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Antoine's review in Blackened Out

k
kibbles Jul 4, 2013 03:18 PM

http://www.blackenedout.com/2013/07/a...

...sadly, I have to agree. I want it to be otherwise, but the food has just not been executed very well on our visits for reasons similar to what he describes. good dishes, poorly done. coasting.

  1. grampart Jul 15, 2013 09:37 AM

    In 1968, I was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi. I met a NOLA girl on the beach there and we ended up dating a few times in NO. Her father was a long-time liquor salesman with the FQ as part of his area. She had occasionally accompanied him when he made his rounds and, over the years, got to be a favorite of many of the restaurant people. This was evident by our treatment at a number of places.

    I had NO money in those days (I think she paid) and I told her that someday I'd come back to this great place and dine in all the fine restaurants. I included Antoine's in my list. Her comment was, "only tourists go there". 45 years later, it sounds like even the tourists are getting the word.

    1. Lambowner Jul 10, 2013 06:25 AM

      I'm a little surprised at the expectation that people would dress up for dinner here or anywhere. Those days are long gone, for better or worse. I can't think of a single place here in Houston that people "dress" for (maybe Tony's?). We used to dress up for airplane travel too, but those days are gone. Everyday is casual day.

      29 Replies
      1. re: Lambowner
        h
        hazelhurst Jul 10, 2013 08:01 AM

        Some of us are fighting a rearguard action. I don't expect The Mob ever to change but I sure as hell won't

        1. re: hazelhurst
          foodiechick Jul 10, 2013 10:39 AM

          Cheers to the good fight!

          1. re: foodiechick
            h
            hazelhurst Jul 10, 2013 10:51 AM

            All colleagues, confederates and converts welcomed.

          2. re: hazelhurst
            Bill Hunt Jul 10, 2013 08:00 PM

            HH,

            The fight is done. The masses have won.

            Hunt

             
            1. re: Bill Hunt
              h
              hazelhurst Jul 11, 2013 05:29 AM

              Bill,

              I note--with no small sense of irony--that the Mob in your picture is reasonably well-dressed or, the the very least, the members made an effort

              1. re: hazelhurst
                Bill Hunt Jul 11, 2013 07:05 PM

                Not sure that they characterize "sartorial splendor," but let's just say that the "villagers" dress for a BBQ... [Grin]

                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  c
                  collardman Jul 12, 2013 01:21 PM

                  As for dressing for a BBQ, I think I was the only one at Beer & Boudin wearing a coat and tie. I was thinking White Linen night, and the previous year B&B had a little higher level of attire.
                  In some circumstances maybe over dressing can be as bad as underdressing.

                  1. re: collardman
                    h
                    hazelhurst Jul 12, 2013 01:33 PM

                    As my father used to say "you can always take off a coat and tie if you need to...the reverse is not possible."

                    1. re: hazelhurst
                      Lambowner Jul 13, 2013 06:53 AM

                      That may not translate to silk dress and heels.

                      1. re: Lambowner
                        h
                        hazelhurst Jul 13, 2013 02:54 PM

                        Just wear an Audrey Hepburn outifit..no problem

                    2. re: collardman
                      Bill Hunt Jul 12, 2013 08:21 PM

                      The only hesitation that I have with BBQ, and white linen, is my cleaning bill, the next week. OTOH, my cleaner knows me, so is always ready to help.

                      Still, as HH points out, a tie can go into a pocket instantly, and a jacket can be shed, if necessary. One can "dress down," in a hurry, should that be required.

                      Hunt

            2. re: Lambowner
              c
              collardman Jul 10, 2013 10:51 AM

              Not everyone wants to be the lowest common denominator. Nothing wrong with going to a restaurant and dressing better than the dishwashers.

              And if you look at fashions, nothing is long gone. It just takes a sabatical

              1. re: Lambowner
                girloftheworld Jul 10, 2013 11:00 AM

                I dont know... maybe because it was Antoine's and that is what was expected? Because I was silly enough to believe there are some things in this world worth respecting like dressing for theater and dinner and men taking off their hats indoors...that when we let go of the little the little graces in life and everyday is truly "casual"day then we may as well stay home on our lazyboys tuck a napkin under our chins and burp our microwaved pizza rolls while we watch our tivoed movie starring tom cruise.

                1. re: girloftheworld
                  k
                  kibbles Jul 10, 2013 11:33 AM

                  +1

                  1. re: girloftheworld
                    Bill Hunt Jul 10, 2013 08:03 PM

                    Yes. When one know no better, and they have no concept of genteel behavior - then everyday IS "casual day."

                    Such is the lack of society nowadays.

