I am heading down for Jazz Fest with five college friends (class of '99). In the past, have eaten at places like Mother's, 201 and Bell Forche but am looking to step it up a notch this year. Essentially I'm looking to nail down solid dinner options for Thu-Sat evenings. We will be a young group looking to have a good time and eat very well. Hoping people can help me out based on the following ideas. Any further suggestions or recommendations and general reservation tips (i.e. already too late or how far in advance) would be greatly appreciated:
Belle Forche - Ate there last year late night and had a good experience but have read some iffy reviews since and haven't found much either way on this board.
Galatoire's - Eating here sounds pretty riualistic, in a good way... i.e. choosing a waiter and general protocol. I understand they don't take reservations so would it be realistic to just show up around 7pm and still expect to make it to a 10pm show? Would also consider doing Friday lunch - but is the experience worth sacrificing a day at the fest or by the pool? And are we going to be crippled for the rest of the day/ night? What kind of non-seafood choices do they have on offer?
Jaques-Imos - I think this is pretty much a lock for one of the nights. Just seems like a logical fit. Wanted to eat there last year but couldn't get a res. Is it true they don't accept them until a month before Jazz Fest?
Herbsaint - I like the idea of minimalist and chic...
Irene's - Everything I've heard sounds great but people may not be into waiting in line for Italian in New Orleans, considering the other options....
K-Paul's - General consensus seems to be that it's over priced but I'm dying to find somewhere that does really good, authentic blackened chicken.
I get in a night ahead of everyone else and even though I'm not a fab am contemplating giving Emeril's or NOLA a shot - is it a worthwhile experience/ OK for a solo meal? Better alternatives?
Will definitely grab a burger at Port of Call and eat at the Fairgrounds.
Also considering going to Vaughn's Thursday night to catch Kermitt Ruffin's - do they really serve BBQ between sets? If so would it qualify as an actual meal. I know it's in a bit of a sketchy neighbourhood but am assuming it's no problem getting cabs there and back it?
Has anybody stayed at Loft 523? I'm trying it out for a couple nights and staying at the W the rest of the time. How is it? What's the scene like at the lobby bar?
Thanks in advance!