Charlie’s Steak House, New Orleans, 3/23/22

building – 4510 Dryades St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Charlie’s Steak House was started by Charlie Petrossi in 1952.  It’s one of New Orleans oldest steakhouses and prides itself on its unique service model.  There is no menu passed out, if you ask for one you are laughed at as a first-timer.  You simply tell your waiter which steak you want, how you want it cooked and the server will suggest your sides.  They were closed for 3 years after Hurricane Katrina and only opened after the family sold it to Matthew Dwyer who had lived nearby and helped with bartending duties.  He purchased Charlie’s in 2007 and re-opened in 2008 but tragically died at age 49 in the summer of 2020 as Covid was taking over. Several couples joined forces to have the historic restaurant start up again in January 2021.  They do have a menu on their website <charliessteakhousenola.com>, so look it over before you go.  The food is good not great but it’s fun to go to such a retro place. Continue reading

Pascal’s Manale Restaurant, New Orleans, 3/23/22

building – 1838 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans, LA 

Pascal’s Manale Restaurant was started as just Manale’s in 1913 by Frank Manale.  Pascal Radosta, Frank’s nephew, was part of the original crew and took the place over in 1937 when Frank died.  Many years later he wanted to add his name to the restaurant but still wanted to honor his uncle and thus it became Pascal’s Manale.  Pas died in 1958 and his youngest brother Jake took over.  They are famous for their BBQ shrimp and raw oyster bar.  It is a large place with 2 main dining rooms and the good sized bar area that houses the oyster shucking bar.  The dining rooms have white cloth covered tables and windows to the street.  Some art is in the dining rooms but the bar is covered with lots of framed photos.  They offer a separate lunch menu, a parking lot and great service. Continue reading

Brigtsen’s Restaurant (update), New Orleans, 3/22/22

exterior – 723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Brigtsen’s was last written up here in 2017, but not much has changed here.  The small old home is quite a ways from the Quarter and it’s many rooms are filled with dining tables and happy people.  Chef Frank Brigtsen is still running the kitchen and his wife Marna manages the floor.  Frank apprenticed at Commander’s Palace and then worked under Chef Paul Prudhomme, who helped the couple open this place in 1986. He has since won numerous awards for his cooking.  The super friendly and efficient staff were all wearing buttons saying “I’m vaxed to the max.”  The polished bare wood tables no longer have cloths but white cloth napkins are still on the table.  Music is in the background, art is on the walls and a bottle of cold water is set on each table. Continue reading

Domilise’s, New Orleans, 3/22/22

exterior – 5240 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Domilise’s Po-boys and Bar was founded in 1930s by Peter and Sophie Domilise who lived in the house above. Sam and “Miss Dot” ran the place for over 75 years until her death in 2013.  The family evacuated in 2005, due to the impact of Hurricane Katrina but otherwise it has been continuously operated by future generations.  The single room place has been featured in numerous cooking shows and guide books like Food Wars and Chowdown Countdown – the day we visited there was a bit of chaos remaining from the filming there the day prior.  You entered on the side of the corner building and placed your order and paid at the bar.  You could wait there or claim one of the 5 indoor tables or one of the several outside.  The kitchen counter was at one end of the room and they called your name when your order was ready.  The interior walls were covered with photos and memorabilia.  Staff were friendly  and efficient.  The food was average. Continue reading

Commander’s Palace (update), New Orleans, 3/21/22

exterior – 1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

It’s been almost 7 years since I’ve been to Commander’s Palace.  The last meal was so disappointing I haven’t wanted to go back but enter Chef Megan “Meg” Bickford, who has worked in the kitchen since 2008 but in Oct. 2020 became Executive Chef, following the 18 year reign of Tory McPhail.  She has livened it up and tonight’s meal was the best I’ve ever had at Commander’s.   It has been in the Garden District since 1893 and is still owned by members of the Brennan family.  Chefs such as Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse have worked there to present leading-edge haute creole cuisine.  The large building has a patio/bar area in back which is overlooked by the upstairs Garden Room.  Downstairs is a more traditionally elegant room.  Service was great, attentive and friendly – something its struggled with in my past visits. Continue reading

