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Revised Itinerary - visiting NO over Christmas

I posted this at the end of my original thread and am posting here as well. I am looking for advice on my itinerary (below). Thanks in advance to you wonderful (New Orleans and other) hounds.

New Revised Itinerary - The trip is now less than 3 weeks away - I can't wait!

Monday December 24th - arrive evening and cab to hotel.
Dinner - GW Fins or R'Evolution. Mass at St Louis Cathedral.

Tuesday December 25th
Lunch at Domenica. Walk around the French Quarter. Try to catch French Market marching band.
Dinner at Cafe Adelaide. Go to nearby bar for jazz before and/or after dinner. Frenchman street?

Wednesday December 26th
Lunch at Boucherie.
Dinner at Herbsaint. Jazz on Bourbon Street.
Sightseeing - WWII Museum and Garden District

Thursday December 27th
Lunch at Parkway (po’ boys). Gelato at Angelo Brocato sometime after lunch.
Dinner at ? Jazz uptown
Sightseeing - City Park (possibly evening as well for Celebration in the oaks) and French Quarter in the morning for beignets and French Market

Friday Dec 28th
Lunch - Cochon (take muffaletta to go)
Sightseeing (am) - ?

I still have a dinner to fill in for the 27th. Considering Antoine’s for higher end, Nola, or something else from my list (below). I also have a few sightseeing spots to fill.

I did not put in any breakfasts because everyone suggests that 3 meals a day is too much, however, if we wake up early and feel like breakfast the places we’d like to go are Stanley’s, Surrey’s, Old Coffee Pot or Elizabeth’s.

I appreciate all input and suggestions! Thanks for your help so far. We are looking forward to a great trip!

Galatoires, R’Evolution, Mr. B's, Bayona, Emeril's, Stella, Clancy's, Coquette, August, Lilette, Brigtsen's, Cafe Giovanni, GW Fins, Mr. John's, Commander's, Willie Mae's, Pascal's, Felix's, Brocato's, Emeril's, Herbsaint, K Jean, Domenica, Irene's, Patois, Bozo's, Central Grocery, Café du monde, GW Fins, Drago’s, Bayona, Cochon, Coquette, Herbsaint

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  1. Clancy’s or Brigsten’s would be good for your missing dinner.

    1. Since it will either Fins or R'evolution on the first night, I would plug in the one that you don't go to on that night for the open dinner. I think you'd have a better experience at either of those spots than at Antoine's.

      On the 26th, be warned that you won't find much real jazz on Bourbon Street, or the French Quarter overall. Preservation Hall and Palm Court are keeping the flame of traditional early jazz. The best venue for music in the FQ is Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta ( http://www.sonesta.com/royalneworlean... ). The show they have lined up on the 26th looks excellent, by the way.

      There is so much music on Frenchmen Street that it is well worth spending more than one of your music nights there, and it is right across Esplanade, so it is a short ride or an enjoyable walk from anywhere in the FQ.

      I know it sounds touristy, but for your last morning, I think you'd enjoy a tour from Tours by Isabelle. They have a tour that includes the Katrina recovery zones, but also takes you into other parishes, along the shore of Lake Ponchartrain, through the Garden District, City Park, etc. It includes a walking tour in the St. Louis cemetery and another stop to walk in the amazing sculpture garden by the art museum. The guides are very knowledgeable, and they will pick you up and drop you off from your hotel. It is a good way to see some parts of the area you may have missed when exploring on your own, and you will learn a lot in a single morning. http://www.toursbyisabelle.com/

      I'd try to work in some snacking....oysters ar Casamento's. beignets at Cafe Beignet, etc. See some of the bars like Napoleon House, French 75, Sazerac, Bar Toniq.

      Your plan is very solid and you will have a fantastic time.

      1. if you make it to Mid-City/City Park for the lights, have dinner at Redemption.

        1. Thanks for all the helpful information so far.

          Gizmo, we are actually considering a tour on Christmas Day as we assume that not much will be open. Tours are pricey though, and we usually just meander about a city by ourselves, however, I think we would really enjoy having a guide. The Isabelle tours look interesting as they don't seem to be on a bus which would be nice.

          Also, are the oysters at Cassamento's cooked or raw? Neither of us are into raw oysters.

          Edible complex, this is the first mention I've heard of Redemption. I will have a look at their menu.

          I think I may end up just going on Thursday night to whatever restaurant was missed on the first night, however I will have a look at Clancy's and Brigtsen's menus just to make sure we wouldn't enjoy one of those more.

          Thanks again for your help!

          10 Replies
          1. re: TeacherFoodie

            you srsly cannot go wrong with either Clancy's or Brigtsen's.

            Redemption is an old church that was renovated into a restaurant. In a previous life, it was called Christian's and had the best smoked soft shell crab. Clancy's does them and if they have any, be sure to get one. Redemption kept the sss on the menu, so be sure to try one there too.

            1. re: TeacherFoodie

              Yes, the Katrina recovery tour we took was in a very comfortable little van with a small group which made it easy to ask questions. Our guide had worked for decades in the state museums and she was truly a fountain of interesting facts about the city's rich history.

              Casamento's also has cooked oysters, oyster stew, and lots of other seafood as well. Menu here: http://www.casamentosrestaurant.com/m...

