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June visit for fifth anniversary... So excited!

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We'll be in town for 4 1/2 days or so in June for our fifth anniversary. As some of you know, we're big NOLA boosters, have visited many times, and had our wedding there at the Voodoo Spiritual Temple on Rampart on a hot June evening in 2008. We have some old favorites that we must check in on but are open to new experiences as well. I'll list the meals we plan on having and the open slots. We have a laser focus on New Orleans cuisine, but enjoy a playful tweak as well (The Green Goddess in 2011 was a highlight, for example) but don't want just generic fine dining (we've never been interested in Stella! for that reason).

Also, if Hazelhurst or (if they're in town) Bill Hunt and his lovely young wife are around we'd love to toast a sazerac at Galatoire's after all these years of Chowhounding together...

Thursday lunch: We arrive late morning and, as usual, will have our first bite at Mr. B's. Last time we then strolled to Galatoire's for a late afternoon second lunch of appetizers and cocktails, where we lingered for some time. I have a feeling we'll repeat.

Thursday dinner: Not sure! Open to suggestions!

Friday lunch: Commander's as is our tradition. Will undoubtedly stretch on for hours and hours.

Friday dinner: Again, wide open!

Saturday lunch: Thinking perhaps poboys from Verti Marte, eaten on the Moonwalk if the weather is nice, but open to suggestions

Saturday dinner: Open!

Sunday brunch: Our usual brunch is Lil Dizzy's in Treme and since Sunday is our actual anniversary I'm thinking it'll be extra fun, But we'd consider another brunch if it was truly something not to miss.

Sunday dinner: Anniversary dinner somewhere special. Tales of the service at R'evolution have me a little wary. That price point is a rarity for us and I don't want to feel let down. We like the classic NOLA service style.

Monday lunch: They added a later flight out so we get an extra meal for once! Although I don't know the time, so maybe this is our chance to stop somewhere on the way to the airport? We won't have a car so I don't know how feasible it is.

Rest assured there will be photos taken of food, jackets and dresses worn, and many cocktails consumed! A lot seems to have changed since we were last there in December 2011 so we're interested in trying a couple of new places!

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  1. Unfortunately, the Hunts will not be there, though we would greatly love to be.

    We are trying to fit a "long weekend" into the mix for 2013, but are not having that much luck. My "young wife" has a very hectic travel schedule, as per normal, and we are spending about 20 weeks in San Francisco (would opt for NOLA, but corporate office is in SF... ).

    Most of all, we both wish you the absolute best, and pray for a review of your trip. We know that where ever you dine, the reviews will be insightful, and enjoyable.

    When we CAN manage, I will find a way to secretly mention the dates, just in case we can manage a "meetup," even if such gets me suspended here - frowned upon, and I have never understood why?

    While we love dining in NOLA, and try to manage to do so, at least twice per year, such would be greatly improved upon, if we could share a meal, or two, or three, with fellow CH's.

    Most of all, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, and enjoy greatly! So sorry that we will not be there to toast the happy couple.

    Hunt

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bill Hunt

      Thanks for that fine response, sir! Perhaps another time. Of course, you can always contact us off-line if you still have the info.

      1. re: kukubura

        It would be our honor, and our pleasure.

        Thanks,

        Hunt

        1. re: Bill Hunt

          If for some reason you find yourself in Baltimore make sure to look us up.

          1. re: kukubura

            That I will do.

            We end up in DC about 2 - 3x per year, but often have an evening, or two free.

            Thanks,

            Hunt

    2. So this thread hasn't generated a lot of leads yet so here's a little more background:

      - We've eaten at some of the grand dames of the Quarter and aren't sure if they're right for this trip, unless something exciting is happening now. We had a memorable, but wildly expensive dinner at Antoine's in 2007 and a not great brunch at Arnaud's in 2008-ish. We could see maybe having drinks at the Hermes bar at Antoine's. But I think overall CP and Galatoire's (even though they're different sorts of places) might fill our "classic" slots. But we could be swayed!!
      - Herbsaint is intriguing. We were underwhelmed with Cochon (both food and atmosphere/service) so how different is it?
      - We are cool on the Emeril empire. What I've read about the atmosphere of the flagship makes it seem like not so much our scene.
      - What about R'evolution? Intrigued, for sure...
      - We really loved Dante's Kitchen last time. Maybe a return? Haven't been to Brigsten's...
      - Sobou? Boucherie? Atchefalaya? Boucherie?

