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New Orleans restaurants -- recent reviews and recommendations?

New Orleans restaurants -- recent reviews and recommendations?

Old Jul 25, 15, 2:22 pm
  #151  
 
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Oysters

Thought I'd jump in with MY OPINIONS!

In general, since we live in the lower Quarter, we like places we can walk to or that have reasonable expectations of a parking space or if we have to, we'll call a cab (only United) or a Pedicab (we use Bike Taxi -yellow shirts, exclusively).

Oysters: Where we've had consistently bad experiences and we tell people to avoid - ACME, which I gave up on after the second time I was served a dozen room temperature oysters. Why wait on line for stuff like that. Casamentos is not what it used to be. Before you order anything, walk to the WC. You have to go through the kitchen, which is a pig-pen. After you see it, decide if you want to eat there. The oysters are shucked out front but I think you can find better one's elsewhere,

Places we do eat them at. #1 on our list is Pascal's Manale. Thomas is the shucker and knows what he's doing. Felix's is the best in the Quarter and if you also want a more extensive menu, Bourbon House on the corner does a good job as well.

Other High End - Bayona (a great patio and good for lunch, too), Commander's (sit at the bar for a while and watch the kitchen scene), Gautreau's, Brigtsen's, and Restaurant August (the tasting menu, either paired or unpaired is fabulous, and pricey).

Neighborhood places we like and keep going back to (not necessarily in the Quarter). Feelings, Elizabeth's, Mimi's in the Marigny, Arabella (Kajun's Pub next door has a growing selection of Single Malt's that'll help you over the karaoke). 2 other good bars/music across the street are the Hi-Ho and Siberia. Court of Two Sister's which has had a so-so reputation has had the nextgen taking over and is vastly improved. Not only do they have a beautiful courtyard but the food is now competitive. Muriel's also has improved food (new sous chef). Hermes Bar at Antoine's where you can order any food you want from the Antoine's menu - especially the potatoes. Snug Harbor and Port of Call for burgers. Also, steaks at Port of Call and pizza is back after a post-Katrina hiatus. Don't overdo the Monsoons (or the Hurricane's at Pat O's). Mondo, Domenica, Jacques-Imo's (where you can get a reservation for a party of 5 or more), K-Pauls (where the menu doesn't change but the food is consistently very good). There are many who learned to cook here and now have their own well known places (Brigtsen's and Jacques-Imo's probably top the list). Parkway Bakery, R&O's, Tracey's, and Johnny's for a few po'boy places. Off Jackson Square, Tableau, Doris Metropolitan (arguably the best steak place in town now) and Stanley for breakfast and lunch. Can't ignore Cafe du Monde. My wife likes Sylvain - I don't. Juan's if you're uptown and El Gato Negro if you're in the lower Quarter or on Frenchmen. Mona's if you're vegetarian. Meals from the Heart for crabcakes if you're in the French Market and the roasted corn at the stand a few steps away. This is just a sampling, there are so many more. We had a nice brunch at the reopened Brennan's a few weeks ago. We go to the West Bank or East New Orleans for Vietnamese. There are dozens more places (especially uptown) that are wonderful too.

My wife also likes The Italian Barrel but I've given up. She arranged a luncheon there in May with some of her friends and thay enjoyed it. We had a dinner for 12 a week later and 10 people rated is as "don't go back", which is my attitude as well. They've doubled the seating without maintaining food quality or service and the noise levels made conversation impossible.

Places we don't go to - any Emeril's restaurant. We've tried them all and never had a good experience. I don't like to be rushed and that seems to be their Gold Standard of service, even when told it's not wanted. I invariably had to send back courses where service was attempted even though I hadn't finished the previous course and I've had them try to re-serve the plate after keeping it under the heat lamps for another 10+ minutes. Irene's - reservations mean nothing. All to common to wait an hour past your reservation time. Adolfo's - the food is the same, long waits and the days of an inexpensive simple dinner are gone. The chain restaurant's in the Quarter. To come to New Orleans and eat in places like Bubba Gump's, Landry's and the Hard Rock is crazy when there are so many good local places.

We're out of town for the summer except for a couple of days each month so we're not up with developments and changes since the end of June.

As is often said on FT, YMMV. And, please don't forget - these are my opinions, not the gospel.

Disclaimer! We are personal friends with the owners and/or chef's of many of the places I've named. We tell them what we liked and what we didn't like about our visit, both food and service.
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Old Jul 26, 15, 4:14 pm
  #152  
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Nice list, SuperG. I'm familiar with the majority of the spots you mention, but there are a few names that are new to me, that I'll add to me (ever-growing) NOLA dining bucket list.
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Old Jul 26, 15, 7:51 pm
  #153  
 
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
Nice list, SuperG. I'm familiar with the majority of the spots you mention, but there are a few names that are new to me, that I'll add to me (ever-growing) NOLA dining bucket list.
Thank you.

