Irene’s opened in 1993 and gradually expanded to 3 rooms over time. Owner Irene DiPietro from Noto, Sicily is still active with the place but now her son Nicholas Scalco does most of the cooking. In 2018 it moved to a new, much larger location on Bienville because of a problem with the lease on the original location. It had been a hard table to get because of its size but delicious food made you try. Going now to this location was a different feel. There are about 5 eating areas, depending if you call the large bar area one. Music is in the background, mostly old rock and despite the small rooms the noise level can be loud. The small tables are set with white clothes and napkins and the lighting is lowered. Walls, some of which are red, have lots of decorative items. Our room had red paint on the top and wood below, an open beam ceiling, a fireplace and tile floor. The service was very friendly but it was a little slow in getting our meal started and then moved quite rapidly, bringing the main plates out before appetizers were finished. It didn’t lend itself to a relaxed fine dining feel. The menu had a special entree and appetizer as well as a changing soup. All is a la carte. Continue reading
We had lunch at Brennan’s in Dec. 2016 in their garden room but this time we were in one of the front dining rooms for brunch. It feels more formal in this room where the walls are decorated with oyster plates and audubon prints. The cloth covered tables are set fairly close and some of the seating is banquette style. It is a huge place and located across from the police station in the French Quarter. Service was friendly but not particularly efficient. The menu is a la carte but they do offer a 2 course special with 2 choices for each of the courses. We chose that option with a couple side dishes for our meal. For drinks they had a special drink of the day that was strawberries, sparkler and something as well as several wines by the glass and half bottles. They also had some good prices on what they called “breakfast bubbles” and we chose a bottle of that to go with out meal.
Sylvain is named after the first opera done in New Orleans which was a raucous comedy and they wanted to emulate that in their atmosphere. Located just off Jackson Square it is in a late 1700’s carriage house in the French Quarter. It has one long dining room that ends in windows to the street out front and some patio seating in the back. Inside there is a long bar where guests can eat and/or drink. Small bare wood tables are set with a variety of chairs and the distressed concrete walls are decorated with art. The lighting is lowered, there is music in the background and the floor is very old wood. They specialize in southern style food and lots of cocktails. It was a lively crowd but service was a bit slow. We started with Sazeracs which were well made but took a while to get to the table. In fact they didn’t get to the table before we started to order including wine and almost cancelled their order because the timing was off for the meal but they did arrive and everything moved forward at a leisurely pace. Continue reading
We were at G W Fins 6 months ago but went back on this trip to try some other items. Same busy and large interior but service not as personal this trip. Their menu is printed daily, so no specials. We tried two hot appetizers, a couple of their fish entrées and dessert. All was good.
Doris Metropolitan has two other locations, Houston and Costa Rica, besides this location in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The climate controlled meat aging room can be seen from the street through some windows. It also is adjacent to the reception area that is on the end of the room which has the kitchen on the other end. In between is a curved bar that is as much about eating as drinking. At the front of the kitchen is a counter with cuts of meat for sale by the pound. Lights are on but not overly so and music plays in the background. The fairly large polished wood tables are closely spaced and set with striped cloth napkins and a large paper napkin. The server said the paper napkin was so your flatware would never have to be on the bare table. Some of the tables use bench seating and others are set with armless chairs. Wine bottles and art cover the walls, the floor is concrete, there is exposed ductwork all of which does not provide much sound dampening. Service was friendly and helpful in making choices. A starter menu included a choice of caviar and champagne. The regular menu has a number of starters but for main dishes there were lamb and fish options but otherwise everything was cuts of beef. They do offer A-5 Japanese Wagyu as well as there regular steak options aged either 21 or 31 days. They also had some nightly specials. Continue reading
