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Galatoire's


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I am glad to see that Galatoire's is consistently on everyone's must eat list for New Orleans. It is a truly unique institution. But I am wondering what is everyone's favorite dish? I must say that I found the menu quite intimidatiing on my first few visits, many years ago, and whenever I went, my comrades were consistently ordering something off the menu, which gave me little guidance. Now it seems that I don't even get a menu before its time to order. The inordinate number of cocktails that usually proceed any actual eating probably has something to do with my current malaise. Lately, it seems that I just get a filet with bernaise, and perhaps a small salad with some crabmeat maison on top. If I feel like fish I just ask what's fresh and get them to serve it with crabmeat and hollandaise. I'm in a rut and I need to get out. Need your suggestions.

Charlie

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Ask for a menu. Ask about the special. Ask the waiter what they would recommend. Ask for something that the next table has ordered.

Galatorie's is no place to feel like you're in a rut. There's too much going on.

It's been far too long, and I only really went there once, so I really can't tell you what my fave is.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I haven't been there in quite a while, but in the olden days when I went fairly often, I really loved their Bouillabaisse. I'd get some sort of tasty first course and then a nice dessert to round out the meal.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Pompano amandine, Pommes Souffles, anything with their remoulade sauce, even bread. Theres not too much not to like. A friend of mine goes there about once a year and tells the waiter "Bring me dinner". Its usually fantastic.

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Whatever you do make sure you order the Fried eggplant appetizer. It is fried in a very frothy batter (kind of like tempura, but not exactly) and served with powdered sugar that will get all over everything. Not to worry, those power brokers next to you and their lunch lady wives are eating exactly the same thing and getting it all over the place too.

Oysters Rockefeller is a ver dependable (and totally classic0 app. choice and if there is any baked, broiled, fried, etc, speckled trout on the menu-order it. They cook specks like one else.

And I don't know if you like it, alot of people don't, but Galitoire's is one of the few places around that still does full blown Escargot service. It is great (if you like snails and that sort of thing :wink: ) and I still think they are good and alot of fun to eat.

The place is truly an experience. Hard to explain a local culture unless you see it and Galitoire's is as local as it gets. Antoine's is older, but not nearly as good not even close to as much fun.

Enjoy.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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The oysters are great!!! What was I supposed to do with that powdered sugar? I put it on my Soft Shell but even the hard core coon asses where looking at me funny. If you are in New Orleans and you see Souffle Potatoes on the menu anywhere, order them. Its a lost art.

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

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What was I supposed to do with that powdered sugar?

You dip the eggplant in it. :raz::wacko::laugh::laugh:

It's delicious. In fact, it is pretty much the only way my kids like fried eggplant anymore.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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  • 3 years later...

People seem to love this place and I suppose I can see why. It was a fun and unique dining experience. The waiters are fun and personable and very attentive but the food was a mixed bag. The appetizer combo was very good, especially the fried oysters with bacon and the Crabmeat Maison. The turtle soup, which was the first I have ever eaten, was outstanding. The entrees, with the exception of the Filet Béarnaise were pretty weak. I had a sauteed filet of drum with crabmeat and artichokes. The fish was underseasoned and overcooked. Two dining companions who ordered the trout and pompano said the same thing about their fish.

Explore the food, beverages, and people of Wisconsin EatWisconsin.com

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  • 6 months later...

Ok. I've been ruminating about this for quite some time, and I think I'm finally ready to discuss this.

I went to Galatoire's, went all out, ordered things I was supposed to order, and it was awful. Not 'didn't live up to expectations.' Absolutely, terrifyingly, run screaming from the restaurant, crying about how much that just cost, awful. (maybe a tiny exaggeration, but really, really, REALLY bad) I honestly am in disbelief that A) this restaurant has been around for as long as it has, B) that the food could be that bad and cost that much, and C) everyone else in the restaurant seemed to be loving the hell out of it.

The reason it has taken so long to write about this is because I questioned the experience. Was it an off night? Were we treated differently because we were not regulars? Was I blowing things out of proportion because the experience is so often raved about by people who know what they're talking about? I've finally answered all of these questions for myself, and the answers are as follows:

If it was just an off night, the food can't possibly be that good to start with. I've experienced off nights at good restaurants, and they weren't THAT kind of off. If we were being given different food because we weren't regulars, they should be ashamed of themselves, first of all, but they should also know that I will use all my limited food soapbox to denounce them because of the poor service and food. And I wasn't blowing things out of proportion, because my girlfriend, mom, and sister all felt the same way, and being from out of town, my mom and sister had no idea what to expect, except that I usually choose restaurants quite well, and that was clearly not the case here.

