By Tom Fitzmorris
Originally published December 1, 2008
Thirty-Eight Special Holiday Menus, Through Most Of December
Reveillon Dinners Begin Their Twentieth Anniversary
For those who like feasting in the grand style during the holidays, the annual Reveillon celebration in New Orleans restaurants has become a fixture on the December dining schedule. They begin today and, in most cases, run through December 23. Some restaurants keep them going on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and even beyond to New Year's.
The Reveillon--an ancient Yuletide feasting tradition brought by the French when they founded New Orleans--was an unlikely candidate for revival when it was suggested twenty years ago. The original Reveillon was like a Sunday brunch buffet, eaten the wee hours of Christmas morning. In those days one had to fast from the previous midnight in order to take Communion at Midnight Mass, and afterwards everyone needed refreshment. (The word "reveillon" means "awakening.")
The new Reveillon takes place at more conventional dinner hours. Created in 1988 by Sandra Dartus of the French Quarter Festival, it was an effort to draw people downtown during December, a slack time for conventions.
This year, thirty-eight restaurants have signned onto the official Reveillon program. That's up from thirty-one last year. They've assembled special menus of between four and six courses for prices ranging from $25 to $85. Although the prices have increased noticeably, most of still are in the $40s this year.
Even the most expensive Reveillon menus are enticing, and I attend as many of them as I can. We have several of them scheduled for the New Orleans Eat Club, our open series of wine dinners that run throughout the year. Details on those are here.
We've compiled all the Reveillon menus, plus the holiday season menus for a number of other restaurants, here. I've rated the Reveillon offerings, with "snowflake" ratings for the menus, based on past and current performance. Also on the page are other restaurants with special holiday season menus, although they're not participating in the official Reveillon program. The link takes you to Menu's annual Christmas Page, which also includes a list of restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Plus some holiday recipes.
All the menus and my recommendations can be had here:
Check back often, because I'm adding more menus, restaurants, and recipes to the Christmas Page almost every day.
© 2008 Tom Fitzmorris. All rights reserved. email@example.com