GW Fins is a large place in the French Quarter of New Orleans. At the entrance there is a large bar area to the left and a several tiered dining space to the right, separated by a huge fish sculpture. Booths are set in arcs around the room and tables are in the middle. Wood pillars break up the huge space and art is on the walls, except for the one wall that is windows to the street. No music is in the background and the lights are lowered in the room but spots accent many of the tables. While there is noise in the room from the many diners, conversation at the table seemed easy and private. Double white clothes and folded napkins are set at the good sized tables. They have been in business for 17 years. They have an a la carte menu but also offer a fixed price meal where you chose from 3 options for 3 courses. Service was helpful, friendly and opinionated. Various personnel stoped by often to check on everything. It was nice, not intrusive. Continue reading
Compère Lapin is French for brother rabbit. It was a large place with low lighting, music in the background, exposed brick walls, bare polished wood tables, windows to the street on one long side, and a number of paintings on the walls. Some other walls were lined with bench seating to be one side’s seat for the majority of small tables for 2. They are located in a hotel with a long bar and oyster counter for different seating options. The ceiling held some noise reduction panels but with the hard walls, the concrete floor and being packed with people the noise level was high. They offer a small menu which has lots of plates to be shared and we were told they prefer you put in your whole order at one time rather than as you go along. Service was friendly but not overly so, leaving you feeling no connection to the place. Some of the food was pretty good but a lot of it was way mild for the style of cooking. Continue reading
Gabrielle Restaurant is a good sized place with one dining room. It reopened in 2017 after 12 years closed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Greg Sonnier is the chef owner and he named it after his daughter who currently runs the front of the house. One side is windows facing the street and another is a long bar with additional seating. The small cloth covered tables are set with some space between them on a tile floor with faint music in the background. The walls are decorated with paintings and photos with some spots on the art but overall the lighting is quite low. Lots of lights hang from the low dark ceiling but it still has a feeling of privacy. They offered an a la carte menu of New Orleans’ style Cajun food as well as Reveillon menu the night we were there. We chose the a la carte option. Service was friendly and helpful, the food was wonderfully flavorful but the pacing of the dishes was rushed. Continue reading
Galatoire’s Restaurant is definitely a favorite of mine. That’s not hard to discern considering in a gastronomic place like New Orleans, I will chose to go there twice rather than try something new or repeat another place. This time we had two lunches with slightly different themes. Our first visit was most of our traditional favorites, most including seafood and on the second visit we tried all non-seafood items. The seafood visit was definitely my favorite. The place has two levels for dining with the downstairs large room being noisy and full of a combination of locals and tourists, with no reservations possible. Upstairs is divided into smaller rooms, some filled with one party and other filled with those wanting a reservation and assured seating. It is quieter but somehow doesn’t have the same ambiance of the bright bustle downstairs. Service is amazing here and if you go take time to interact with your server. They can customize any order to make it fit your desire. There will be a charge, but I like to top things with a more of that jumbo lump crabmeat. Continue reading
Carrollton Market is a medium sized place out in the suburbs that has been open 4 years. The entry is into a bar area that is not very well separated from the main dining room. The small marble tables are set closely together, a tin ceiling, wood floor and wood and painted walls all add to the loud noise level in the room, even without background music. Windows along the front wall look out onto the street but otherwise there are no windows except for the interior one that looks into the open kitchen and the general light level is low. They offer only a small a la carte menu. The staff were friendly and helpful but the food was mostly unexciting and the overall ambiance is ear numbing, yet it was packed with people. There is no subtlety in the food, it tends to be over-seasoned with large portions of heavy food. Continue reading
It’s been a couple years since we went to Herbsaint, but this visit we went for lunch. White tableclothes are covered with paper on the nicely spaced large tables. There is background music in this corner building location. The two walls of windows give lots of light in the daytime. We were in the front of the 2 rooms, which is my preference, and snagged a good table with a direct line of site into the busy kitchen. The first part of the restaurant that you come into is a large bar with lots of bar seating and additional counters. They also had a fairly large patio out front. It’s not a huge menu but everything we had was very good, packed with flavor, and nicely they seem to be open continuously so matter what time you hit town you can go, but reservations would be recommended for any prime time. We ordered a number of items with the intention of splitting them, so we could try as much as possible. Portions are well sized and service was very good. Continue reading
