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The Italian Barrel

What's the closest to NJ/LI? I love authentic Italian and hate that they put so much sugar in the tomato sauces here.

The Italian Barrel

OMG, it's kismet - that you went there and you were not pleased. That sounds horrible, I know, really wished you had loved it -- but I am looking for a cool place to go Sat night (live here now on Royal). Had read reviews and it sounded great. So, after work tonight, I went there to check out the menu and make sure they had a full bar -- very little data posted about this place and they appear to not have a website - and yes, it is 2009.

Anyway, pulled into a spot - I know, I know, I know, it was an illegal spot - big deal - I was only stopping for 5 minutes. The waitress, who was on break with her boyfriend outside - jumped up and screamed at me. Came right up to my window and yelled - "This is not a parking spot." I told her I knew and wanted to check out the menu. I asked if she worked there and she said, "Yah." with a sneer.

Nevertheless, I went in - and stubborn as I am - asked if that girl would be waitressing on Sat night. When they yes, I said, nevermind - I changed my mind about a reservation.

Sorry to rant on. You are so right -- about the location and ambiance - no matter how good the food is - counts for a deduction on prices.

I suspect, duh, it's because she has ingredients flown in from Italy and it drives up her costs heavenward.

Thanks for sharing! Tell me another cool place to go. And please, don't say August or Stella! :)

Going in mid-aug. What's in season?

IMHO - skip Mandinas....great neighborhood gathering place where everyone knows each other - but the food, pardon my french, sucked. My spaghetti sauce which was supposed to be excellent was burnt and they acted shocked . But, if you are into canned veggies - go there.

Going in mid-aug. What's in season?

Sorry, crawfish is now (as of a week or so ago) out of season. But trust me - I have tried many, many places. Believe it or not - the fried shrimp at The French Market Restaurant on Decatur win hands down. Huge plate for $19.95 and ask for the creole potatoes - Mouth watering. Fried oysters good too. I now live 2 blocks from there - surprised they have any left ! Casual - you'd think it would be touristy - but it's the best. Actually got John C Reilly's autograph there. He was in wanting to order crawfish already shelled. They just laughed.

Another favorite - Pompano with olive oil and roasted almond slivers and crabmeat at Irene's. Reservations a must - always packed. Pompano is a rare find - they say fisherman hoard it - because it is so delicious.

Tell me your Emeril's Story: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

On the list of my all time favorite was at Emerils and one at Nolas - Both offer extraordinary service - if you go during the week.

At Nola - to die for - fresh Texas Redfish, encrusted in garlic, with a bacon butter sauce. Pair it with Rocket Science cab, if they have it.

At Emerils - the filet mignon with demi-glace sauce and fingerling potatoes. Trust me - you will pay them to lick your plate.

We have had wonderful, extraordinary service there - but not on weekends when it's crowded.

Say what you want about Emeril - but the man invents food that tastes great - he's all about flavors - and isn't that what great food is all about? Plus, you can have fun there - not like Stella! - where you have to whisper it's so boring and stiff.

In NO for one night on business

Emerils "NOLA" at the bar watching the chef at the grill ! Great if you are alone. Only a half dozen blocks away off Chartres. Order the fresh Texas Redfish encrusted in garlic with bacon butter sauce. If you don't absolutely love it - write me and I will send you a check !!!

Best high-end restaurants for a birthday dinner?

oooo.. Stay away from Stella!. Not that the food isn't ok (just ok IMHO) - it's the atmosphere - so stiff - you can hear a pin drop. It is the kind of place you know immediately that you have to whisper.

Brigstens gets rave reviews - but I thought it was just so-so. Cool location, though.

Personal favorite - Louisiana Bistro on Dauphine - cool little place - romantic - quiet - but the filet mignon with crawfish butter sauce was to die for. Crawfish are now out-of-season - but this place is the best.

Most overrated NOLA restaurants


August Patois or Gautreaus???

OK, first you have to give details....romantic dinner? Or a group?

I had to groan when you said Stella's. I may be the only one - but I hated that place. Oh, the food was fine (just fine) - it was the atmosphere - so serious - you could hear a pin drop. One of those situations where you immediately knew you had to whisper.

I love food and have been to many places here - looking for that perfect dining experience.

If it's romantic - I would recommend Louisiana Bistro on Dauphine
You can walk if you are staying in the Qrtr. Had to be the best meal ever - filet mignon with crawfish butter sauce. Crawfish, however, is just past the end of the season - but this restaurant is so quaint and romantic. Small and untouched by the masses.

