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Update to 4 Lunches, 2 Jazz Brunches, 7 Dinners, et al Thread......

Hi, Thought it easier to set up a new thread...the original one was getting crowded and impossible to read. I have taken all the advice and set up what I consider a good compromise between what I was looking for and the wonderful suggestions of many. I do have, as you will see, one lunch question and an interesting addition that I would like help with....here goes:

Wed: Arrive late afternoon and have casual dinner at Desire at the hotel (Royal Sonesta)
Thur: Lunch at Domenica or Mike's on the Avenue.....I am leaning to Mike's for location, uniqueness of menu and the fact that the dinner menu at Domenica looks better than lunch and I would not go there for dinner. MIke's allows me to explore Magazine St/Garden District in the afternoon. Dinner on Thursday would be at Herbsaint.
Fri: Lunch at Sylvain and explore Jackson Square, perhaps French Marketplace...then drinks later at Napoleon House. For dinner, August....there....one "John Besh meal!!"
Sat: Starting with the Jazz Brunch at Commander's Palace then perhaps a little more Garden District. Dinner at Brigtsen's.
Sun: "Traveling Lunch": First, the bar at Mr B's around noon, then a table at Galatoire's around 2pm for more.. Later, doing Happy Hour at Arnaud's French 75 bar then dinner at R'Evolution.
Mon: This one was a unique addition: Brunch at Brennan's.....omelette suggestions welcomed!! For dinner, doing The Pelican Club.
Tue: St Charles Streetcar to Boucherie for brisket at lunch; then, later, Happy Hour at Antoine's Hermes Bar and last dinner at GW Fins.
Wed: Pick up muffalettas at Central Grocery....then off to the airport.

We're, still, 6 months away.....I do like to plan early (even know exactly what room I am getting at the Royal Sonesta); so there could be a change or two (like the chef leaving Le Meritage and new ownership); but this itinerary gives me a lot of flexibility each day and combines the old with the new.
I would be happy to also receive anyone's suggestions as to what "signature meals" they would have if they ate at any of these choices. Once again, I thank everyone who has contributed to, what I firmly believe, will be my best vacation ever (and will be my first of many trips to NOLA). VG

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  1. Only tiny detail I would offer is that if you were drawn by the lunch cocktail specials at Mr. B's, I doubt they offer those on Sunday. But that's probably not a big factor.

    And GW Fins is not a New Orleans-focused restaurant although many here like it a lot. I just point that out because of your focus on history etc... But looks like a great list!

    4 Replies
    1. re: kukubura

      Thx.....As far as Mr B's....thought about the BBQ shrimp at the bar and not too worried about specials...when on vacation, I don't look at prices...it's the one characteristic of eating/traveling that I have never changed. I only look for what I want and never factor in the cost...If I like something, be it for a dollar at MacDonalds or 100 dollars at JeanGeorges Prime Steakhouse here in Vegas...then that is what matters. Sorry for the monologue...lol. As to GW Fins, just cannot deny the amount of postive reviews as to the quality of the menu...the lobster dumplings and wood-grilled fish are calling out to me...might also have to have the fried lobster tail (can never have enough lobster!).....

      1. re: VegasGourmet

        Sounds good. Also glad you're checking out the Pelican Club. It's off a lot of visitors' radar and we had a really great meal there a couple years ago. We particularly liked the first dining room: Dark wood, great Michalopoulos paintings (his gallery is right next door). The other rooms had harder surfaces and reflected the noise from the enthusiastic diners a little more loudly. But it was a terrific classic creole meal. And the service was top-notch.

        1. re: kukubura

          Thanks for the +1 on Pelican Club.

          I've been following this thread closely for our upcoming xmas week trip, and Pelican Club Reveillon menu was near the top for either xmas eve or xmas day...and perhaps Galatoire's xmas eve. After which we might follow with a day of steamed fish. salad no dressing and clear soups to purify for our last two days.

        2. re: VegasGourmet

          VegasGourmet, I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading this thread and learned so much. I'm heading down to NO next week and all of the advice here has been a huge help. I'm curious how your trip turned out and what places you enjoyed the most. I'm in the process of trying to narrow down my own list. If I'm missing a follow-up post, I apologize.

      2. For Thursday, based on your desire to head uptown between lunch and dinner, I'd suggest lunch at Herbsaint and dinner at Coquette.