Opened in 1986, Brigtsen’s is located in an old house in the Garden District, about 20 minutes by cab from the French Quarter. It is worth the trip! Owner Marna Brigtsen greets you at the door and guides you to your seat. Music plays in the background, lighting is low and the nicely spaced tables are appointed with lovely linens. Painted wood walls, fireplaces and many windows give the relatively small adjoined rooms a very cozy feel. The several rooms are packed with people and tables turnover throughout the evening, but the noise level is not bad at all. Marna’s husband and co-owner Frank Brigtsen is the chef in the kitchen. They offer a fixed price 3 course menu, with several choices for each course, an a la carte menu and a few specials of the day. Continue reading
Shaya is a good sized place with additional seating available at the bar and on the patio. A long bench seat lines one wall where most of the 2-tops are located. The other tables are more generously spaced and all enjoy the light of spoked fixtures with silver tipped bulbs hanging from the ceiling and a wall of windows to the street. There is background music but the noise level was low which was good considering the percentage of tables that were occupied. Beyond the open wood-fired oven for the pita bread is the patio which was not well filled, but it was a warm day. There is different menu at lunch than in the evening, which we looked at outside. Continue reading
This is a repeat visit but Clancy’s is worth another visit. This time was during a less active season however the place was still super busy with people coming and going, but it dies down by 10:00 pm. The large dining room downstairs was filled with lots of groups as well as couples but the noise level is very livable. Located on a corner in a mixed commercial/residential neighborhood the restaurant is appointed with lovely tablecloths, napkins and formally dressed waiters which in turn attract a fairly dressy crowd even in the hot summer. You can’t miss the “Clancy’s” written on on the outside facing windows and the guard out front. Service is friendly, helpful and efficient – in fact it’s a fun show to watch them set up a new table which is assembled in a lightning speed symphony of movements. Continue reading
Peche is a large place that’s about a 15 minute cab ride from the French Quarter. Seating is available in 3 booths, bar counter stools and a number of well spaced tables throughout. Windows to the street form one wall of the place and add nice natural light during the day. Tables are of bare wood and matching unfinished beams line the ceiling while soft rock music plays in the background. Lots of seafood art adorns the walls and the street wall is of the natural brick. Service is exceptionally friendly and helpful. Our waiter provided many details about how the various dishes are prepared and was nicely opinionated about how we might configure our order. Freshness of ingredients is stressed. Continue reading
Café Beignet is a small space made more spacious by an adjacent patio. You enter and walk to the back counter to order, commonly there is a line to get in. They offer sandwiches and the like but the main draw here are the beignets and coffee. They are an order of 3 for $3.99 and are a staple of New Orleans food. Many people go to the larger Cafe du Monde but I like the less chaotic feel here and the beignets are ‘fatter’ with a better bite to me. Continue reading
HERBSAINT is a fairly large restaurant in the Garden District. It is part of the Link Group which also runs “peche” and Cochon. It is has a good sized bar area, a dining room next to the kitchen window with 2 sides of street windows and an additional smaller dining room in the back near the wine storage and hanging meat cabinet (where they cure their own meat, some as much as 2 years old. They also make sausage and lardo and age lamb). It is noisy with a more lively buzz in the front room. I saw several tables of celebrating parties with mixed ages and dress in the dining rooms. Continue reading
Brennan’s has been an institution (since 1946) in New Orlean’s French Quarter but it has recently undergone a major renovation and re-opened in the fall of 2014. The large restaurant has many different public and private dining areas, extensive wine cellar and bar area serving breakfast breakfast/lunch and dinner. It was filled with many tourists as well as local folks, some celebrating the holiday or just having a good meal. Their menu is a la carte but does feature daily specials, combination meals and the off-the-menu Steak Diane. While the front of the restaurant has elegantly appointed dining rooms, I really preferred the ‘garden room’ in the back where we had lunch. Continue reading
