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First Trip to New Orleans - Recommendations?

Although I live in San Francisco, I visit NOLA once a year...mostly to eat. I would add One Restaurant and Lounge and Brigtsen's to your list. If you're interested, One has a food bar where you can eat and talk to the chef(s). Frank Brigtsen is a great guy and his restaurant is well known. Both places are in the Riverbend area. I usually take the streetcar back and forth from the FQ.

I loved Cuvee last year, especially the spiced shrimp napolean appetizer and the cornbread. (However, if you're into wine, Cuvee's wine list was quite overpriced.) I was very disappointed in K-Paul's and would not go back.

Oct 08, 2008
Lives to Eat in New Orleans

Dinner in Pasadena on Dec. 31?

Thanks for the concern. It was a sweepstakes through our ABC affiliate here in SF. It was sponsored by American Airlines and ABC. The paperwork came from ABC in New York, and they called my phone number (not a spam email) to let me know I had won. There is nothing in the prize about the's was only for the game. I figure we'll just watch it on TV like usual.

They haven't asked for any money or a credit card. But they made sure I know that I'm responsible for taxes on the prize value! I've won a couple of contests before and this is generally what they require. And the taxes are always quite a shock.

We'll see...

Dec 13, 2007
Lives to Eat in Los Angeles Area

Dinner in Pasadena on Dec. 31?

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. Unfortunately I don't know where the hotel is going to be...they won't send me the specific details until they receive some paperwork, which I'm returning this week.

Good points about Colorado though. I wouldn't have even thought of that.

My sister and I are of a certain age, and we're thinking of a really early dinner, like 6pm or so. We aren't planning to be out in the middle of it at midnight, so hopefully that will help a little.

Also thanks for the tips about the floats. We thought they could be viewed the day after...didn't realize it was the day before.

Guess I'd better start checking out Rose Parade web sites, too.

Dec 04, 2007
Lives to Eat in Los Angeles Area

Dinner in Pasadena on Dec. 31?

I just won a trip to the Rose Bowl and will be flying down on Dec. 31. I haven't been to that area in 30 years and haven't a clue where would be a good place for an early (7pm or so) dinner that night.

Any thoughts? I live in San Francisco and will eat just about anything. My sister is from Escondido and is less into the pricy meals I'm used to.

I looked on Open Table for places with availablity and cross-checked Zagat as a starting point. Any input on these places...all are on OT and rated 20 or more for food in Zagat. Or better suggestions? Help!

Arroyo Chop House
Parkway Grill
Ritz Carlton Dining Room
Smitty's Grill

Nov 30, 2007
Lives to Eat in Los Angeles Area

Best Dine about Town options?

I've gone crazy with DAT this year...decided it was time to branch out and try some new things. Here's my take:

Tablespoon - first time there and first night of the promo. The menu had the wrong price, but they only charged the DAT price. Service was good as was food, but I think it wasn't that big a savings. I would go back for a "regular" meal, especially since the mushroom risotto that I wanted to try (which wasn't on DAT) was only $18.

Maya - only the second time I've been there and wouldn't go back. When I got there, I was told that they have 2 Prixe Fixe menus...any three courses for $36 or something starred on the menu for the first and second courses and only sorbet for dessert for $30. I had the driest pieces of carnitas ever...when I was trying to cut one of them, my fork slipped and I ended up with rice and beans (that was next to the meat on my plate) all over my lap! However, the coconut and strawberry sorbets were excellent. For $62 (including 2 $8.50
small margaritas), it wasn't worth it.

Ruth's Chris - this is one of the best deals, but you have to ask for the menu. We had salad, 12 oz. ribeye, creamed spinach and mashed potatoes plus dessert. I don't go to steakhouses in general, but I go there duing DAT because I don't need a 16 oz. steak costing over $30, and you get their good ribeye at a reasonable price. Our waiter was great...very helpful with the wine and nice, unlike some places that treat you a little shabby because you're ordering from DAT. Of course they made up for the DAT price by the $48 half-bottle of wine we also ordered!

