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New Orleans Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


chezcherie
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Brooks I totally agree about the quality improvements and the ability to get take out. As a man with two munckins under the age of four, between bed times and my 1.5 year old daughter's restaurant antics, quality take out is a beautiful thing.

Now if only the boys at Nirvana expand....

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Do you still need more suggestions? What would round out your list? What price range? Type of food? Etc.?

Possibly some ethnic variety--the Lonely Planet book on New Orleans (dated well after Katrina) mentions that a fair number of Vietnamese in NO and so there were some good Vietnamese restaurants (a kind of food i cannot find where I live unless I make it myself or travel 90 miles) although the book itself mentions only one (the Lemongrass Cafe). I wondered if there are any within say, a mile or two of the Doubletree hotel? Other than that, I guess the same parameters. I think the restaurant you listed that serves steaks will satisfy those who appreciate alot of beef on their plate.

The guidelines were: $50 max or not much over, say $60 per person; within a 4 mile range or so of the Doubletree restaurant on Canal (although the closer the better)--my personal preference is for fish/seafood (except for oysters & mussels, unless it's soup), spicy is fine, fried is ok but not desireable, almost any ethnic variety of food (New Orleanian, Asian, Indian, Mexican, Latin American . . . ). However, others are more "American" food oriented, i.e. more meat & potatoes w/one other veg, not spicy) and possibly attendees with the more conservative preference might also go for Italian--if it's what people often expect to be "Italian" (not northern Italian). No vegans that I know of.

Dinner is the only meal we'll be eating out as far as I know.

Thanks so much for your suggestions.

azurite

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If I had a large group looking for a good, very broad, very enjoyable kind of Vietnamese experience, I would get people into cabs and head over to the other side of the bridge. It's not that far, and with 4 per cab, won't be particularly expensive.

Go to Nine Roses. (nice breakdown by Ian McNulty for the weekly Gambit) The best thing about the place, aside from the food and the variety, is that, the more people that you have, the more fun that it is. I regularly eat with a group of writers (food primarily, but some of them delve into less important topics like hurricane recovery and politics) and we all love the place (in fact, I'm pretty sure that Todd has been with us once or twice, but my memory is a little foggy on this). We all sit down, order a ton of stuff, basically a bunch of starters and almost as many entrees, and it starts coming to the table in short order. The table itself is important, as it sits 10 or so and is equipped with a huge lazy susan. This is a great thing for this kind of place as what most people want to do is eat samples of everything, and perhaps a little more of their favorites (this leads to the lazy susan spinning like a roulette wheel, on occasion, but a gently slap in the face to the offender usually fixes this problem-at least for a minute. Some people are hard to corral). There are many things on the menu worth ordering (if you are interested I will be happy to provide you with a list of my favorites) and everything is priced from dirt cheap to reasonable. When you divide the bill ten ways, assuming that no one loaded up on champagne, you would be stunned at how inexpensive it is. I love the place.

As an added bonus, out on the right side of the parking lot (if you are facing away from the restaurant) is a former snoball stand that is now the first location (there is another in Metairie these days) of Taqueria Sanchez, a place that opened as the result of a guy coming here after the hurricane and working some trucks and who is now opening places in town. It's my favorite one of the many that have opened and I highly recommend leaving room for "dessert."

The trip from the Doubletree will take all of 10 minutes as long as you don't go right at rush hour (New Orleans, in reality, is an island and you pretty much have to cross a bridge to go anywhere-so traffic tends to backup at rush hour and one wreck will trash the whole thing. But, happily, most of the time it's pretty easy) so it's no big deal. It's good and you can find something there for everyone, even the meat and potatoes crowd, I suppose, with a little thought and analysis of the offerings. The menu is mind boggling and it doesn't get any more "authentic".

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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I don't know if it's in walking distance, but the last time I was in New Orleans, I took clients to Olivier's Restaurant. It's a family-owned Creole place and the food was just to die for and very genuine. They have a website now: http://www.olivierscreole.com/

I'd recommend the Creole Rabbit and the Crawfish Etouffe. I even got the recipes out of the owner!

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To everyone who contributed suggestions--thanks very much.

I sent most of them on to the administrator of the volunteer organization that's meeting in New Orleans later this month and she's going to make up a list of whichever places she thinks will best meet every taste or desire. I think she's leaning towards Creole/Cajun places as she feels that's NO's specialties.

