Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 08:47
Over 100 Recommended Places To Dine
On A Day When Everything Must Be Perfect
Mother's Day is second in popularity only to birthdays as a reason for dining out . Around forty percent of us take our mothers out to dinner on the second Sunday of May.
Every day's a birthday. But there's only one Mother's Day. That makes it the busiest day of the year for restaurants. Fortunately, a large array of restaurants waits to serve the mothers and their families. Many restaurants normally closed on Sundays usually open for Mother's Day. It may be the only Sunday they open all year.
So the answer to "Where do I take my mother on Mother's Day" can start not with "Who's open?" but "Where would Mom like to dine?"
Many people don't know the answer to that one. They come up with all sorts of ideas for Mother's Day, and wind up in a place where Mom feels uncomfortable.
I did it myself one Mother's Day. I brought my mother to Commander's Palace. She liked the food--especially the turtle soup. But she couldn't deal with Commander's service. After a lifetime of serving other people, she found it irritating to have waiters getting everything for her.
Not long after, I took her to Drago's. She loved the much more casual environment, the simple food, the older waitress who took care of us at a leisurely pace. Yes, Commander's is the more impressive restaurant. But Drago's was incomparably more pleasant for her.
So, when you're trying to figure your Mother's Day plans, consider first what your mother really likes, not what you like. Then know that you have nearly the entire range of New Orleans restaurants to choose from.
Now the bad news. If you're still reading this, it probably means you haven't yet scored reservations. But I don't think you're one of those people who call me on the radio the Friday before Mother's Day, saying, "You know, I was kinda thinking that since Mama cooks all the time, maybe it would be nice to take her to a restaurant Sunday." As if this were the first time anyone thought of the idea.
At this point, most of the restaurants you'd most likely think of either are booked up, or have raised their prices so much that you won't want to go there. Many of those who say they have space available don't, really. Restaurants base their reservations on wishful thinking, and will stack people up in the bar. Or, worse, outside in line--it really happens. That will only make your mother unhappy. And when Mom's unhappy, everybody's unhappy.
Beyond that, the quality of dining on Mother's Day in most restaurants takes a big dip. That's because many infrequent diners are in the room. They have a way of showing up late, ordering one course at a time, panic that prices aren't what they remember from twenty years ago, ask for separate checks, and do other things that frequent diners know better than to do.
As a result of all this, the only good reason to dine out on Mother's Day is if you absolutely must. And that may well be the case. You cannot refuse your mother. Then you must grit your teeth, be prepared for less than the best food and service, be ready to pay a higher-than-normal price for a limited menu, and make your reservation three weeks ago.
Now. I should' t have to say this, but. . .
Don't Even Think Of Dining Out
On Mother's Day Without A Reservation
Unless the restaurant doesn't accept them. Which should tell you what I think of restaurants that don't take reservations on Mother's Day.
The best idea, I think, is to stay at home and do the cooking and cleaning while Mom takes the day off. Without complaining.
The next-best idea is one proposed by Ella Brennan years ago: that we eliminate Mother's Day and institute Mother's Week. To spread the crush out. (It could happen: Secretary's Day evolved into Administrative Professionals Week.)
But while we're waiting, Mother's Day remains happiest for restaurant owners. (At least the ones who don't overbook.)
NOMenu's Mother's Day List
Below is a list of the restaurants I think will serve you best on Mother's Day. It's not a complete list of all the places that are open. (That's almost impossible, since it requires calling every restaurant, and often hearing that they haven't decided yet). Nor can I tell you which still have tables available.
This year, I've divided the field into three kinds of restaurants:
- Top-Flight, Top-Dollar Restaurants
- Bistros And Unfussy Places With Good Food
- Moderate-Price, Family-Style Restaurants
I have included the current ratings for all of the restaurants. Know, however, that more often than not the food served on Mother's Day will not be as fine nor served as well as dinner on a less frantic day.
For mothers who really love having a fuss made over them. Before reserving, though, consider that guilt may be motivating you, and that not every mother likes this kind of dining. Whatever makes them happy!
