ohmygac asked: Hi there! Forgive me if I missed the post, but my friends and I are planning my best friend's bachelorette party in NOLA next week. So far I've only made a reservation for a fancy dinner at Commanders Palace, but for the rest of the time, we want history and hot messes, I suspect. I'm such a laid back person that I'm not the best at planning, but I want her to have so much fun, so anything you can recommend/send over/suggest would be great! We love to dance and eat. nuff said. thanks!
Lucky you! You’re going to have a blast (I mean history and hot messes? ha!). I’ve answered this Q via email a number of times lately, so I’m gonna do the ol’ cut and paste after I tackle your two requests:
And in the hot mess department, Ms. Mae’s The Club is properly messy (well drinks are a dollar, oy). As is Pat O’s on Bourbon. As is pretty much any place on Bourbon. As is R Bar. And Gold Mine. And I could go on and on, but I’m going to cut to my other recommendations…
R’evolution is pretty spectacular. It’s a great balance of old school Nola cuisine and new techniques.
Root is more experimental, more an expression of the ‘new Southern’ cuisine. It wasn’t perfect but it was a lot of fun.
I would DEF go to Cochon Butcher for lunch or dinner — but not necessarily Cochon, the full-on restaurant It’s a bit overrated, considering how hard it is to get a table. You get just as good of food and drink at their counter spot … and you might want to get some of their meats to go. Mayur always brings a lot home.
Speaking of to-go … you can drink on the street so long as it’s in a plastic cup. A really fun thing to do is get a bloody to go (or ‘to geaux’) and walk around the Quarter. I’d recommend getting brunch at Cake Cafe in the Marigny — it’s past the Frenchmen St side of the Quarter (the ‘far end’) and would take about 15 mins to get to from Jackson Square. Marigny is a super-cute neighborhood that’s hipstery and arty. They don’t serve alcohol at Cake Cafe so you might wanna enjoy a bloody on the walk.
I would also highly recommend that you take the St. Charles streetcar uptown to see all the gorgeous mansions and then go to Domilise’s for the absolute best po-boys (oysters, always, tho every type is great).
From there you can head to Magazine St. which has lots of fun stores, bars, restaurants, or Audubon Park, which is one of the prettiest parks in the country. It’s also across the st. from my alma matter, Tulane!
If you stay on the streetcar past the ‘riverbend’ (about 1/2 mile past Audubon Park) you’ll get to Oak St … which has the infamous Maple Leaf Bar and Jacque-Imo’s … an institution that was my fave restaurant in Nola all thru college.
We used to see Kermit Ruffins play at Vaughan’s til late into the night every Thurs but since “Treme,” I hear it’s kinda disappointing — too crowded and he plays a short set. That said, worth looking into. It’s in the Bywater … if you go, you might want to get dinner at nearby Maurepas Fine Foods. It’s a cute new spot that’s kind of in the middle of nowhere.
As for day-drinking in the Quarter, I love Napoleon House, and for night-drinking, there’s nothing like Lafitte’s Piano Bar, said to be one of the oldest in the country. It’s on Bourbon — but the quiet side (yes, there IS a quiet side).
If you want an excellent craft cocktail, Cure is terrific, tho a bit out of the way from most of the places you’ll be.
… think that’s about it for my must-geauxs. Enjoy!