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NYC chowhound finalizing 4 days in NOLA, need fellow Chowhounds' help!

Let me preface this by saying that I've only been to NOLA once last year on a business trip. And I tried my best to cram in as many eats solo as possible (challenging with so many amazing food options and no partner in crime!), and a couple with colleagues. I went to Central Grocery, cafe du Monde, Mother's, Commander's Palace, Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Drago, Emeril's NOLA, Luke's, Carousel Bar, Lafitte, went all the way to Domilises to find it closed...

I'll be returning tomorrow with my SO and we are ready for some good eats! My first question is Clancy's vs Patois, and are either worth the trip to Uptown from FQ? We ruled out Gautreau's, as I felt like even though highly rated, being from Manhattan we have a lot of similar "New American" options. We would rather experience more local cuisine and flavors (Southern, Creole). We are down for a fancy meal or two, but one question is do they really expect guys to wear jackets in the summer? We would prefer to stick to mid range price point ($40-60) rather than $100/pp type spots, and very open to dives as long as the food is awesome. Will probably stick to cocktails at dinner and bars, so wine list is not as important.

After MUCH deliberation on CH, Yelp, Zagat and www.nomenu.com here is our list. Please feel free to nix anything you think not worth it or add anything that should not be missed.

LUNCH
Commanders Palace
Galatoire's - I am trying to squeeze this in on my lunch break from CBD as I heard they have a special. Is this not really feasible / slow service / too far to run back and forth? I think I would prefer to hit this spot for lunch rather than dinner but maybe I'm being too optimistic?
Mr. B's Bistro - looking for a good Saturday lunch before we leave. Planning on going out Friday so good hangover food would be great :) it seems brunch is only a Sunday thing?

DINNER
Sylvain
Herbsaint
Clancy's vs Patois
Had a res for Restaurant R'Evolution but there seem to be mixed reviews? Cancelled it, should I rebook?
Any other foodie local fare spots? Liked Cochon but seems too heavy for summer

SNACKS
Domilises - worth the trip? Esp if we are already headed to Parkway?
Parkway
Willie Mae's (is it safe to walk from Parkway to WM?
)Casamento's
Manal Pascale
Domenica happy hour, if we feel likes pizza snack (again, from NYC, would rather eat local)

BARS
Kingfish
Victory
Snake and Jake - I am told this is the best dive bar ever. Also looks furthest on the map! Worth it??
Le Bon Temps

Thank you! Can't wait to hear responses

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  1. If I an reading this right, you arrive Wednesday for what seems to be meetings in the CBD (thru Friday?) and then decamp Saturday afternoon/evening. This means three dinners and four lunches, including Wednesday with morning/afternoons occupied. Well, tall order there with everything listed. Apart from Domenica I don't see anything "snackable" on the list under that heading. And Casamentos is in summer closure.

    As to other specifics:

    Clancy's v. PAtois: both are good and both largely local. I prefer Clancy's but I am more used to it. Patois has that descriptive,adjective-ridden menu that has become de rigeur in the US, much to my regret.

    The lunch special at Galatoire's is less aimed at the tourist trade than at the regulars-or-quasi regulars who just don't think of it as a one-hour place. They are trying to entice the attorneys and business folks to whip in and out rather than have a meal at almost the same price closer to the office. I recommend against it for visitors but I don't go in there--or anywhere good--expecting to be out in an hour or even 90 minutes. You cannot appreciate it on-the-fly but if you are a regular is not a bad idea.

    No one expects a coat anymore although if you are at MY table, even in August, the men are in coat AND tie. I won't put up with it. Insofar as I know, Galatoire's is the last place in town with a jacket(only) requirement and even that is evening and Sundays only. I've seen people in guayaberas in there at 3:00.

    I would not walk to Willie May's. I don't go there much anyway.

    CP is always a good choice even if it is up-and-down (for me) it is rarely so far off that it is a problem..although it has happened.

