I'll be going to New Orleans for a few days after Christmas and staying through the New Year. I was a student there not too long ago and so I'll be doing my rounds of the lower and middle-end places (say, Mandina's, Dunbar's, etc. . .) and spending most of my nights soaking in Abita and Shiner Bock, but I'll need a few grown-up evenings (or at least start to the evenings) so I can tell my colleagues I did something that involved my pants staying up and my drinks staying down.
For food: the only higher end places I've eaten in NO were Commander's (didn't love the food but it was shockingly affordable and the room and service were lovely) and Cafe Marigny/Marigny Brasserie or whatever it's called now, which had excellent food (so I good I sent a round of cold-ones back to the kitchen) and capable but not stellar service, but it was friendly so all is well (this is just about a year ago).
I'm looking for something a little more high-touch than Cafe Marigny and with really good food (food trumps service, of course). I tend to go for heavy, French style dishes but am pretty open-minded. Price isn't an option but would like to keep food and wine/beer/liquor under $150.00 per meal before tax/tip. BONUS if the place has a bar where I can eat. I'll be by myself and am pretty good about whatever but prefer to sit at the bar if alone, if possible. Based on the board, August is my front-runner. If that's a mistake let me know. I'll probably want one or two more meals on that level, if possible. Anywhere in the City is fine, Metairie and Algiers etc. . . probably not.
Also hoping to find some great cocktails/bartenders. Rye and gin based are best, bonus points if the bar doesn't even have vodka. Super bonus if they've got fresh eggs.