Mandina’s Restaurant, New Orleans, 3/21/22

street exterior – 3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Mandina’s Restaurant was first opened as a grocery store at 3800 Canal Street by Sebastian Mandina in 1898.  With the addition of his sons in the 1900s it became a pool hall that sold sandwiches to the many Italian immigrants and others living in the mid-city area.  By 1932 the sons turned it into Mandina’s Restaurant, with the family living upstairs. It is now in the hands of fourth generation family members and has benefitted from its proximity to the Canal St. streetcar.  Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters caused damage to the place and they had to close for 18 months to make repairs and now are trying to bring it back to the way it was in 1930.  Today the large pink house on a corner, has 2 huge dining room and a long bar with a footrail but no stools.  Windows to the street bring in even more light to the high ceiling room.  No music was in the background, posters are on the walls and some TVs run but are muted. Continue reading

Liuzza’s by The Track, New Orleans, 3/21 & 22/22

exterior – 1518 N Lopez St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Liuzza’s by the Track is a couple blocks from the New Orleans Fairgrounds, where the annual horse races and Jazz & Heritage Festival  are held.  It has been family owned and operated since 1996, but the 1930’s corner building is an historical landmark.  Liuzza’s is known for its signature BBQ Shrimp Po-Boy and other genuine New Orleans staples. Only closed on Sunday, except if the Saints’ are playing, it is quite popular.  Entering at the corner the room is filled with photos and memoriabilia.  A long bar runs the length of the room and you can eat and/or drink here as well as at the tables inside and out.  Windows to the street add extra light, music is in the background and parking is on the street.  Specials are on a board to supplement the menu.  Staff were super friendly, helpful and efficient.  We had to go back for a second visit and another of their shrimp Po-Boys.  Good place. Continue reading

Stanley, New Orleans, 3/20/21

exterior

Stanley is on a corner in Jackson Square by St. Louis Cathedral.  In a tribute to Tennessee Williams their location is near the restaurant Stella that closed in 2014.  They feature all day breakfast/brunch as well as sandwiches and desserts in a casual location.  They are open Thursday to Monday from 8 am to 4 pm.  Outside is a lot of outdoor seating and some well distanced seats inside the place.  It is really popular so be prepared for a wait in popular times.  Service was efficient and friendly.  No reservations are accepted. Continue reading

Coquette (update), New Orleans, 3/19/21

sign outside

Frankie last wrote up Coquette in Sept of 2015 and it remains a favorite of hers.   The lovely corner building has 2 floors for dining, with well spaced small wood tables, lots of dark wood, fun tile floors, lowered lighting and high ceilings.  Downstairs has mirrors on many walls, music in the background and a large bar that is used just for storage now.  The evening menu offers a la carte options as well as a 5 course surprise tasting menu -composed of things not on the menu.  Wine pairings are available.  We chose to do the tasting and pairings and were very happy with the choice.  The staff who brought the food out from the kitchen were knowledgable about the food and happy to share information.  Servers were masked and also very friendly and efficient. Continue reading

Clancy’s Restaurant (update), New Orleans, 3/19/21

exterior

Frankie has been to Clancy’s many times but always finds a good meal there with excellent service.  It is important to ask to sit in the main dining room as the vibe is much better.  Tables have more space between them, due to Covid, and all the staff wear masks, as do guests when they are away from their table.  They have a bar in addition to the wine list and we enjoyed a Negroni as we decided what to have.  The servers are usually opinionated if you can’t decide and guide you in ordering, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Continue reading

Mosquito Supper Club, New Orleans, 3/18/21

exterior

Mosquito Supper Club is a cajun restaurant that wanted to celebrate all the bounty of local fishermen and farmers.  Starting as a family style place at large farmhouse tables, Covid has had them shift to single party, well-spaced tables with a fixed price 5 course menu for all diners. They are open Thursday to Sunday with 2 seatings and offer wine pairings to go with the meal.  After our cocktail we chose to try their wine pairings with the meal.  They were nice and appropriate pairings but no refills were offered.  Located in an older house, there are many rooms where dining service takes place with wood floors, plaster walls and high ceilings.  A bar is in the first room where there are stools if your table isn’t ready.  Rock music plays in the background and lighting is lowered.  Diners are pre-paid with reservations but cocktails and wine can be paid for at the restaurant.  If you pre-buy the wine pairings you will also pay the 25% gratuity added to your meal charge whereas at the restaurant you can determine your own.  Staff was friendly but not overly. Continue reading