Andrea's. Metairie. 3100 19th St. 504-834-8583. Italian.
Antoine's. French Quarter. 713 St Louis. 504-581-4422. Creole French.
Arnaud's. French Quarter. 813 Bienville. 504-523-5433. Creole French.
Bayona. French Quarter. 430 Dauphine. 504-525-4455. Eclectic.
Blue Room. CBD. 123 Baronne, Roosevelt Hotel. 504-648-1200. American Gourmet.
Brennan's. French Quarter. 417 Royal. 504-525-9711. Creole French.
Cafe Adelaide. CBD. 300 Poydras Street. 504-595-3305. Contemporary Creole.
Commander's Palace. Garden District. 1403 Washington Ave. 504-899-8221. Contemporary Creole.
Coquette. Uptown 1: Garden District & Environs. 2800 Magazine . 504-265-0421. Creole French.
Court of Two Sisters. French Quarter. 613 Royal. 504-522-7273. Creole French.
Crystal Room. CBD. Le Pavillon Hotel, 901 Poydras. 504-581-3111. Creole.
Dakota. Covington. 629 N US 190 . 985-892-3712. Contemporary Creole.
Delmonico. Lee Circle Area. 1300 St Charles Ave. 504-525-4937. Contemporary Creole.
Desi Vega's Steakhouse. CBD. 628 St Charles Ave. 504-523-7600. Steak.
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse. French Quarter. 716 Iberville. 504-522-2467. Steak.
Emeril's. Warehouse District. 800 Tchoupitoulas. 504-528-9393. Contemporary Creole.
Galatoire's. French Quarter. 209 Bourbon. 504-525-2021. Creole French.
Gallagher's Grill. Covington. 509 S Tyler. 985-892-9992. Contemporary Creole.
GW Fins. French Quarter. 808 Bienville. 504-581-3467. Seafood.
Keith Young's Steak House. Madisonville. 165 LA 21. 985-845-9940. Steak.
La Provence. Lacombe. 25020 US 190. 985-626-7662. French.
Latil's Landing. River Parishes. Houmas House Plantation. 225-473-9380. Contemporary Creole.
Le Foret. CBD. 129 Camp. 504-553-6738. French.
MiLa. CBD. 817 Common. 504-412-2580 . Eclectic.
Mr. John's Steakhouse. Garden District. 2111 St Charles Ave. 504-679-7697. Steak.
Palace Cafe. French Quarter. 605 Canal. 504-523-1661. Contemporary Creole.
Pelican Club. French Quarter. 615 Bienville. 504-523-1504. Contemporary Creole.
Ralph's On The Park. City Park Area. 900 City Park Ave. 504-488-1000. Contemporary Creole.
Rene Bistrot. Warehouse District & Center City. 700 Tchoupitoulas. 504-613-2350. Creole French.
Restaurant August. CBD. 301 Tchoupitoulas. 504-299-9777. Eclectic.
Rib Room. French Quarter. 621 St Louis St. 504-529-7045. American.
Ruth's Chris Steak House. Metairie. 3633 Veterans Blvd. 504-888-3600. Steak.
Ruth's Chris Steak House. CBD. 228 Poydras (Harrah's Hotel). 504-587-7099. Steak.
Steak Knife. Lakeview. 888 Harrison Ave. 504-488-8981. Contemporary Creole.
Stella!. French Quarter. 1032 Chartres. 504-587-0091. Eclectic.
Tomas Bistro. Warehouse District & Center City. 755 Tchoupitoulas. 504-527-0942. Creole French.
Tommy's Cuisine. Warehouse District. 746 Tchoupitoulas. 504-581-1103. Creole Italian.
Windsor Court Grill Room. CBD. 300 Gravier. 504-522-1994. American.
Bistros And Unfussy, Delicious Places
These are more modest restaurants physically, with prices to match. Many have food as good as you'll find in the more auspicious restaurants above. It is a certainty that other restaurants in this category may be open. Some of them decide to open only after a certain number of people call trying to make reservations. We'll add any more we find out about.
