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Feb 11, 2013 11:53 AM

Need help narrowing foodie places to eat for second trip - what's your bucket list

I've scoured the board but I'd still like to throw a list out to y'all.

This is my second trip to New Orleans. I'm leaving on Friday for my 35th birthday and traveling with my husband. We are booth foodies and would love to know your bucket list.

We've already been to the following: :

- Dick & Jenny's (D - loved)
- Irene's (D - loved)
- Luke (happy hour oysters - awesome)
- Cochon (D - eh, this was okay. honestly, nothing special IMO)
- Mr B's (L)
- Elizabeth's (L - hated, totally overated IMO)
- Cafe du Monde (snack)
- Stella (brunch/breakfast)

So far, all we've decided on is the following although are totally open to suggestions:

Friday Lunch - Galtoire's (I hope I can get in)
Sunday Brunch - Atchafalaya ‎
Monday Lunch - Commander's Palace

If I have 3 dinners (one being my birthday dinner) and two lunches, how would arrange your dinning schedule. Which of these are a must or have I overlooked a restaurant.

Arnaud's (Jazz Bistro vs Dining Room)
Dante's kitchen
Stella! (Dinner)

On a side note, what is prime dining hour in New Orleans? From memory, I recall that a lot of the great music and stuff was over by the time we finished dinner. We're from Miami and typically eat at 8-9 but that seems to be prime music time. Should we be booking 6:30 pm dinners?

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  1. I'm a fellow tourist, and so can't speak comprehensively to your list. But I'll tell you that I've had top-notch experiences at Herbsaint, Brigtsen's, and Patois, and would recommend each of them unhesitatingly.

    Herbsaint is the most convenient if you are staying downtown. I loved the gumbo and the spaghetti with guanciale appetizer, among other things.

    Brigtsen's and Patois are uptown cottages, similar to Dick & Jenny's. I'd say Brigtsens' is the quieter and cozier of the two, excellent seafood in particular and we had a great rabbit appetizer. Warm service. Also, you can easily combine a trip to Brigtsen's with a visit to the Maple Leaf Bar.

    Patois was mind-blowingly good. Lamb ribs, gnocchi at our waiter's insistence (he was right). Mellow vibe, excellent service.

    I've also been to Bayona, mixed feelings. The food was good but not uniformly great (although the sweetbreads, wow). And we were not in the main dining room, the room was quieter than I prefer -- although in fairness you can't always get the best table in the house. I know people do love it -- it's just not at the top of my list personally.

    Have fun !

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mark Alberts

      Thank you Mark for your feedback. There are so many amazing culinary experiences waiting to be had that I'm sure any place on the list will be great.

      Patois sounds amazing. I will certainly give that a closer look. I only wish more of the restaurants were open on Sunday!

      1. re: Mark Alberts

        Herbsaint & Brigstens are both top-notch!!!

      2. * Edit to the above... It wasn't Elizabeth's that I went to but Mother's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: naomic

          ...and Elizabeth's is great, especially for breakfast or brunch. Thanks for the belated correction.

        2. Suggested bucket list:
          1. Galatoire's
          2. Clancy's
          3. Mosca's
          4. Commander's Palace
          5. Brigtsen's
          6. K-Paul's
          7. Patois
          8. Domenica

          Go for the main dining room at Arnaud's (or snack at the bar) and concentrate on appetizers, especially Shrimp Arnaud and Oysters Bienville. And if lunch doesn't work out, don't hesitate to do dinner at Galatoire's (just as good IMHO). I agree with you on Cochon, but love Herbsaint. Have a great visit.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Boatman

            Ok, so here's what I've got so far:

            Friday (arrival, also my bday) - Lunch Galatoire's, Dinner Herbsaint's
            Saturday - Open (thinking happy hour/apps/bar hopping instead of dinner somewhere)
            Sunday - Brunch Atchafalaya , Dinner ‎Coquette
            Monday (departure) - Lunch Commander's Palace

            I really wanted to fit Brigsten's in but they aren't open on Sunday and we definitely want to take advantage of some music. I remember from my last trip that it was always hard to eat dinner and still catch the music because a lot of the bands went on pretty early around 7 -10 pm which for me is prime dinning hour. With that in mind, we booked a late reservation on Friday and will probably skip dinner in a formal way altogether on Saturday.

            1. re: naomic

              Where are you staying and what time do you expect to arrive?

              1. re: hazelhurst

                Staying on Canal at the Crowne Plaza. We land at 11:30, carry on only so I don't think we'll be able to get inline for Galatoire's until 12:30, 1 at the latest.

                1. re: naomic

                  That might work to your advantage. I'd figure an hour (it can be less) from Moisant to your hotel, check in etc, change clothes (unless, like me and a few others, you fly "dressed up") and then walk over. Figure on being there 1:00 or a little later. The new set-up next door opened last week so you can probably go in there for a drink and wait if need be. You never know about the time after Mardi Gras...sometimes it is quiet because people are recovering and other years it seems EVERYONE is out at lunch doing their After-Action-Reports.

                  If I were doing a birthday lunch, though, I wouldn't figure on having dinner.

          2. You have gotten some great recs., but when you mention Stella! for breakfast/brunch, I think that you mean Stanley! Same group, but separate restaurants, and as you later mention Stella! for dinner, I think that you knew that, and just mis-typed.

            Most of all, enjoy,