonderful "Death by Gumbo" back in NYC. Some report varying issues with the service teams, but I think even with a few service bugs it is a unique dining experience that is well worth having.
I'd suggest Cochon Butcher for the Monday lunch before heading back to the airport. Their muffaletta is excellent (and travels well), and there are many other sandwich options there. We brought home some of their delicious house-cured sausage and enjoyed Louisiana flavors for a couple of weeks after the trip.
For the Sunday lunch I'd suggest either Elizabeth's in Bywater or Atchafalaya in the Irish Channel for their brunch menu. Both places serve well-prepared food in a casual atmosphere and will take you into a different neighborhood.
People rave about the char-grilled oysters at Drago's at the Hilton, but there is almost no love for anything they serve, so it may not be a great stop for anything more than a plate of oysters. If you'd like oysters as the prelude to a seafood meal, I think you'd enjoy GW Fins.
We really liked our meal at the flagship Emeril's location in the Warehouse District, and their drum was perhaps the single best-prepared dish I was served throughout a week of fine dining.
Enjoy your trip, and let us know your impressions afterwards.
I agree with everything you just said. I might add a trip to Jacques Imos for dinner on Saturday night. It would offset the lunch at Commander’s well with its casual atmosphere and the food is great, but can be a little inconsistent. The wait is usually quite long, but you can walk down the block and enjoy a few cocktails at the Oak Wine Bar. The Shrimp and Aligator Sausage Cheesecake is my single favorite dish in New Orleans. There are so many good Sunday brunch options, but better make a reservation if you want somewhere nice. One of my favorites is Dante’s Kitchen. One other new, really cutting edge place is SoBou in the W French Quarter. It was just named one of the Top 20 new restaurants in the country by Esquire Magazine.
Ditto Dante's Kitchen but they do *no*t take brunch reservations. We had no problem getting in on the early side of brunch. Coquette or Patois are other fabulous bistro options for brunch outside of FQ or CBD and they both take reservations through OT. Good options if you want to take streetcar all or part of the way and/or get some walking in. Patois is very close to Audubon Park which is gorgeous to walk around/through. Please give us a trip report.
Great description on R'evolution. On our one visit (very soon after their hard opening), the food was good to very good, and the service, though a tad spotty, was good to very good, as well.
We found enough promise (maybe not fully realized on that visit) to warrant a return trip on our next visit. The word "potential" keeps coming to the fore in my mind, and my wife (the NOLA native) feels the same way.
Gotta' give them another go, and I feel that the glitches that we encountered will have been ironed out.
I spoke to a man last week who said he enjoyed a swell meal at Houmas House plantation in Burnside so you might want to look into that if you go that far north. Hymel's in Convent, below the Sunshine Bridge, is the usual lunch spot in that area. That would be before or after Oak Alley, I think..
I think Luke might fit the bill for a tip of the hat to the Old Style. Certainly at Commander's get their turtle soup. Emeril is fairly solid on the standards and you'll get decent stuff there. I had dinner with some friends last week who were raving about August...I have not been there in months, though. The best shrimp remoulade (red) in town is at Galatoire's.
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A few suggestions--all outside of the French Quarter and/or downtown:
Toups' Meatery, 845 N Carrollton in Mid City: http://www.toupsmeatery.com/
Boucherie, 8115 Jeanette, just off of Carrollton: http://www.boucherie-nola.com/
Brigtsen's, 723 Dante St: http://www.brigtsens.com/menu.html
Gautreau's, 1728 Soniat St: http://www.gautreausrestaurant.com/