Butterfly - we were concerned because some friends had been underwhelmed when they had lunch/brunch there. At dinner, my friend and I really liked it..she had the onion and mushroom soup and I had the duck confit spring rolls, we both had the grilled hanger steak with Portobello Mushroom and Sweet Pea Stir Fry with Cabernet Jus De Veau and a Potato-Leek Gratin, and the warm chocolate cake and ice cream dessert. When I told the waitress that I didn't like coffee ice cream, she immediately offered vanilla bean instead. It's a place that you could go back to and spend close to the same amount without DAT. We had only been there previously for their wine tasting events. Our waitress was fine and really pleased to hear that we were enjoying the food since we had never eaten there before. Everyone couldn't have been nicer.

Scott Howard - ate there Tuesday night. Had been in December and had horrible service, but they made good when I complained, and we had a great time Tuesday night. Service was 200% better, the food was as good as before. Again, this is a restaurant with pretty decent prices anyway...but the $15 wine pairing was a steal. We had a Sauvignion
Blanc with the first course that we liked a lot, a zin with the entree, and a choice between port and a dessert wine. I normally hate dessert wines because they are sickening sweet or taste like cough medicine, but this pairing was really good with the butterscotch pudding. Like a previous poster, I also had the salmon appetizer and pork shoulder...excellent. In the
past they have had $30 early bird dinner (5:30 - 6:30) and our hostess said she thinks they are going to do it again in February. Also $5 specialty drinks for happy hour.

I still have Rubicon tomorrow and Fringale on I said, I went nuts this year!

Boulevard, San Francisco

For years this was my favorite restaurant in San Francisco, but the last couple of times I've been underwhelmed. The last time my friends and I went, we wondered if we would ever go back. Our chops were tasteless and the waiter brought one person the wrong dessert.

We generally go for special occasion dinners or I've gone alone and eaten at the kitchen bar, and there was always something that knocked my socks off. I still remember the crab cakes that were the best I've ever had anywhere, and the shrimp appetizer in shredded filo dough. But the last couple of times we were quite disappointed, especially for the money. I do like the dining room though with the three distinctly different settings.

Brigtsen's tonight, then???

I loved Bayona the first time I ate there (in 2001) and went back on my next three trips. Unfortunately, each time I was less impressed and didn't go at all on my last two trips. It could as easily be in San Francisco as New Orleans, so you may like it better than Brigtsen's. I went to August in December and was somewhat disappointed. If you don't like salty food, I don't think that's a very good choice, either. My amuse bouche and appetizer were extremely salty. And for $122.00 for one person (the less of the expensive tasting menus, 1 drink and 1 glass of wine), I think you could do better elsewhere. I wanted to try was also highly recommended, but didn't have time. I really liked the lunch I had at Herbsaint, so that may be a good choice too.

Jan 06, 2007
Lives to Eat in New Orleans

Cooking with Frank Brigtsen

Hi Spencer,

Yes, he cooks there regularly, about 2 - 3 times a month. If you want more information, you can contact them at:

Judy Jurisich
866/500-NOCE (toll free)
2275 Bayou Road New Orleans, LA 70119

She was very helpful to me when I was trying to decide whether to take a class there or not...especially since I was arranging it long distance.

Dec 21, 2006
Lives to Eat in New Orleans

Muriel's recently?

I ate brunch there last Sunday on my last day in NOLA, and was pretty disappointed. The shrimp and goat cheese crepes were pretty good, although I would have been hard-pressed to find any shrimp. The "Creole" eggs benedict were no different than any other eggs benedict I've had other places...I couldn't figure out what was "Creole" about them. I had one Bloody Mary and two food dishes and the tab was $37 including a 20% tip for my poor waiter. He said his assistant hadn't shown up the day before and was fired, and he was hobbling around with a bone spur on one of his feet...which I've had and was sympathetic to.

If I had known there was a new chef, I probably would have picked someplace else.

Dec 20, 2006
Lives to Eat in New Orleans

Help in New Orleans

I just got back and highly recommend the Pelican Club Revillion dinner. The menu is somewhat more limited than it was in the past, but still very good. I ate at August the night before, and must say, for the money, I enjoyed the Pelican Club much more. Totally different atmosphere is more fine dining (August) and the other more down-to-earth.

I agree with those who recommend Brigtsen's...while I was there I took a cooking class with Frank and it was great!