My wife looked at the post and said that I hit send too quickly, that we go to and like lots of other places, so add the following:

Willie Mae’s in the Treme for fried chicken (we haven’t tried the new St. Charles Ave. Location). The Joint for BBQ in the Bywater. Fatoush at the Healing Center in the Marigny. Checkpoint Charlie’s at Esplanade & Decatur, Food (nothing fancy but my neighbor likes their burgers), drink, live music, pool table and LAUNDROMAT. Igor’s on Magazine is their uptown branch.

In the quarter. Take out fried chicken from Key’s gas station at the corner of Rampart and Gov. Nicholls (don’t laugh – a friend who owns a Fine Dining restaurant turned us on to this). EAT (Dumaine and Dauphine) for traditional southern, Clover Grill, Orleans Grapevine, Verti Marte – it’s difficult to impossible to find anything healthy there, but it’s homemade, tasty and open 24/7/365. Try an “All That Jazz” Po’boy or a Main course dish with 2 sides. Coffee Shops (not like Amsterdam’s) - Envie (Barracks and Decatur), Croissant D'Or Patisserie on Ursilines, Petite Amelie, Café Beignet, The Coffee Pot. We also like Mr. B’s, the Red Fish Grill and The Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans.

In the CBD. Café Adelade and the Swizzle Stick Bar at the Loew’s and Bon Ton Café.

Uptown – La Petite Grocery, Bistro Daisy, Upperline, Mat & Naddie’s, and Juan's Flying Burrito.

You’ll never know whether the little hole in wall that you happen to come across is your next great find or not, if you don’t try it. After all, you have to work hard to find a bad meal in New Orleans.
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Old Jul 26, 15, 10:14 pm
  #154  
 
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Willie Mae's Uptown location is not doing well, at all. I'm not a fan of any of John Besh's restaurants. R'evolution in the FQ is not high on my list either, they cater too much to the drunken Bourbon St. crowd. Carrollton Market on Hampson St. in Uptown is on my no go list.

Re: Uptown
Agree with your list, especially Bistro Daisy as it's our Uptown goto place. Solidly consistent.

Shaya is outstanding and a must do place now.

Boucherie, in its new digs, is great. Always see the chef at the Uptown Farmers Market.

Others in Uptown: Cowbell for burgers, etc. and Chiba on Oak St for sushi, etc. Del Fuego on Magazine, McClure's BBQ on Magazine. Ba Chi Canteen, Jamila's & Ciro's Cote Sud on Maple St. Mint Modern and Wayfare on Freret St. St. James Cheese on Prytania. The Milk Bar on Carrollton Ave.

Going farther afield:
Metairie: Bevi Seafood on Airline Hwy, Ristorante Filippo on Ridgelake & W. Napoleon, Cafe Equator Thai on Severn Ave., Bear's Po-boys on Metairie Rd., Lagniappe Luncheonette on Airline, Atomic Burger on Vets, Pho Orchid Express on Airline Hwy.

Harahan: Charles Seafood on Jefferson Hwy, Seither's Seafood on Hickory Ave. Oak Oven Italian on Jefferson Hwy, Kim Anh Noodle House on Jeff Hwy.

We have over 400 more restaurants post-K than we did before. IMO, it's a truly amazing development and I'm happy about it. However, it's starting to be a little unsettling seeing some of the national chains moving in, i.e., N. Carrollton Ave. in Mid-City.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 4:20 am
  #155  
 
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+1 on the chains. When she doesn't go to Dorignac's, my wife shops at Rouse's on N. Carrollton and I shudder when I look across the street. I could be in a mall in Florida.

With all of the uptown construction, Freret St has been off our list. Ba Chi is near the top of places we want to try this fall. Funny - Besh recommended it. Shaya's also on our list. Isn't Besh involved with the ownership? I thought he helped get it established, but I could be wrong.

As an aside, you do a great job of promoting NOLA in an accurate manner on this forum. ^^^
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Old Jul 27, 15, 11:45 am
  #156  
 
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You mean there are grocery stores other than Dorignac's? Rouse's is our second choice. Gotta shop local. ^ BTW, when we're at Dorignac's, we usually try to checkout in the line with Karla at the register and Dorothy bagging. They are a dynamic duo, but Dorothy provides the entertainment.

If Besh is involved with Shaya, it might only be financially. It is definitely Alon's show. Alon is frequently out front and stopping by the tables to chat. First time, we told him we were newbies and he led us thru the menu and recommended what we should order since it was our first time. It was a great dining experience. He has some very nice wines from countries that are not the usual suspects.

With regard to Freret St., I usually go Nashville to Freret to avoid all the construction mess. It's relatively painless.

Thanks for the compliment, however, there are several others, residents and non-residents, that help keep it real, also. We appreciate your input & love for our NOLA.