        20 Replies
        1. re: noradeirdre

          Still not quite certain about Coquette and prefer the dinner menu at Herbsaint to their lunch menu. I am much more into "serious food" at dinner and "fun/casual" at lunch.. Coquette just looks like it's trying too hard and I do not get a sense of "comfort" from the menu. Obviously, I am being subjective based only on the menu (and pics and reviews).....Do you have any thoughts as to my original decision as mentioned?....Domenica or Mike's

          1. re: VegasGourmet

            I haven't been to/heard much about Mike's. I do like Domenica quite a lot. Coquette is probably one of the consistently best restaurants in the city, just my 2 cents. I've been there countless times over the past 2.5 years and have always left feeling well fed, happy, and comforted. Their menu changes pretty much every day, so what you see online is only half the story.

            Maybe lunch at Coquette and dinner at Herbsaint? Do Domenica for your casual dinner on Wednesday night instead of Desire?

            1. re: noradeirdre

              Vegas - I too say to replace your casual dinner at Desire with somewhere else. We enjoy the bar and oysters but didn't find the other food to be very good at all (think you can find much better). For close casual, like the Red Fish Grill across the street from the Sonesta - esp. BBQ oysters and soft shell crab special or Acme. I agree that Acme is not as good as in the past but still get much joy from the half shell and grilled oysters as well as the Peacemaker or RB poboy. Haven't been to Domenica (or Mike's - DH would never go for it) but from everything I've read would definitely bet much better than Desire.

              Other options, after a rest, throw on some kahakis & polo/capris & nice top, and stroll the FQ to Irene's, Muriel's, NOLA or go for the "feed me" at Louisana Bistro for a lovely first meal.

              So glad to see Mr. B's as a lunch instead of dinner and the addition of Galatoire's; however, I'm worried about your enjoying your experience at R'evelution - that is just A LOT of great food choices in a relatively short time frame. Also, glad to see Brigsten's - best pecan pie ever.

              We do enjoy Brennan's for breakfast every couple of trips - always find the atmosphere to be fun and brings back great memories from my visit as a child. Can't speak for the omelet but be sure to get the bananas foster.

              Add a cocktail on the porch at the Column's while in the GD.

              So glad your post is getting so much response - I have gathered a lot of info for our new tries next month.

              Happy eating (LuckyCat from TA)!

              1. re: Bldrswife

                Hi "wife"...many thx for the feedback....In my original posting, I was going to Muriel's for the Jazz Brunch and also was very interested in Lousiana Bistro (but not the tasting menu (dietary restrictions of my wife)....I did not get much in the way of positive input on La Bistro and Muriel's was a negative.....I was able to pull up Irene's menu from a website and was not impressed with selections (I know that people do enjoy it), and have also read in a number of places that they really limit their reservations and prefer walk-ins to reserving a two-top. Also did not get much encouragement for NOLA. I'll check out Red Fish, read too much negative on Acme (especially trying to do a dinner)....Might just also clean up and dress a little...then sit at Arnaud's French 75 for some bar food and adult beverages...just might be more relaxing.
                I do have a side question...open to everyone to answer, please......SMOKING......I do not and prefer not to be exposed to it while drinking/eating. Will I have a problem with that anywhere that serves food (to include bars)...I cannot discern that from the websites.
                Thx all....

                1. re: VegasGourmet

                  Perhaps, Remoulade would be an improvement over Desire and still allow us to be more casual after the long day's trip....still get some of Arnaud's dishes; but much easier access.
                  PS: Did some research and it looks like French 75 might be the only place that I would have to avoid with the smoking permits.

                  1. re: VegasGourmet

                    I think Desire would be better replaced with Luke in the 300 block of St Charles. It is a newer, Besh place and is a doff of the hat to the places like Kolb's German joint in my youth. Its a pleasant spot.

                    As to the dinner lunch issue posed elsewhere, I'd opt for dinner at Antoine's and Arnaud's just because that gives you more time. Galatoire's can be run all afternoon and into the evening which is what I suggest. If I went at 2:30 on Sunday I probably would not leave until about 7:30 or 8:00. As far a dishes go, the historical interest fairly demand the pampono en papillote at Antoines and, of course, the Oysters Rock. Arnaud's signature dish is their remoulade although I have a preference for Galatoire's remoulade. At the latter, since it is to be summer, you;ll have the pick of the litter on crabmeat. Crabmeat Yvonne..garlic, mushrooms, butter...and some more butter, or crabmeat Sardou..lump crabmeat over creamed spinach in artichoke bottoms with hollandaise dumped all over it. Also to best restaurant coffee in the City.

