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Thread: Recommendations for NOLA

  1. #21
    As a former New Orleans resident who now lives far away, I absolutely look forward to going to NOLA to eat classic Cajun and Creole food because you absolutely cannot get that food anywhere else. I agree that those places are not emblematic of "modern" New Orleans food, but what makes "modern" New Orleans food? The stuff that Dominique Macquet has been cooking since the late 90's, New Orleans food that has other ethnic influences and ingredients, modern techniques?

    In my opinion, modern New Orleans food is closer to the contemporary food that is being made in other cities in the US. Is it still unique? Yes. But where else in the world can you get New Orleans remoulade, Oysters Rockefeller, gumbo, jambalaya, etoufee, etc.? Honestly, in my opinion, nowhere. (I've made the mistake of trying new Orleans food wherever I can in any city that supposedly has a good New Orleans/Cajun/Creole restaurant. Almost every one has been a huge disappointment.)

    There is no doubt that I plan on trying Domenica, Herbstaint, Cochon, Stella, August, etc. But the first places I'm going to go to are Casamento's and Galatoire's. (Mind you, I have hate the service at Galatoire's because both times I've been there, the waiter has been dismissive, likely because I'm Asian, even though I was properly dressed and absolutely polite.) That's how much I like and miss the food at those restaurants.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  2. #22
    I should add that I've never had bad service at Casamento's. That place is easily one of my favorite restaurants in the world. Every single person that I've taken to Casamento's has absolutely loved it. For the price of an entree at a high-end New Orleans restaurant, you can eat until you're absolutely stuffed.

    And, I should have added that I'm not being dismissive of modern New Orleans restaurants. I just disagree that the older restaurants are "catering" to the perception of what New Orleans cuisine is. They've been around for over a century - they're the standard bearers of classic New Orleans dishes - and don't believe that those older restaurants should be dismissed. They've been around for so long because they're timeless and the dishes that they make are, similarly, timeless.

    The thing about New Orleans that makes it so unique, in my experience, is the absolute bounty of seafood there. (Which, of course, made me so absolutely F**KING mad about the Deepwater Horizon incident - BP should have not been allowed to settle that claim; BP and Transocean and all responsible parties should have been required to annually contribute to a relief fund for DECADES to alleviate and remedy ongoing problems from the spill. Sorry for the rant.) Where else in the US can you get such plentiful oysters, shrimp, crawfish, blue crabs, soft shell crabs when in season, Speckled Trout (which makes delicious sushi when pristine - I just had this for the first time last month here in LA) and Redfish, at absolutely and comparatively cheap prices?

    Most of the older restaurants feature seafood extensively, and seafood is the foundation of so many classic dishes. They also serve a bounty of seafood - there's no skimping.

    I also can't even begin to count how many overstuffed King Shrimp Po-Boys I had from the Louisiana Seafood Exchange off of Jefferson. When I lived in River Ridge, I ate there weekly. My buddies and I would buy a case of beer, and each of us would get one overstuffed King Po-Boy (or, as my friend Tom used to get, the "football", i.e. fried seafood in a whole loaf of muffaletta bread). I think when I lived there, a King (IIRC, a 12 inch Po-Boy) was $7.95 or $8.95. Whole "whale" sized soft shell crabs were $4 bucks at the market. Beautiful whole white shrimp (16-20 head on) from Lake Ponchartrain during season were $5 bucks a pound. A whole bag of oysters (over 140 oysters when I counted them because I shucked every single one) was $20 in 1995. I was selling them for a 75 cents a piece in Northern California before I moved to New Orleans. I've never seen prices like that anywhere before, or since.

    New Orleans is one of the best food cities I've had the privilege of living in. But, I strongly believe that, if you go to New Orleans, and decide not to eat at at least a few of the classic restaurants, whether it's a Po-Boy shop, classic Creole restaurant, oyster restaurant, barbecue shrimp restaurant, etc., you're really missing one of the most unique experiences. (And, yes, I include Commander's Palace among these restaurants. The turtle soup with sherry is a truly classic dish in my opinion. And, I've always had a good meal there.) Come to think of it, I was invited to eat there with some of the most prominent New Orleans attorneys and judges there - they, all locals, chose to eat there of all of the restaurants in New Orleans at that time (1998). They could have gone to any restaurant in New Orleans, including the Windsor Court, Tujague's, Galatoire's, Antoine's, Arnaud's, Dominique's (then at a hotel in the Quarter), Bayona, Brigtsen's, Upperline, etc., but they chose Commander's.

    (Sorry for the length of my posts.)
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  3. #23
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    yes, the classics are classics for a reason. But theres no reason to go to one of the infamous super mega multi million dollar establishments. THOUSANDS of places in louisiana are still cooking traditional fare. and i can tell you for a FACT that commanders and galatoires remoulade recipe,gumbo recipe, jambalaya recipe, etoufee recipe, and many many other recipes are very very similar. youre buying ultimately the same product no matter where you go. dont let big name brands fool you.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Dardeau's Avatar
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    I couldn't disagree more about Stella. I would rather spend my cash elsewhere. Bayona, Domenica, maurepas, gautreau's, herbsaint, patois, Company burger, cowbell, high hat cafe, brightsen's, Charlie's seafood in harahan (if you have a car) for food. Bar Tonique, Cure, and Belloq for cocktails. And if you make it to Cochon in the pm, pm me with your reso info and I'll come say hi.

  5. #25

  6. #26
    Ooh I forgot about herbsaint, my wife and I went there for lunch last time we visited and it was awesome. We never had a chance to go to Cochon but I've heard great things.
    Twitter: @PeterDaEater

  7. #27
    Senior Member Duckfat's Avatar
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    Is the Acme Oyster House still around? Cafe DuMond, K-pauls, Bayona....The trouble I have with NOLA is narrowing my choices down to a manageable number.
    Who you jivin' with that Cosmik Debris?

  8. #28
    Senior Member Dardeau's Avatar
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    I will wholeheartedly agree with you about Herbsaint. Wonderful, well thought out food and a tasty and reasonable wine list. They did a little remodel last summer and the dining room is even nicer than it was before. Also of you are coming for a convention go ahead and get your resos now, especially for Cochon or anything else a short walk from the convention center. 25,000 other people will also be trying to go to the same restaurants. And remember to say hello to me if you come to Cochon, the Microsoft Convention is always absurdly busy, so PM me when your reso is so I can look out for you.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Dardeau View Post
    I couldn't disagree more about Stella. I would rather spend my cash elsewhere. Bayona, Domenica, maurepas, gautreau's, herbsaint, patois, Company burger, cowbell, high hat cafe, brightsen's, Charlie's seafood in harahan (if you have a car) for food. Bar Tonique, Cure, and Belloq for cocktails. And if you make it to Cochon in the pm, pm me with your reso info and I'll come say hi.
    Good to know about Stella. I always forget about Gautreau's. My friends used to live blocks away from that place.

    I'm glad to see that Bayona and Brigtsen's are still recommended by a local. I have great memories of both places.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by mhlee View Post
    Good to know about Stella. I always forget about Gautreau's. My friends used to live blocks away from that place.

    I'm glad to see that Bayona and Brigtsen's are still recommended by a local. I have great memories of both places.
    Stella is the furthest thing from being a bad restaurant or a restaurant that is afraid to change with the times (commanders). Long story short, I would bet you would not have a bad dinner there. And without a doubt the best breakfast in the French Quarter is at Stanley's, which is owned by the same chef!
    Twitter: @PeterDaEater

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