Dressing for dinner in New Orleans

We’re heading to NOLA on Tuesday and I wanted to ask the Dope for experiences with dress codes in French Quarter restaurants.

We plan to have at least 1 meal in a world-famous restaurant and I’m wondering if slacks, dress shirt and tie will suffice or whether I need to pack a suit. I know Antoine’s has relaxed its “jacket required” policy but know little about, say, Brennan’s or Arnaud’s.

While we’re on the subject, any recommendations on where to eat, any time of day?

You can wear darn near anything at Brennan’s. Shirt with a collar at the other two places is fine. Palace Cafe on Canal is wonderful any time of day. Acme is good for a quick bite any time, but expect lines at lunch and early dinner although they move fast as long as you don’t have a large party. Dragos is amazing. The original is in Metairie right before the causeway, but there is also one at the Riverfront Hilton. Their specialty is broiled oysters. I never even liked oysters before tasting those. They taste like the best part of a steak with butter and garlic. Acme does a reasonably good copy.

Emeril’s restaurant in the warehouse district is great. Commanders is wonderful if you want to drive. There are more great places a few blocks to a mile or so from the Quarter. The list I have for these is on my other phone, if I get a chance, I’ll post them.

There are a lot of NOLA threads on here that you can search for, plus there are a few more specific sites like Chowhounds and Tripadvisor that will have a metric shit-ton of information.

I can’t answer about the specific dress codes, but many places relaxed their policies in more recent times. I’m guessing they were losing a big chunk of tourist business. I will say that when my wife and I go to a nicer place, we dress up regardless of what the code is. It makes the meal feel special.

Why aim for the lowest common denominator? I enjoy dressing for dinner and make an effort, no matter where I am, to be one of the best-dressed men in the room.

There’s no need to drive if you decide to dine at Commander’s Palace, the streetcar will take you within a few blocks.

Former NOLA resident checking in here. You’ll be fine in blazer / tie / slacks at Antoine’s. No need for a suit.

It’s really really hard to go wrong on food in New Orleans. If I were you, and if you have a car, I’d be sure to go to Mandina’s at 3800 Canal Street for supper. Cash only, no reservations. Go to Angelo Brocato’s gelato shop afterwards (a few blocks up to North Carrollton Avenue and 1.5 blocks up from Mandina’s.

Vincent’s on St. Charles (Uptown, near Riverbend) is excellent Italian.

Chateau du Lac is definitely worth the trip to Old Metairie. The restaurant is in an old shopping center, but you’ll get some of the best French food in town at very reasonable prices. It’s the place where the chefs go when they go out.

Lillette on Magazine Street has won lots of awards. Pricey, but worth it.

For lunch, you’d be remiss for not going to Central Grocery on Decatur Street (across the street and a few blocks downriver from Cafe du Monde) and getting a half muffaletta sandwich and a bag of Zapp’s chips.

Breakfast: Joey K’s on Magazine Street or Camellia Grill on South Carrollton near Riverbend.

Hot in the mid-afternoon? Head Uptown to Plum Street Snowball Stand on Plum Street. Great neighborhood (I used to live there); great snowballs.

Just FYI, Camellia has a FQ location now (on Chartres) as well and is one of our favorite places to stop for a refresher.

Mixed opinion about this… Camellia Grill at Riverbend is great in large part because of the food, but the package of the old diner, white-jacketed wait staff, sing-song orders, burly chefs, and the food cooked in front of you on the MONSTER grills is what makes it special. The food alone? Can be had in lots of places. As a person who was among the thousands of folks who were very happy to see Camellia Grill come back after being shuttered for several months after Katrina, I wish the owners all kinds of good success and the FQ location is good for them. Given a choice, I’d head Uptown.

Oh, and if you’re tempted at all: DON’T GO TO MOTHER’S!

Mere shadow if its former self. Much better poboys at Domilise’s.

Too bad it’s June and Casamento’s is closed for the no “R” months seasons…

We ate at Galatoire’s a few weeks ago (dinner on a weeknight). They’re still pretty strict about men wearing a jacket, but that seems to be where their dress code ends–there were a couple of guys in jeans, polo shirts, and a blazer. Most people were dressed a little more traditionally; I’d have probably been comfortable in nice pants, a button-up shirt, and a jacket. (I was in a suit, as were many.) Women were kind of all over the map.

I’d definitely recommend it–it’s a great old-school experience right in the middle of the bustle of Bourbon St. The food is from another generation but was very well-executed.

Other favorites: Cochon is a must. Donald Link’s other restaurant, Herbsaint, is also pretty good–eat outside while the sun is going down and listen to the streetcar rumble by. Cafe Atchafalaya isn’t close to much, but if you don’t mind a stroll from the streetcar or a cab ride it was a fantastic dinner. The best deal in town is happy hour at Luke, John Besh’s brasserie just a few blocks outside the Quarter–all drinks are half price and a dozen really awesome raw oysters for $6. I love the jambalaya at Coop’s on Decatur.

If you are an oyster fan, I would second the recommendation for Dragos for their amazing char-grilled oysters in garlic butter; While Dragos is nowhere as upscale as Brennan’s or Commanders Palace is, the food is excellent, and the grilled oysters may be the single best menu item in the whole of New Orleans.

The Redfish Grille does a killer BBQ Oyster Po-Boy, but again, it’s not really a “fine dining” establishment like so many others (several already mentioned in this thread) that the Crescent City is world-renown for; For that matter, if at some point you feel like taking a break from 4-Star dining and going someplace that long time locals flock to on their lunch break (so obviously that should be a sign it’s really good) go to Johnny’s Po-Boy on Rue St. Louis and try the Soft Shell Crab Po Boy with a cup of Seafood Gumbo, all for around $12. It’s a meal fit for royalty, all for practically fast-food prices…

ETA—Johnny’s Po Boy is only open for lunch; I think they close around 4pm.

[QUOTE=MPB in Salt Lake;15132581
ETA—Johnny’s Po Boy is only open for lunch; I think they close around 4pm.[/QUOTE]

Actually, they do breakfast too–open 8 to 4:30. They make killer French toast, though the bacon and egg po boy is hard to beat.

I’ll have to keep that in mind for my next visit, but that’s still over 4 months away; I should know better, as every time I read a thread about people’s favorite New Orleans’ restaurants, I get myself a serious food-jones goin’ on…

My last meal in N.O. was less than a month ago (Trout Baquet at Lil’ Dizzy’s) but My Sweet Lord, was it one fine way to wrap up my visit.

To the OP, Lil Dizzy’s is another amazing joint for excellent food at incredibly reasonable prices. Be sure to try the Trout Baquet if you enjoy seafood. (Specifically, speckled trout & crab.)

This experience is nearly 20 years old and things might have changed. The organizers of a conference had arranged a banquet for 140 people at Commander’s when they noticed that the contract required that all men wear jacket and tie. Only about half the men at the conference had brought a jacket (and tie). They allowed us to cancel on the day of the banquet rather than allow a variance of their rule. Even though we would be in a private room (“But one of our patrons might see us walk in and be offended.”) They sold 140 pieces of fish to another restaurant that was more than happy to accommodate us on short notice.