I also love Nola or Emerils. Emeril, by far, knows what tastes fabulous. If it's a group - you'd have fun at either. The service is top notch. At Nola, the Texas Redfish encrusted in garlic with bacon butter sauce is to die for. At Emerils, the filet mignon with fingerling potatoes and veal reduction is so unbelievable you want to lick the plate. One caveat - do not go on a weekend - so busy - you miss the experience. If you are in a group -- at Emerils - ask for the wine cellar room - we went with a group - and they treated us like kings and queens.

Other highly recommended:
Dick and Jennys on Tchop - Cool location - casual but great, tasty, gourmet food
Dante's Kitchen on Riverbend - Everything the use is local LA

I've been told Maximos on Decatur is a great place - gonna go this weekend and see.

I also love Irene's food - but crowded - atmosphere not the best.

For breakfast you have GOT to take a cab to Elizabeth's in Bywater - funky old house with the absolute best food -- get the shrimp and grits or the grillades and grits !!

Happy Birthday !!

Looking for Trivia Night Bars

Anyone know of any good trivia night bars. Any neighborhood.

First NO trip

agree with all except Stella!. I know, everyone raves. But we disagreed completely. Food was just ok. But the worst part, to us, was the atmosphere. It was so serious. I am sure everyone has been in a place like this - where eveyone is just whispering and you are afraid to talk? It was totally quiet and uncomfortable. I think the wait staff sets the tone. like if any of them dropped something they would be fired on the spot. Perfect antithesis to most of the vibrant, fun places to eat in Nola. It was like eating at a funeral, to us.

First NO trip

Favorite place in world. Just spent 7 months there on an assignment. You will love it.

Emerils: I assume you are talking his signature restaurant? Filet mignon with demi glace and fingerling potatoes. I literally wanted to lick the plate. If you mean another (my fav is his restaurant Nola) try the Texas Redfish encrusted in garlic with bacon butter sauce. Unbelievable. Bring no calorie or cholesterol charts. He is a master at taste. BTW - don't go on Th, Fr or Sat. It's crowded and you don't get the wonderful service. Nola's on a week night at the bar watching the kitchen is fun. try his wine by the glass. the cab -- Science Project.

Brightsens - Out on the riverbend in a shotgun house. Sorry did not love it. But it gets rave reviews. Maybe 30 min cab from Quarter. Actually, I love the restaurant across the street from it - Dante's Kitchen. Where chefs go. The trio of filet mignon, each with a different sauce is indescribably delicious. He loves local ingredients and there is a big chart with where in LA each ingredient was grown/raised. Another creative place is Dick and Jenny's on Tchopotoulis. Loved it. Never been to KPauls - but will get there someday.

Of course. Commanders. Maybe the best restaurant I have ever been to. try the tasso shrimp appetizer. My brother had it and actually ordered it three times during dinner it was so great.

I love fried oysters and shrimp. I probably tried it in at least a dozen places while I was there. By far the very best (where we actually met J C Reilly who was filming a movie) was the French Market Restaurant on Decatur. For $19.99 you get a huge plate of the most succulent fried oysters and shrimp you will ever put in your mouth. Looks touristy - but the food is great. If it's crawfish season get some there too.

stay away from: Acme Oyster.

Oh, another great one, in the Qrtr. Small, quaint, very romantic, non-touristy - Louisiana Bistro on 339 Dauphine. OMG (here I go again with the filet) - they had filet mignon with a wine butter crawfish sauce - need I say more.

Anyone been to Belga?

We are coming in from Texas for the inauguration. Belga looked interesting. Also, does anyone know a hidden gem around Dupont where there might not be a zillion people?

thanks !

Anyone know where I can get fresh perogie's?


wow, I was just going to post this. I am looking for Polish food to take to my mom's in CT.

I looked on Velseka's website and I didn't see any family orders - like a dozen peirogis - which is what I want. All I saw were individual meals.

I wonder if there is a Polish grocery/deli outside Manhattan where you can buy in bulk..

Dec 19, 2006
Yankeestuckintexas in Manhattan

Redneck Texans in search of quintessential Italian

Thanks - hadn't considered I Trulli - only because there is an I Trulli in DC that I didn't care for. Have no idea if they are affiliated or not.

Don't care about the price.

Dec 14, 2006
Yankeestuckintexas in Manhattan

Redneck Texans in search of quintessential Italian

Will be in NYC next Wednesday and would love some ideas for a romantic, quintessential Italian restaurant.

I am envisioning:
great fresh fish
would love fresh anchovies
white tablecloths
italian opera in background
cool neighborhood for afterdinner Irish coffee

Am I just dreaming?

Dec 14, 2006
Yankeestuckintexas in Manhattan