And what was so terrible, you ask? Well, it wasn't the shrimp remoulade. That was good. The "grand gouter" as a whole was fairly decent, though not mind-blowing by any stretch. The souffle potatoes were ok, but where the raves come from I will never understand. Then the flat-out travesties came, in rapid succession. My eggplant appetizer came out. A pile of plainly-coated, deep fried sticks of eggplant. That's it. No plating, no sauce, no powdered sugar, no nothing. Just fried sticks of eggplant. They weren't terrible, but they were terribly boring. My mom's eggplant special for her main was left almost untouched, something my mom never does, if more out of courtesy than tastiness. My girlfriend and I both ordered trout. It came with brown butter, and nothing else on the plate. Just a big slab of trout, some butter on it. The fish was not seasoned, and it tasted as if I was putting large chunks of nothing in my mouth. Couldn't finish it.

On to the desserts... My girlfriend had the banana bread pudding, and it was actually pretty good-- a shock at this point. My mom had the lemon tart, and certainly enjoyed it more than her entree. I, unfortunately, chose the cup custard, which may be the worst dessert ever created. The texture of this was like swallowing a leech. it was slimy and terrible, and the caramel flavor tasted fake. It was as if they had used caramel extract or something. God, it was just disgusting.

Our server was completely unremarkable, tending towards bad. He came around occasionally, only to take orders and deliver them. When I asked what he thought we should have, as I was told was a good plan, he essentially listed everything off the menu which was edible. And I use the word edible loosely. He did almost nothing to narrow our choices.

I'll stop the madness here with just two more notes. One: it was difficult to write this without using extreme amounts of over-the-top descriptors, because this was a painful meal. Two: the reason that I don't really mention what my sister had is that she was across the table, and I didn't hear her comments or sample anything she had.

Basically, I'm wondering if lots of other people feel this way and don't (or don't want to) admit it. This was, quite literally, the worst fine dining meal I have EVER experienced, bar none. What's the consensus here?

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Gosh :wacko:

I seem to recall that Daniel went to Galatoire's recently, and he had a great time and a great meal.

The first time I ever went there, I left disappointed. I went with a girlfriend who is really into food, also, and we expected a wonderful time. It was not. I had the bouillabaisse and it was a glorified seafood soup with no saffron to be found. She thought the same thing. The rest of the meal was forgettable. We were both quiet about it at first, but then we talked about it. What we did wrong was order from the menu.

One of the great things about New Orleans dining is that the waiters were professional waiters. That was their career. They weren’t wannabe actors or anything else. There was a dedication to their craft. One of the best things about Galatoire’s was their waiters. Where we went wrong was not putting ourselves in his hands and getting the full Galatoire’s experience. The next time I went, it was a completely different experience and I hated to leave.

However, in your case, you tried that route and it didn’t work. I don’t think it was because you weren’t regulars. I’ve heard that spill before, but I don’t buy it. It sounds like you had a really lousy waiter. In all fairness, it is extremely difficult in today’s times for New Orleans restaurants to find quality staff.

Still, that’s no excuse for the food which sounds really bad that night. One thing about Galatoire’s is that they don’t have a chef. They have good old-fashioned line cooks who cook old New Orleans favorites – nothing too fancy, but they do them well. But not on the night you went.

I’m shocked about your experience.

As a side, since I notice you live in New Orleans, definitely go to Broussards, which is a long-standing great place. I was just there last week, and it was so great that it almost brought tears to my eyes. I remember stating, “Now, this is what a New Orleans restaurant is supposed to be.” Chef-owner Gunter Preuss is a constant, Marc (his son and restaurant manager) sat us, and Evelyn (his wife) checked in on us. It was a fabulous meal in a fabulous restaurant with fabulous service in a fabulous city. Did I mention it was fabulous? :raz::rolleyes:

Rhonda

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Not to get too off-topic...

I've heard Broussard's is good, but I've heard it from Mr. Fitzmorris, who thinks just about everywhere is good. I'll look more into that.

Also, back on topic, Daniel having such a great experience is what bewilders me the most! It's not just that our meal didn't quite reach the same heights, it's that we seemed to have eaten at different restaurants!

