First of all thanks to all of the posters who have shared their tips on the "must visit" restaurants in town. Lots of opinions - some consensus. Makes it fun to follow. As I have benefited from the recommendations and opinions here in planning my tour, I wanted to add my trip report as a thank you to all.
Arrived last Friday midafternoon, starving, (we didn't eat on purpose) and with our hotel room in the FQ not quite ready. No problem - off to Coop's. Lucky, no waiting, beer is flowing and I opened with the Seafood Gumbo and then had the Taste Plate - a little bit of everything. My gastromically impressionable Sweetie tried the Shrimp Creole. As has been reported here, this place is a little gem. Best dive in the FQ? Maybe, but a great start to our Chowhound pilgrimage! Checked off the list.
Full, tired, and happy head back to the hotel and waited to eat the next day. Had a late night stroll in the FQ and stopped by Napoleon House for a Pimm's Cup.
Off to my conference so a quick stop at CDM. Early morning, quiet, coffee fix and of course, beignets. Spent the day at the conference and had lunch there. Typical buffet - merely sustenance - saving myself for Brigsten's! Made the reservation seven weeks ago. Sweetie dressed up and looked smokin' great! Off in a cab and greeted warmly at the door. Waited in the hall with a glass of wine for a few minutes until our table was ready. Frank came by, said hello, and chatted for a bit.
Usually when a place is so seemingly unanimously praised, one wonders if it is hype. No hype here. Our meal was fabulous. I had the seafood platter and Sweetie had the duck. She'd never ordered it before anywhere but took a chance - that's my baby - and loved it! For dessert had my first creme brulee of the trip. Creamy and sweet. Sweetie had the banana bread pudding. Both outstanding!!
Sunday was another day at the conference - no chance for a traditional Sunday brunch! Met up with a colleague who made the decision for dinner. Ended up at the French Bistro on Toulouse(?) north of Bourbon. Not bad, not great - but the opportunity cost was significant as it was one less meal I had on my Chowhound trek. Took one for the team.
Monday at the conference but skipped out for lunch at Napoleon House. Sat outside and had a great seafood gumbo with the red beans and rice. Simple but delicious. Been there before on other trips (pre-Chowhound). Wait staff have character and I like the atmosphere. Sweetie had her first muff and loved it! Toasted is better!!
Monday night was the Gumbo Shop. A bit of a wait. Busy room. I opened with the Seafood Gumbo, of course and then had the sample plate with red beans and rice, jambalaya, and shrimp creole. Was OK but not fabulous. Sweetie had Shrimp Creole again and liked it, although preferred the one at Coops.
Tuesday - things getting desperate - last day to have dinner in town. Made a reservation at the Pelican Club. Had passed by numerous times walking about the FQ. Liked the room. We left for the short walk to PC - Sweetie looked great again - dress up night!
Some folks have found the service a little false/insincere, but we didn't have that problem. Ordered a bottle of wine - what a HUGE wine list they have! I ordered the Lousiana Gumbo as an opener. It was good but Napoleon's & Coops were better. Had the Duck Trio - duck in BBQ with sauce, a duck confit which I believe is cooked in a fat bath, and sauteed duck. Each was a little different. Sweetie tried my duck and especially liked the BBQ type. Sadly, there were only a few morsels of that one on the plate. A little disappointing. Sweetie opened with tomato and mozzarella appetizer which she loved. Her entree was the jambalaya which she enjoyed but couldn't finish as it was a very generous portion. I did my duty and cleaned it up. Very nice - large pieces of sausage, chicken and huge shrimp with crawfish also tossed in. Never seen pieces this large in jambalaya dishes I have had.
Creme brule #2 of the visit followed. Delicious although as I am a big fan of it, I may be less discriminating in this area.
Last day - visit to CMD - the morning at the conference and meet Sweetie at Napoleon House for a last lunch. Shared a muff and had a couple of beers. So sad, so long Chowhounds. Keep it flowin' -your comments make a difference and help other 'Hounds make their way!