Annadele Plantation. Covington. 71518 Chestnut. 985-809-7669. Contemporary Creole.
Atchafalaya. Uptown. 901 Louisiana Ave. 504-891-9626. Contemporary Creole.
Bistro at Maison de Ville. French Quarter. 733 Toulouse. 504-528-9206. Creole French.
Bombay Club. French Quarter. 830 Conti. 504-586-0972. Contemporary Creole.
Borgne. CBD. 601 Loyola Ave (Hyatt Regency Hotel). 504-613-3860. Seafood.
Bourbon House. French Quarter. 144 Bourbon. 504-522-0111. Seafood.
Café B. Old Metairie. 2700 Metairie Road. 504-934-4700. Contemporary Creole.
Cafe Giovanni. French Quarter. 117 Decatur. 504-529-2154. Creole Italian.
Cafe Lynn. Mandeville. 3051 East Causeway Approach. 985-624-9007. Contemporary Creole.
Cafe Minh. Mid-City. 4139 Canal. 504-482-6266. Vietnamese.
Chateau Du Lac. Old Metairie. 2037 Metairie Rd. 504-831-3773. French.
Crescent City Steak House. Mid-City. 1001 N Broad. 504-821-3271. Steak.
Dante's Kitchen. Riverbend. 736 Dante. 504-861-3121. Contemporary Creole.
Domenica. CBD. 123 Baronne (Roosevelt Hotel). 504-648-6020. Italian.
Fausto's. Metairie. 530 Veterans Blvd. 504-833-7121. Creole Italian.
Feelings. Marigny. 2600 Chartres. 504-945-2222. Creole French.
Flaming Torch. Uptown. 737 Octavia. 504-895-0900. French.
Galvez. French Quarter. 912 N Peters. 504-585-1400. Spanish.
Herbsaint. CBD. 701 St Charles Ave. 504-524-4114. Creole French.
Impastato's. Metairie. 3400 16th St. 504-455-1545. Creole Italian.
Irish House. Uptown 1: Garden District & Environs. 1432 St Charles Ave. 504-595-6755. Irish. British.
La Crepe Nanou. Uptown. 1410 Robert. 504-899-2670. French.
La Petite Grocery. Uptown. 4238 Magazine. 504-891-3377. French.
Lake House. Mandeville. 2025 Lakeshore Dr. 985-626-3006. Contemporary Creole.
Lüke. CBD. 333 St Charles Ave. 504-378-2840. French.
Maple Street Cafe. Riverbend. 7623 Maple. 504-314-9003. Creole Italian.
Maple Cafe. West End & Bucktown. 124 Lake Marina Drive. 504-304-0811. Creole Italian.
Martinique. Uptown. 5908 Magazine. 504-891-8495. French.
Michael's. Slidell. 4820 Pontchartrain Dr. 985-649-8055. Creole French.
Mr. B's Bistro. French Quarter. 201 Royal. 504-523-2078. Contemporary Creole.
Muriel's. French Quarter. 801 Chartres. 504-568-1885. Contemporary Creole.
Nathan's. Slidell. 36440 Old Bayou Liberty Rd. 985-643-0443. Contemporary Creole.
Nola. French Quarter. 534 St Louis. 504-522-6652. Contemporary Creole.
N'Tini's. Mandeville. 2891 US 190. 985-626-5566. Creole.
Nuvolari's. Mandeville. 246 Girod St. 985-626-5619. Creole Italian.
Olivier's Creole Restaurant. French Quarter. 204 Decatur. 504-525-7734. Creole.
Patois. Uptown. 6078 Laurel. 504-895-9441. Creole French.
Peppermill. Metairie. 3524 Severn Ave. 504-455-2266. Creole, Italian.
Red Fish Grill. French Quarter. 115 Bourbon. 504-598-1200. Seafood.
Restaurant des Familles. Lafitte. 7163 Barataria Blvd. 504-689-7834. Seafood.
Ristorante Carmelo. Mandeville. 1901 US Hwy 190. 985-624-4844. Italian.