A few people have told me their desire to have a beignet at one place or another (that they've chosen) so I guess they'll be going out for breakfast. I come awake pretty slowly in the morning so I doubt if I'll make it out of the hotel unless it's for a walk (I can manage walking, it's thinking and eating that can be difficult) although it's an attractive idea.

Thanks again, and I don't know how to close a thread but if I can do it by saying, this thread's now closed.

azurite

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  • 2 weeks later...

We're heading to New Orleans tomorrow for three days. We have not been to an Emeril restaurant there yet. Which one should we go to? There will be five of us, two are college students.

I'm thinking Emeril's Delmonico, but am wondering about the price. We'll be having at least four other dining adventures, but Emeril's was a specific request.

Your advice is appreciated.

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Emeril's or Delmonico would both be fine choices.

Emeril's is now back to where he was 5 years ago in terms of food and service. The place had slid a bit, in my opinion, but the last two times I have been in there I really, really liked it as much as I used to and at one point I was eating there with a rediculous and heart damaging frequency. It's Emeril's food-a take on New Orleans but a pretty long way from somewhere just serving the NOLA "classics."

Delmonico is just the opposite. He bought it SO that he could serve the classic New Orleans kinda stuff. It's really good, IMO, and I particularly like the rooms. The food is really good and the service is, as well.

You can't go wrong at either place but, all things considered, I would go with Emeril's. Hell, if you're here on the right week there's a pretty good chance that you might see the guy working the line (and the tables-he's kinda crazy about bumbling around the customers later in the evening when he's there). As opposed to alot of the "I used to be a chef but now I'm on teevee and have no time for that kind of thing" he actually likes to crawl into the trenches and does it pretty regularly.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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It's been way too long, but I'm finally getting back to New Orleans. Two goals -

1. To get New Orleans on HollyEats.Com All suggestions welcome. Especially breakfasts/brunch (I hear the Hummingbird Cafe is no more), cajun, creole, fried chicken, and muffalatas. Little know but great spots are ideal, but nothing wrong with tourist spots that do their specialties well. Any worthwhile hot dogs above and beyond Lucky Dog?

2. Fine dining. I'm staying at the Windsor Court. Is the New Orleans Grill a must? Where else. Delmonico's sounds interesting from another thread. Never been to Commander's Palace but intend to this trip. Can anyone get me in the side door at Antoine's or does the fact that I have to ask mean, "No."

I lost my raw oyster virginity at Felix's when in New Orleans shooting the first Big Mac commercial ever. Is Felix's still the place? If not, where? The tv guy took us to Bozo's, still any good?

Just writing this I know that five days/four nights is not enough, but that's all I have so gotta make it count.

Thanks for your input.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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My wife and I were in New Orleans three weeks ago. We did not have a bad meal while we were there and I can't say enough good things about the state of their dining world. There are a few newer places that I will not miss on my return trips to NOLA.

Cochon-Moderately priced at $15-$20/entree--a relaxed, hip environment. The food is outstanding, as are the cocktails. Donald Link, the Chef/Owner recently won a James Beard award for Best Chef Southeast. He not only owns Cochon but also Herbsaint. I can't speak for Herbsaint, but Cochon is the best-valued meal that I have ever had. I had the pork dish and my wife had the rabbit and dumplings.

The next night we ate at Restaurant August, one of John Besh's three restaurants in the city. We did the tasting menu with wine pairings. One of the courses (a sashimi swordfish preperation) was one of the most memorable things I've had this year. For the 5-course tasting menu with wine, it will be hard to get out of there for under four bills. In my opinion, it was worth every penny. Besh also owns Luke (Brasserie/Bistro), and Besh Steak in Harrah's. If you're not aware, he is currently doing well on "The Next Iron Chef" competition on Food Network.

We ate lunch one day at Riche, by Todd English, located in the Harrah's Hotel. This is the second Todd English place I've eaten and wasn't at all dissapointed. It is a bistro-style restaurant--traditional French flare.

