My husband and I just returned to SF from our fourth trip to NO in 2 years. We recently read in the WSJ wine column about the Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar & Bistro in the Quarter (720 Orleans Ave., right across from the Bourbon Orleans Hotel) and decided to give it a try. We fell in love with this place! The staff (especially John and Katie) were so welcoming, friendly and enthusiastic about the wines that they were serving that we felt right at home immediately. The space itself is gorgeous, with a beautiful curved bar, exposed brick walls, and lots of small, intimate tables for two or four. The wine list has great selections, and if you choose to have your wine by the glass, you receive a "mini-carafe" of your selection that really amounts to two glasses of wine. On our last night in New Orleans, we decided to give the food a try after discussing the menu with our server, John. We had four wonderful starters (again, very generous portions!): a mixed greens salad with Port poached pears, Roquefort and a port vinaigrette; an arugula salad with shaved asiago cheese, fried leeks and a sherry vinaigrette; house smoked salmon served with creme fraiche, potato pancakes, and caviar; and mussels with a delicious tomato-based broth with cured ham and heads of roasted garlic.
We would recommend sitting at the bar so that you can discuss wine selections with the sommelier, John. We can't wait to come back to this place on our next trip!