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Jan 11, 2013 05:05 PM

April visit with NOLA virgin.. I love bistros and/or sitting at the bar

hi NOLA chowhound friends -- old and new. planning my seventh trip to New Orleans, and bringing along my best friend --- she's the nola virgin and does not eat meat. Our Day 1 is the last day of FQF.

we are in town for 6 nights and would like to mix it up with 3 gourmet meals and the rest Bistro/comfort/local food.

Staying in CBD with access to car if needed. Fired up for confederacy of cruisers cocktail tour on day 2.

Galatoire lunch is high priority as I have not done yet.

Thoughts for fun, classy and diverse lunch and dinner spots?I had amazing dining experiences at Bayona and Maurepas foods last trip.

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  1. Actually it's my 8th visit but who is counting. Here goes:
    Monday dinner - Mr. B's, for red beans n rice + shrimp @ the bar. GW Fins for bread pudding. (raves from another chowhound who tried 7 puddings)
    Tuesday lunch - streetcar to Riverbend, Boucherie lunch
    Tuesday dinner?
    Wednesday lunch + dinner?
    Thursday - Swamp tour. Friend wants this. Clean up and HH @ Domenica or small plates Coquette.
    Friday lunch - Galatoire's
    Saturday - jazz brunch @? Is there music at afatchalaya?
    Not enough time.

    19 Replies
    1. re: karendor

      It seems you may like desserts. A dessert at NOLA or Emiril's could be good if you don't want to go there for a meal. At NOLA for their housemade ice cream and creme brulee trio. At Emiril's for Banana Cream Pit and/or Peanut Butter Pie. Emiril's has a 3 course lunch that includes the peanut butter pie as a dessert option but not the banana cream pie. If you go I'd recommend the porchetta sandwich and if the soup is crawfish, get it.

      If you like to sit at the bar I would recommend the Sazerac bar in the Roosevelt hotel. You could also go to Antoine's bar and have drinks and apps.

      Have fun! I loved NO!

      1. re: TeacherFoodie

        I/we love desserts, to me is an integral part of the New Orleans dining experience.

        I like your idea about NOLA as I have not been their before. I have only been to Emeril's once but would consider another visit with my friend. Not a fan of Antoine's bar for a variety of reasons but Sazerac is a good idea. I like to eat a meal/appies at the bar so I am thinking: Mr. B's, Maurepas Foods and Coquette could work for that.

        I have not been to Sylvain or SoBou yet so considering both of those. Will keep watching this lively board. Thanks!

        1. re: karendor

          Here is the plan thus far:

          Sat evening:
          Royal Sonesta for FQF Music/Drinks
          Possible dessert @ Desire

          FQF Street Food looks amazing!

          L:EAT NOLA, post Cruisers CocktailTour
          D: Mr. B’s or Annunciation

          L: Boucherie
          HH: Columns Hotel (First time for me!)
          D: Parkway or Crabby Jack’s

          L: SoBou (First time for me!)
          D: Domenica for HH specials – I will need a salad!

          Swamp Tour, Slidell - unsure about lunch
          D: Herbsaint or Coquette

          L: Galatoire’s (First time for me!)
          D: Three Muses or something near Frenchmen street?

          B: Open for great brunch experience; music would be good! We leave late afternoon.

          I think this gives a nice blend of new spots and favorite repeats. Might try to get one more upscale dinner in there but it looks like enough food to me! Feedback?

          1. re: karendor

            To answer your previous question, I think achafalaya has music for both days of brunch.

            1. re: noradeirdre

              Thanks noradeirdre. Says it right on the website: "We feature live music and a “bloody mary bar” during our Sat./Sun brunches." Done!

              1. re: karendor

                Great! I like Atchafalaya a great deal, plus it's in my neighborhood! Enjoy!

            2. re: karendor

              EAT is a great spot but not on Mondays. (Also remember it's BYOB.)

              1. re: montuori

                Montouri, thanks for the reminder about EAT being closed on Mondays.

