Sunday, February 21, 2021

Some Special New Orleans Restaurants to Enjoy!

Commander's Palace, New Orleans
 

I've spent the last three weeks blogging about the last trip my husband and I took pre-pandemic to one of our favorite places--New Orleans, Louisiana. We've visited New Orleans many times before and if you search on my blog you will see posts I wrote about a few of the magnificent anti-Bellum plantations we visited in the area, a swamp tour we took by boat, the beautiful Saint Louis Catherdral which is the oldest Catholic Catherdral in the United States as well as other landmarks, the World War II Museum, the Museum of Jazz, and many places we dined in the past.  Food is so much a part of the lure of New Orleans. It is a mix of French-inspired Creole and Cajun cultures. Both types of cooking have culinary roots in France, with a nod to Spain, Africa, and Native America, and to a lesser degree to the West Indies, Germany, Ireland, and Italy. Both cultures take their food very seriously and love to cook, eat, and entertain. Creole refers to descendants of the original European French and Spanish settlers of New Orleans. Cajun people are technically descendants of the french descendants of Acadia, which was located in the maritime areas of eastern Canada, that were expelled by the British in 1755.


One of the most famous places to eat in New Orleans is Commander's Palace, located at 1403 Washington Ave, in the French Quarter of New Orleans since 1893. A steady parade of renowned chefs - Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, Jamie Shannon, Tory McPhail, and now Meg Bickford - have made Commander's Palace the world-class restaurant what it is today and its leading-edge Haute Creole cuisine reflects the best of the city.



We have dined here for dinner in the past, but on our last trip we took an extended tour of the French Quarter--click here to see that post-- and we stopped into Commander's Palace for a late lunch. One of the attractions of their lunch is the twenty-five-cent martini--a limit of 3 per person! As you can see from the photos above their food is exquisite!  My husband and I enjoyed escargot in tomato sauce and fried oysters as our appetizers, and because we like seafood, we indulged in shrimp and redfish. The portions were all generous so we did not indulge in dessert, but they are famous for their Bread Pudding Souffle with Whiskey Sauce-recipe here.




A breakfast spot that we enjoy very much is The Court of Two Sisterslocated at 613 Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They have daily jazz brunches with a buffet of Creole classics plus an à la carte dinner and a charming courtyard in which to dine, where musicians play jazz.  We usually order the brunch buffet as there are so many selections of unlimited delicious breakfast and lunch foods to choose from. One can also order a la carte.  The building and courtyard hold an interesting history. Don't miss touching the "Charm Gate" as you enter! The charm gates were wrought in Spain especially for The Court of Two Sisters. Legend says that Queen Isabella of Spain had them blessed so that their charm would pass on to anyone who touched them.


We always desire a muffuletta sandwich for lunch during our visit to New Orleans, and one restaurant which makes them well is the Napoleon House, located at 500 Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans.   A 200-year-old landmark, the building's first occupant, Nicholas Girod, was mayor of New Orleans from 1812 to 1815. He offered his residence to Napoleon in 1821 as a refuge during his exile. Napoleon never made it, but the name stuck, and since then, the Napoleon House has become one of the most famous bars in America, a haunt for artists and writers throughout most of the 20th century. 
The muffuletta sandwich originated in New Orleans purportedly at Central Grocery where it is still made today. The sandwich is made with soft sesame topped bread, Italian charcuterie, and a spicy Creole olive salad. You can see a recipe on this link.  The sandwich at Napolean House is so large we shared it--delicious! We also enjoyed a drink they are famous for--the Pimms's Cup--recipe here.




A very affordable New Orleans brand restaurant is Pat O'Brien's, located on 718 St. Peter Street in the French Quarter.  Their historical building was built in 1791 as a private home, and later became the first Spanish Theatre in the United States. It was converted back to a private residence until 1942 when Patrick O’Brien and Charles Cantrell purchased the spacious place to become home to one of the most iconic nightclubs in the United States.  They are famous for their dueling pianos, flaming courtyard fountain, as well as their Hurricane cocktail, among other drinks.  The Hurricane is served cold, is sweet, and contains rum--very refreshing!  A Hurricane recipe is here.  Their menu is mostly Cajun cuisine and for our dinner, we ordered a chicken wing appetizer to share, and for my entree, I had Crawfish Etouffe while my husband had their traditional Red Beans and Rice that is served with grilled sausage.  It was all very filling and tasty! We enjoyed the casual atmosphere of Pat O'Brien's very much.