Gris-Gris, New Orleans, 3/18/21

exterior

Gris-Gris is in a two story corner building in the Garden district (where the restaurant Square Root had been).  Downstairs is the open kitchen enclosed by a stainless steel bar.  Many wanted to sit upstairs but I preferred to watch the kitchen action.  Music is in the background and light from the many windows filled the room.  Upstairs is a large bar and tables as well as a balcony for seating.  The staff all wore masks but the kitchen was mostly too busy to engage in much conversation with those at the bar.  The waitstaff was happy to help guide your choices and split items from the menu, which is similar at lunch and dinner. Continue reading

Herbsaint Restaurant (update), New Orleans, 3/17/21

exterior

We last visited Herbsaint in the end of 2018 and it is just as good as before.  They still have white paper on top of the white tablecloths but now the well-spaced tables are also placed in the bar area.  Two walls of the front rooms are glassed looking out on the street with lowered lighting inside.  No music is in the background but there is a hum of conversation.  Service was masked, attentive and friendly. Continue reading

Galatoire’s (update), New Orleans, 3/17/21

It’s been a year since we visited (and 2 since I’ve written up) Galatoire’s and we were excited to be vaccinated and out once again.  The food is just as good but a few changes include well spaced tables, masked staff and required reservations – even for dining on the first floor.  Even with 75% dining capacity the room still got really noisy but part of the place is the energy in the room.  Less waitstaff are on for each shift so you also may need to stray from your usual person.  The menu is on line and in past write-ups but it hasn’t changed except for a price increase here and there.  The fresh catch is updated daily and the food and service is consistently excellent.  One caution, don’t fill up on the hot bread and butter while waiting, which is really easy to do. Continue reading

Irene’s, New Orleans, 2/22/20

IMG_1519
exterior

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

Brennan’s (update), New Orleans, 2/22/20

IMG_1361
entrance

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.

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exterior

Continue reading

Sylvain, New Orleans, 2/21/20

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exterior

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

Doris Metropolitan, New Orleans, 2/20/20

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exterior

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 Restaurant, New Orleans, 8/28/19

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exterior

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, New Orleans, 12/30/18

sign outside
sign outside

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, New Orleans, 12/29/18

exterior
exterior

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 (update), New Orleans, 12/29/18 and 12/30/18

postcard of building
postcard of building

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, New Orleans, 12/28/18

from outside
building

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

Herbsaint Restaurant (update), New Orleans,12/28/18

building
building

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

Brigtsen’s, New Orleans, 8/8/17

entrance
entrance

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, New Orleans, 8/8/17

building
building

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

Clancy’s Restaurant, New Orleans, 8/7/17

window sign
window sign

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 Seafood Grill, New Orleans, 8/7/17

building
building

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, New Orleans, 8/7/17

building
building

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, New Orleans, 12/22/16

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entry

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 Restaurant, New Orleans, 12/22/16

building
building

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, New Orleans, 12/21/16

exterior
exterior

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 Restaurant, New Orleans, 12/21/16

dining room before they opened
dining room before they opened

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

Galatoire’s, New Orleans, 12/19/15

interior
interior

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

August, New Orleans, 12/19/15

exterior
exterior

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

Square Root, New Orleans, 12/18/15

Exterior
Exterior

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

The Old Coffee Pot, New Orleans,12/18/15

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exterior

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

Clancy’s, New Orleans, 12/18/15

exterior
exterior

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

Coquette, New Orleans, 1/30/15

Coquette exterior
Coquette exterior

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.

Continue reading

Restaurant R’evolution, New Orleans, 2/3/15

R’evolution entrance through hotel
R’evolution entrance through hotel

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.

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Commander’s Palace, New Orleans, 5/20/15

Garden room windows
Garden room windows

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

Galatoire’s, New Orleans, 5/19 &20/15

Galatoire's exteriorAlways a favorite of ours and it’s in the Quarter so just a short walk from many hotels. It’s been there forever and does get a tourist crowd since it’s in the Quarter but also many locals go to celebrate occasions or enjoy the old style service and food. Nothing fancy but the waitstaff love to customize your order – change fish, add crabmeat, sauce or preparation. Go often and get a regular waiter and the experience is sublime. Continue reading

Coquette, New Orleans, 5/19/15

Coquette entrance                  IMG_5626

A wonderful place outside of the Quarter and a re-visit this year. This time we sat in the downstairs dining room and it was a much cozier spot than the upstairs, which is nice for lunch as the windows provide great lighting. We lucked out and had some of the same waitstaff, which again were helpful, friendly and attentive. They have an a la carte menu but we chose the Surprise Tasting Menu which was a wonderful choice. Frankie made friends with 2 magnums of champagne.Frankie felt small next to these champagnes    Continue reading