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      Superb idea....I liked that menu at Luke a great deal. OK, to put Antoine's and Arnaud's into dinner slots, I have to replace two of the following: Herbsaint, August, Brigtsen's, R'Evolution, The Pelican Club and GW Fins. I am leaning to eliminating R'Evolution and August; but would appreciate your feedback....perhaps Pelican is too much of the "old school" and leaving August in would make more sense. Thoughts?

                      1. re: VegasGourmet

                        That dilemma is tough. I have not eaten at Revolution and probably won;t until sometime next eyar. August has been good on my trips. I have a friend who loves GW Fins although I seem to always feel I'd rather have spent the money elsewhere. Nothing bad, really. Pelican Club is not on my radar. So I'd probably dump Pelican Club and GW Fins but as I am not a great follower of Mr Folse I could easyly sacrifice Revolution, too.

                        1. re: hazelhurst

                          Hazel.....Galatoire's for late/long lunch/early dinner (make it a nice "one-meal day").....and switch R'Evolution to Antoine's for a dinner. Gonna keep Pelican Club and GW Fins and make Arnaud's French 75 (hopefully not many smokers there when I go) for a Happy Hour/afternoon stop.

                          1. re: VegasGourmet

                            Antoine's will give you Food History in spades...a lot of people would reverse that choice on a short visit just because Revolution (I am not going to play the spelling game)is the new hot ticket and it is certainly evident that they are using top-notch ingredients. And, as opposed to Arnaud's French 75 I'd just be back at the Usual Stand but that's because I live here.

                            You might want to chat someone up at Antoine's at the Hermes so you have an inside man when you go to dinner. I find that if you stop in beofre going to a new place, to have a look at teh menu and case the place, you can get a contact. I did that once in Normandy and ended up in the kitchen with the chef watching him make Coquille St. Jacques.

                            1. re: VegasGourmet

                              When at French 75, be sure to go upstairs to see the cool Mardi Gras display, and to peek at some of the other dining rooms.

                        2. re: VegasGourmet

                          Have eaten at Remoulade a couple of times and have been very disappointed every time. We will not be returning.

                          1. re: Bldrswife

                            Agree - would take Remoulade off the list

                            1. re: pizzajunkie

                              Hi again....Taking the new (and old) advice...especially Hazel (thanks again), the following should be a fantastic vacation (I even added one more day to the trip...cause, why not?..

                              Tue: Long day traveling, getting settled in at the Royal Sonesta....should be a fun/casual dinner at Luke.
                              Wed: Lunch at Bayona....explore the FQ, drinks later at Napoleon House. The dinner at August.
                              Thu: Bus down Magazine St to lunch at Lilette, lots of window shopping (and some buying). Classic dinner at Antoine's with drinks before at the Hermes Bar.
                              Fri: Fries & Champagne, at least, at Sylvain for lunch then explore Jackson Square, beignets for dessert at Cafe DuMonde. Taxi to Brigtsen's for dinner and that "Shell Beach Diet"
                              Sat: Commander's Palace Jazz Brunch, explore Garden District, drink at The Columns. Dinner at Herbsaint.
                              Sun: Late lunch...into late afternoon....at Galatoire's. No Rush Here.
                              Looking to walk the FQ a little and stop in to Mr. B's to have BBQ shrimp at the bar with drinks early eveningm making it a one (and a half) meal day.
                              Mon: Brunch at Brennan's, then more playing in the FQ. Dinner at The Pelican Club.
                              Tue: St Charles Streetcar to Boucherie for brisket at lunch. Play tourist in the area. Last dinner at GW Fins for the lobster dumplings.
                              Wed: Pick up 2 muffalettas at the Central Grocery, wrap them up real good and have them with some great champagne back here in Vegas

                              1. re: VegasGourmet

                                I think you finally got it right. Good mix of old and new. The only thing I would say is that Pelican Club just isn’t quite as good as some of the other places you left off. But that’s just my opinion.

                                1. re: shanefink

                                  Shane.....How about substituting Arnaud's for The Pelican Club....I want that "old NOLA" factor along with the food....I also was a proponent of Broussard's; but didn't get much feedback on that.

                                2. re: VegasGourmet

                                  Montuori just posted that Zimet will open on Frenchmen..which deletes Boucherie lunch and gives me another search for a lunch on the St Charles Streetcar line (Riverbend/Carrollton)...also means that I'll substitute his new restaurant (assume that he will still have that brisket and fries at lunch) for my Brennan's Brunch. My original thought was ONE....any other ideas greatly welcomed.

                                  1. re: VegasGourmet

                                    Ah ... do note that the article I linked to indicated a Fall '13 opening. Just in time for your return visit!

