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Can't miss spots?

Hey took a look at some of the most recent posts. Wondering what are the can't miss spots in NO that I must visit for food. High end, mid, and or low doesn't matter. Seems that Galatoire's is ranking near the top.

How are the following places are they worth checking out?

thanks in advance for any help chees!

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  1. Galatoire's is -- for ME -- a can't miss, but then again, I don't live in NOLA (just visit once or twice every years since before Karina), and we do "Friday Lunch" for the food, for the tradition, and for the fun.

    Borgne left me flat when we ate there.

    Cochon is a must, again, for me.

    Emeril's restaurants are . . . well, Emeril's restaurants and I have other places I prefer to go in my limited time in town. OTOH, if I lived full-time in New Orleans, I'm sure I'd go there . . . probably with friends visiting from out-of-town . . . .

    1. Emeril's is not a "can't miss" spot.
      I think Bacchanal, Brigtsen's, and Clancy's all belong on the list.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Blumie

        Blumie if you had to chose between the following what would you go with then?


        1. re: na3r0k

          Wow, that's a tough one. I'd decide between Bacchanal and Brigtsen's, but they are such wildly different places, it really comes down to what type of atmosphere you're looking for.

          1. re: Blumie

            Any thoughts on what dcrandy posted with august, R'evolution, boyona and herbsaint?

            1. re: na3r0k

              I have not been to R'evolution. I like Bayona, Herbsaint and August (once upon a time Bayona was my all-around favorite in NOLA), but you just don't have time to do them all.

              Please note that it's hard for me to say that Brigtsen's and Bacchanal have the best food in New Orleans, as it's nearly impossible to judge a restaurant's food without taking into account its other attributes such as atmosphere, decor, etc. The reason that I put Brigtsen's and Bacchanal at the top is precisely because the overall package, including good food, makes me happy and captures, in my mind at least, the essence of New Orleans. (Certainly the same can be said about places others are recommending, as well. These are just the places that do it for me.)

              You should also note that Bacchanal is VERY different from the other places we're discussing. Very casual. Most people eat outside in a large courtyard (although there is a nice dining room upstairs). You order at a window into the kitchen (cash only), and then they give you a number to put on your table and they bring you your food. You set your own table with flatware available near the kitchen or upstairs near the bar.

              1. re: Blumie

                Thanks a ton, this has been very helpful, unfortunately there seems to be a decent amount of places that fit the mold of what i'm looking for so my choices seem to be getting tougher. I think ultimately Galatoire's will be my first shot, but I'll definitely check out herbsaint for lunch since they are one of the few mentioned on this thread that offers lunch.

              2. re: na3r0k

                Well, you already know from other posts that I've made in this thread what I think of August and R'evolution.

                Bayona is Susan Spicer's flagship restaurant -- wonderful for either dinner or lunch. We've been there frequently enough that she has become something of a friend, and in fact we traveled with her to Spain. Thus, take whatever number of grains of salt you deem appropriate. (Then again, we've become friends with a number of chefs, sommeliers/bartenders, and other people from various restaurants across New Orleans, and have noted several when they've come to the San Francisco Bay Area.) The "classics" are indeed classic, yet the new offerings on the menu always seem enticing -- it's always tough to choose.

                Herbsaint is another favorite restaurant of ours, and that's the problem: we have too many favorites and so, with a limited number of meals per trip, something always falls by the wayside. Herbsaint is one where we try to go once a year -- which is always easier if we visit New Orleans TWICE. If we only go once, sometimes we'll be forced to skip it on "this trip," but when that happens, we always make it a point to *definitely* eat there on our next visit.

                Let me put it this way, if we lived in New Orleans -- which is a dream, but not (yet) a reality -- we would probably dine at both Bayona and Herbsaint at least once a month.

        2. awesome, yea i'll be out there for a long weekend, but some of the plans have been made. I didn't do any of the food planning, so I wanted to get a solid dinner in the first night i'm out there, which is open from planning. It looks like Galatoire is the place. I think i might try to hit up cochon before i head out sunday for lunch.

          1. The two spots we do have set is acme oyster, and arnauds, mind you i haven't really heard anything about these spots, and the person planning the trip, probably isn't too food inclined in the first place. Are these places any good?

