New Orleans 40th Birthday dining

Old May 3rd, 2010, 03:54 PM
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New Orleans 40th Birthday dining

We will be celebrating my husbands 40th in New Orleans May 28-30. I have read over the dining reviews here but we are looking for nice restaurants with a good atmosphere, not too stuffy or fancy but good and unique to the city! We are staying at the Monteleone and prefer to stay in the Quarter. I went to college in New Orelans so I have seen the city but never dined anywhere I'd go for a b-day dinner back then! We are also thinking Brunch at Court of Two Sisters or Commanders.
Thanks!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:09 PM
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Commanders, ask for the Garden Room when you make reservations.

Across the stret from the hotel would Mr. B's Bistro, get the BBQ shrimp. Lunch or dinner your choice.

Within short walking distance in the Quarter...

Bayona, where we had our anniversary dinner last year.

Gallatoire's - classis New Orleans dining, about the same spot as the hotel only on Bourbon.

Emeril's NOLA - I like it, gets mixed reviews.

Johnny's Po Boy

Street car ride away...

Jaques Imos, Brigsten's, Upperline, Pascal's Manale

At the hotel, sit in the window at the Carousel Bar and watch the people go by.

the concierge is very good about reservation but as it is a busy holiday weekend, you might want to decide then reserve early
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:13 PM
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Wow - you are quick - thanks!! I was thinking Bayona - looks unique and good - do you recommend the courtyard? Also,looked up Mr. B's and that looks good too. Thanks for the tip on Commanders!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:24 PM
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We were at Bayona last September and ate inside. Hey, it's New Orleans, you know the AC feels good even in May or Septemeber.

My daughter graduated from Loyola. Have fun, the Monteleone is one of our favorite hotels.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 07:55 PM
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We are on the plane on our way back from New Orleans as I write this. We had dinners at Bayona, Commander's Palace, Mila and Emeril's. They were all good, but no question we thought Emeril's was the best of the lot -- the food was fabulous and so was the service. Bayona was good but not extraordinary (we're from San Francisco, so very good food is pretty easy to come by!), Mila's food was excellent, but service was mediocre and it is, after all, a hotel restaurant in terms of ambiance. Commander's Palace was very very good and the service also very good, not at all pretentious or stuffy. But Emeril's just stood above them all -- the banana cream pie is to die for, the pork chop could feed 12 and was tender and delicious and the mussels were probably the best I've ever had. But be warned, it is very noisy.

For breakfasts, we ate at Mother's (an institution, but disppointing food) and Johnny's Po Boy (also an institution, but cheap and really good food -- great biscuits among other things). We also had breakfast in the warehouse district (where we were staying) at Lucy's -- nothing to write home about food-wise, but fun. Looks like a big happy-hour kind of place.

Oh, as for Commander's Palace' dress code, ha -- it doesn't really exist anymore. My DH wore a jacket but there were other men in the room without jackets, so we asked. They said they've relaxed the dress code since Katrina, and now it's "jackets preferred" rather than "jackets required". Definitely business casual.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:25 AM
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Thanks!! Notbob - I graduated from Loyola, too - '94!

sf7307- Emeril's sounds great - thanks. We will also def. have brunch at Commanders - glad the men don't need jackets - we want to take the streetcar and go some places afterwards and it will be way to hot!
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:30 AM
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Another recommendation is August, John Best's restaurants are excellent. Creative cuisine, really great atmosphere and excellent service. It's not in the quarter, but not far from it either. We also enjoyed Cochon, for a more casual experience. Agree about Commander's Palace, we had lunch there, but I've heard the brunch is not to be missed.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Upon further reflection ;-)

Let me be a little more assertive in my suggestions.


Mr. B's Bistro for lunch Friday or Saturday - BBQ shrimp

NOLA - Emeril's operation in the Quarter - lunch Friday or Saturday - If you are a foodie and don't mind sitting side by side at a counter. Ask for the chef's bar when you make reservations. You'll be by the kitchen, where you can watch a lot of the preparation. Great fun.

Friday dinner - Bayona - I am a big Susan Spicer fan and when we were there last year, my wife arranged for me to meet her. Big highlight.

Saturday dinner - Galatoire's - classic New Orleans dining, that you will find no where else. Jackets still required for men, but it's only a block from the hotel. The secret to a wonderful experience at Galatoire's is to put yourself completely in your servers hands. Let them know what you don't like or like but let them assemble the meal for you.

Sunday - Commander's Jazz Brunch - Garden Room - order a bloody mary
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:36 AM
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I'll second Cochon for a fun casual dining experience. I was there for dinner on a Thursday night in November and the place was packed to the gills...thank goodness I had a reservation! If you like pork you will be in heaven!

I also had dinner one night at Domenica which is a John Besh restaurant, his take on an Italian trattoria. It's located in the Roosevelt hotel (quiet a lovely lobby and the Sazerac bar there was nice too!) We enjoyed our meal at Domenica very much including the house made limoncello...I'll take a little bit of Italy anywhere I can get it! ;-)
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Old May 4th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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Actually I like Mr B's for Sunday Brunch.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 01:30 PM
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My understanding is that Commander's Palace has indeed relaxed their dress code. However, they still refuse to seat men and women who are wearing shorts. They may frown on jeans for men or women and no jacket for men, but they won't keep you out if that's what your wearing/not wearing, either.

Galatoire's may be the only NOLA restaurant that requires a jacket for men anymore, though that applies only at dinner and all day Sunday -- plus they'll loan a jacket to you if you don't have one. They also require men to be wearing a shirt with a collar at all times.

I especially liked Commander's Palace, Galatoire's, Arnaud's, K-Paul's and Mr. B's the time I went as far as fancy Cajun/Creole sit-down dinner places go in NOLA. For Italian, liked both Irene's and Mandina's. Will second Johnny's Po-Boys (just don't look too closely at how clean the dining area is and enjoy the eats), and for lower end places also suggest Acme Oyster House, Felix's, Napoleon House, Central Grocery, and Liuzza's By the Track. Breakfasts at Brennan's (high end), and Lil' Dizzy's and Cafe du Monde (low end) were also enjoyed here. Also Coop's Place for jambalaya and French Market Restaurant and Bar for boiled crawfish, plus Angelo Brocato's for ice cream and several coffee bars in the FQ for this beverage (Cafe EnVie, La Boucherie, Royal Blend, Croissant d'Or, and PJ's).
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Old May 4th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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>>

You ain't kidding!
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:06 AM
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Thanks everyone!
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