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New Orleans

Can't wait to return - LONG

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Restaurants & Bars 18

Can't wait to return - LONG

smilingal | Mar 18, 2011 06:30 PM

We had the best 3 nights away ever! We started our trip with beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe duMonde, a walk thru the market, followed by hurricanes at Pat O'Briens enjoying the enthusiasm from a Pub crawler crowd celebrating St. Patty's day (we all got LOTS OF BEADS!) (oh - and by the way - we wouldn't have known this - if your drinks come in the glasses you can either choose to bring them home or you can trade them back in @ $3.00 each - this amounted to a nice bit of cash back for us!!), continuing on to a lunch at Drago's at the Hilton. It was good - a first for all 6 of us to try charbroiled oysters and we loved them. I enjoyed the gumbo as well. Yes, service was poor. The FANTASTIC garlicbutter sauce that someone had their oysters in almost resulted in a hasty waiter losing his hands when he tried to remove the plate that we were all dipping our bread into! We followed this up with a dinner at Galatoire's which I am disappointed to admit did not meet up to our expectations. Yes, we sat downstairs and were happy to have heeded to all your advice to do so. I had crawfish etouffe. Yes it was very good but I think I/we all were expecting more. In fact, the 4 of the others who ordered sazeracs, ( I wanted to wait for the "official" place to try it,) were terribly discouraged to taste a drink that was indigenous to NOLA and was so difficult to swallow. I enjoyed my Brandy Milk Punch. That evening, before we retired, we had a nightcap in the Polo Lounge at the Windsor Court and, although it still wasn't "the" place to order the drink, my sazerac was 100% better than the ones made at Galatoire's. Also, not to forget that after paying the bill, admitting that perhaps we were on such a high of our first night in NOLA that no one really looked at the bill, we realized that we had 6 additional dishes (over $150 extra) on our bill. Thankfully, we hadn't gotten up from the table (BUT HAD PAID ALREADY!!) - and they redid the bill with an apology and then brought over three cookbooks for the three women in our party. I am wondering if any others have experienced this?

The next morning we were roused with the most fun at Commander's Palace jazz brunch. Service was impeccable. The attention to detail blew me away. From the black napkins for those wearing black slacks (it seems that New Orleans is privy to this level of service as I also recognized this at two or three other places as well) to ----- WAIT FOR THIS ONE----- the exchange of everyone's water glasses for new ones as the glasses had sweated!!!! - really great service. Food was great and the music was fun too! We whiled away the afternoon sailing along the Mississippi River on the Natchez Steamboat cruise. Even enjoyed a margarita onboard! That evening we had the best dining experience I have had to date. It was the entire experience that made it so. We enjoyed the chef's table in the kitchen of Emerils. What a hoot! So much fun. We were mesmerized. After dinner we also had a tour of the kitchen. Food was terrific - we had the Chef's tasting menu - and weren't aware of what was coming next till it was presented. We loved it all. And the dessert - OMG! Like one of everything and we all dug in! Chris Christie, the governor of NJ, was eating in the main dining room when we left.

The next day's feasting started with early lunch at August. Yes, it truly is the buy of the century - to appreciate that level of service (again black napkins) with that level of creativity of dining for $20.11 was really incredible. We took a trolley to magazine street but unfortunately didn't realize that one should really probably start in the high 3000's block or perhaps even 4000 block, so we pooped out before we saw anything at all of interest. I was in pursuit of the Column's Hotel so we cabbed it there to enjoy a drink on the big porch and enjoyed watching the world pass by. Be sure to notice, altho it would be hard not to, the magnificent huge tree right out in front.

My only regret is that because we wound up enjoying too many drinks back at our hotel, we couldn't muster the energy to get back out to get to Frenchman Street for music that night - which was the last scheduled stop on our itinerary. So we had dinner at the hotel (good but not great) and were happy to crawl into the very comfy beds.

Our friends, who had a later flight out the next morning had the mufalettas from Central Grocery as I had suggested they pick up for their flight home, but they told me that they ate them in the airport because they just couldn't restrain themselves!

Next time, pimm's cup and hand grenade and "official sazerac" and MUSIC.

Oh - somewhere in the time above we also squeezed in the Carousel Bar and another nice find which I don't recall hearing about on here - the Bombay martini bar.

Thank you so much to all of you for helping me to plan out this great trip. The six of us really enjoyed ourselves thoroughly!

Oh - one more thing - I am also surprised that I hadn't read anything about Mother's on here - it seemed to always have a long line outside.

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