            1. Our favorites (most recent trip was on New Year's) was
              - Bayona
              - Herbsaint
              - August (really fine high end restaurant)

              we didn't eat at R'evolution (couldn't get in) but have heard really good things about it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: DCRandy

                Looked at the menu for R'evolution looks fantastic. I wouldn't mind doing a very high end restaurant, actually it was kind of what i was going for, so maybe August might fit the bill. Any thoughts on what i should lean towards for my first time if I'm choosing between the 3.


                1. re: na3r0k

                  If you are looking for good food and a real New Orleans experience, then it is Galatorie's. If you want to take out a second mortgage on your home, it is R'evolution. If you want a Besh expereience, it is August.

                  I would also like to recommend a relatively new spot for a more casual dinner choice: Mariza http://marizaneworleans.com/
                  Their Burrata crostini and tomatoes is to die for.

                  1. re: na3r0k

                    The galatoire's menu/style is very similar to Arnaud's so with limited time I wouldn't do both. I probably prefer the food at Arnaud's but Galatoires is as much about the experience as it is the food. Galatoires is my favorite restaurant so I'm in no way discounting its appeal.

                    I prefer August to R'evolution (disclaimer I've only been once to RR but tried a lot as it was a long celebratory dinner)personally but agree with a previous poster - if you're willing to get out of the downtown area then go to Clancy's or Brigtsen's for food you can't find elsewhere.

                    1. re: na3r0k

                      Let me start by saying I have dined several times, and have loved, all three BUT . . .

                      Of the three, Galatoire's is the CLASSIC New Orleans experience. August and R'evolution are great restaurants, and certainly are influenced by, and based upon, the regional cuisine of Louisiana, but "classic" they are not.

                      Something happened at August. I don't know what, but the last two times (out of the five times I've dined there), service has been sloppy and Octavio Mantilla -- partner and GM in the restaurant -- seems not to care. I last ate there in 2012.

                      R'evolution has been a wonderful "replacement," however. It *is* expensive, but my three dinners there have all been excellent.

                      Contrary to Paisley16, I would say that, in my experience, R'evolution has surpassed August, both in terms of food and service.

                      That said, I agree with Paisley16 regarding the similarities between Galatoire's and Arnaud's, AND about Brigtsen's (great food, but not the "experience" of Galatoire's).

                  2. Galatoire's is great fun, but I would say the old-school dining experience (with requisite New Orleans flair) is more of the draw than the menu. The food is great, but it's not the type of fare I would seek out were it not served with such aplomb and sense of tradition.

                    I supposed if I lived in New Orleans, I would develop favorite restaurants of all kinds. But as a once-a-year visitor, I choose where I eat more by the type of food than the reputation of the restaurant. There are a number of foods I just can't resist when I visit, so I try to rotate my sources around. Is there any particular dish or type of food that particularly interests you? Maybe that can help guide your choices?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: LorenzoGA

                      As far as food goes, something that's unique to the area. Most of the recommendations seem to fit the bill for that though. It might be the one time i have in NO for some time, so money isn't a concern. I'm just looking for a great dining experience overall when it comes to atmosphere and food. I'm kind of leaning towards R'evolution, i wanted to do galatoire's but i have a group of 6 and it doesn't look like they'll have any openings on the night i have available.

                      1. re: na3r0k

                        Just go to Galatoire's between 5:00 and 5:30 and you should have trouble at all getting in. You can probably get the six-top at the back by the desk which is my favorite for that size.

                    2. I'd like to add two recommendations to the excellent ones you have so far - I don't live in New Orleans but visit yearly and try to hit both both of these places each time I come in - guess that makes them can't misses for me. GW Fins is one of the best seafood restaurants I've been to in the US, they almost always have 3 or 4 dishes that interest me, And Green Goddess is the textbook deifnition of eclectic.

                      1. Thanks so much to everyone for all the help! I wish I had more time in NO to check all these places out, but i'll try to make it to as many as I can in the short period I have! Cheers!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: na3r0k

                          As I said above, I go 1-2 times every year, and *I* wish I had more time to check out all the places I want to go . . .

