Great food in a fun/casual atmosphere (Jacques-Imo's, D&J's, etc)
My wife and I got married in New Orleans last year and try to get out there every year, if not more. Even though all the talk about August and Commander's does appeal to us a bit... my wife and I really like the type of places that have high quality food but a very casual or fun atmosphere.
Jacques-Imo's immediately comes to mind, and to a lesser extent maybe a place like Dick & Jenny's. I'm wondering if you guys have any suggestions for similar restaurants given the fact that we love J-I's and D&J?
We are returning to New Orleans in a month and Dante's Kitchen, Atchafalaya, and Upperline are currently at the top of the list of restaurants we want to try... although I'm unsure if any of those have the atmosphere we're looking for.
Do yourselves a favor and go to Commander's for a fun lunch in the garden room. You won't need a jacket. Far better food than the others, prix specials, 25 cent martinis.
Bacchanal and Boucherie spring immediately to mind. Both have better food than their price points or casualness would have you believe. The former's atmosphere is hard to replicate outside its corner of the Bywater.
Two other places that don't seem to crop up much in recommendations but should based on the quality of the food are Toup's Meatery and Crescent Pie & Sausage. Neither is very expensive or anything but casual and on all occasions both have delivered the goods.
Dante's Kitchen serves up some excellent food; I'm always a little disappointed in the service (but not so much so that I don't go back).
CP and August are rightfully lauded and in a different league (both in quality and price) than the other places mentioned. Link's places -- Herbsaint & Cochon (I'm less a fan of Peche but maybe I'll grow on me) -- are solid without too much pretension. I've had some memorable (yet somehow unrememberable) meals at both.