                    Hunt

                    1. re: girloftheworld
                      Lambowner Jul 11, 2013 07:09 AM

                      Don't get me wrong, I don't disagree. Just a realist. I dress for the location, but am no longer surprised when the table next to me is full of golf shorts and bedazzled jeans.

                      1. re: Lambowner
                        h
                        hazelhurst Jul 11, 2013 08:43 AM

                        I still wear a coat and tie on an airplane. I might the the only one left apart from Brother Hunt, Gay Talese and a lawyer friend in Texas. (Talese, I understand, has abandoned lace-up shoes on planes for slip-ons but he changes upon landing. Well, he is 81 years old so some allowances must be made.)

                        1. re: hazelhurst
                          kukubura Jul 17, 2013 04:43 AM

                          I wear a jacket on an airplane for three reasons: It's better than having it get mangled in my luggage (plus we try to go carry-on only at all times: Did two weeks in Europe this year that way), it just feels right, and the flight attendants appreciate a good traveler and provide extra booze to prove it!

                    2. re: Lambowner
                      k
                      kibbles Jul 10, 2013 11:33 AM

                      i dont know about Houston, but fine dining in New Orleans has a bit more ritual to it than the rest of the country, including formality. these grand ole dames almost demand it...it's sad when even they give up the ghost for the every increasing tourist in shorts & flip flops.

                      1. re: kibbles
                        g
                        Gizmo56 Jul 10, 2013 11:37 AM

                        I agree with kibbles. And I think there is "cause and effect" between a restaurant slipping in the quality of its food and service, and the resulting tendency to relax their dress code.

                        If the establishment is at the top of its game, there will be no shortage of patrons more than willing to arrive well-dressed.

                        1. re: kibbles
                          f
                          Fydeaux Jul 15, 2013 09:08 AM

                          Just curious: How do people dress at the 'fine dining' establishments in NO that are not in the line of tourist fire?

                          1. re: Fydeaux
                            h
                            hazelhurst Jul 15, 2013 09:52 AM

                            I think every "fine dining" restaurant is "in the line of tourist fire." Hotels don't want their trade hampered by having, say, Borne, or R'evolution have a dress code. (Jacket suggested is about as restrictive as they get). But men over 50 (and certainly over 60) I think always wear at least a jacket when going out to Commander's or Clancy's. The other places Uptown are less formal. But remember that just about every Uptown New Orleans man OWNS his white tie and tails..the city does cling to formality. I have stopped at Perlis men's store, three blocks's from Clancy's. to buy a shirt and tie in which to dine because plans were made at the last minute. I won't even walk through the Roosevelt lobby without a coat and tie.

                          2. re: kibbles
                            kukubura Jul 17, 2013 04:45 AM

                            I have to say, the guy in the table next to us at Mr B's this last trip could have stopped at wearing shorts and giant dirty sneakers and still annoyed us, but his habit of sitting sideways, leaning way back, and crossing his leg horizontally so that the whole restaurant had to look at the giant, dirty underside of his sneaker was just too much. It was like a total F you to everyone else. I think we surreptitiously snapped a pic.

                            1. re: kukubura
                              grampart Jul 17, 2013 07:58 AM

                              The underside of his sneaker was dirty?!? Oh, the horror!

                              1. re: grampart
                                kukubura Jul 17, 2013 09:50 AM

                                hehe! A dirty sole is one thing, but I don't want to have it face-up in a restaurant.

                          3. re: Lambowner
                            Bill Hunt Jul 10, 2013 07:49 PM

                            That is the state of humanity.

                            Be it, as it will.

                            Why dress for dinner, when one can head to Mc Donalds in their "jammies?"

                            Enjoy,

                            Hunt

                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                              l
                              lemons Jul 13, 2013 07:04 AM

                              Well, everyone here knows why, but as for the rest... A salute to those of us who choose to look just a little more gathered together, shall we say.

                              1. re: lemons
                                Bill Hunt Jul 15, 2013 05:03 PM

                                Very well-stated.

                                Thank you,

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                  l
                                  lemons Jul 15, 2013 09:30 PM

                                  Cheers, Hunt, always a pleasure to meet your standards, and that is way not a tongue-in-cheek compliment!

                          4. girloftheworld Jul 9, 2013 05:32 PM

                            Dinner at Antoine's...it had been on my "list", after all how could one grow up playing chef from the time I was able to hold a spoon and not want to eat all of the" Famous" places from movies and books? My mommy told about the first time she ate there. About wearing white paten shoes and little gloves. How all the men had to have on jackets. I was so excited to go. Dressed in my swirl skirt and holding my parents hands I was ready. Sadly the place looked a bit shabby and smelled faintly of mildew. People were not dressed as if they were someplace special at all.I of course ordered oysters rockerfeller because that is what one is suppouse to do. But when it came and I ate it Iwas sad that it tasted more like an oyster goo. Chateaubriand for two was a set up for more disapoint for my sister and me as it tasted no better than what we made on the grill at home. The service was nice but not royal or grand.