La Petite Grocery is a good sized place in the Garden District, about a 15 minute cab ride from the French Quarter. The room has a narrow portion due to a partition that separates the tables that are in the same room with the large bar. There is another partition that forms one larger room in the back of the building. The building was re-built in 1908 after the original building burned. It did start as a grocery but all that remains of that structure are the tin ceiling and the front awning. When is was a grocery the front two areas were the store and the back room was storage, thus it truly was a petite grocery. The casual crowd was there to eat as I saw no one at the bar that was not awaiting the rest of their dinner party. There is low lighting throughout but even dimmer in the front two areas. It offers an a la carte menu with a few verbally delivered specials. Continue reading
Galatoire’s is a large restaurant in the French Quarter that I like to visit at least once every year. The food has an amazing consistency of goodness, the waitstaff are all adaptable to any request and it is just fun being in there. We had a wonderful lunch of old favorites starting with a couple of New Orleans signature drinks, sazeracs. The only reservations are for the upstairs dining rooms which have the same kitchen but somehow the vibe is not the same. This trip we found they were taking names inside to reserve a seat for the lunch seating as opposed to lining up out front. Continue reading
This large restaurant in the French Quarter gets a visit from us every time in town, so sorry about another posting on it, but that says something for the quality of the place. That day it was filled with local folks having their Christmas parties and with all the red bows and garlands it was extra festive. Again, the waiters here will customize anything to your liking and love to throw extra crab meat on your dish. Continue reading
This large John Besh restaurant is divided into multiple rooms, each having a different feel. We were in the “library” which was open to the second story where it had a wrap around wine cellar. A good room compared to the bustle of the front room or the remoteness of the rooms in the back. The service is efficient and friendly but more on the formal side. They offer an a la carte menu as well as 2 tastings, one being
vegetarian. We had their Reveillon menu which is a longer menu offered prior to the Christmas/New Year’s. Continue reading
Located in the Garden District, a short cab ride from the Quarter, is something new for New Orleans- a counter seating with only a tasting for about 20 people. The menu changes regularly and they will work to accommodate allergies or preferences, like they did for the vegetarian that was there the night we were. They have a small wine list and offer pairings for the courses. It is about 15 courses of small bites all prepared in the kitchen in the room. Continue reading
This place calls itself the “best breakfast in the French Quarter” and I believe it is. They have a small inside dining room and a large covered patio serviced by some really old school waiters. They are efficient and to the point, but aim to please. The eggs look nice and the coffee is reasonably strong but the main reason I go here is for Lost Bread – a creole Continue reading
A medium sized place with several dining areas as well as a bar space. Ask for the downstairs dining room, as that’s where the best vibe is. The day we were there the ladies Christmas lunches were taking over the room. Lunch is different than dinner too, as downstairs has windows all along one side that give it a light airy feel. This is old school New Orleans dining, with starched white linens, tuxedoed waiters and a changing array of seafood. Continue reading
This restaurant is a couple miles from the Quarter but worth the walk or cab ride! I thought I wanted the downstairs dining room but was pleased to find the upstairs quieter and airy with lots of windows for nice lighting. They offer a 3 course lunch menu and a number of other plates to add to the meal. Even the “small plates” are enough to share. I would warn that the wine list is a little spendy, with a pretty good markup.
Always a favorite place for us to eat in the Quarter. The freshest of seafood and the most accommodating staff ever. We ordered most of our favorites this trip.
This restaurant is located in the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the heart of the French Quarter. It is an ambitious but needed addition to the dining scene there. A large restaurant divided into several smaller rooms with attentive yet casual service. In fact I found us often involved in lengthy conversations with members of the serving team.
This small restaurant is in the uptown area, so a cab ride from the quarter, and not well marked (the cabbie drove by). It is an a la carte menu with some things quite good and others disappointing. This will probably not get a repeat visit by me.
This place continues to be on the “best of lists” for New Orleans but it really didn’t merit the accolades this evening. It is a beautiful dining room upstairs where the large windows in the garden room give it a treehouse affect. The other upstairs rooms are windowless and not nearly as pretty. Downstairs is the more conventional room (they still have a dress code that forbids jeans) and a much more serious vibe. We were surrounded by tables celebrating and thus adorned with balloons and hats. They offer a large menu and a large tasting menu but we chose a combo dinner after having had a large lunch. Continue reading