My wife and I flew in to New Orleans for the Memorial day weekend and dropped our bags at a nice vrbo on Camp Street and walked to Galatoires for Friday lunch. We had 12:30 reservations upstairs but knew we wanted to eat in the main dining room and would make that request upon arrival. We have eaten lunch and dinner at Galatoires but had never been for Friday lunch. As soon as we walked in I knew our plans were in trouble as the noise level was already high and the dining room was packed. We debated whether to go ahead and eat upstairs but we wanted to be in the action so the hostess cancelled our upstairs reservation and gave us a pager promising to call when a table for two became available. We walked around a bit and had a cocktail and about an hour later we were notified that our table was ready. The lunch crowd that was there at 12:30 was still there having fun. One birthday group of about 60 had several long tables and the noise level was really high but the energy was fantastic. After a nice cocktail we shared the Goute and enjoyed the show. After ordering our main courses around 2:30 or 3:00 the birthday toasts started coming and the enjoyment intensified. It truly felt like you were in a private club with friends and neighbors although we knew no one in the restaurant. I had the Black Drum lightly fried with crabmeat and my wife had the Crabmeat Yvonne. Our waiter Charlie suggested that I have the fish fried although I probably would have preferred it sautéed. As we were eating our main courses one young man stood to say his colleague was leaving for a job in Europe and began somewhat laboriously reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. In all, it was our first Friday lunch at Galatoire and we had a fabulous time and will gladly do it again. I know some will disagree but I love Galatoire and that is a restaurant I will not miss on my trips to NO.
We had a late dinner at Coops Friday night and my jambalaya was delicious and my wife loved her poboy which was fried shrimp and huge.
Saturday was supposed to be our day for strolling Magazine Street and the Garden district but the rain hit. We tried to wait it out at a local bar but ended up getting an uber and had lunch at Bucherie. We had been there several years ago but the location had changed and it is a very attractive modern looking restaurant. I had the waguy beef poboy and my wife had the pulled pork cake which she tried several years ago and still talks about. My sandwich was top of the line and she of course loved her pork. After lunch we made it to Luke's at the end of happy hour and had a dozen raw and a half dozen fried oysters. The place was packed and the oysters were very good. Although we were not terribly hungry we made it to our 8:30 dinner reservation at Clancy's. This is another of our don't miss restaurants. We skipped appetizers and I had the veal with crab and bernaise and my wife had an off the menu soft shell crab that was touted as smoked and then quick fried. My veal was to die for and lived up to its usual standard but the soft shell crab was really just fried. It was good but not over the top. The wine was good and the atmosphere was electric as it usually is .After dinner we walked to another restaurant whose name escapes me and had a nightcap and watched basketball until an uber picked us up and dropped us back at the apartment.
Sunday morning we walked for a good couple of hours to somewhat compensate for our food intake and saw ships up and down the Mississippi and the sights around NO. We had a late lunch at Broussards in the quarter simply stumbling upon it. I had never been nor had I heard much about it. I had the crusted oyster salad and my wife had the Rich Man's poboy and I have to say our lunch was delicious and I am trying to duplicate that salad at home without complete luck. This lunch was our find for the trip and we will gladly return to Broussards. Our friends met us at the Roosevelt that evening and our drinking and gabbing caused us to cancel our dinner reservation at Dickie Brennan's steakhouse and our evening meal was pretty forgettable.
Monday was an early lunch of a Cuban sandwich and muffaletta at Cochon Butcher before heading home. These are the best sandwiches anywhere. Truly outstanding.
We try to go to New Orleans yearly and love the fantastic restaurants. Our top tier which is solely our opinion would be Galatoire, Commanders, Brightsens, Clancy's and Herbsaint. Next would be August, Upperline Lilette and a host of others. I read this column regularly and thank everyone who posts as this is quite helpful.