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Aug 16, 2013 02:50 PM

turkey day in NOLA - where to do

My husband and I decided to blow off our families and go to New Orleans for thanksgiving. I have been twice, him never. Any locals have recommendations of spots that may be open on thanksgiving? I assume most hotel run places will be but I don't want to waste a single meal on subpar food just cause its the holiday. Thanks so much

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  1. I'm from La Jolla, CA and visit at least once a year. Friends from here dined at August last Thanksgiving and raved about it.

    1. Pick your restaurants then check to see if they wil be open. Most will be open. Also, N.O. has many good restaurants located in hotels so you know they will be open. SoBu, R'evolution, Dominica, Luke, among others.

      1. I highly recommend you go mid-day to "Da Track" i.e. the racetrack at the fairgrounds. You don't have to do their sit-down formal T-day dinner (unless that appeals to you) but you will find drinks/munchies that won't spoil your dinner.

        It is a FUN scene --wear a great hat --and you still have plenty of time for dinner. The place to be if the weather is nice!

        + 1 August or Luke or SoBou. I think many will be open.

        12 Replies
        1. re: karendor

          How does one make reservations to eat at "da track"? I clicked on the link but couldn't see anything about T-day dining.

          1. re: Niki in Dayton

            Call the Track a 504-943-2200 9:00AM---4:00 PM Thursday thru Monday, 900AM-12:00Noon on Wednesday. I don't know if they are getting calls yet for the Clubhouse which is a $10.00 admission, no shorts, no sandals, no t-shirts. It will begin to fill up for Thankgiving pretty early. I note that they are scheduled to have "Exotic animal racing," an affront to Man and God, prior to Thanksgiving. Horrors.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Thanks so much, hazelhurst for the detailed info; sorry to be so slow in seeing this; I'm sad to say it appears we won't be in NOLA after all for Thanksgiving.

              1. re: hazelhurst

                <<"Exotic animal racing,">>

                What on Earth is that? Do monkeys ride cheetahs, and the winner gets to eat the "jockey?"

                Been a while, but I do not recall such.

                Sorry to hear that Thanksgiving at the Fairgounds has stooped to the level of the Arizona State Fair. It once exuded such class. Oh well, the times, they do change.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  "ostrich races" for example. It is horrible. As was once written of La Tour d'Argent when it put up floodlights "like a National monument," "it may be needed to survival but it casts a pall on the age that makes it necessary."

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Hm-m, things HAVE changed. Still, sounds like a state, or county fair, and not the Fairgrounds, that I once knew. Oh well, I suppose that soon Galatoire's will allow "wife-beater" t-shirts, cutoffs and flip-flops?

                    Sorry to hear this. As a 6 year old, I would wear my suit, don an overcoat (most years), and a hat, to accompany my father, who nearly always did Thanksgiving at the Fairgrounds. That was then, and this is now.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      The Fair Grounds has not quite descended to the level of mimes making animals from balloons--nor are there cut-offs/flip flops in Galatoire's--but the Day Is Coming. The new clubhouse doesn't lend itself to the pleasant dining of the old one, where the food could be quite good, Indeed ,many local restaurateurs had window tables and the track and they were tough customers. The FG kitchen could do shrimp salads (e.g.)that we though commonplace that would have caused James Beard to order thirds..which was not uncommon anyway. And kitchen workers have often worked in many of the other major houses. Half the time your favorite crepe maker from Antoine's was working at the track either for extra money or because he got drunk one Proteus Monday too many.

                      If one thing is true it is that the set is steadily in one direction(see Samuel Butler's"Way of All Flesh"). In 1960's New York I didn't understand old (50) men complaining about the impending Decline of Man because new shoestrings had plastic (instead of metal) aglets. I was a kid: they were right.

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        Quiet! You are breaking my heart. However, life must go on.

                        Sorry to read your descriptions, but that is how it is, and must be.

                        Plastic aglets - bite your tongue!

                        Next thing that you will tell me is that Galatoire's accepts "cut-offs," or that Wilton's does not require a jacket for gentlemen. [Will be there in two days]


                        1. re: Bill Hunt


                          That may be "how it is" but I cannot agree that it is how it "must be." They'll win in the end but I'm not going gently into those good flip flops. Lack of attention to detail can spil over into kitchen's approach with ease.

                          Wilton's caved in on the necktie some years ago but not for this old patron. Oysters should be excellent right now.

                2. re: hazelhurst

                  Goodness. Never thought about dining at the track. Worth a short detour? Open when the ponies aren't running, too?

                  1. re: lemons

                    At the Old clubhouse I'd have said sure, wander out for lunch but would not recommend a side trip for someone on limited time. The new place doesn't have a sense of, well, "place."

                    I don't go when the ponies aren't running. I know they have the OTB and other stuff out there but that is not something I do. If I am gambling, I want to see my $$ run away right in front of me.

            2. My husband's family congregates in New Orleans every Thanksgiving. The last three years were spent at August, La Provence and, most recently, at Borgne. Notice a pattern? My husband's uncle is a looong time fan of John Besh so we never miss a chance to eat at one of his restaurants. In fact, the night we arrive, we usually head right for Domenica and are there at least once more during the trip.

              Not sure where we'll be this year. Hope you have a great time!

              2 Replies
              1. re: punkin712

                So, which did you like best? My husband and I are doing the same thing as the poster and I was leaning toward La Provence.

                1. re: Ambiance

                  La Provence was amazing - great food, great service and great ambiance/location. Borgne also had great food and great service, but the vibe was a bit more casual. We probably spent over 3 hours at dinner at La Provence and maybe 2 hours at Borgne. I definitely prefer a more casual atmosphere, so I would probably pick Borgne.

              2. Hi...My husband and I are doing he same thing. Meeting son and his girlfriend in NOLA. First time ever we have skipped the traditional "at home" meal. We rented an apt in the Quarter with a kitchen..and could cook....but I am just dying to try t'giving dinner in one of the great restaurants.

                The problem one has their menu prepared yet. And, Many many of the better restaurants are already booked on Open Guess you just have to pick a place and then hope you like the menu. I know you can't make multiple reservations on opentable...unless you sign up with completely different email addresses.

                Kinda thinking about La Provence (over the Lake) - Besh's restaurant...or Houma's House - set on a plantation. they both had thanksgiving dinners. But, have my heart set on lots of seafood w/ turkey oyster stuffing or seafood appetizers.

                there is a local food reviewer that has a site and listed those that had stuff last year.

                I would probably not pick Red Fish Grill...but their menu (scroll down on right side) sounds very good to me

                HMMM...think I will just set up 10 email adresses and book as many as I can until I see the menus

                4 Replies
                1. re: Ambiance

                  I hope you are kidding about the 10 email addresses/reservations until they post the menus. That would be very unfair to the restaurant operators. Hopefully you can get enough feedback about the different venues and their customer satisfaction levels that you can make an informed choice even without the menu details for the holiday. That is the beauty of asking the locals and regulars in this forum.

                  1. re: foodiechick

                    I lived there for three years until 2011 and have been to most all the better restaurants in town (casual and formal). I would definitely cancel in due course. I am not an inconsiderate idiot.

                    I have my favorites - but I tend to be more menu-driven - based on what we are craving for at the time.

                    And, there is NO day better for a menu-driven diner than Thanksgiving.

                  2. re: Ambiance

                    Some restaurants do not release all their tables to "open table". Try giving some a call.

                    1. re: JazzyB

                      I agree completely. While OT has been great for me, when I get the dreaded "No tables... " and really want to dine there, I call. In many cases, there ARE tables. Such is life.