Restaurants & Bars

New Orleans

Dining help in New Orleans?

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Dining help in New Orleans?

jacinthe | Mar 20, 2005 05:43 PM

My best friend and I are going to be in New Orleans for about three days mid-April (a sort of belated spring break trip, as we didn't have the same spring break week this year and we needed to meet somewhere relatively in the middle of the country as we're on different coasts) - from Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. I haven't visited since I was 11 (so I really don't remember anything aside from Cafe du Monde, I'm afraid), and she's never been. I'm in charge of the meal planning, because she knows better than to get between me and my food. I've been perusing the New Orleans board for the last month or so, trying to get ideas of where to go, what not to miss, etc. We're staying in the French Quarter (oui, tourist central, but I figured we could walk to a lot of places from there during the day, and find bars at night within walking distance from the hotel), but are definitely not averse to taking cabs in the name of good food. Prices - well, if the menu prices on Galatoire's website are accurate, I'd like to stick around there.

As for eating preferences - I eat everything, truly. There is nothing I won't eat. My friend, unfortunately, is a tad pickier - she will eat some seafood, only chicken, is on this positively awful kick where she disdains all cream-based sauces and fried food and dressing on her salad and... well, she has said that she will be able to find food wherever we go. I am not going to let her self-imposed food restrictions mar my dining experience, and she knows this (I sound so authoritarian - ah, perhaps that's why we're friends, because she accepts this - but she knows that her eating habits drive me nuts, so the truce we've brokered is that I can go wherever I want, and she manages). I do have to say, however, that I personally prefer a series of small dishes/interesting appetizers because then I can taste a number of dishes - I think it's been at least a good year, if not more, since I've actually ordered a real entree.

So far, the only definites I have (aside from definitely going back to Cafe du Monde - gosh, I love beignets), is a Friday night reservation at Herbsaint, and a Thursday early evening reservation at Marisol for their tapas.

I suppose the last decision to make is what to have for dinner on Saturday night - we're deciding between Ralph's on the Park and Brigtsen's. I have read the accolades about the latter on this board, but my friend ranked Ralph's just a touch higher. There haven't been as many reviews on it, so I was wondering if anyone could give their opinions comparing and contrasting both restaurants.

I want food that represents New Orleans. Stuff that I'm not going to as readily find, even in this increasingly-small world, in New York or Los Angeles.

Additionally, I've also thought about Galatoire's - but, for dinner or for brunch? I was toying with the idea of going there on Sunday around noon before we headed to the airport. Will it be overly crowded at that time, or should we be able to easily get seats? Or is the dinner experience really worth it? I have this on my list because from what I've read, it's a real old-school New Orleans restaurant - perhaps reminiscent of Musso and Frank's history-wise? - and I feel like we should definitely visit. My only question is when.

If there are any other lunch suggestions also, aside from Uglesich's and Dick and Jenny's, that would be really helpful. I am open to other dinner suggestions, if there is something that I'm just positively missing (although I guess that's always subjective).

Thanks in advance!

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