Sal and Judy's. Lacombe. 27491 Highway 190. 985-882-9443. Italian.
Tujague's. French Quarter. 823 Decatur. 504-525-8676. Creole.
Upperline. Uptown. 1413 Upperline. 504-891-9822. Contemporary Creole.
Water Street Bistro. Madisonville. 804 Water. 985-845-3855. Contemporary Creole.
Moderate-Price, Family-Style Restaurants
All of these are easygoing restaurants with pleasant if unfancy surroundings, and good cooking. Included here also are ethnic restaurants, and specialists in home-style cookery.
Basil Leaf. Riverbend. 1438 S Carrollton Ave. 504-862-9001. Thai.
Bosco's. Mandeville. 2040 La Hwy 59. 985-624-5066. Creole Italian.
Cafe East. Metairie. 4628 Rye. 504-888-0078. Pan-Asian.
Camellia Cafe. Slidell. 525 Gause Blvd West. 985-649-6211. Neighborhood Cafe.
Camellia Cafe. Abita Springs. 69455 LA 59. 985-809-6313. Neighborhood Cafe.
Creole Grille. Metairie. 5241 Veterans Memorial Blvd. 504-889-7992. Creole.
Dooky Chase. Mid-City. 2301 Orleans Ave. 504-821-0600. Creole.
Drago's. CBD. 2 Poydras. 504-584-3911. Seafood.
Five Happiness. Mid-City. 3605 S Carrollton. 504-482-3935. Chinese.
Grand Isle. Warehouse District. 575 Convention Center Blvd. 504-520-8530. Seafood.
Hoa Hong 9 (Nine Roses). Gretna. 1100 Stephens. 504-366-7665. Vietnamese.
Katie's. Mid-City. 3701 Iberville. 504-488-6582. Neighborhood Cafe.
La Thai Cuisine. Uptown. 4938 Prytania. 504-899-8886 . Thai.
Lebanon's Cafe. Riverbend. 1500 S Carrollton Ave. 504-862-6200. Middle Eastern.
Mandina's. Mid-City. 3800 Canal. 504-482-9179. Seafood, Italian.
Mandina's. Mandeville. 4240 La 22. 985-674-9883. Seafood, Italian.
Mayas. Garden District. 2027 Magazine. 504-309-3401. Central American.
Middendorf's. River Parishes. Exit 15 off I-55, Manchac. 985-386-6666. Seafood.
Mr. Ed's. Kenner. 910 W Esplanade Ave. 504-463-3030. Neighborhood Cafe.
Mr. Ed's. Metairie. 1001 Live Oak. 504-838-0022. Neighborhood Cafe.
Phoenicia. Metairie. 4201 Veterans Blvd. 504-889-9950. Middle Eastern.
Sake Cafe. Garden District. 2830 Magazine. 504-894-0033. Japanese.
Sesame Inn. Mandeville. 408 N Causeway Blvd. 985-951-8888. Chinese.
Sun Ray Grill. Gretna. 2600 Belle Chasse Hwy. 504-391-0053. Eclectic.
Sun Ray Grill. Warehouse District. 1051 Annunciation. 504-566-0021. Eclectic.
Trey Yuen. Mandeville. 600 Causeway Blvd. 985-626-4476. Chinese.
Vera's. Slidell. 2020 Gause Blvd W. 985-690-9814 . Seafood.
Vincent's. Riverbend. 7839 St Charles Ave. 504-866-9313. Italian.
Zea. Harahan. 1655 Hickory Ave. 504-738-0799. American.
Zea. Kenner. 1325 West Esplanade Ave. 504-468-7733. American.
Zea. Lee Circle Area. 1525 St Charles Ave. 504-520-8100. American.
Zea. Metairie. 4450 Veterans Blvd (Clearview Mall). 504-780-9090. American.
Zea. Covington. 110 Lake Dr. 985-327-0520. American.
Zea. Harvey. 1121 Manhattan Blvd. 504-361-8293. American.
Zea. Slidell. 173 Northshore Blvd. 985-273-0500. American.