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Seeking recs based on these specific criteria

I don't need to have ALL of these elements, but if I'm looking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner recs, what comes to mind based on these criteria of what I enjoy:
- chef's counter for solo dining (but anywhere comfortable for solo dining)
- offal (totally omnivorous/adventurous)
- bold ingredient combinations
- ethnic influences
- use of pickling/fermentation/other preservation techniques
- desserts with savory elements
- finer dining is fine, but non-pretentious is okay (even a hole-in-the-wall would work)
- care far more about food than alcohol
- prefer lunch items for breakfast (and maybe dinner items for lunch!)

All of that said, I want to make sure I have at least some of my selections reflecting NOLA cuisine, and not stuff I can get elsewhere in the country. (Should mention I haven't been to NOLA for ages, so consider it all new to me.)

Here's my consideration list so far:
- Verti Marti (po boy for bfast)
- Johnny's (po boy for bfast, as told available when bread arrives ~8am)
- Liuzza's by the Track
- August (for Friday lunch)
- Cochon Butcher
- La Petite Grocery
- Root

Thoughts? I might have time for 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners, so I look forward to feedback! Thanks...

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  1. Guessing you are staying in the FQ, if that is correct, I would suggest EAT on the corner of Dauphine an Dumaine for breakfast/lunch. It is BYOL. For interesting ingredient combinations, try the "All That Jazz" poorboy at Verti Marte.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TaTee

      Thanks. Actually, staying close to the Superdome, but willing to move around a bit. Looking forward to more recommendations!

    2. Root ticks most of those boxes, including offal, pickled stuff, and being able to eat at the bar. You should probably add Maurepas to your list; see a sample menu here: http://maurepasfoods.com/wp-content/u...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        Maurepas is a good idea...thanks for reminding me about it. I don't get down there as much since my friends sold their house nearby.

      2. I have had lovely solo lunches sitting at the bar at 1) Domenica

        http://www.domenicarestaurant.com/men... at 2) Luke

        http://www.lukeneworleans.com/sites/d...

        +1 on EAT, Maurepas... and I would add in Boucherie, over by Riverbend. One of my favorite NOLA bistros (better for dinner, I think), along with Coquette.

        2 Replies
        1. re: karendor

          I also thought of Boucherie when I read the OP - for solo dining at the bar. But there are only 4 first-come first-served seats at the bar that usually are filled pretty soon after it opens, in my experience.

          1. re: pizzajunkie

            Thanks, PJ.

            So funny, I've never even *seen* the bar at Boucherie, LOL, cuz I've always been with two or four when I've dined there. It must be around the corner from the larger dining room?

            Probably worth a call for single dining options at Boucherie, but well worth it, especially if the streetcars are functional down to Riverbend. [I need to check this as I am coming next week!!!!]

            Is Zimet's new place open yet?

        2. Maurepas looks interesting. Will probably watch to see what the menu there offers while I'm in town. I'm appreciating the other ideas and checking them out, but note that (solo) bar seating is ideal, but preferring places that offer some Cajun/Creole cuisine if possible.

          1. I agree with others that Root fits best. But August doesn't fit.

            Think about Luke instead of August as Luke hits more of the boxes including eating at the bar.

            4 Replies
            1. re: collardman

              I recall a lovely winter day hearty lunch at the bar at Luke making new friends the bartender (of course) and a lovely blond doctor from Birmingham, Alabama. Quite convivial, and rather cozy on a blustery day.

              1. re: collardman

                Collardman, you raise an interesting point.

                I've had a lot of friends recommend August for the overall dining experience, and the value of the $20 Friday lunch menu. (Though, again, note that I don't necessarily need to eat at the bar. A chef's counter is great. Bar is just so-so for me.) But I know the menu is less likely to be Cajon/Creole.

                If I do the "Express Menu" at Luke for lunch at $15 (ordering, for example, the gumbo and the court bouillon w/seafood), and then add a side or a dessert, you think that will be a more satisfying experience for me? Or will I be missing out on something special at August?

                1. re: dimsumfan

                  You may be asking the wrong person. I like the experience at August. It is beautiful and the service is very good. But the food doesn't get to me like it does for the majority here. I've gone twice, one lunch and one dinner and the food was good, but not, as it is said locally, slap ya momma good.

                  My wife and I don't always agree on restaurant reviews but we agree on August. We won't avoid it it just won't be a priority. And I'll be the first to say I'm paddling against the current with my view of August's foods.

                  You sounded like you would be more into the bistro experience then a suave restaurant. Purely on a food basis it is hard to compare Luke and August as those are two different kitchens. August is "better" food but I don't know if it would be a better experience. I enjoy Luke more.

                  1. re: collardman

                    Thanks. I totally understand what you're saying. I had August in there as my one potential "fine dining" experience, albeit in an affordable way. I might post separately about the Luke vs. August dilemma.

              2. Some great recommendations already. I'd throw Toups' Meatery into the mix too. Everything I've had there I've enjoyed and the bar's a-ok for solos.

                1. Thanks again, everyone. I enjoyed the food at Maurepas, but much better (for me) was Root. The food is whimsical, and bar seating offers the solo diner a chance to watch some food prep. Charcuterie board and a couple of small plates made for a great meal.