New Orleans in August 2019

Probably the worst time to go to NOLA, (there being no half shell eating) but I had some business there and stayed a couple of extra days just to eat. :smiley:

I had some real disappointments and some amazing ones as well. Here’s where I ate:

Cochon
Mr. B’s (bar only)
Domenica (take out)
Gallier’s for breakfast
Domenica again for eat-in snack because it’s terrific
Arnaud’s (first time)
Clancy’s - all time favorite NOLA eatery

Cochon
Unimpressed. The cucumbers and herbs were flavored unpleasantly strongly with mint. The gumbo was tepid and just okay. The famous boucherie plate was adequate meat wise, though the pork rillette was outstanding. There were some pickled green tomatoes that tasted just like the potpourri you put in your house at Christmas, but you don’t want to eat it. Just awful, is it allspice? Cinnamon? A combo? Definitely a mistake. The featured “Louisiana Cochon” was dry and even the waiter mentioned that when it was delivered and encouraged me to mix it liberally with the small amount of cabbage and peaches it came with. Odd presentation that I would not order again.

Mr. B’s
I have been to and like Mr. B’s a lot, but after the Cochon meal, I did not want heavy food again. A trip to the bar to check out the bar menu revealed the bar menu is just a shorter version of the actual menu. I was hoping for 1/2 po-boy and such like you will find at Hermes bar down the street (the separate bar tied to Antoine’s), which is terrific. So off we went back to the Hotel Roosevelt, which also has Dominica in the lobby…

Domenica
Amazing pizza and pasta here. If you watch the HBO series Barry, the actor who plays Barry (Bill Hader) was also here noshing the pizza while filming in NOLA and staying at the Roosevelt, which by the way is a great place to stay, not only because of the pizza accessibility. We took a margarita “add pepperoni” up to the room, but they don’t actually have pepperoni on the menu so it was another meat that was great.

Gallier’s
I don’t know anything about this restaurant but found it nearby for breakfast. it is sandwiched between two other small places that are populare 24 hour eateries, Daisy Duke’s is one. The bennies were terrific, the bloody Mary I had was top notch. Oyster Benedict pictured.

Arnaud’s
Much later we planned dinner at Mosca’s but they never answered the phone and I’m not driving 30 minutes out of town to find it booked or closed. Mosca’s is highly recommended by a friend who lived in NOLA over 20 years ago and has fond memories, but the menu is limited, it’s cash only and it’s mostly italian dishes and chicken, so it’s never appealed anyway. So last minute, we changed plans to Arnaud’s-a first time visit-and booked online in the main dining room sight unseen, but in search of the puffy potatoes (souffle potatoes, of which my fav are at Hermes mentioned above. But first we snuck in a mortadella pizza at Domenica - very good.

Arnaud’s is a hard pass for me. The short story: the main dining room is incredibly loud, no hope of conversation. The service was abysmal and the servers scampered about like nervous rabbits, there just wasn’t enough of them. Bread came with no bread plates, soup came with no spoon, main course with no flatware. We were able to have two cocktails only because we darn near tackled a server to get the second. The food was a mixture of the adequate, the bad, and the curious, but my judgment may be colored by all the chaos.

Clancy’s
This here’s my happy place in NOLA, I just love everything about this intimate, friendly neighborhood eatery with top notch cookery and a new menu every day. They are open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays only, or sometimes only on Fridays, check their site before making plans. To get there go all the way out St. Charles through the lovely garden district and turn left on Henry Clay and left again on Annunciation. Park with proper etiquette in this actual residential neighborhood.

You can’t go wrong here, but the most posted pic on Yelp is of their famous smoked soft shell crab with garlic muniere sauce, WHICH I HAVE NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO SCORE sad face. The last two were sold moments before I walked in for lunch and the daily truck delivery had not yet arrived. Again. Reason to return.

My starter of blistered shishito’s with fried and unfried pancetta, smoked peaches, tasso jam and whipped sheep’s milk feta was terrific, the sweet potato and corn vichyssoise with crab was raved over, the ever popular veal was being eaten everywhere. I had the crab ravigote salad which was lovely. I don’t like bread pudding but the strawberry and white chocolate version with caramel sauce was sure pretty.

It was a good time!

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Thanks for the report and pictures!