      Thanks!

      11 Replies
      1. re: kukubura

        Visited SoBou earlier this month-nothing untoward, but nothing to write home about, either. Boucherie has NEVER disappointed and is eagerly anticipated every time. Had a fully enjoyable meal/drinks @ Toup's Meatery, and liked Booty's Street food well enuf to visit twice.

        1. re: brucec

          Wow, thanks for a couple of tips that I've never even heard of! Toup's looks pretty intriguing. That might be on the list. Boot's looks great, although I don't think we're going to want Korean and Mexican in New Orleans. But as street food lovers it's a place that we were frequent if we had it local to us for sure. And Boucherie is a definite possibility...

          1. re: kukubura

            +2 for Boucherie. Wonderful food, terrific service, lovely setting. Very much looking forward to a return visit. Highly recommended.

            1. re: kukubura

              i have to poo-poo Booty's. tried it three times, failed to impress. the space is nice, but the "street food" items were all pretty forgettable, bland, fried, etc... as a local sure i may accompany a friend there on his birthday request, but i wouldnt waste a precious new orleans meal there were i visiting.

              i contrast this with SoBou -- i like them well enough to have been a dozen times. the foie gras burger w/ duck egg & bacon, served w/ a side of cracklins and a paired foie ice cream & abita root beer float kills me (hopefully not literally, some day...). the boudin balls are great as are a number of the other small plates, which is their focus. lovely dark bar with experienced bartenders. try a Vespa.

          2. re: kukubura

            Ok, buddy, here goes. I’m not a fan of Cochon, but I love Cochon Butcher and Herbsaint so I would try to fit those in. Butcher for lunch and Herbsaint for dinner. R’evolution is worth the effort and the service glitches are minor compared to the quality of food and atmosphere. I think Root would be a nice addition, a little different and out there, but still a good experience. Sylvain is a great bar/restaurant. We are getting a lot more of these. Kingfish and SoBou are two of the others. If you want to get out of the FQ and Warehouse District, Toups Meatery and Boucherie are both good. If you haven’t been to Domenica yet, I’d try to stop there. Hope you get to hit some of these. Enjoy!

            1. re: shanefink

              The Root menu looks incredible. The Roasted Marrow Bones dish sounds amazing... What's the atmosphere like? For dinners we want to feel like we're really dining out, not seeing people in shorts and flip flops.

              I love the picture of Sylvain's interior but Kingfish's menu looks much more interesting to me. And R'evolution and Herbsaint both feel like good choices... This is gonna be tough.

              1. re: kukubura

                Herbsaint and Revolution are both more upscale than Root, Sylvain and Kingfish. But it’s summer in New Orleans so you’re bound to see shorts in most restaurants. You might be able to do Sylvain and Kingfish in one night. They’re very close to each other and have small plate options. I think it would make for a fun evening.

                1. re: kukubura

                  Root is nice, guys on expense accounts in jackets were the majority a couple weeks ago. The roasted marrow was amazing. Atmosphere is not stuffy. Exposed brick walls, moderately young, hip vibe. Very different from R'evolution which is pretty formal. We had a great meal there too. I would second (third) Toups. Really good stuff happening there with meat and cocktails too.Kingfish was great for a drink. Bartenders really know their stuff. Didn't eat there so can't comment about food.

                  1. re: kukubura

                    Root is good, but i feel it's still unpolished and messy. im amazed that he's already opening a second location.

                    R'ev is solid food, service kinda depends. really enjoy some of their small plates and apps (crab beignets are not to be missed), like the pastas, and very happy w/ the steaks & sides. we usually eat in the bar but theres a cool market room in the back as well. main dining is somewhat '80s fine dining.

                    Sylvain is also solid in our book. menu doesnt change much but the items are executed well. have only had a couple small plates at Kingfish; the menu seems heavier-handed.

