I just returned from my first visit to New Orleans and I can't wait to go back! I live in Atlanta now but I'm from New York City. The Quarter has the feel of the Village, the looks of Charleston and Savannah but it is more compact and bursting with life--great music, great food and people having a great time!
We ate at Mr.B's for dinner. I had to try the B-B-Q shrimp. It was delicious, but what a mess!I don't know if I would do it again no matter how good they were. You have to peel the shrimp yourself.They are sitting in a yummy sauce that you soak up with french bread. The shrimp had to be colossal size and there were 8 of them. It seemed like a lot more when your peeling them. I have never had shrimp that size, for that price-($19.95) I doubt I could buy that size for $20.00. My husband had pork tenderloin and he enjoyed it but wasn't crazy about it. The bread wasn't that great either. My appetizer of sauteed shrimp was delicious too, only three but huge!
We went to Bacco's for lunch. They do a three course lunch starting at $12. My husband had the grilled fish of the day which was a gulf fish called "escobar"? It was great. I had a pasta dish with sausage and mushrooms and it, too, was good but I couldn't eat a lot of it. The bread was excellent and there was olive oil on the table. Dessert was good and artistic.I highly recommend Bacco's for lunch.It's a fine dining experience at a moderate price. We also ate at Cafe Maspero for lunch, which I do not recommend. I had an oyster po-boy and my husband had a seafood platter. The seafood (fried) and oysters just weren't seasoned enough. I know this wasn't the best choice for seafood. I hear it's good for sandwiches. It was dirty and full of flys. We also had a great lunch at Rita's which is across the street from Irene's on St.Philips off of Chartres.This is a small restaurant, dark and kind of dumpy but full of local flavor. We both had a special of the day. Mine was excellent. It was pan fried catfish (a hugh portion which filled half the platter) and a side of pasta with garlic and butter (tasted like margarine ). The catfish had a delicious cream sauce with fresh tomatoes, crawfish, and I can't remember what else. This cost was $10.95. My husband wanted to try something local and had red beans and rice with pan fried smoked sausage. He loved it and that cost $7.00. The waitress , Caroline, was very nice and friendly.She gave me the recipe for red beans and wrote down what seasoning to buy and type of sausage. We also took a cab to Angelo Broccato's because I was dying to try his homemade ice cream. It was good but I wouldn't go out of my way to go back. We ate at an Italian restaurant Venezia's a block away and I won't even waist my breath on it.What a waist of a meal out. I could cry!
A great place for coffee and pastry is the Crossant D'Or on Ursulines St. You would not believe how cheap the homemade pastries are and the coffee! We had a very good lunch at the Crescent City Brewhouse on Decatur. They have a two for one coupon that you can get in a magazine or those little cards on the desk in the hotel. You have to choose from the entrees which are $15.00 and up. We had the special. I had the grilled grouper with sauteed vegetables that came with grilled shrimp too and topped with a lemon beurre blanc sauce. It was fantastic. The vegetables were so tasty and seasoned so well. I could have eaten an order of just that. As a matter of fact, I went back another day to ask them to special order just the shrimp and veggies but they said they don't do that because they buy specifically for each day's specials. My husband had a pasta jambalaya and that was yummy too. If you like beer this is the place. They have a $5.95 sampler where you get four glasses of different beers. It was fun, delicious and different.
Sorry for the long post but I wanted to share my experience with you and contribute a little something in return for all the good advice I received. Ciao!