              Enjoy your trip and please let us know afterwards about your experiences.

              1. re: Gizmo56

                I always report back - you can see my San Francisco and Boston reports if you look me up. I also report about restaurants I try where I live, on my must-try in Toronto thread.

                I have to admit I have been a little surprised at the lack of responses on the New Orleans board. I do appreciate the responses I have gotten, and thank you Gizmo in particular, I guess that based on the amount of responses I received for SF and Boston, I was just expecting more people to pipe in.

                1. re: TeacherFoodie

                  Looks like you've done your homework and have some great choices, maybe that's why no one responded. Here's a tip, skip Cafe du Monde and try Cafe Beignet. Two locations, one on Royal, one on Bourbon. Excellent beignets and breakfast croissants.

                  1. re: texasredtop

                    Thanks texasredtop, I actually hope to go to CDM and CB for beignets and see what I like best! I love sweets so I'm happy to visit two places for beignets, or more!

                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                      Let us know what you think. Once I had CB, I never got another bag from CDM.

                  2. re: TeacherFoodie

                    Boston has a few really good restaurants at the top end and a few at the cheap end and almost nothing worth mentioning in the middle. (I'm from and still work in Boston and live there in the summertime.) Recommendations go a long way there, there are many middle of the road places with unseemly price tags. Plus the Boston CH doesn't miss a chance to be judgmental.

                    (Incidentally, you did very well to hit Erbaluce ... if you end up there again, eschew the menu and ask the chef to send you things.)

                    NOLA, on the other hand, has a distinct middle ground. For instance, you're going to hit Frenchmen St. ... it'd be tempting to recommend Adolfo's: they have excellent lamb chops, really the best around. The problem is that Adolfo's is a far cry from fine dining -- service is ... rough, cash only, no rezzies, and at least three people here will respond with "don't go." So it's not high end and it's not exactly cheap, so does it get a recommendation or not? I go and bring people there who really like it ... but would you? And is it where you want to "blow" one of your dinners? Recommending Dominica, Herbsaint, Bayona, Galatoire's, Coquette, and the like is very safe. (Cochon used to be but boy has CH turned on that one ... I for one still love the place.)

                    So here's a recommendation: if I were at City Park, I'd consider both Cafe Degas and Lola's. The first is French-ish, mid-priced, and in my experience always a solid B+ place where I have a great time. Lola's is Spanish, casual, cheap-ish, and hopping (really, there's always a buzz there). Neither represents what people think of as "New Orleans" food but you'll be fed well for not outrageous money and will probably have a good time.

                    1. re: montuori

                      Thanks for the tips montuori. The menu at cochon looks great and we will definitely be having a lunch there. My husband is big into smoking meats, and has made his own jerky, pepperettes and bacon, so when I saw this menu I knew it would be a good stop for us.

                      I am hoping to return to Boston one day soon!

                      1. re: montuori

                        I have been underwhelmed twice at Cafe Degas with poor service, meh food, and cattle-car seating. The last time was with out-of-town guests who probably questioned my sanity for bringing them there. Go at your own risk.

                        1. re: Big Easy

                          And counter-point. We took Euro guests to Cafe Degas for lunch about 10 days ago and we all loved our dishes. Service was satisfactory. The only complaint is cramped tables.

                2. I have decided to take Gizmo's advice and do Fins on our first night in NO and R'Evolution on the Thursday. The rest of the itinerary will remain the same, but I feel like there is something missing. I was considering a lunch at Galatoire's originally, but did not add it. I am also considering Antoine's for a lunch after I read that someone recently had a very good experience there.

                  I appreciate everyone's help so far. Thank you! I cannot wait to get to NO!

                  1. Question - Would I feel under-dressed at any of the restaurants on my itinerary wearing jeans and a nice sweater? Would running shoes be inappropriate at any of the lunch places? Thanks in advance for any help!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                      I certainly would not wear jeans and running shoes to Commander's, Antoine's, or Galatoire's....ever. Even though Clancy's has relaxed its standards I never go there with anything short of a blazer and necktie athough I have sat next to someone who just finished the marathon and doused himself with a bucket of water.

                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                        Frankly, I wouldn't go to any of the restaurants on your list in jeans and a sweater at dinner. I would definitely feel underdressed. I also wouldn't wear running shoes anyplace for lunch, but that's because I only wear running shoes for running.

                        1. re: uptownlibrarian

                          I'm with you but I've seen extrodinarily lax clothing at Domenica and GW Fins. I think Hersaint would require more effort and Revolution too although hotels nowadays are notorious for telling their tenant restaurateurs to lower the bar. In less than ten years' time I fully expect to be outnumbered by jeans, fanny packs, baseball caps and every hand-held mobile annoyance ever made.

                        2. re: TeacherFoodie

                          I guess I should have specified nice jeans and a nice sweater. I don't mean holey jeans and a hoodie. I'm thinking along the lines of nice dark jeans and a blouse and sweater.

                          We'll be in running shoes at lunch because we will be doing a lot of walking before and after, with the exception perhaps of lunch at Domenica on the 25th.

                          Thanks for you help so far.

                          1. re: TeacherFoodie

                            No, I assumed you meant nice things. I still would feel underdressed. You may feel differently.