I liked your comment about hole in the wall places and finding the unexpected. Had that experience recently myself. I happened to see a small sign tacked on a light pole pointing down a side street to a Po-boy shop. This place has been in business for over fifty or sixty years and I didn't know it existed. The embarrassing point is that it's only five minutes from my house. I went there for lunch recently and when I stepped inside the place, it was like I had stepped into a freaking time warp. Pure neighborhood place where everyone seemed to know each other. I loved seeing the late 70s year old woman sitting in a booth by herself eating a salad accompanied by a longneck.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 11:49 am
  #157  
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I feel like we've made as much or more progress in this thread in the last few days than we had in the prior 5+ years this thread has been in existence. Thanks to you locals for your comprehensive discussions. ^
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Old Jul 27, 15, 12:11 pm
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You're welcome, Blumie. You're one of the non-locals I had in mind for helping to keep the NOLA Threads real. Thanks for your contributions.
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Old Jul 28, 15, 1:41 am
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Well, since all y'all insist on giving away our secrets, let me chime in with:
- Mopho's for extraordinary Asian-inspired food. We like their roast duck banh-mi as much as Crabby Jack's duck po-boy. They also have house roasted pig or lamb on occasional Saturdays (check their Facebook page).
- Ralph's for that fantastic Brennan's experience plus spectacular park views but without the tourists (and they're running a fantastic 3 apps/1 glass of wine special for the summer)
- Magasin for excellent Vietnamese with some uptown atmosphere
- Lilly's for excellent Vietnamese with no atmosphere
- Blue Crab for excellent seafood with beautiful sunsets (they also have some of the old Fitzgeralds favorites)
- Paladar 511 for genius upscale pizza (better that Elon's I think); also try their snapper
- almost forgot Lilette's, consistently and dependably excellent for nearly 20 years.

(Now I'm sorry I read this thread; I'm out of town until next week and will have to suffer poor food until I get back).

Last edited by jg70124; Jul 28, 15 at 1:52 am
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Old Sep 18, 15, 8:00 pm
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Take out fried chicken from Key’s gas station at the corner of Rampart and Gov. Nicholls (don’t laugh – a friend who owns a Fine Dining restaurant turned us on to this).
This was the best fried chicken I've ever had in my life! The two people I convinced to go with me yesterday to get take out for lunch (based on this FT recommendation) said the same thing.
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Old Sep 19, 15, 9:07 am
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Went to Brennan's for dinner a few weeks ago. Our meal was very good and had a solid wine list. The Steak Diane for 2 was fantastic & flamed table side. I'd go back.

Visited Mais Arepas yesterday for the first time, which is a Colombian restaurant in Central City. Ordered the Arepas Sampler and a side dish of the citrus slaw. All of it delicious.

I went with a friend to try out the St. Roch Market for lunch. We walked around the place, looked at all of the stalls, shrugged our shoulders, and walked out. Too hipster-ish. Looks like it belongs in San Francisco, not NOLA. I do wish them success, however.
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Old Oct 3, 15, 2:27 pm
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Finally headed to NO in a few weeks for the first time and can't wait to try out some of the places mentioned on this thread! Another example of how helpful the FT community can be!
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Old Oct 3, 15, 5:34 pm
  #163  
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I'm not sure how well this thread has kept up with New Orleans' rapidly changing restaurant scene. I encourage you to have a look at these two lists as well. I recommend the first list for newcomers, and both lists for repeat visitors.

http://nola.eater.com/maps/best-new-orleans-restaurants-38

http://nola.eater.com/maps/best-new-new-orleans-restaurants-heatmap
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Old Oct 3, 15, 5:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
I'm not sure how well this thread has kept up with New Orleans' rapidly changing restaurant scene. I encourage you to have a look at these two lists as well. I recommend the first list for newcomers, and both lists for repeat visitors.

http://nola.eater.com/maps/best-new-...restaurants-38

http://nola.eater.com/maps/best-new-...urants-heatmap
Cool site! Good to know and I appreciate the follow up
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Old Oct 3, 15, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
I'm not sure how well this thread has kept up with New Orleans' rapidly changing restaurant scene. I encourage you to have a look at these two lists as well. I recommend the first list for newcomers, and both lists for repeat visitors.

http://nola.eater.com/maps/best-new-...restaurants-38

http://nola.eater.com/maps/best-new-...urants-heatmap
I'd say that starting from post 140, we've kept up pretty well. In fact, one of NOLA Eater's 38 Essential restaurants (Maurepas Foods), in the link above, is closing permanently this weekend. I guess it should really be 37 Essential Restauarants. Also, a couple of restaurants in that list I've been once and would not go back. I'll admit that the pace of restaurant openings has been dizzying and will continue into the near future. I'll, also, admit to not having eaten in all 1400+ restaurants in the city.

Edited to add: I'll be interested to read Blumie's and Swag's take on some of the new places after their next visits.

Last edited by FLYMSY; Oct 5, 15 at 3:34 pm
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