Hi! I'm a Boston 'hound, and I'll be in New Orleans for six nights for a business conference, and I'm looking for recommendations. I'm really excited, as I haven't been to New Orleans as an adult with disposable income, and I'm looking forward to some very good food and drink.
I''ll be staying at the Wyndham by the Convention Center, and I won't have a car. So, I'm looking for things that I can get to on foot or by mass transit.
First, the specific things that I'm looking for:
1) I need a recommendation for dinner on a Friday night for six. It's a work dinner, so I'm looking for something nice, but not too formal. Something with a fun atmosphere where we can get some great drinks and enjoy a relaxed meal. Preferrably keeping entrees under $30.
2) Great bars to go out in the evening to get some great cocktails. I've heard that New Orleans has some great craft cocktail bars, but I don't know any by name. I would obviously like to have a great Sazerac while I'm in town, but generally looking for places that really take the care and effort with ingredients and mixing, etc. Always looking for places with good bartenders to chat with.
3) Some relatively quick lunch options around the convention center area. I'm expecting that I'll be pretty busy at the conference during the days, but I'd love to get some suggestions for places to duck out and grab some damn good food...Possibly one or two places where I might have a good sit down meal if I want to meet with a client, etc.
More generally, I love things that are spicy and complex in construction and flavor (hence, my excitement about coming to New Orleans). I definitely want to get my fill of seafood - esp. shrimp and oysters.
Anyway, I hope this isn't asking for too much, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.