Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

New Orleans Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


chezcherie
 Share

Recommended Posts

Go before the end of April and don't come back before October. We live straight west of NOLA about 4 hours, and WE don't even go then. The narrow streets in the Quarter allow for NO breeze at all. The worst time we ever had there was in May, and it was because of the heat. We went a couple of years ago in December and that was pretty nice - cool weather and Christmas decorations and oysters. What could be better?????

Stop Family Violence

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do enjoy a good sweat and I dont care for huge crowds. Summer is it for me. Get a hotel with a pool and a pool bar. Practically walk into whatever restaurant you want without a reservation.

Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I discussed the heat in this submission for The Daily Gullet. As davebr said, a pool is key. In my piece I described it like this and it seems easier to quote it than to re write:

From The Turkey Drop:

To those who have never had the experience, weather in the summer in New Orleans can be a hard to understand. It's hot. It's never "not hot." Not a single five-minute respite from the heat. It's hot when you go out to get the Times Picayune off of the sidewalk and it's hot when you leave your office to go to lunch. It's hot on the St Charles Ave. Streetcar as you ride home from work. It's hot when you leave Tipitina's at three in the morning (and damn hot while you are in Tips, but that is another very long story, although I will say that the perpetrator of the constantly replaced graffiti on the side of the building -- the graffiti that used to say "Air Condition Benefits" -- might be a "friend" of mine). New Orleans is one of the few places in North America where it can rain a couple of inches in the middle of the afternoon and the temperature will not drop. If any of you have a wood stove in your house, pour a little water on it some cold winter's afternoon and as you watch the steam rise and hiss and perhaps burn your hand, think of a street in New Orleans after a rainstorm. It is exactly the same thing and it even looks and sounds the same.

We live at the bottom end of one of the great rivers of the world. Three quarters of the watershed in North America passes under the watchful eye of General Jackson, astride his marble horse in Jackson Square (which, according to the folks at Kodak, is the single most photographed monument in the United States). Water everywhere. Bayous, streams, swamps, ponds, etc. The best water, however, is in your friend's swimming pool, because that is the only place you can beat 95% humidity and constant 90-degree-in-the-shade heat. You just immerse yourself in 100% humidity at a (hopefully, but not always) lower temperature and for as long as you are performing your ablutions you forget about the fact that as soon as you towel off and change you will be once again bathing in perspiration.

Well, if you have ever heard the expression "Crazy from the Heat," you might have a clue about what goes on around here in summer. For many people, heading for a cool, dark bar and a refreshing, even cooler beverage is not just a good idea and a pleasant thing to do, it is basic to the need to survive. The downside of this decision is that for those that have a cocktail or two at five, some seemingly good decisions and plans made later in the evening turn out to be not exactly the most well thought out decisions and plans in the world.

It's damn hot here in the summer, but it is still a great time to visit, as the prices are low and the restaurants are really glad to see you and will let you know it with great service and value. Hotel rooms are cheap as well.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Note that in New Orleans, it can and does rain heavily with no prior notice all year round.

June - September means unpredictable weather (up to and including hurricanes) and nearly oppressive heat. 90-100+ during the day and 80's at night, with near 100% humidity. It's at it's worst after the nearly daily afternoon thunderstorm.

October and November can vary between 30 and 80 degrees, with a fair amount of rain mixed in.

December and January (aka winter) means highs somewhere around 50, with lows down as far down as the 20s. Variations of up to 30 degrees throughout the day can be expected. But it is the one time of year there are no mosquitos.

February is usually Mardi Gras - yes, that is a season in iteself, and the weather has little to no effect on it, so the temperature does not matter.

March through May are good bets, including the aforementioned JazzFest. Expect temperature variations of 30 degrees or better between evening lows and midday highs. The highs can vary from 80 to 95 or wider, with lows in the 60's.

Edited to add: The food is superb all year long, though.

Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)
Screw it. It's a Butterball.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! Unfortunately, I just wilt in the heat, so taking advantage of summer bargains is out. As well, I simply cannot eat when it's too hot, so it would just be silly to go then, right? I'm used to the rain (lived in England, currently live in Seattle), so that's not a problem at all! Actually, when I went to grade school in England, they'd throw us into the outdoor, unheated pool in December, so Maybe the pool is a good idea at any time of year... :wink:

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do enjoy a good sweat and I dont care for huge crowds. Summer is it for me. Get a hotel with a pool and a pool bar. Practically walk into whatever restaurant you want without a reservation.

Admit it! You were at the Royal Sonesta last summer, too...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An addendum to my original query: How's NOLA for either Christmas week or New Year's week? We've just learned at work that if our company hits a certain profit point, we're all getting an extra week of vacation, with the caveat that we have to take one of those weeks.

I know the weather could be iffy, but are restaurants and attractions open those weeks? Are they extra busy with the holiday revelers, or would I still be able to get in to dine? Would it be worth it to go? What goes on during those weeks in town?

I like the idea of going when there are no mosquitos!

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An addendum to my original query: How's NOLA for either Christmas week or New Year's week? We've just learned at work that if our company hits a certain profit point, we're all getting an extra week of vacation, with the caveat that we have to take one of those weeks.

I know the weather could be iffy, but are restaurants and attractions open those weeks? Are they extra busy with the holiday revelers, or would I still be able to get in to dine? Would it be worth it to go? What goes on during those weeks in town?

I like the idea of going when there are no mosquitos!

New Years week = Sugar Bowl. 100,000 screaming college football fans, probably from out-of-state. Bad idea.

Christmas week should be OK, though. I guess it depends on what convention is in town, what part of town you are staying in, and what your plans are while you are there.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

New Years week = Sugar Bowl. 100,000 screaming college football fans, probably from out-of-state. Bad idea.