One evening, we dined at another of New Orleans "grand dame" 100-year-old restaurant, Broussards.  Broussard's first opened in 1920, when an eminent local chef, Joseph Broussard, married Rosalie Borrello, and the couple moved into the Borrello family mansion (built in 1834) at 819 Conti Street in the French Quarter, where the restaurant now sits.  Today, Executive Chef Jimi Setchim continues the tradition of a French and Creole-influenced menu.




My husband and tried their Creole turtle soup, and I had the Panned Seared Sea Scallop special while my husband had the Pompano Fish Ponchitrain, served with shrimp.  We could not resist a dessert special: King Cake with frangipane filling for two. The Lucky Baby was sitting on top. Everything was exquisite!



Another of the "great dame" of fine French Creole restaurants is Antoine's, located at 713 St. Louis Street in the French Quarter.  Antoine's has been operated by the same family since 1840.  It is the birthplace of oysters Rockefeller, developed in 1899 by Antonie's son and given that name due to the richness of the sauce. They remain one of the great culinary creations of all time and that recipe remains a closely guarded Antoine’s secret, though it has been imitated countless times.


The restaurant consists of many different rooms and the maitre d' was kind enough to take my husband and me on a little tour, pointing out all the special corners where famous people had dined and the photos and memorabilia on the walls, including much Mardi Gras history.  It was so fascinating!




Our dinner at Antoine's was superb! Our waiter treated us like royalty. He even brought us an appetizer on the house of one of his favorites, and a dish perfected at Antoine's: Pommes de Terre Souffles, or puffed potatoes, seen on the middle right of the photo collage above. I had to try the oyster Rockefeller as my appetizer, seen in the middle left. They were out of this world! I never had better. My husband had escargot (bottom left). As for entrees, my husband had Pompano Pontchartrain (top photo), which was a grilled delicate pompano filet, butter poached jumbo lump crabmeat, white wine sauce, onion rice, seasonal vegetables. I had the special fried Soft Shell Crab served with almondine sauce. As for sides, we tried a crab souffle and lobster mac and cheese.

It was our first night in New Orleans and we were celebrating!  I'm so glad we did, as our trip to New Orleans, and all the places we dined there, were the last for the year 2020, and so far for 2021.  Since then I have done the bulk of the cooking at home and we have not dined out in a restaurant since. Hopefully, dining out will become a reality again for us one day. In the meantime, we are trying to stay safe from exposure to the covid virus.



Chicory Coffee and Beignets breakfast at Cafe du Monde


I hope you enjoyed this series of New Orleans, Louisiana posts. They brought back wonderful memories to me.  I hope to be able to travel there again someday to enjoy even more of its history, friendly ambiance, and hospitality.  Do you have a favorite New Orleans memory that you'd like to share?

Stay healthy and safe!

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35 comments:

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Those restaurants all sound wonderful!

Rain said...

I'm very much enjoying your New Orleans series! This one is BY FAR my favourite because I can ogle all of that yummy food! :)))

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I have not eaten at any of those places except for the Court of Two Sisters and it was superb. We have eaten at other places. For street food to fine dining I think New Orleans may be the best place to eat in the entire country.

Joanne said...

OH yum! This post is making me so hungry and re-thinking our next vacation destination. This would make a wonderful long weekend getaway for my husband and I.

NCSue said...

I've been to one of these and hope to try more once traveling seems possible.
Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/02/more-from-last-weeks-peek-at-cedar-creek.html

R's Rue said...

Yum

Jeanie said...

I've been to Commander's Palace, Pat O'Brien's and Cafe du Monde but the others are new to me. And all look wonderful!

Lydia C. Lee said...

Wow the grandeur! Lovely pics!

stevebethere said...

Wow! I am impressed I wanna go to everyone of them and sample the lovely food haha!

Have a firstcoursetastic safe week 😷😷😷

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

My goodness, Pat, you know how to pick wonderful places to dine! Your photos are expertly presented. I imagine those great restaurants would love this post! I can't wait to go out to eat again. Have a great week.

Ruth Hiebert said...

The food all looks wonderful.

Michelle said...

Commander's Palace is so wonderful. I have indulged in their martinis and have had their bread pudding....to die for!!

William Kendall said...