                  2. Wow, and I thought I was a food research freak. 6 months to wait for this is a long time ;)
                    Your itinerary is inching closer to ours. Some food for thought...

                    Herbsaint - A MUST! Don't leave town without trying the spaghetti, lamb neck, gumbo, and Bacon braised faro side

                    Mr B's - makes a decent Rice and Beans on Mondays I believe to compliment the BBQ Shrimp. Nice bread pudding as well.

                    Boucherie - Great Boudin balls and don't sub the fries that come with the brisket.

                    GW Fins - Oysters, and perhaps the best bread pudding of the trip. We tried 7 of them

                    And some other ideas...

                    SoBou - Don't see anyone mention it here but would compliment your trip oh so nicely. More fab boudins with great pork belly, and very tasty alligator sausages among all kinds of other inventive dishes. NIce drinks as well.

                    Coquette - +4? Very nice 3 courser and add something like the Louisiana crab dish to the mix to share and you got a spectacular meal.

                    Enjoy!

                    http://eatingwithziggy.com/category/n...

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: Ziggy41

                      Hi Ziggy....Will take your food suggestions strongly into consideration....SoBou is a little "too hip" for what I want in NOLA...I can get a SoBou kind of place here in Vegas (never was a big fan of the W Hotel aura). As far as Coquette, and I know that the menu does change, I was much more impressed with the breadth of the Lilette menu and with less of the fanfare of what's on the plate...If I'm going to go a little more dressed (meaning no jeans and I shave in the morning...lol), then I would pick Lilette's menu over Coquette.

                      1. re: Ziggy41

                        I love Ziggy's list and agree with Coquette +5. I don't think it is trying too hard, VG. For me, Coquette is a warmer and more intimate experience than Lilette. But I think our Lilette experience was bumpy and I have only been once. You might also put Patois in the non-FQ bistro mix -- charming ambiance with an emphasis on local ingredients. I thought their Friday lunch was outstanding.

                        VG, your trip sounds wonderful! Apparently, Zimet does not open until 9/13, so perhaps you will keep Boucherie in the mix?. My best meal last spring was dinner @ Boucherie. But I am a softie for cozy bistros with amazing drinks, great service and killer desserts!

                        Chef Zimet is on "Chopped" tonight (12/18) so that could be fun.

                        1. re: karendor

                          Thx Karendor.....Curious about your "softie-ness"....ever found that kind of place in the FQ?....especially for the ambiance?

                          1. re: VegasGourmet

                            Bayona is close for me -- depending on where you sit. I see it is on your list. And what a Great List. I go again in April and can't wait to steal some ideas from your itinerary!

                          2. re: karendor

                            *****CHOPPED DVR SPOILER ALERT*****

                            Great job by Zimet. I'm not sure which is a bigger achievement. Winning Chopped or scoring 2 spots in the coveted "Ziggy's top 15 eats" LOL! (details in the link above. I already got in trouble by posting it on another thread)

                            Also, I was eyeing his competitior "Family Recipe" for a while now and now more convinced I should pay her a visit

                          3. re: Ziggy41

                            I've made some mental changes based upon locations and combinations of meals each day...and have strongly come to the conclusion that this stay is better served staying and experiencing more of the French Quarter and the next trip will be more outside the FQ...and, yes, I know that taxis can take me anywhere; but...well, take a look and let me know what you think....thanks, again, VG
                            Wed: Travel day, dinner at Luke; baked oysters then shrimp and grits
                            Thur: Lunch at Bayona, gotta try that Smoked duck, cashew peanut butter and pepper jelly sandwich; then explore Jackson Square/French Marketplace, cafe du monde and Aunt Sally's; Pimms Cup and Sazerac on the way back at Napoleon House; Happy hour drinks at French 75 Bar and then dinner at Arnaud's for shrimp Arnaud, roast quail and souffle potatoes.
                            Fri: St Charles Streetcar day and lunch (brisket and fries) at Boucherie; Happy hour drinks at The Sazerac Bar and dinner at Le Foret (Risotto frutti de mare).
                            Sat: Commander's Palace Jazz Bruch, start with shrimp and tasso henican, something in the middle, and finish with the bread pudding souffle;and exploring Magazine Street, drop in at Le Petite for a drink; Happy hour at St James Cheese Company and dinner at Upperline for Fried Green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade then veal grillades and grits.
                            Sun: Lunch at Galatoire's, start with the Grand Goute and see where it goes from there; depending on timing, martinis at The Bombay Club...then a nice walk to Galvez for a late dinner of paella and the best view in NOLA
                            Mon: Lunch at Emeril's, start with their BBQ shrimp, something in the middle, then finish with the banana cream pie; and checking out the Renaissance Arts for my next stay, then drinks later at The Swizzle Stick; Happy hour at Patrick's Bar Vin, then dinner at The Pelican Club for the seafood martini and crispy flounder
                            Tues: Brunch at Brennan's, window shopping on Royal and Chartres streets; Happy hour at Antoine's Hermes Bar for Oysters Rockefeller; then dinner at R'Evolution..start with John's creole appetizers then on to Rick's 16oz Prime Bone-in filet.
                            Wed: Pick up muffalettas at Johnny's, off to the airport.
                            I took out great restos (August, Herbsaint, Brigtsens, etc)...as Hunt said, you can't do them all....for my first trip, I would rather enjoy "good" than try and anticipate/assess "great"....I hope that makes sense