    Herbsaint is perfectly fine. As for R'Evolution, you'll need others for that. I am no great admirer of Mr Folse. This is partly a matter of style.

    Mr B's--or anywhere--will be good hangover food. The liberal (to put it mildly) use of butter in many local dishes is thought to be a great soaker-upper. As is known around here, on a Saturday before a flight, I'd go to Glatoire' and rattle out to the airport about 3:00 for a 5:00 flight. It is just more comfortable for me that way.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hazelhurst

      hazelhurst, you seem like a local. A few questions for your expertise:

      If I go to Parkway for po'boys, should I bother going to Domilises as well?

      Is Pascal Manale's worth going to for BBQ shrimp? or can I satisfy that dish urge somewhere in FQ / CBD? (Mr. B's maybe?)

      favorite dishes at Galatoire's? I've heard good things about the Crab Yvonne.

      1. re: jungirl

        I like both Parkway and Domilise's but my original loyalty is to the shrimp at Domilise's. I grew up in there. And Miz Dot just died so the heartstrings would tug me that way. they don't usually get praise for the Roast Beef but I've never had a problem with it. Parkway is awfully good in the Roast Beef department, though.

        Pascal Manale's is usually credited with inventing "barbequed" shrimp--with margarine. But everyone raves about Mr B's BBQ shrimp and they were fine the last time had them which was when a visiting fireman wanted some last year.

        Remember that oysters are not at their best this time of year but that is not to say you cannot find some looking pretty good. I saw wome dismal ones in Baton Rouge a couple of weeks agio and they were from a reputable vendor. You are probably OK on the cooked variety--if they ar large enough. Ask about it before you order.

        Crabmeat Yvonne is a favotire. I ask them to dump some eaxtra garlix and they know I love artichoke so I can usually get some more sliced hearts. Crambmt Sardou is wonderful (crab on artichoke hears with creamed spinach covered by hollandaise). Pompano is great if it looks good to the waiter. I love the poached redfish hollandaise which is an ancient item but they have to have the right fish for it to work. Godchaux salad never fails nor does Crabmeat Canape Lorenzo. It is summer and crabmeat should be running pretty good, especially in there where half the menu relies on it. This is very rich food and won't look anything like WD-50 or EMP.

        1. re: hazelhurst

          This is amazing. Thanks hazelnut!

      2. re: hazelhurst

        You have been given many good options, particularly in FQ "neighborhood" bars. Harry's is nice but not what it was when Benny Beachball had it.

        Also consider Little Gem Saloon.

      3. "Planning on going out Friday so good hangover food would be great :) it seems brunch is only a Sunday thing?"

        Atchafalaya serves brunch on Saturday. The atmosphere is relaxed and there is a cool self-serve bloody mary bar, so it is a good spot within which to nurse a hangover.

        http://www.atchafalayarestaurant.com/

        Elizabeth's is likewise a good option for Saturday brunch. Don't miss their praline bacon:

        http://www.elizabethsrestaurantnola.com/

        Agree that Galatoire's is best enjoyed without any time pressure. Agree as well that walking to and from Willie Mae's is not advisable. As already noted, Casamento's is closed for the summer season.

        I had a good experience at R'evolution, and their "Death by Gumbo" was one of the best menu items I had in the city during a lengthy visit. But I know some here have been underwhelmed, so you may find other choices are safer.

        Your choices for "snacks" strike me more as filling lunch destinations. I think of snacking more as the small plates at Three Muses (great place to drink & snack & hear live music...a true triple threat: http://www.thethreemuses.com/ ), a plate of oysters at Felix's, a beignet, etc. Consider nearby Cochon Butcher for sandwiches made with great house-cured meats: http://www.cochonbutcher.com/

        Have a great time!

        1. Herbsaint is fantastic; I have only been for lunch, but it was amazing; esp. the gumbo that I tasted.
          Sylvain is beautiful; but more like that NYC readily-available stuff; I would skip it for a meal, but for sure try to have a drink on the back patio area, it's gorgeous.