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Well I guess you won't be attending Brooks' funeral. Seriously, the waiters at Galatoires are definitely no help, they have been staring at the same menu for way too long. Although, if I am going the fish route I like to get confirmation before I commit. My go to items at Galatoires usually involve something with crabmeat and/or Bernaise. I had some excellent oysters en brochette last time I was there, and the filet or the lamb chops are always good. But really, the menu there is quite daunting, that's why I posted the question initially. I have committed myself to try the chicken bon femme and/or chicken pontalba next time I go. Funny thing, my father-in-law lunches there every Friday, and they usually ask what they are making for the staff and get that. They make some mean red beans. ch

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  • 4 weeks later...
No one else has any thoughts on this?

I find that impossible to believe...

I was at Galatoire on the 27th of July for Sunday lunch. Emory was our waiter. He was recommended to us by an antique dealer on Royal. Emory suggested the poisson du jour, which was redfish, topped with sauteed crabmeat. I opted to have the redfish without the crabmeat; my lunch companion had hers with and we both inhaled every bit - was wonderful. Emory had recommended shrimp remoulade to start - also tasty but I was puzzled by the remoulade sauce until I discovered that there is purportedly a Louisiana remoulade as opposed to the traditional remoulade - and actually we had the white remoulade at Deanie's a few nights later.

One offputting item was the garlic bread that appeared on the table covered with chopped fresh RAW garlic - oy. They need to find a way to mellow out that garlic.

Granted, this was not a stretch for the kitchen but it was an enjoyable meal for our first day in New Orleans. I'd return to Galatoire's but not until after I've tried a few more restaurants.

On this trip we also went to the aforementioned Deanie's (not in Bucktown), the Grill at the Windsor Court Hotel, Mother's, K-Paul, Cafe Adelaide (in our hotel), and I know we just scratched the surface.

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No one else has any thoughts on this?

I find that impossible to believe...

From your post, it seems to me that you had a misunderstanding about what the restaurant is, and what to expect. For example, you seem to be surprised that you couldn't hear your sister sitting across the table. Anyone who'd been there before could have told you the place is loud as all hell during service. Apart from the fact that it gets absolutely packed, it's basically 100% hard surfaces floor to ceiling.

You were surprised that the dishes came un-garnished, and without accompaniment. That's not an oversight, that's the way it is at Galatoire's. If you wanted a vegetable with your dinner, you can order it a la carte. This is not a chef-driven restaurant. Until recently there *was* no chef as such in the kitchen. There is, consequently, nobody in the back puzzling out what vegetable will best accompany your entree, or trying to artfully present your dish. This is neither a criticism nor praise, it just is.

The service varies depending on your waiter. Richard is my waiter, and if you didn't know we were friends, you'd think he was being rude when he waits on me. I do rely on him to tell me what's fresh, or to suggest something. I'm sorry the waiter you had didn't meet your expectations, but again, this is not August, or Herbsaint, or really anyplace but Galatoire's. The service is slow when the restaurant is packed, but the expectation is that you are there for the company (to the extent you can make yourself heard above the din) and the experience and are not rushed. By the same token, efforts to summon a waiter which might be considered rude in other places are commonplace at Galatoire's. I am sure I've resembled Ralph Macchio in the Karate Kid on occasion trying to get Richard's attention because my drink had reached a dangerously low level.

I generally order Pompano if it's available, and it's almost always cooked properly. I have, however, had overcooked fish at Galatoire's, and for that matter overcooked shrimp in remoulade or Maison dressing. It does sound like an off night, given that your dining companions also had overcooked fish.

I'm not going to suggest that you go back, and I'm not saying you're "wrong" for not liking Galatoire's. You're absolutely not the only person who feels the food is over-rated. I will say that just because you had a bad meal doesn't mean that those of us who enjoy both the ambiance *and* the food are "wrong" either.

I hope you have better experiences elsewhere when you get back down here brother.

To reply to the original topic, when I sit down I have a cocktail. Then I order souffle potatoes and eggplant. The potatoes come with bernaise, and the eggplant comes with powdered sugar. If you, like Mike, don't get the sugar with your eggplant, ask your waiter or a busboy for some.

The bread that comes as a default is not garlic bread, but you can ask for that and they'll bring it to you. I usually ask them to put the (plain) bread under the broiler for a minute to crisp up the crust.

