My wife and I were in New Orleans the past week (we live in NYC) during Final Four weekend, though we were there for a wedding rather than basketball. We had wedding stuff to do on THURS night and FRI night, so we didn't hit as many spots as we normally would, but we still made the food rounds, so thought I'd jot down my trip notes to pay back to the lovely CH community that is always so helpful. To wit:
WED Lunch: Green Goddess. We walked in just after opening, no one was there yet, so we grabbed a table outside. I had the bahn mi, my wife had the pork belly with egg and truffled grits. Both were very, very good, with distinctive and unusual flavor combinations. We had a few cocktails as well (natch) - they are very creative, and the ones I tried were delicious. This place has a great vibe - it is nice and relaxed, the outdoor seats are perfect to enjoy a nice day, and the people are friendly and accommodating. The food isn't "traditional" New Orleans, but the distinctiveness of it, and the FUN of it, fits perfectly.
WED Dinner: Lilette. OK I know this place gets a lot of props on these boards, but we were both disappointed. Part of it was that there was a well known actor/comedian sitting at the table behind us, so they weren't paying much attention to us, nor the delivery of our plates. I found the food quite... boring. It wasn't bad, it just didn't do anything for me. We split a bunch of appetizers, and we each had a main. I was really looking forward to the boudin noir app - but found it bland and unremarkable. The truffle parmigiano toast was pretty good though. I see no reason to go back though, for the food or the service.
THURS Lunch: Parkway. This place also gets a lot of props on these boards, and I'm glad it does! This was an awesome poor boy place - nothing fancy mind you, just good bread and good fillings. I had cold roast turkey and my wife had the roast beef and gravy. I thought they were both awesome, and can't wait to go back next time. The potato salad was rockin' too.
FRI Lunch: we liked Green Goddess so much that we went back! What more can I say? The people are great, the food is delicious and just so INTERESTING, and did I mention the cocktail list? My wife had the belly again, but I went with the Cubano sandwich (not the veggie one) - I wasn't sure what to expect with the pineapple and pickled peppers and all but: wow. Just an enjoyable place all around.
SAT Lunch: My first trip to Commander's Palace (actually the first trip there for all 4 in our party). We did the jazz brunch, and we didn't get the Garden Room, but I don't care. This was probably the best meal of the trip. We dressed up properly, suits and dresses and all that. There were several people there considerably more casual (a few jeans, shorts here and there) which was kind of disappointing. But the food... I had the shrimp and tasso Hennican, the Islander eggs, and pecan pie. I can eat a LOT, and I couldn't finish this meal. I force fed myself the pecan pie, which was REALLY good, but I just couldn't finish it (I devoured everything up until that point though, quite happily and probably too quickly). My verdict: excellent service, cool waiters and waitresses, and very well prepared, very well presented, memorable food. I'd go back without hesistation. They have really nice cocktails too. The Saint 75 was delicious (thanks to Mary and Marek for a great experience).
SAT Dinner: Herbsaint. Our last meal of this trip. Part of me is sad that I did Commander's and Herbsaint on the same day. My appetite still hadn't fully returned from lunch, so dinner was a bit tougher on us. But. I like this place. I'd hit Cochon and Cochon Butcher on my previous visit, so I knew the food would be good, and it was. Service was a bit cold, but the food was very good. I had the chicken/andouille gumbo (nice and dark and nice bit of kick) and the fried oyster special, plus the duck confit (which I had decided on WEEKS before). The meal was worth the while, but I think I'd go back to Cochon before Herbsaint.
Hope this helps some others out!