                          Just relax, enjoy, and let us know how it went! ;^)

                        2. Went ahead and requested a reservation over at herbsaint. Wanted to do Galatoire's but we needed a seating after 6:30. If herbsaint doesn't work out for the request i'll go with bayona instead. Thanks again for all the help. Any recomendations for sunday lunch/brunch? I figured i would go over to cochon butcher for lunch.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: na3r0k

                            Online reservations at both Herbsaint and Bayona are available on opentable.com, so it's worth checking there first. If opentable is not showing availability, I would then check directly with the restaurants.

                            1. re: Blumie

                              awesome, thank you for the help. I went on herbsaint's website and hit the reservation button and it said they would contact me. Weird that they don't just tie in their system with open table on their site, you'd think it would be easier that way.

                            2. re: na3r0k

                              I do not know the details of your situation but I just pint out, for general information, that 6:30 Galatoire table can be held by one person going in earlier. As long as someone I at the table, you are fine. Novices send people at 5:500 who get drunk by 6:30. Iced tea, coffee. Be careful. It will be a whale of a time when the table fills and the dinner starts.

                              1. Too many great options to have any "cant miss" spots as you can see. But, 26 replies with no mention of Peche is a somewhat shocking. Peche and Herbsaint would top my next visit list, and call me crazy, a schlep back to Bevi Seafood for that BBQ Shrimp would be in order.

                                +1 Atchafalaya brunch. Perhaps Saturday is better when Lafayette cemetery is open.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Ziggy41

                                  The Fallout for the Peche award means it is off limits for me for awhile. But as I have said before, the space just does not thrill me. There is something contrived about it (I guess any restaurant is contrived). And I've had good meals there and have tried to warm to it but I often think I'd have been happier at Clancy's. It is amusing that they have discovered head-on fish....I wonder if we'll go back to boning at the table? Oh well, I guess it's all been downhill since Alice Waters invented food.....

                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                    Hey hazelhurst, you raised something that my wife and I have been thinking about with regard to planning our next culinary foray to your city. We haven't yet tried Peche, but it's been on the top of our list. We LOVE fish. We eat fish at home at least once a week. We've eaten every preparation of fish I can imagine. We've eaten whole fish with the head and all both at home and various places around the world--that kind of preparation in itself is not going to make any impression on us. Are we going to be wowed by Peche, or is it really, when you get right down to it, a place more likely to impress people who don't eat fish all the time?

                                    1. re: LorenzoGA

                                      That' a good question: if I were you I'd go ahead and go. A restaurateur friend was there just before the award announcement and said that it was clearly some of the freshest fish he'd had. He did not find out who was supplying but Harlan is probably in the mix somewhere. Don't know who is supplying the shrimp/oysters but when I run across one of my Operatives I'll ask.

                                      1. re: hazelhurst

                                        Heh heh, of course I wouldn't NOT go just because someone here--even someone as well informed as you--were to be critical of it. Besides, if I don't check it out, I can't post my thoughts here :-)

                                        The paradoxical thing about fish restaurants is that, in my opinion, "less is better." Less cooking time. Less ingredients. A restaurant that takes the freshest fish and manages not to overcook it or add too many distracting ingredients gets top marks from me--simple as that.

                                        1. re: LorenzoGA

                                          Your theory generally comports with mine. The "truite au bleu" approach (stunningly demonstrated for me in Normandy forty years ago). When Paul Prudhomme popularized cremated redfish and dangeroulsy deplete the stocks it became hard to find redfish any other way. Several of us insisted on keeping it alive at Galatoire's where it was poached and served with a peeled, boiled potato and hollandaise. you could get other toppings of course. It is very simple and exquisite.

                                          On the other hand, there are more complicated, Lucullan effoirts that do work well. THe classic pompano en papillote is a truly good was to do the fish (if you can get a decent cut) although people tend today to think of it as a passe 19th Century show. But if you properly use those herbs and spices (sounds like it should be served in a bucket, doesn't it?) it can be sublime..

                                          Crabmeat and oysters are usually best at their simplest but I get enough of them that I sometimes fall in for the Nuclear Option. Crabmeat Sardou is a riot of excess and has probably taken ten years off my life on its own.

                                          1. re: hazelhurst

                                            Good information, thanks. More elaborate fish dishes admittedly can be wonderful, but the execution has to be flawless for it to trump a plain old perfectly cooked piece of fish.