New Orleans Itinerary

When we decided two months ago that we were going to spend our anniversary weekend in New Orleans, I immediately started working on our itinerary.  Some may call us crazy but it’s how we function optimally.  I’m actually glad we started securing reservations so far in advance because it turns out that this past weekend (and coming weekend) is Jazz Fest in New Orleans.  New Orleans is somewhere you want to go in the Spring or late Fall because it gets HOT down there.  We were there for four nights and I wish we would have had one more full day to get everything in.  I’m going to be honest – New Orleans is not my favorite city in America but it’s a fun one and somewhere I would return – the food is outrageous.

nola

We arrived in New Orleans around 5:30pm on Friday and headed straight to our hotel, the Ritz Carlton.  Our hotel was beautiful and in a great spot for getting around the city.  Once we freshened up and got ourselves situated, we went downstairs for a cocktail before heading to dinner at Root.   We found the restaurant quite empty and were completely caught off guard – but this is when we realizing being in New Orleans during Jazz Fest isn’t the worst thing – the restaurant and town is empty during the day and doesn’t get busy until after Jazz Fest, around 9pm.  At root we shared The Grand Ambition which is the Chef’s choice of house-made sausages, cheeses and seasonal accoutrements.    We also each had a “Foielly Pop” : Foie Gras Mousse, Seasonal Pop-Rocks, Foie Gras Cotton Candy.  It was quite possibly the weirdest bite of the trip.

root.JPG

We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to chat with the Chef for a little while post-dinner.  After that we returned to the hotel for some drinks and jazz music.  We stayed up a little too late but we were still up and early on Saturday ready to tackle the town.

Saturday morning started with a long, long walk {including a stroll through Bourbon Street} until we stumbled across Merchant where I grabbed a coffee and yogurt bowl.

After breakfast and a quick change out of our walking clothes, we grabbed a cab to Magazine Street and then walked until it was time for our reservation at La Petite Grocery.   We opted to share a bunch of plates instead of ordering a lunch of our own.  We shared the Blue Crab Beignets, Burrata, the Pickle Jar, Charred Cucumbers,and  a Braised Beef Short Rib.  The plates were small so it was fun to taste a lot of what the restaurant had to offer.

lapetite

After lunch, more walking!  We explored so much of New Orleans – which is my favorite part of traveling.  And then we finally headed to The Carousel Bar.  We took a few (or more) spins around the Carousel where we made friends and ended up talking and laughing for longer than expecting.  Before we knew it, it was time to get cleaned up for dinner.

Saturday night we had reservations at R’evolution.   We were sat as the most amazing table in the house where we had fantastic kitchen views and literally saw everything and anything that came out of the kitchen.  I originally thought we would go for the tasting menu but we ended up sharing a few appetizers before ordering separate entrees.

revolution.JPG

Our dinner at R’evolution lasted well into the evening but we did make one more stop after dinner – the oldest structure used as a bar in America: Lafitte’s.  

Sunday morning we did more walking – but this time we walked along Magazine Street and checked out a few shops before grabbing coffee.  If I could change things, we would have definitely checked out one of the cemeteries on this morning.

Lunch on Sunday was at Coquette which was a happening place.  It’s quite tiny (and like most of my recommendations) and it pretty much requires a reservation.  Coquette has a 3-course brunch but we couldn’t pass up the fried chicken to share.  The menu is ever-changing based on what’s available and we both had an incredible meal.  I also had an apricot bellini (or two) that was amazing.

coquette.jpg

Post-lunch, we knew we needed to do more walking and before we knew it we were back in the French Quarter, ready for another cocktail before we needed to get ready for dinner.

Cane & Table is located in the heart of the French Quarter and offers specially curated cocktails.  The restaurant is super cool and I would have loved to have had food here but I was just way too full.  Maybe next time, right?

caneandtable

Sunday night we had reservations at Commander’s Palace, one of the most well-known restaurants in all of New Orleans.  And while I don’t regret going – it’s somewhere I only need to go once.  The food was amazing but the service was less than expected.  We obviously had to try the turtle soup (so good!) and the bread pudding souffle (a must have – and you must order at the beginning of the meal).  For dinner I had the lamb and Big Guy had the filet.  I would also highly recommend a side of cheese grits.  Trust me.

commanders

Dinner didn’t last as long as expected so we found ourselves with time to venture around town a little more.  We headed to Cure where we enjoyed some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had.  We were able to grab a place at the bar and found ourselves chatting late into the evening with our bartender.

We ended the night on a sweet note – beignets from Cafe Du Monde. 

cafe

Monday morning came too soon and I found myself a little under the weather (and it wasn’t just a hangover).  Thankfully I was able to turn myself around by late morning but I still feel like the morning was totally wasted and that’s the biggest disappointment of the trip.  We decided that since we lost our long walk in the morning we would walk to lunch at Cochon.  I was a little disappointment in the service (worst of the trip) but the food was incredible.  Once again, we found ourselves sharing an assortment of food.  Oysters, fried alligator, smoked pork ribs, cucumbers and herbs, a brussels salad and macaroni and cheese.

After lunch we walked along the river and after about 3 miles (not even kidding) we arrived at Bacchanal.  This wine bar is located in the area of NOLA that was hit the worst by the hurricane and it is an up and coming part of town.  We shared a bottle of wine and people watched for much of the afternoon.

bacc

Post-wine, we caught a ride back to the French Quarter and regrouped.  We didn’t have reservations for dinner which is unusual for us but we ended up at Domenica where there was a place for us at the bar.  The food was incredible but I was honestly a little over food and drink at this point – sad but true.  We ended the evening by sharing the burrata appetizer and a fried kale salad along with a pizza.

domenica

Tuesday morning I woke up sad.  Sad that the long weekend was over and sad that there was a flight to catch a little later on.  We made the most of our morning and ventured back in to the Quarter to walk and hunt down a t-shirt for my dad (it’s amazing) and grabbed some coffee before having to say “goodbye” to the city.

So there you have it…all my eats!  Tomorrow I’ll share my absolute favorites of the trip.

And since I know you’ll wonder, I wish we had a couple more days for the following:  more walking through the Garden District; a visit to French 75 for a pre-dinner drink; and a visit to one of the cemeteries.

 

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