          I've always wanted to go to Snake & Jake but it is waaaay out there. Within the Quarter are two (at the very least!) great dive bars; Harry's Corner on Chartres near Jackson Square, and I love, love love The Chart Room, also on Chartres but closer to Canal. Lafitte's on Bourbon and St. Philip (the quiet end of Bourbon) is an all time classic. Can get crowded and loud sometimes at night, but the off hours are great.
          Also Napoleon House is amazing; skip the food but a great place for a drink with a beautiful courtyard. Let us know if you make it to Snake & Jake, but you do have plenty of other options should you decide to skip it ! Have a great time !

          14 Replies
          1. re: piglet3000

            This is excellent advice. Thank you for letting me know Casamento's is closed (which I am very bummed about). Any other amazing low key raw oyster / seafood places? I went to Drago's last time and was underwhelmed.

            Everyone on this board is right, that my "SNACKS" are mis-nomered. I guess everything I want to try ended up there that doesn't really require a formal reservation. I will only be working Thursday on Poydras and Friday morning, and it seems Galatoire's for Thurs lunch might be a stretch. Any quick lunches closer to CBD to replace it? maybe MiLa?

            I also made a backup Galatoire's dinner res for Friday, but it's at 5:30 PM.

            piglet3000, I had a drink and an app at Sylvain last time, mostly because my friend from NY designed it. I will let him know you like the atmosphere! I've heard it's got more of a night scene, so maybe that will end up on a drinks and snacks late night list.

            I think I will stick with Clancy's, thanks hazelhurst!

            We will definitely take a car to Parkway and our plan was to share a po' boy and then walk to Willie Mae's for fried chicken. Google maps says its a 4 minute walk? Surely that's safe?

            1. re: jungirl

              Well, there was a homicide on Esplanade last night (midnight) but....I'd drive it even if I know people in the area.

              Lunch in CBD might work at Luke.It is a bit pricey but he's always had good oysters. D├ęcor is a bit pretentious but it is overall a nice place. He does good meats, too. MiLa is a fun idea and I cannot complain about it.

              A Galatoire reservation gets you upstairs. You might be able to switch to downstairs which is where you want to be. That WILL be jacket required---and kept on the person. I'd just go at 4:30 or so and slip in that way.

              1. re: hazelhurst

                Wow, 4:30? People eat that early? What's the deal with downstairs? regulars only? This whole dinner experience has me really excited to try it, but also intimidated! :-/

                1. re: jungirl

                  It's no big deal. The place is open all day. By late afternoon the lunch mob SHOULD be largely dissipated (physically..they will be personally dissipated long before that). It is traditional to drop in throughout the day as used to happen al the time when there was still good shopping on nearby Canal Street. If you go at 4:30/5:00 you should not have a wait. Then you have drinks and relax. Maybe cradmeat maison..maybe shrimp remoulade. By 6:00 you might feel like having a salad. Lots of people order course-by-course. That is all I ever do. Downstairs is not regulars only and there are some regulars who will be upstairs but in the main, downstairs is the party. The prior hours on Friday are The Friday Lunch and it can get horribly out-of-hand. But don't worry about it. The place is a joint, really.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Sounds like fun! looking forward to my LOOOOONG meal at Galatoire's :)
                    hazelhurst, what's your favorite restaurant in the city? just curious.

                    1. re: jungirl

                      Oh, it's Galatoire's hands down. My family is to have my wake in there. There are terrific dishes elsewhere in town but Galatoire's sticks to its bistro formula and the place has a soul that others envy. It is a relaxed place, despite the High Energy--and noise--that can bounce around.[Clancy's is similar.] Ask them how to play the game and I am sure you'll be accommodated. You might even get one of the bevy of Cajun waiters. There are no waiter "sections" it depends on who is where on the list or how many of the preferred customers have already claimed him. There are lots of posts about it if you search. remember that when you see someone complain about things "Swimming in butter" or the garlic bread "singed (or burned) on top" well, that's the way we like it. If you are scared of butter ask them to put it on the side. They're happy to fiddle around. (But you will want the butter).