Quite a variety of choices.

Angie said...

Pat - oh my goodness, I think I put on 15 pounds just salivating over all of this delicious food! And such majestic, sophisticated surroundings. I am earmarking this if we ever make a trip to New Orleans! Thanks for such a thorough restaurant review for everyone at Mosaic Monday!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh you make me hunger for the good old days! (In both senses of the word!). Beautiful pictures, mouthwatering descriptions, oh how I hope as you do for a future that includes travel and good restaurants! We enjoy cooking, and, for the most part, being home ... but we’re ready for a break! .... I cant begin to equal you in describing memories of this wonderful city. But we have many. Two Sisters jazz brunch and Pat O’Briens were favorites (I did tell you that our first visit was on St Patrick’s Day, I think ))? Loved the post!

Lady Fi said...

Looks like some fine dining.

Joyful said...

I think I would enjoy a trip to New Orleans. Maybe one day. Take care and stay safe.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I'm envious of your trip last year - I love New Orleans. My first trip was as a preschooler with my family. I remember eating at the Court of the 2 Sisters and visiting lots of Museums. As an adult I visited several decades ago and I toured several old plantation homes outside the city. I'd really like to return and do everything again.

Dixie @ Arranged Words said...

Everything looks so delicious!
And the ambience stands out as well. What great restaurants.
Thank you for sharing recipes as well. Lovely!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - We've eaten at Commander's Palace and Antoine's and enjoyed them both. Since my husband's son and wife (and daughter) live in Nola, we've been to a lot of other places that are well known to locals, but not as to tourists -- some of them in residential neighborhoods and so very delicious. The next time you go, let me know if you're interested in some of the names, and I'll get them to you. It's really a food lover's delight.

Donna @ Modern on Monticello said...

I need to plan another trip to New Orleans just to try out all of this delicious looking food. So glad you shared some of your trip with us. #HomeMattersParty

ellen b. said...

Oh my, you did eat very well. My stomach is growling and my mouth is watering. 25cent martinis?? I never...
Thank you for taking us back to a kinder time for restaurants and diners!

lesh Stgermain said...

Altogether have been three weeks in New Orleans, but one week we stayed at hubby's study friend's house and that was American food, and the two other weeks were both for a conferences, so we stayed close the those places, since parking was an issue. It would be nice to go there sometime as a tourist and eat at one of the places you mentioned. Many thanks for sharing your experiences with All Seasons! Have a great week, Jesh

Also my thanks for sharing about your friend who slept her her car with a heater on during the ice storm. Am glad that that was a good solution for her, but I'm not sure if that is a good solution in general, it sounds risky.

the 4 M's said...

I have only been to New Orleans once and the food was delicious. We took a picture in front of Commanders but did not eat there. We were planning to go back in 2020 which we didn't. Maybe this year!
www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

Barb said...

So glad you could celebrate and enjoy New Orleans before starting your long isolation from Covid! I got hungry just reading your post and looking at the delicious food. So glad you got the first shot Pat, and Vinny is now covered. Bob and I are still waiting to win the vaccination lottery here in Summit.

diane b said...

Wow you have visited some wonderful restaurants in Nola . It did back memories of our visit in 2014. I can't believe it was so long ago. We loved the street performers and the food. We did a photography safari there too which was fabulous.WE were amazed at the size of the meals especially the sandwiches. Bill had a shrimp Poboy and I had a crab cake one. They were huge. I couldn't eat it all.

Lowcarb team member said...

The restaurants sound wonderful.
Enjoyed your post, thank you.

All the best Jan

Jim said...

Beautiful architecture.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

This is a dangerous post to look at if you're hungry!! Yum yum. It all looks so delicious.

Michelle said...

Thanks for linking up!

John's Island said...

Hi Pat, Your review of these restaurants is excellent. Makes me want to go out for dinner this weekend. Some of our restaurants have opened up again for inside dining at 25% capacity. I’m so looking forward to getting restaurants fully open again. Thank you for sharing your blog. Have a good weekend and stay safe. Thank you for your recent kind comment on my blog. John

betty-NZ said...

Wow! That's a lot to take in but it was fun seeing your photos!

Your link is a great addition to 'My Corner of the World' this week!

MarilynsTreats said...

Sorry this is so late! Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

Rambling Woods said...

The food looks amazing

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Commander's Palace has my vote because of the blues!