Too bad about Cochon, I’ve only been once for lunch but enjoyed my meal there - the fried alligator was quite good. Haven’t been to Arnaud’s proper but have been to their bar a few times - Arnaud’s French 75 - which I don’t remember being too loud. You can get their soufflé potatoes there and some other food items too. +1 to Clancy’s, I have only been once but had a very good dinner there at the counter.

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We actually stopped in there first since we were a tad early, it is a nice bar, very cozy and quiet, though very small. Best part of the meal!

Next time, ask here for recommendations :slight_smile: Clancy’s is a few blocks from my house, but even closer is Patois, which is even better! There are so many wonderful restaurants in NOLA that it makes me sad that you had some bad meals. I have been to Cochon and enjoyed it although the layout/design of the dining rooms is a little cold and non-welcoming. For Arnaud’s, yes, the bar is by far the best part.

Nice report. What is that thing that looks like crab?

I visit once or twice a year and have hit most of the landmark restaurants, I’ll add Patois but it would be hard to beat Clancy’s! What else do you like best?

Arnaud’s Crabmeat Karen$29.95

“Delectable Louisiana crabmeat and mushrooms baked in puff pastry. Served with White Wine Sauce”

Mostly pastry

Interesting. I’ve never seen anything like that

OK, I am going to give you my favorite places in categories here. I have lived in New Orleans for about two years, and make a point of eating out at new places as much as possible. There are certainly great restaurants that I have not been to yet, but this list ought to be enough to fill up any person’s vacation, and I will vouch for any of them. Note that almost none of my favorites are in the French Quarter or anywhere touristy; most of the best food you will get in this spread-out town is in the neighborhoods. We love our food here, and support good cooking wherever it is!

Low-priced down-home fare:

  1. Lil’ Dizzy’s (Treme). Go around 11:30 AM (it fills up fast and is only open until I think 2 PM). Get the buffet. Eat as much fried chicken as possible. Go home and take a nap. This place has great food, but is also a great experience all around. You will be sitting pretty much in the lap of the person next to you, but that person might be a cop, a city council member, or one of the New Orleans Saints (last year I ate lunch two tables away from Michael Thomas).

  2. Parkway Bakery & Tavern (Bayou St. John). Late afternoon is a fine time to get a shrimp po-boy and also a roast beef po-boy. The sandwiches are enormous, so order wisely. Know that “roast beef” in New Orleans is equivalent to pot roast in most other places…braised, with gravy. Take a lot of napkins.

  3. Fharmacy (Mid-City). Lunch or dinner…get a burger. This sounds boring, but is not. Take a look at the menu and peruse the many burger concoctions, then prepare to be delighted.

  4. Cake Cafe (Marigny). Breakfast or brunch. Crazy good food, and if they have the homemade corned beef hash, get it. You can add a cupcake to your order for $1, and even though it is breakfast time, just do it—you can get it to go.

  5. The Joint (Bywater). Excellent BBQ. Get the pastrami if they have it. Even the mac and cheese is good, and I never like restaurant mac and cheese.

  6. Verti Marte (French Quarter). Corner store with an impossibly large food menu. A local institution, and rightly so. Not a destination place, but if you are in the Quarter and don’t feel like eating expensive and indifferent tourist food, buy something here and walk down to the tables at the French Market to eat it.

  7. Dong Phuong (New Orleans East). Take a drive out to Little Vietnam and have lunch at this place which is partly a large bakery, partly a takeout lunch counter, and partly a restaurant. Their banh mi sandwiches (from the takeout side) are as good as anything you will get in Vietnam; the restaurant is great too. Interestingly, Dong Phuong is one of the most beloved producers of king cake in New Orleans, during king cake season (Jan. 6 through Mardi Gras).

  8. Banh Mi Boys (Metairie). While in Louisiana, it is pretty much imperative to get food from a gas station at least once, because it is amazing here. BMB is not exactly in the gas station, but it’s attached to a Texaco, and you can eat at their outside patio while looking at the gas pumps. Even better, the sandwiches are absolutely killer (more of a Louisiana-Vietnam-Asia mashup than Dong Phuong’s more straight-up Vietnamese offerings). This is a well-known local favorite. Super friendly service.

  9. TD Seafood & Pho House (Harvey). Go over to the Westbank, across the Mississippi, for some immigrant-food deliciousness that you will not find in New Orleans. There are dozens of excellent choices and a particular favorite of mine is this place, where you can get crawfish served Viet-Cajun style (during crawfish season only, of course: roughly late February through late May). Great for other things like bun bo Hue and pho anytime, too.

