Could anyone please tell me about Gautreau’s? It looks and seems very similar to Brigsten’s in both setting and menu. Would that be a fair comparison? If so, how would you place them side by side one another? I can’t say that I was knocked out by the former, though it was certainly enjoyable. The level of cooking didn’t seem as refined nor the ingredients and preparation as local as Upperline, by comparison. I’m trying to gauge where Gautreau’s fits in with other NOLA eateries that we’ve been to before. It seems to be rated highly but reviews are also somewhat polarized. People seem to either love it or hate it; it’s the best meal in the city or completely disappointing. Some of the more consistent criticisms that I’ve read seem to suggest that preparation can be overly fussy with too many ingredients that often don’t work. Apparently some celebrity ‘Top Chef’ was in the kitchen for a while but has since moved on. If anyone has visited recently or during the transition, please share your thoughts.
I would also love to get some feedback on Bayona, which we’ve never been to before. I’ve read great things in the past on Chowhound; nothing recent. It has a lovely courtyard (most romantic in the Quarter?) and the social media/yelp photos that I’ve seen look pretty impressive. The cooking seems a bit more creative than a lot of the older more traditional places that we love in NOLA. Is it perhaps comparable to August or Coquette? Any thoughts on dinner here?
Also, if planning for Friday lunch at Galatoire’s, is it safe to assume that we’ll be writing off dinner that night? We’ve been many times before and know the ins and outs but we’d like to experience their famous Friday afternoon lunch and I’m just wondering if we should leave out food/dinner plans that evening and stick to bar menus?
Lastly, if planning a milestone 40th birthday dinner for two anywhere in the city, where would you choose to dine? We’ve been to most of the old landmark restaurants and institutions a number of times including some newer highlights (we last visited in 2016) so we have a pretty good idea of the restaurant scene but I’d really appreciate reading your opinions as I want to plan something very special for my wife’s birthday-it’s a big one!
Thanks very much for your input.