                2. re: kukubura

                  I am not a current local but was born and raised in Louisiana, lived in New Orleans, and was married there (at The Columns) in 2010. I agree that Boucherie is a must, if you will be in town for that long. If you want to make a night of it, walk to the Maple Leaf or Carrolton Station for music after dinner. Since it seems like you've been around uptown, the Warehouse District, and the FQ, maybe check out the Bywater. We almost always go to Baccanal to sit in the courtyard, drink good wine, and listen to local jazz. We also really enjoyed Maurepas Foods - amazing cocktails and great, reasonably priced small plates. Have fun and congrats!

                  1. re: kukubura

                    Herbsaint is infintely better than Cochon. I would do Herbsaint as your Thursday dinner or Monday lunch - no question.
                    I agree with the general sentiment on R'evolution. You could always pop in the bar and try a few things, but the dining room is still too clunky to warrant those kinds of prices. If you loved Dante's, I think you would like Brigtsen's even more. Boucherie is a bit more casual, and very tiny, so you would have to make a reservation asap (same for Brigtsen's too, actually). I agree with the OP on Soubou - just ok. Atchafalaya is fine but not worth the cab ride from downtown.
                    What about brunch at Commanders? Drinks at the Hermes Bar is fun, especially during happy hour. They also have live music sometimes, but not until later.
                    I have heard that Toups is just ok.

                  2. Happy anniversary to you and the wife, trying to fly out of Sacramento to be in NOLA on Friday morning to have breakfast at Stanley's, Our flight has been delay, I would love to run into you and buy a Happy Anniversary drink.

                    1. What's the word on Bon Ton and Brigsten's these days? We've never been to either and I think we want to finally try them.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: kukubura

                        I think you will really like Brigsten’s. It’s so homey and the menu changes regularly. It’s definitely worth checking out.

                        1. re: kukubura

                          Bon Ton is the lesser of the two and a bit like Antoines/Arnauds, old school. The food isn't bad and worth a visit but, if you are after good good, not before the usual first tier and some second tier places. I don't mean to damn with faint praise. I might go there for a business dinner with people I've known for a while. Not to impress but just have a Creole meal .

                          1. re: kukubura

                            I agree with the OP and would skip Bon Ton.

                          2. We went to New Orleans in May and had a lovely lunch at R'evolution with excellent service. The food was excellent as were the cocktails. Given the comments on this board, I'm thinking maybe Monday lunch is the thing to do (this is actually what we did). Get the experience without dropping so much cash. We are the biggest fans of Coquette, and we ate their twice - once for lunch and once for brunch and my all-time favorite biscuits and gravy (mainly because I don't like biscuits and gravy but loved these). It's a lovely dining room, service is good, but not overly formal, cocktails are excellent. It's one of my favorite places anywhere for any meal. We are definitely going for dinner next trip. We had dinner at Atchafalaya. Appetizers and desserts were exceptional (that red velvet cake they get from Mississippi is crazygood), but the entrees were average at best. Plus service was off (direct complaints about a long shift besides general unfriendliness) and the manager somewhat offputting. So I would agree it's not worth the cab ride (but that cake...). As far as street food goes, if you happen to be somewhere close to the Taceaux Loceaux truck, they are turning out some excellent tacos, and I have eaten some tacos in my time.

                            Most of all, Happy Anniversary!! Have a wonderful trip.

                            1. So I think we have a solid plan with a mix of old favorites and new places we haven't been:
                              (in no particular order)
                              Mr B's
                              Commander's Palace
                              Galatoire's
                              Brigtsen's
                              Root
                              Borgne
                              Hermes
                              LIl Dizzy's
                              Kingfish
                              Sobou
                              Old Coffee Pot
                              plus something to take back depending on whether we get over of Cochon Butcher or someplace else
                              and of course many cocktails to fill in the gaps...

                              Some will be full on meals while others will be part of a wandering meal at multiple places. Pretty excited! And if you see us at Galatoire's at a late Thursday lunch stop by and say hey! I'll report back afterwards, of course!