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Fellow eG'er Della and I (with SO's) are vacationing in NOLA this September. We will most likely be staying at the Hotel Monteleone in the french quarter. We are already researching restaurants as that is half the fun right??

Here's where we are starting from:

breakfast:

cafe du monde

French Market

lunch:

Elizabeths

Petunias

Acme Oyster

Central market

Brunch or Dinner:

Commanders Palace

Dinner:

NOLA

Upperline

Casa Mentos

Jacques Imos

Galatoires

Bombay Club

How are we doing, what should we cut? What are we missing??

Do any of the restaurants have a kitchen/chefs table option??

Thank you in advance for your advice!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crabby Jacks -- best po boys we had while we were there. Totally a lunch place though.

Liuzza's by the track for an amazing BBQ Shrimp Po Boy.

Drago's for their charcoal grilled oysters. Don't miss it under any circumstances.

Willie Mae's Scotch House for Fried Chicken.

And you MUST go to Hansens for Sno Balls.

See the Eating New Orleans thread for more stuff.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fellow eG'er Della and I (with SO's) are vacationing in NOLA this September. We will most likely be staying at the Hotel Monteleone in the french quarter. We are already researching restaurants as that is half the fun right??

Here's where we are starting from:

breakfast:

cafe du monde

French Market

lunch:

Elizabeths

Petunias

Acme Oyster

Central market

Brunch or Dinner:

Commanders Palace

Dinner:

NOLA

Upperline

Casa Mentos

Jacques Imos

Galatoires

Bombay Club

How are we doing, what should we cut? What are we missing??

Do any of the restaurants have a kitchen/chefs table option??

Thank you in advance for your advice!!!

I'd move Elizabeth's to breakfast rather than lunch -- the lines can get very long if you don't get there early. The day I ate at Elizabeth's for breakfast and Jacques-Imo's for dinner (didn't need lunch!) may be the single best eating day of my life. Two meals in my top ten ever.

Commander's Palace is IMO overrated.

Have a great time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having just returned from N.O. , I feel that Donald Link of Herbsaint is producing the best of contemporary New Orleans food(I hold Frank Brigtsen as the measuring stick), John Harris of Lillet is also producing inspired food in a broader theme. You can't go wrong w/ either of your oyster houses, or Casamento's(but they are only open for lunch, and stops service promptly).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree on Elizabeth's for breakfast instead of lunch. I would drop Bombay Club for dinner (though great place for pre or post dinner drinks). Casamento's is open for dinner but the menu is limited so may not make for a satisfying dinner.

Some other dinner places to consider that aren't yet mentioned:

Irene's Cuisine (FQ)

Clancy's (Uptown)

Christian's (Mid-City)

"Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern; one is apt to grow old fashioned quite suddenly."

--Oscar Wilde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Drago's for their charcoal grilled oysters. Don't miss it under any circumstances.

Truer words have never been spoken!!!!!

Try Croissant D'Or and/or Camellia Grill for breakfast and/or lunch. GW Fins for dinner if you feel like seafood. I can also promise that dinner at Stella! will be a memorable dining experience (my wife and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary there at the end of this month).

The best food deal in NOLA is the two for one dinner entre offer at Louis XVI. Do a google search for "New Orleans Coupons" where you can download the 2 for 1 coupon.

Commander's Palace is NOT overrated at all. It is a quintessential NOLA dining experience. I have been eating there for over 35 years and have NEVER been disappointed - some meals have just been more memorable than others.

Second the skipping of Bombay Club for dinner, but go there for pre-dinner drinks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are now looking into the wine table at Commanders Palace- anyone with experiences with this?

Yes - expensive, but worth every penny. Be advised, these are hard reservations to snag.

We have reservations for the Saturday night we are in town at the wine table at Commander's Palace- they told us it's about $120 per person. That sounds pretty darn good for food and wine!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband and I have just returned from NOLA (we spent part of our stay at the Monteleone - you should love it!).

Consider the Commerce Restuarant for lunch, and Mandina's for a casual supper or lunch.

GO to Brigsten's and Bayona.

Get the book that Jason refers to in his post, above. It (and his posts) was our bible!

The thread that ran through our trip - which started with a 1600 person convention and ended with just us - is that it is hard to get a bad meal in NOLA (though certainly possible - happened to us twice) and that it really is "different strokes for different folks" - we liked Brigsten's better than Bayona, but 2 of our our "foodie" friends rated Bayona better. It also depends on what night you go where.

I'm planning a detailed post on our trip shortly.

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously, with the ten gillion post I have made on this subject, you can see what I think around here-BUT-

Currently I would reccomend Restaurant August as highly as any other fine dining in town. John Besh is damn good at what he does and his staff is nothing if not friendly, efficient, and attentive.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Central market

I think you meant Central Grocery (for a Muffaletta)

Some of my favorite places that hasn't been mentioned yet are:

The Pelican Club - dinner.

K-Pauls - now open for lunch (Thu Fri Sat) as well as dinner 6 or 7 nights.

Mother's - for breakfast, but also for dinner too.

Cafe Adelaide - just ate there for brunch

If a car is available, I like to suggest "off the beaten track" places like Bruning's on the lakefront, Jack Dempsey's in Bywater, and Rocky & Carlo's in Chalmette. We took our friends from out of town to these places and they loved them....

-bj- Writing stories for computers and humans since 1979.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Obviously, with the ten gillion post I have made on this subject, you can see what I think around here-BUT-

Currently I would reccomend  Restaurant August as highly as any other fine dining in town. John Besh is damn good at what he does and his staff is nothing if not friendly, efficient, and attentive.

Brooks can you fill me in a bit on the entree prices at August? The menu looks awesome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...