Who doesn’t love a good restaurant bucket list? Especially when it comes to New Orleans restaurants.
Here’s Our 2016 New Orleans Restaurant Bucket List!
My Restaurant Bucket List in New Orleans
As those who know me can attest, I live to eat! While I read all the foodie blogs I can find, I have no formal training or culinary background, so technically, I have no idea what I’m talking about. However, my credentials are as follows: I Love To Eat!
While I love to eat, I’m also about to turn 30, and some might say I’m getting picky in my old age. Plus, with two children, getting out to sample new places is far more difficult than it used to be. More and more I find myself researching and planning my next meal far in advance of when I’ll actually eat it. With that in mind, here’s my ‘bucket list’ of local restaurants I’m going to make it a point to try this year:
This Year’s Restaurant Bucket List
Taceaux Loceaux: This is actually a food truck that travels around the New Orleans area. It seems like they’re often parked outside of Dos Jefes Bar uptown, although their exact location is announced every night via Twitter [@TLNola]. While I have not yet had the opportunity to try them out, I follow their Twitter updates regularly, and must say they sound amazing. They offer a diverse selection of offerings, using local ingredients. Their menu seems to change daily, so you never know what they’ll be “slingin’.” Personally, I’m excited for gulf shrimp tacos! Plus the fact that they’re mobile seems like this would be a great (and cheap!) date night – great food and a fun adventure.
Elizabeth’s Restaurant: Elizabeth’s is in the Bywater. It seems like a low-key, but upscale, southern style restaurant that serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. FABULOUS! This restaurant made my list because I’ve heard that everything tastes extremely fresh, and the neighborhood is a fun place to have a date night. Personally, I’m excited for their Beer BBQ Shrimp and fried green tomatoes with boiled shrimp and remoulade.
Cafe Reconcile: Cafe Reconcile makes the list not only for its food, but also because it has an interesting back story. My understanding is that it has its roots as a program started for at risk youth and aims to help the young people of our city by teaching them a skill, building their confidence and self-worth, and helping them to cultivate a spiritual relationship as well. So by dining at Cafe Reconcile, you’re not only eating fantastic food, you’re supporting a wonderful cause and helping to make a difference in our city.
The Milk Bar: Another uptown offering, the Milk Bar looks like a scrumptious shake, salad and sandwich shop. It seems family friendly, and I plan to bring my kids here so they can drink a yummy milkshake while I enjoy a hearty salad! Everyone wins. Since it’s uptown, maybe we can even grab Daddy from work and have a family lunch date!
Restaurant R’evolution: Restaurant R’evolution is a bit of a splurge. Ok, it’s a huge splurge, so make sure that you have the sitter lined up, a new dress ready and a special occasion picked out! Located in the Royal Sonesta, Chef Tramonto has partnered with an amazing local Chef, John Folse, to create a new spin on creole and cajun cooking. R’evolution uses ingredients indigenous to the area to create authentic food with a fresh flare. I hear that you should be prepared to see the traditional dishes, but in a whole new way (not just a roux based dish with local seafood.) I’m excited to get to try this one. Now all I need is the perfect occasion…
Antoine’s: A great reminder that we are so blessed to live in a city where our options go beyond the corporate web. Antoine’s is the oldest family run restaurant in America, and the walls of this amazing restaurant have seen celebrities, Presidents, bootleggers and locals dating back to 1840. Dining here is not just about amazing food, it’s an experience. While there you’re told stories of prohibition and great Mardi Gras Kings, you learn that this is the birthplace of appetizers and Oysters Rockefeller, and you can even see where Brad and Angelina dined. While I’ve been here before, how can anyone not go at least once a year?!
Casamento’s: So, we all know about Casamento’s, but between their cash only policy and being closed 3 months out of the year and only open 3 days a week for dinner, I’ve never been! I’ve wanted to go since Dan was in law school and somehow we’ve never made it. This year, it’s on the bucket list, so we’re going. I’ve heard it’s a New Orleans classic that does food the way it used to be done, and I‘m excited to be transported back in time for a night. It’s fun to try something new, but it’s awesome when you can experience a tried and true classic. I can’t wait to go and I’ll be sure to grab some cash on the way!
Pascal’s Manale: Pascal’s Manale is “the original home to BBQ Shrimp,” and is another New Orleans classic. I have been once, but it was in 2006 just after the Saints hired Sean Payton, and he happened to be there along with a bunch of other Saints coaches, so understandably I was paying more attention to him than the food (so was everyone else – the entire restaurant gave him a standing ovation as he left the dining room!) So needles to say, I want to go back and give Pascal’s another shake! This is a big step for me – while I know the BBQ shrimp are amazing, I have a problem with my food coming out in its original form. I especially prefer my shrimp to be out of the shell and preferably with visible head, legs, tail … you get it. For this, though, I’m willing to go outside my normal boundaries.
They say, “all good things in moderation.” New Orleans must have missed that memo because down here, everything is to excess. We drink to excess, we put on excessive parades (for every occasion), we celebrate everything from King’s Day to Christmas and we take pride in supporting local business. For me, our food is just another expression of our culture. Bold flavors and locally owned and operated establishments are just another great thing about living here!