                Are you liking Killer Po-Boys? This is my friend's first visit, we want to get her a (non-meat) Po-Boy fairly early in the trip and we will be in FQ/Marigny area after a full morning of drinking on the C of C drinking bike tour. We can always do Johnny's which was my Po-Boy first-timer experience but the write-ups on Killer are looking pretty good.

                Also, have you returned to Herbsaint? I know in November you were not feeling it due to some service issues.

                1. re: karendor

                  The crawfish po' boy at Johnny's is great for a non-meat option.

                  1. re: TeacherFoodie

                    Thanks, TF, because of Monday closures it looks like Johnny's [or Felix's] may be our plan B.

                    After the bike/drink tour we are going to want to sit down and not feel the crowded "rushiness" of Johnny's.

                    I could move my Mr. B's from dinner to lunch -- fun to sit at the bar -- and leave Monday dinner open to spontaneity.

                  2. re: karendor

                    I hate to be the one to mention that Killer is only open W-Sun. I have a knack for trying to visit places on their closed day; these memories stick. That said, I've had a few good experiences there and, much as I was concerned about the location that close to Bourbon St., the Erin Rose as a watering hole has proven entirely hospitable.

                    I haven't been to Herbsaint in a while but that's more about it not coming up in the rotation more than it is my trying to avoid it. Well -- that and after much practice I can cook the spaghetti + guanciale + fried poached egg as well as they can. If you haven't been, I'd certainly recommend it. And if they're serving the half-sinner/half-saint (they aren't always, occasionally they run out of the right vermouth -- I figure they must be using the Dolan's) be sure to have one.

                    If you end up looking for late night food on Friday and liked the bloody marys at Marie's (which may or may not be part of the cocktail tour -- I see the bikers going by all the time though so I suspect it might be), there's a pop-up in back only on Fridays serving soul food (appropriately named We've Got Soul) from fiveish till early AM. It's no more than a 10 minute walk from Frenchmen and worth the effort. They've always had a fish option and post their menu ahead of time on the web.

                    Also, if you're looking for a non-meat po'boy in the Maringy, consider the North Rampart Food Store for a (fried) shrimp po'boy. Alas, there's no where to sit -- and you wouldn't want to anyway -- but they deliver the goods.

                    1. re: montuori

                      Thanks, montuori, for the heads up on KPB's days and info about We've Got Soul, which might work well for our last night in town, a Friday. [Plus I am going to email your entire post to my DD who is the New Orleans resident!]

                      I have been to Herbsaint, once, and enjoyed it very much however I was quite tipsy from the killer cocktail and then during dinner Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard and Brit Marling waltzed in to sit two tables over. DD and I were both so (Skarsgard) distracted that I do not remember much about the meal except it was lovely, and that the banana brown butter tart was superb. Service was *not* the warm, smart NOLA standard i expected, but adequate.

                      So I will continue my debate between Herbsaint and Coquette, leaning towards Herbsaint because I like the breadth of their small plates menu... and that drink sounds lovely.

                      What is your opinion on Annunciation?

                2. re: karendor

                  New Plan as of 1/14/13:
                  Sat: (late)
                  Royal Sonesta Hotel for FQF Music/Drinks

                  B: Café Beignet for beignets/café au lait
                  L/D: Street Food @ FQF

                  Confederacy of Cruisers Drink Tour
                  L: Killer Po-Boys, back of Erin Rose bar (?)
                  HH: Carousel Bar
                  D: Mr. B’s Bistro or ? Grazing Dinner?

                  L: Streetcar to Boucherie -if it goes all the way!
                  HH: Columns Hotel (First time for me!)
                  D: Herbsaint or Coquette

                  L: SoBou (First time for me!)
                  D: Domenica
                  Music on Frenchmen Street

                  Swamp Tour, Slidell. Am or Pm Tour;
                  D: Parkway or Crabby Jack’s, or leftovers @ DD's

                  L: Galatoire’s (First time for me!). One- meal day?

                  B: Atchafalaya Jazz Brunch with Bloody Mary bar.
                  (First time for me!)

                  1. re: karendor

                    Is your friend interested in history at all? The film at the WWII museum (narrated by Tom Hanks) is really well done. Looks like a great itinerary. Enjoy!