Usually I go from there right to an entree, but if I'm with more than one other person, we usually get a Goute', which is the appetizer selection.

70% of the time I go to Galatoire's I get a piece of fish, broiled. If it's Pompano, it comes with some butter and a lemon wedge; if it's redfish, I might let them put some crabmeat on it, but usually not. A good piece of fish doesn't need much else to be a good meal; at least in my opinion. If Ricahrd tells me the softshells are looking good, I might have one or two fried, and once in a blue moon I'll order Sweetbreads Clemenceau. It's a surprisingly good preparation for sweetbreads, believe it or not.

I don't do dessert, and only occasionally coffee.

Obviously your mileage may vary, but I dig the place.

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I just want to clear up a few things. One, if I made it sound as if I disliked the atmosphere or thought it was too loud, I apologize. I was merely noting that the reason I didn't comment on my sister's dishes was that she was across the table and didn't comment much herself. Two, I knew going in that it was a la carte, that I wasn't getting sides. I just didn't know that I had to ask for a little salt and pepper on the fish. If there was a single grain of either on the fish, I'd be shocked. Completely bland. When you send out an ungarnished, unaccompanied item, you better do it right, because there's nothing to distract from it being screwed up. Also, multiple pieces of shell in the crabmeat on both pieces of fish is plainly unacceptable. Hey, it happens from time to time. But not like that. Completely unpicked.

Edited by MikeHartnett (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

The feeling kind of developed after thinking about how badly we were ignored by our waiter, and how slopped on a plate our food was, especially given the raves by regulars. Then, instead of following "Mike, your experience was an anomaly" with "give it another try and I'm sure you'll see the real Galatoire's," you followed it with "don't go back. It's not for you. "

I understand and appreciate getting top notch service when you're a regular at a place, but I don't understand shunning and half-assing service for others at all.

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Actually, I think the impression that you're not particular high on the priority list at Galatoire's if you're not a regular is pretty common. After my first visit there years ago, I was definitely underwhelmed by the service I received -- especially from my waiter -- and I am really a very undemanding patron. One junior staff member did go out of his way to help us and I made a point of tipping him individually on our way out (without drawing any attention to said fact). It was years before I went back.

That being said, though I am clearly not a regular, my recent experiences both in terms of food quality (which I think has gotten much better) and service have been quite pleasant. I'm sorry to hear others are not having the same luck.

I wonder if there's something about how you interact with the waiters that gives a clue to service. The regular crowd doesn't spook easily, so maybe a little confidence helps?

Steve Morgan

[T]he cocktail was originally intended as a brief drink, a quick aperitif to stimulate appetite and stiffen the flagging gustatory senses, but it has passed into accustomed usage as a drink to be absorbed in considerable quantity despite the admonitions of the judicious. -- Lucius Beebe

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Then, instead of following "Mike, your experience was an anomaly" with "give it another try and I'm sure you'll see the real Galatoire's," you followed it with "don't go back.  It's not for you. "

I promise to leave this topic alone after this post.

You posted some complaints.

I thought you might be mistaken about some things, and posted a reply after you said:

No one else has any thoughts on this?

I find that impossible to believe...

You replied to me, saying that in fact you were aware of the things about which I thought you were mistaken.

So with the understanding that you were not mistaken, and that you simply didn't like the way things were done at Galatoire's, I said, "it's not for you."

What does that mean? It means that you don't like Galatoire's. It does not mean that you don't like Galatoire's because you aren't a regular, because as I tried to point out, none of your complaints had to do with your status as a "non-regular." Folks like me, who go to Galatoire's all the time, have trouble getting a waiter's attention when it's crowded. You and I get the same "sloppy" presentation of our food. We all have trouble making ourselves heard over the noise, etc.

You don't like it. I do.

You want to know why I responded in the first place?

No one else has any thoughts on this?

I find that impossible to believe...

What were you implying? Why was it impossible to believe that nobody responded to you?

What I conclude is that Galatoire's is not for you. It's not "not for you" because you're not a regular, but rather because you don't like it. This is not an indictment of you, and you're not alone in your judgment.

So why do I keep replying? Because this is a board visited most often by non-locals, and I'd hate for them to get the impression that Galatoire's isn't a welcoming place. Because it is.

And again, good luck with your dining in New Orleans, including Galatoire's if you like.

If you want to discuss this further with me, you have my email address.

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