  10. Bywater Bakery (Bywater). Great for breakfast, lunch, and brunch, and in my opinion, absolutely the best king cake in the city (in season).

Higher-end absolute favorites:

  1. Patois (Uptown). Neighborhood French restaurant with a menu that might not look that spectacular, but the food really is, with very friendly service to match.

  2. Maypop (CBD). Amazingly inventive and superlatively executed mash-up of SE Asian and Louisiana influences and ingredients. The best food in town, if you ask me.

  3. Coquette (Garden District). Delicious and creative food…I can’t say that much more about it, but this is a favorite of mine. Skip Compere Lapin and come here instead.

  4. Luvi (Uptown). Super interesting and well-executed, Asian-inspired, mostly fish (raw and cooked). A very unassuming location way out on Tchoupitoulas St. which might look a little sketchy, but really isn’t.

Beloved neighborhood places that are well worth a cab ride:

Boucherie, Chais Delachaise (Uptown)
Marjie’s Grill, Mopho (Mid-City)
Rosedale (near City Park)
Cafe Degas (Bayou St. John)

If you are in the French Quarter and must eat there:

  1. Sylvain. Good mid-priced food and drinks in a cheerfully noisy atmosphere.

  2. Restaurant R’Evolution. Very high-end, white tablecloth kind of place, and excellent food and service. This one is very high on many people’s “best restaurant” lists. If it were not in the FQ and not so expensive, I’d go there more.

  3. Frenchmen Grocery & Deli. This is on Frenchmen St. in the Marigny, close to the FQ. If you are starving while wandering Frenchmen to hear music, stop in here and get a banh mi sandwich at the counter. The place looks sketchy as hell, but their banh mi is legit. An excellent, non-tourist-infested, choice in a very touristy spot. (And if someone tells you to eat at Adolfo’s, run the other way and don’t trust anything else that person says.)

  4. Pelican Club—but just the bar. The food in the restaurant is not that great, but sitting at the bar is a lovely experience. The bar at Antoine’s is also very nice, but it attracts more tourists and can get loud.

  5. Le Croissant D’Or. Fabulous pastries and nice coffee, too.

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Of those, I’ve only been to Hermes. So, have you tested out the nation’s best restaurant, Turkey and the Wolf?

Yes. It’s good. It is by no means the best restaurant in America, or even the best restaurant in New Orleans, or even the best restaurant in the Garden District.

What is Hermes?

I’ve been to the Parkway Bakery and Tavern for an oyster Poboy and can attest to its deliciousness. However, if you’re not familiar with NOLA, aside from the FQ, be aware there’s a Parkway Tavern too. Our Uber driver dropped us at the tavern and we had to get another Uber to the Parkway. So, Parkway Bakery are the operative words it seems. It’s a tavern too, so it’s confusing.

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It’s the Antoine’s bar. I like the bar food there. You mention it in number 4 of last list. I’ve been hearing about R’evolution for a long time, I haven’t been compelled to try it, maybe because it’s a hotel restaurant. those are never great here in Houston. I may have to check it out though.

Aha, I didn’t know it had a separate name!

R’Evolution is very good, hotel or no. It is formal, although the excellent service is also very friendly. I generally don’t eat at super-high-end white-tablecloth kind of places…I got enough of that in my former career (finance) and it gets wearying after a while.

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Well, we’re certain it’s not Galatoire’s Crab Yvonne.

As Hank Williams wrote:

Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen

Read more: Hank Williams - Jambalaya Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Great report, thanks @Lambowner, and great list from @travelmad478. Learned a lot here!

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Revolution can be formal but when I went a couple of years ago there were people in shorts, during jazz fest though

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By the way, does anyone local to the area know what’s going on at Mosca’s? Like I said, no one ever answered the phone and the website recommends reservations. I noticed Brennan’s was “on summer vacation” last week for a few days so maybe that’s a thing. We don’t see that here.

I saw a national show featuring Mosca’s recently, I think maybe it was Andrew Zimmern, but I can’t recall right now.

Is it worth the trip? The menu is small (1 shrimp; dish, one oyster dish etc). What’s up NOLA?

Sorry, the FB group is “Where NOLA Eats” (cannot edit my previous post unfortunately).

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Interesting duo behind REvolution. Lucky you. We did enjoy a lunch at John Folse’s Lafitte’s Landing at the original location under the bridge, and we’ve had dinner at Tru in Chicago.

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