                            Next trip it was August and a much better time

                            1. m
                              MariaFeliz Jul 9, 2013 04:52 PM

                              Very sorry to hear this, wow the pix in the review by blackened out were pretty horrific!. I had a pretty good $20 lunch there last year...maybe I can go for a salad and 25 cent martini's this year.

                              Interesting write up in the LA Times recently about the restaurant.
                              http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwor...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: MariaFeliz
                                g
                                Gizmo56 Jul 9, 2013 06:53 PM

                                Thank you for sharing that article. I found it quite touching.

                              2. Lambowner Jul 8, 2013 09:53 AM

                                We enjoyed a very decent lunch there last year and some good bar food one night in the Hermes Bar. I'm sorry to hear this.

                                1. Bill Hunt Jul 5, 2013 09:05 PM

                                  That is sad to hear.

                                  Just pre-K, we were less than impressed, but then, post-K, many were touting it as having "turned a corner." Most reviews were highly favorable, and that gladdened me, since it did hold a spot in my heart.

                                  Such is life,

                                  Hunt

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                    c
                                    collardman Jul 6, 2013 11:54 AM

                                    We have been twice in the past two years. The first time as diners. We were the only ones there "dressed" and had a dismal meal in a near empty dining room. In view of what the other diners were wearing we would have preferred an empty dining room.
                                    The second meal was as part of a dinner meeting in one of the dedicated rooms and it was very good. But that nice experience is not going to draw me back as a diner.

                                    1. re: collardman
                                      Bill Hunt Jul 6, 2013 07:52 PM

                                      Things are changing, and I will refrain from commenting, until NOLA gets things sorted out.

                                      I wish the City great luck, and hope that the new patrons can help elevate a great dining city, to what it once was. Somehow, I do not see that happening, but hope to be proved wrong.

                                      Hunt

                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                        m
                                        montuori Jul 8, 2013 10:56 AM

                                        Hmm ... I think it could be successfully argued that the city has now, restaurant-wise, surpassed its previous high water mark. I'd be interested in hearing a cogent argument to the contrary.

                                        1. re: montuori
                                          Bill Hunt Jul 8, 2013 07:15 PM

                                          Many feel that all of the "old standards," or the "grand dames," should be shuttered.

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                            g
                                            Gizmo56 Jul 8, 2013 09:09 PM

                                            It is my impression that everyone here roots for the "grand dames" to maintain the high standards that made them famous and successful in the first place.

                                            I agree with montuori that the mere fact that Antoine's has recently developed a reputation for inconsistency among critics and some Chowhounds does not mean that (overall) New Orleans's culinary culture is not performing as well or better than ever.

                                            Returning to the grand dames, if you go back in the Blackened Out blog a couple of months, you'll find a very solid review of Arnaud's ( http://www.blackenedout.com/2013/04/a... ). Obviously, Galatoire's is as successful as ever, with a brand new expansion.

                                            The "grand dames" face a natural risk of coasting on the tourist trade and nostalgia. Some will have ownership and management that recognize that risk. They will "stay hungry" and seek to maintain a stellar reputation. Others (at times) some will gradually fritter away the basis of their "grand-ness" (witness the debacle at Brennan's).

                                            I don't think anyone wants any grand dame in New Orleans to be shuttered. We want all of them to "wow" us.

                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                              k
                                              kibbles Jul 10, 2013 11:35 AM

                                              ive never met anyone here that called for the grand dames closure.

                                    2. h
                                      hazelhurst Jul 5, 2013 01:14 PM

                                      Wow! I've not been much in the last few years and I admit to some problems but Brother Louape lest fly, doesn't he? I'd like to ascribe it to the non-existent dress code..there might be something to that. The Rockefeller and teh Foch were both good on my recent visits but I steak I got (to have the marchand du vin) was not really good.Wasn't BAD, just not stellar. The souffle potato problem he describes happens anywhere they are made and while they are not difficult they can be a bit tricky. I have other info that suggests things are not rosy of St. Louis street and, as i have observed before, when the great houses are collapsing elsewhere it is perfectly possible here at home.

                                      1. s
                                        sanglier Jul 4, 2013 07:39 PM

                                        I've always wondered, have the owners ever been approached by our best and brightest restaurant folks, saying, Look, you know and I know you've been coasting on your rep for years, let me buy the place and restore it to its glory years with a shot of capital and new enthusiasm? Maybe I'm naïve, but if these old-guard places are weary of doing what it takes to put out a good product, why not cash in and let these gems be polished up for future enjoyment?

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