I know it's not even Mardi Gras season, but I'm starting to plan for JazzFest. This will be my 17th consecutive trip to New Orleans for JazzFest, so I'm generally familiar with the restaurant scene. However, I could use guidance on the following:
1. This year, we are going to arrive on the Wednesday before the first weekend, which will give us a couple of days before the masses arrive. I would think this would be the perfect opportunity to visit places we typically avoid, such as Irene's Cuisine and Dick and Jenny's, because they do not accept reservations. Is my strategy a good one? Are there other places I should consider?
2. Each year, we like to have a large group dinner on the first Saturday of JazzFest; we typically have 12-20 people. In the past, we've done it at GW Fins, Palace Cafe, Emeril's, and Mike's on the Avenue (which used to do a great job with large groups). I'd love to do it at Jacques-Imo's, but we just can't get in unless we take a 6:00 reservation. Where do people suggest for this year's dinner?
3. This year, our group will have a number of small children (6 mos. to 4 years). Most nights, the kids will stay at the hotel, but, for those nights we take them with us, what places are child-friendly AND have adult-pleasing cuisine? Last year we took the kids with us to Franky & Johnny's, which worked out well. I'd appreciate other suggestions.
4. The hardest part for me is keeping up with changes to the restaurant scene. I'd appreciate hearing about any new not-to-be-missed places. Our tastes run the gammit from Peristyle, Bayona and Brigtsen's, to Franky & Johnny's and Liuzza's.
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