                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                      My friend prefers beaches and umbrella drinks for her vacations -- so going to NOLA is a compromise, and this somewhat decadent itinerary will likely get her into the same 'brainless' state. [And the fact that our hotel has a tiny courtyard pool!]

                      I will save WWII to my November visit with my husband who will be much more tolerant of museum-going. And we can try American Sector, too.


                    2. re: karendor

                      Make sure to get all dressed up for Friday Galatoire's. It's a lot of fun and very boozy but can get loud. It's much easier to snag a table for two then for more. You have to wait in line like all the rest. The bar upstairs is fun too. Ask to have Shannon as your server and split the grand goute' sampler which has crab, shrimp, and oysters. Perfect for a taste of creole food.

                      1. re: mikey

                        Thanks, mikey. Yum, yes will dress up and drink upstairs while we wait. We might be party of three but sounds well worth the wait.

                        The only other spot I may need to add to the itinerary is Cafe Reconcile. Went on my 2nd visit, and would love to go again. The cobbler was very very good.

                        1. re: karendor

                          Reconcile is undergoing some renovations and is closed right now... might well be open when you're here, just give a quick call to confirm.

                          Killer Poboys is kick A$$. Highly recommend. Cash only.

                          1. re: noradeirdre

                            Thanks, nd, we'll have to plug in Killer for another day (see montouri post above). Good thinking on Reconcile which my friend would love it, I think. I am sitting here in COLD No California, looking at my Crystal hot sauce, gazing at NOLA menus, and getting quite impatient for this trip.

            3. Have you been to Crabby Jack's? I've been to both Crabby Jack's and Parkway, and although the seafood at CJ is impeccably fresh, I far prefer the ambience at Parkway (and if you've been to Parkway, you know that's not really saying that much!) Parkway has good fried shrimp poboys, but they are closed on Tuesday. Have fun; I'm sure your friend will end up loving NOLA!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Niki in Dayton

                Thanks Niki. I have not been to CJ's which is why I want to try it. My daughter lives right near S. Carollton so we may swing by CJs and bring eats back to her place, depending on how we are doing after the swamp tour. She has not been either, and CHounders recommended it on my last visit.

                However, I like Parkway + sitting at the bar eating shrimp Po-Boys, sweet Potato fries, and drinking an Abita is an experience not to be missed - See my photo. Thanks for your suggestions and encouragement - keep em coming!

                I am thinking of moving Killer Po-Boys to late Night #1 -- which would be a great way to get my friend's belly "prepped" for rest of this adventure.

                1. re: karendor

                  Crabby Jack’s is not open for dinner. I think they close at 4 or 5. I loved the stuffed mirliton there.

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. Ok here is how this trip is shaping up -- only two months away. I am drooling.

                  My friend wants to "go for it." Only Monday and Friday are still open for dinners, and I am purposely skipping dinner out on Thursday.

                  1. Sat: Arrive pm & hit Royal Sonesta hotel for jazz. Head to Killer Po-Boys on Conti for late night "snack."

                  2. Sun:Cafe Beignet quickie and off to FQF for full day of music/eats. Close evening @ Carousel Bar.

                  3. Mon: Confederacy of Cruisers "History of Drinking" bike tour. Lunch @ Maurepas Foods, dinner @ Rio Mar? or Mr. B's or ? Bread pudding@GW Fins.

                  4. Tues: Streetcar to Audubon stop, walk through park to Crescent City Farmer's Market. Boucherie lunch/streetcar back to GD. Garden District self-guided walking tour, HH @ Columns, dinner @ Herbsaint. WHEW!

                  5. Wed: SoBou Lunch, walk around FQ. Domenica HH dinner. Head over to Frenchmen Street.

                  6. Thurs: Swamp Tour am. Parkway late lunch. Dinner = Food Break. Tipitina's or Maple Leaf Bar for music/drinks.

                  7. Fri: Galatoire's lunch. Dinner: EAT Nola? or Three Muses? If adventurous, Pop-Up @ Marie's.

                  8. Atchafalya Jazz Brunch, fly home.