                            1. re: VegasGourmet

                              Great itinerary...I fell into a food coma just reading it.

                              Tiny suggestion: You've mentioned a stop at Aunt Sally's. If you can work it in, I'd suggest that you stop into Southern Candymakers on Decatur as well ( http://www.southerncandymakers.com/ ). It would be a few blocks strolling from Cafe du Monde, but I think you'll find it is a better experience. Product is being made right there, the people are friendly and are eager to offer samples, they have a wide selection of sweets and local foods, and their pralines are second to none.

                              1. re: Gizmo56

                                HI....Southern Candymakers is much closer to my hotel...The Royal Sonesta....gonna just drop in there closer to when we leave so I am buying as fresh as possible to take back with me. I just threw out a couple of examples of Jackson Square/French Marketplace that I would like to visit....

                                1. re: VegasGourmet

                                  Not sure if Johnny's is the place you want to go for muffulettas before heading home...perhaps you mean Central Grocery. CG is known for their muffs...Johnny's is known for their poboys (quite good IMHO). You have quite the dining/drinking itinerary...I'm experiencing jealousy ;-) Want the COMPLETE report when you get back. Enjoy!

                                  1. re: Christine

                                    Recent reports about CG only praise the bread, not the fillings or the olive salad and mention that you cannot "tailor-make" the muff; but get what they give you.....the proximity to the hotel and minimal difference made Johnny's the choice.....

                                    1. re: VegasGourmet

                                      yes, Vegas, I have heard that, too, besides the service being surly at CG. I guess Johnny's makes muffs, but I'd go for the poor boys there. If you're not too far away from Decatur, right beside CG, is Frank's and I hear they have a more-than-adequate muffuletta...if'n you have your heart set on a muff. At any rate, enjoy, and have a great time!

                                2. re: Gizmo56

                                  I like that chocolate shop on charters near Iberville? I Owner is a character but very helpful... and some great local chocolate + pralines, I think. One of my 'go to' places for last minute gifts. Name anyone?

                                3. re: VegasGourmet

                                  Hi there - your itinerary looks fantastic however, I'm not sure I'd bother having drinks at The Swizzle Stick. Compared with the rest of your itinerary I feel this will be a disappointment. We had Christmas Day dinner here and found the atmosphere to be kind of sterile, the service to be inconsistent, and the drinks and food to be underwhelming. I'd go somewhere else, maybe another bar in a hotel. We had Pimms cup at Napoleon House and a Sazerac at Sazerac and enjoyed both. Good call on going to Antoine's bar and getting a drink and the oysters Rockefeller (as this is where they were created). We had lunch at R'Evolution and Emiril's and enjoyed both. The chocolate peanut-butter pie at Emiril's is also worth trying. The po' boys at Johnny's are great, you may want to get a po' boy to go as well. Also, you may want to consdier Pat O'Briens for a Hurricane. Not the nicest atmosphere, but a good drink.

                                  I hope you have a great trip. We enjoyed our trip very much. Make sure to see the film at the WWII museum "Beyond All Boundaries" as it is fantastic. A visit to a plantation may be a good idea as well. Oak Alley is beautiful.

                              2. Just back from a trip to NOLA and have to second the Southern Candymakers recommendation - I go there every time I am in New Orleans, about every other year. Also just wanted to mention that your hotel has a restaurant "Desire" with a tiny oyster bar in the back with two characters who do the shucking and the oysters are very cold and good. We stopped there on two separate afternoons (of 5) for a late afternoon dozen with a sazerac (not my fav sazerac though)

                                1. I think I read that Mike's is closed......

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