For awesome classic cocktails, stop by the Library Lounge in the Ritz Carlton off Canal Street. Chris McMillian is a legendary bartender and extremely knowledgable about the classic New Orleans cocktails along with new creations. I feel priveleged to have my first-ever Sazerac from him. Also, for a little more laid back setting with great drinks, check out the Swizzle Stick Bar in the Loew's Hotel. Lu Brow and her team make wonderful drinks--new and old alike.

Snacky type food? La Divina Gelateria on Magazine Street has amazing gelato & sorbetto. A little more off the beaten path is Angelo Brocatto, another gelataria. They celebrated their 100th anniversary, the year of the storm and got four feet of water in the store. They re-opened and have a wonderful setting. I preferred the gelato at La Divina to Brocatto's, but the experience is great at both.

For great shaved ice with homemade syrups, stop by Hansen's on Tchoupitoulas Street. For more information about this place read the article recently featured in The Daily Gullet:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=108472

If you're into boozey things, Martin's Wine Cellar in Metarie, has one of the more extensive selections of rum and whisky in the South.

I hope this helps. Private message or email me if I can be of further assistance.

Have a great trip.

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It's been way too long, but I'm finally getting back to New Orleans.

How could you stay away so long?

1.  To get New Orleans on HollyEats.Com  All suggestions welcome.  Especially breakfasts/brunch (I hear the Hummingbird Cafe is no more), cajun, creole, fried chicken, and muffalatas.  Little know but great spots are ideal, but nothing wrong with tourist spots that do their specialties well.  Any worthwhile hot dogs above and beyond Lucky Dog?

The Hummingbird has been gone for ages. The Blue Bird is a popular breakfast spot, although it's not all that unusual. What kind of breakfast options are you looking for?

For Cajun, the options are slim. Cochon is very good. Le Bon Ton Café is still solid.

Creole: too many to name. Don't miss L'il Dizzy's for the latest Baquet family restaurant.

Fried chicken: Willie Mae's (no surprise). Pampy's was still doing the late Austin Leslie proud recently. With the owner about to go to prison, there was a change of ownership. I can't say how it is right now. Dunbar's, now located in a Loyola cafeteria, is also good.

Muffaletas: I would direct you to a relative newcomer--Cafe Freret near the universities. They make the their own olive salad. Top notch.

Hot dogs: Two post storm newcomers. Shaggy's in Mid-City has styles from around the country including an original Muffaleta dog. It's really good. Olive salad and yellow mustard are a great combination. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page you'll find my review. Also, Easy Dogs in Gretna is new. Here is a link to a review this week in Gambit. (This link will change next Tuesday.)

I lost my raw oyster virginity at Felix's when in New Orleans shooting the first Big Mac commercial ever.  Is Felix's still the place?  If not, where?  The tv guy took us to Bozo's, still any good?

Nope, Felix's is certainly no longer the place. My favorite is Casamento's uptown. My second favorite is the oyster bar at Pascal's Manale. Third favorite is the oyster bar at Bourbon House in the Quarter, although it's a lot more expensive.

Bozo's is good, but I think of it more as a fried oyster place.

I'll try to come back with more replies later.

Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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What about Mila, Todd? Is it open yet? If not, think it will be before Thanksgiving?

It's not open yet. I'd really be shocked if it's open before Christmas, but who knows.

Brooks works with them, so he might have some insight on this. You out there Brooks?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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We made it to Emeril's last night. We weren't disappointed. The atmosphere was great, and everyone really enjoyed their meals. The service was super too. It seems to be the busiest place in town.

Thanks everone for your input.

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We loved Delmonico's and it was a little pricey compared to the other Emeril resturants, but it was worth it all the way. My husband and I ordered the tasting menu and the wine paring - it was GREAT!

My son ordered steak and loved it - so if you want and have a lot of time relax and enjoy yourself. We were pampered beyond belief.

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I did a mini review of New Orleans September of 06 including Emerils. You might want to check it out.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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I'm surprised at the lackluster enthusiasm for NOLA, which is the Emeril place I'd recommend. There's nothing wrong with the steaks at Delmonico, and I've loved the original Emeril's since dining there in 1991. But NOLA is a great space, the food is innovative and enticing (the best duck I've ever had, and I've had a lot), and it's an easy walk from anywhere in the Quarter.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I always prefered NOLA to alot of other spots, the food bar was my choice and the food itself was always great, as well as the social view. The place is cool, and the bar at the end of the street is where the staff goes for afterhours.

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