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        Oh i love me some butter, especially if it's with delicious seafood like crab :) I am really psyched to try Clancy's and Galatoire's now! yesterday I had a headache from trying to sort through all the choices and reviews. Thank you for sharing your local knowledge!

                        MiLa is booked for lunch :( Cafe Adelaide is a stone's throw from my client. Thoughts for lunch?

                        1. re: jungirl

                          They run a good shop I think but I've only been a couple of times--when someone wanted to try it--and can't recall what I had. But I have friends who are friends of the family and they are very fond of it.

                          1. re: hazelhurst

                            Correction: even though TWO lunch menus are still up on their site, MiLa no longer serves weekday lunch

                            1. re: jungirl

                              News to me but MiLa isn't really on my radar. Some things are really very good but it is not a regular sort of place for me. In that part of town I default to The Roosevelt.

                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                We have dined there three times. The food, and the wine were great, along with the service for both, on each.

                                The last visit was marred by one table, located "around the corner" from ours, but they were so out of control, that it ruined our experience. It was tough to enjoy the meal, when an 8-top was screaming, shouting and cutting up beyond belief. Though they were a good 30' from us, I could not hear my wife, next to me.

                                Obviously, that group is unlikely to be there for visit 4, but the surfaces at MiLa do not help things, when there is a frat toga party, at a near-by table.

                                At the Roosevelt, only Dominica's impressed me. Now, for drinks ONLY, Sazarac Bar was fun, but then, if one wished to dine - only Dominica's. As a bit of a PS - I cannot say enough about the service and accommodations by Dominica. They went well beyond what ANY restaurant should have to, never missed a beat, and did so with a warm smile. Though now 3.5 years ago, I am still so very impressed. We dine at a lot of 3-star restaurants in Europe/UK, and some of the finest in any city in the US, but I would still hold the staff there, up as a paradigm to all. OK, enough gushing about the staff at Dominica - the food was very good too!

                                Hunt

                  2. re: jungirl

                    Well, Galatoire's is a bit different.

                    As has been pointed out, standing in line, to dine downstairs is a tradition. If one has never dined at Galatoire's, then I strongly agree - they MUST dine downstairs. On many evenings, that DOES mean standing in line early. If one has dined downstairs, then a viable option is to make reservations, and accept upstairs - the food is the same, but the "experience" does differ. Having dined at Galatoire's for most of my life (though since I am no longer local, not as often, as I once did), I can easily go with reservations, upstairs and a much later seating.

                    For the locals, and European visitors, New Orleans is actually a fairly late dining city, though not as late, as it once was. Once, one would see few, other than tourists ("not that there is anything wrong with that... "), before about 8:00PM, with the crowds moving in between 9:00PM and 10:00PM. Seems to have moved up by an hour (roughly), post-K.

                    Many locals would never even consider joining the line at Galatoire's, before about 7:30PM, anticipating getting in around 8:30 - 9:00PM, for a good, long meal.

                    The rec. for that early time is so that you get into the line early. Depending on the evening, you should pretty much walk right in, and will be seated downstairs. Plan on the entire evening, and rely heavily on your server's suggestions. Tell them of any dietary issues first, then sit back, relax and enjoy.

                    The caution about butter is a good one. If you are doing some heavy NOLA cuisine, prior, sort of cut back, so that you can completely enjoy Galatoire's - there will be butter!