In the past, Bayona was one of my favorites, but I didn't make it there this time. Sometimes I've had a late lunch there before I leave for the airport, so I can have even one last great meal.

Since Central Grocery isn't open on Sunday or Monday now, I bought my muffaletta on Saturday and asked them to freeze it for me (like they do when they are sending them FedEx). I picked it up Saturday afternoon, and hoped for the best since my flight wasn't until 6pm Sunday. I put it in my suitcase, and ate half of it for dinner last night...yum!

Dec 19, 2006
Lives to Eat in New Orleans

Cooking with Frank Brigtsen

I just returned from five days in NOLA and wanted to pass along one of the highlights of my trip.

I attended a cooking class with Frank Brigtsen through the New Orleans Cooking Experience held at the House on Bayou Road and it was great! The attendees were 7 local folks, a woman from Alaska and me from San Francisco.

I take cooking classes a lot, mostly hands-on, and I was a little concerned when I learned that it was a demonstration class for the price. However, I figured since it was him, I would take a chance, and I’m so glad I did.

Frank is an extremely generous man, both with his time and his talent. He not only walked us through the recipes step-by-step, explaining how you make it all come out on time, he even told us how he makes the smothered pork chops he cooks at home, and we dutifully wrote down the directions, even though it wasn’t on our menu. For the Andouille and cornbread dressing, the cornbread he made for us was what he used for the dressing. For the pepper jelly glaze on the pork tenderloin, he made the pepper jelly first and then used it to make the glaze. (A lot of demo classes tell you what to do, but use previously prepared ingredients.)

It was a wonderful evening. The wine flowed from the beginning and didn’t stop until we said we had enough. They said the class normally lasts from 5:30pm – 10:00pm, but we didn’t leave until 10:45.

I know it’s expensive, but it was an all-around great experience and well worth the $150 fee. I can’t say enough good things about Frank. I had never met him, but by the time we left, I felt like I had known him for years. And the food was delicious. If you want to treat yourself or someone else, this is a great way to do it.

Dec 19, 2006
Lives to Eat in New Orleans

Breakfast Alternative in SF Financial District?

I just had a guest from Boston stay at the Hotel Vitale at Mission and Embarcadero. He said the granola he had for breakfast at Americano was the best he'd ever had anywhere. Not sure what your price range is but if you've been eating at the Hyatt, you might try them.

Scott Howard

I organized a dinner for 17 there last night, and when the folks got into the office today, they gave it rave reviews. They said the food was really good and the service was great. My boss said she was surprised that the dining room seemed empty when they left around 9pm because they had enjoyed it so much. (Sadly I didn't get to attend, but their comments made me decide I'd better get myself over there.)

Choose Three: Cuvee, August, Table One, Herbsaint, One??

I'm finally coming back and other than the night I'm taking a cooking class with Frank Brigtsen at the House on Bayou Road, I am open for three dinners.

I originally planned to go to One for a dinner and sit at the food bar like I did last year, but I've heard conflicting reports on it since the storm. So now I'm back to three nights. I've been to Herbsaint for lunch (pre-K) and I really enjoyed my dinner at One. (I've been to Emeril's, Bayona, Pelican Club, Brigtsen's, etc. in the past.)

Any thoughts on which of these three you would choose? (I've asked this on another Board, but wanted Chowhound rec's too, since you didn't steer me wrong in the past. I believe some folks only post on one or the other and not both.)

Oct 27, 2006
Lives to Eat in New Orleans

Low key restaurants in the Embarcadero or nearby

If you're going early (right after work), Cosmopolitan Cafe has an early-bird special that's 3 courses for $25. 5:30 reservation tonight is available on Open Table, but you could also call. They offer a choice between soup or two salads, two entrees and two desserts. I think it's Mon - Friday. Hard to say where on the Embarcadero you're talking about, but it's only a couple of blocks from the Hyatt Regency on Spear.

Philadelphia style sharp provolone?

I think sharp provolone is imported, not domestic. When we were little we called it "bite your tongue cheese" and I could never find it in later years. Then I happened on an Italian deli in San Diego and they told me that what I remembered was imported. There are usually two grades...I've been perfectly happy with the least expensive imported. I usually buy it at Italian delis, although I think I also found it once at Cheese Plus on Polk at Pacific.