Galatoire's - lunch or dinner?
I very excited to be coming to NOLA for the first time! I have dreamed of going to Galatoire's for a long time. My questions are these: I know it is famous for its long lunches but does dinner have a good vibe as well? Also, I want to eat in the famous dining room. Can you not reserve for that room? How long should we expect to wait for 1)lunch 2)dinner midweek? Also should we request a specific waiter? If so who? Thanks, NOLA hounds!
You never know--except Friday--what you will find. Sometime dinner is loud and boisterous, other times it is calm. I often go in the middle of the afternoon for a late lunch that stretches into the dinner hours---4:00-to-7:30 is not unreasonable and, in fact, is a little short for me. As noted, no reservations downstairs but going at the off hour guarantees a spot. Jackets after 5:00 and all day Sunday. Many men on Friday will be in suits anyway and most locals over 50 yoa will be coat and tie anytime, required or not.
John is probably the single most famous Galatoire waiter of his generation (the "title" gets passed along). he is accustomed to people he never heard of asking for him. the real point of asking for a waiter is that he knows you and you know him. Sometimes a newcomer will say "Mr X (regular customer) told me to ask for you." If Mr X has done HIS job, he let the waiter know that you are coming. He might have a bottle of wine waiting for you, charged to his tab.
I'd look at the menu if you;ve never been and then chat with whomever is handling your table.
Friday lunch IS a definite must if you've never done it . . . door's open at 11:30, but the line starts well before then.
Friday lunch *is* different than the rest of the weekday lunches, but if you can't do Friday, don't panic.
No reservations for the downstairs "famous" dining room.
Jackets for men are recommended, but no longer essential/mandatory.
EVERY waiter is good! There are people who dine there regularly who have "their own waiter." (That said, we *do* have our own waiter.) But I would worry less about having any particular waiter, and more about getting in line if you want to eat downstairs.
In all the times I've been to Galatoire's -- and as a non-resident, it's probably been 10-12 times in the past decade -- I have only seen a menu ONCE. Trust your waiter. Tell him/her how hungry you are, and if there's anything you're allergic to or don't particularly like, and let the food start to flow . . .
Personally, having done many dinners and lunches, including Fridays, I opt for dinner, and even choose a reservation, so I sit upstairs.
That said, if one has NOT done a Friday Lunch (actually most of the day), then there ARE things to be said for that.
I am comfortable with MY choices, as I have "been there - done that," and have the t-shirt to prove it. I now do Galatoire's for my dining pleasure, and do not care about the scene downstairs.