                    Some years ago (after having been gone for a couple of decades), we did the "grand tour" of NOLA. We hit all of the "old-school restaurants," that we knew growing up, and living in the City. Night after night, day after day. Nothing BUT very good, but very rich NOLA cuisine. Unfortunately, Galatoire's was our last stop, for the "big blowout." Our server knew my wife, from years before (she was a native), and when she asked for a recommendation for something a bit lighter, replied, "Miss Linda, I know it's been a while, since you dined with us, but you gotta' remember where you are - this is Galatoire's. You can go light anywhere else, but here." She did the Trout Meuniere Amandine, and it was great. I actually think that the chef cut back on the butter a bit, just for her. Next time that we do the grand tour, Galatoire's will be first, and not last.

                    As others have noticed, your itinerary is pretty ambitious, and especially so, if you do not dine on rich food, daily. My suggestion is to pace yourself. For lunches and snacking, do hit the spots, but share say a "half-loaf" shrimp po-boy. Save a bit of room for the big meals in the evening. There is so much to sample ("sample" being the operative word here), that you do not want to miss anything, because you overdid it early on. When we go back to NOLA (once, to three times per year), I am tempted to eat everything in sight, all day long. I can no longer do that, having now lived elsewhere, with lighter foods in general, for 3 decades. Like my poor wife almost did - do not miss a grand meal, even for a delicious po-boy.

                    Last, while I do enjoy BBQ Shrimp at both Mr. B's and Pascal's Manale, the best that either of us have had was at Emeril's NOLA Restaurant. However, "best" is a personal thing, like Restaurant R'Evolution - we like it, thought that it had great potential, but about 6 mos. after opening, had not yet realized that potential, on several levels. I will go back, now that they should be settled in, and keep an open mind. For both of us, it was OK, but lacking on too many levels. We hear that they have smoothed off the rough edges, and I hope so, as I think that they have that "potential."

                    Most of all, enjoy!!!

                    Hunt

                2. re: jungirl

                  The first trip I ever made to New Orleans was way back (1994) traveling from Brooklyn. Stayed with some friends of friends; we went out one night, got in the car, drove 6 blocks. Got out of the car. You can imagine my surprise when normally I was on foot for 20, 30 blocks or more at all hours! This was a long time ago but it's always better to err on the side of caution.
                  It all depends on the area, and driving is probably best. At the very least you could get awfully overheated in summer weather in a few short blocks too!
                  Yes give my props on the Sylvain design; (the food is good too, if it was here in NY I would be a loyal patron!) I have it on my list for a cocktail next month too !

                  1. re: piglet3000

                    Just like, say Queens, there are places, where a short cab ride is the best course of action.

                    Now, though walking in Manhattan is often lovely, we often cab-it, due to time and distance.

                    Sylvain is new to me, but I keep seeing it pop up, so I feel that I am missing something big, and need to correct that.

                    Hunt

              2. Re: Snake & Jake's, it's unique and incredibly "divey", but I would not travel uptown just to go there. It's super smokey and the drinks are nothing special. However, it might be fun to plan an entire night uptown. You could go after Pascale Manale's, but I would skip that altogether. I would instead recommend taking the streetcar up to The Columns for happy hour, hopping back on the streetcar and going up to the Riverbend area, where you can have dinner at Boucherie, Dante's Kitchen, Brigtsen's, or Jacques-Imo's. The first three take reservations, but you'll definitely have to wait at Jacques-Imo's. Check out the menus at those places to see which one suits you best (I prefer Boucherie). If you are interested in live local music, you can walk to The Maple Leaf or Carrolton Station after dinner (it's a safe area), and/or walk to Snake and Jake's. If you feel it's too hot to walk, you can, of course, take cabs.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sw79

                  sw79, very interesting. I read about Boucherie, and it looked intringuing, but as of now the only reservation we have in Uptown is at Clancy's. I wonder if dress code from Clancy's would translate over to Snake and Jake's.... maybe if it's earlier side on a Thurs? Thanks for the other bar recs, adding them to my Uptown list.

                  1. re: jungirl

                    I have been in Snake and Jake's in white tie on many occasions. Late night bars are used to such things. Mis Mae's used rto have a picture of a bunch of us in white tie standing out front