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Anniversary Weekend


Morgan_Weber
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In September, my wife and I will be celebrating our 1-year wedding anniversary. I'm in the process of figuring out where to eat. We're from Houston and would like to skip out on Brennan's since we have one here.

The first night is in Baton Rouge. Second night is in New Orleans (this will be the night that we actually celebrate our anniversary). I've been doing some research and have a couple of ideas. Tentatively, I have us down on the books at Herbsaint, although the only reviews I've read appeared in magazines (does this joint live up to the hype or could we do better elsewhere). We want to eat somewhere that will challenge us and our pallates. We're looking for something that is distinctly local, but doesn't confine itself to everything cajun. If y'all wouldn't mind throwing your two scents in, I'd appreciate it. I've gotta plan breakfast lunch and dinner ideas for two nights and two mornings in Baton Rouge, and one night/one morning/lunch in New Orleans. We're also going to be on River Road while traveling from Baton Rouge to NO (a lunch idea would be awesome).

The only real night where money is not an object as far as the meal is concerned is in New Orleans.

Thanks in advance for all of your help.

I'd like to add too, that we love cheap, whole-in-the-wall places where the sanitary nature of the place might be questionable, but the food is unbeatable.

Edited by Morgan_Weber (log)
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Can't go wrong with Herbsaint. Another idea might be Restaurant August. Not especially "local," but excellent food. For real "occasions" I always think of Galatoires as well, very "local" non cajun. Other places worth considering would be Bayonna and Stella. I believe all have a web presence, take a look and feel free to ask any questions you may have. I am sure you will enjoy your visit. Charlie

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Herbsaint is a lovely spot, low-key and comfortable...but you might not find it "fancy" enough for an anniversary? No amuses, no chocolates with the check. I'd probably go to August or (old sentimental favorite) Commander's (where they know how to treat you on special occasions & it always feels festive, though the food won't be "challenging").

River Road from BR to NOLA isn't especially rife with destination restaurants; you could try the always-reliable, old-fashioned, in-the-middle-of-nowhere Hymel's in Convent, LA. I have heard that Oak Alley plantation is running a restaurant again, haven't been. I've also heard some good comments on Latil's Landing, the new resto at Houmas House plantation.

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I like Herbsaint as well, but it does have a more casual vibe.

August is generally excellent and certainly romantic enough. I've heard some reports from friends that August is a little less stellar when John Besh isn't in the kitchen. Anyone else experience this recently?

What about Gautreau's? It was our favorite place for special occasions before the storm. The same chef from before the storm is back. I haven't made it over there since it reopened recently. Any reports?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I had an excellent meal at La Petite Grocery recently. The new chef seems strong. In fact, it's much better now than when I ate there about a year ago. At that point it seemed like the kitchen didn't care, but the new guys has lots of energy and creativity.

Martinique is nice. Maybe not special enough for an anniversary weekend, but a good place. A friends raves about the brunch, but I haven't been for that.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Anton Schulte, the former chef, did have an ownership interest, I believe. Joel Dondis (local caterer) seems to be the main owner, although there could be other investors. Who knows?

I went there about a year ago and was served the sloppiest looking dish I've ever had at a fine dining restaurant. It didn't surprise me when Anton announced his departure shortly after that. That meal made felt like it was cooked by a chef who didn't want to be there. Word is that he will open his own place soon.

Justin Devillier, who was sous before, is now the chef. He's making some great charcuterie. It's a little more French. The menu includes more small plates. Definitely worth a try. It's also a romantic restaurant that could work for a anniversary.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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