100 Best New Year's Eve Restaurants
Dining Out On The Biggest Night
With our hearts warmed by the peace and good will of Christmas and Hanukkah, we turn our attention to the related but completely different celebration of New Year's Eve.
New Year's Eve is the busiest night of the year for restaurants. So many people clamor for tables in interesting places that all the rules change. More than any other, this is the night when you call in your chips at your favorite restaurant after being a regular, recognized customer during the rest of the year. You will need to do that in the best, most famous, and best-situated restaurants.
You will also, of course, need a reservation. It may already be too late, even if you're a friend of the house, to get into places like Commander's Palace, Restaurant August, Emeril's, or Antoine's. They all have so many long-term regulars for New Year's Eve that not even a call months in advance will get you in that night. A lot of the people who dined in the busiest restaurants on New Year's Eve 2010 made reservations for 2011 then and there.
The good news is that nearly the entire restaurant community is open and ready for you. A restaurant above the neighborhood-cafe level that's not open on New Year's Eve is likely either to be booked with a private party or about to close for good. It's not like Christmas or Thanksgiving, when reservations are hard to find. You'll find a table somewhere on New Year's Eve, and it won't even have to be a bad one.
But there are other issues. Restaurants have found it easy to raise their prices to sometimes fantastic levels. Usually this practice is accompanied by a large and interesting menu, with "complimentary" Champagne and perhaps a few other amenities. But for the first time since Katrina, I see quite a few restaurants shooting for the moon. I know of four places where the tabs with tax, tip, and wines are over $200 per person. Most of them will fill up anyway. If price matters to you, be sure you know what the package goes for that night. Don't assume you'll find the same menu as always.
The higher prices are found at the later of the typical two seatings. The early one is designed for people who will have a grand dinner, then go somewhere else for a party. At the late seating, the restaurant is the party, often with live music, noisemakers, party hats, and all the set pieces for which New Year's Eve is celebrated.
If you plan on the late seating, find out how fully booked the place is. The no-show percentage skyrockets on New Year's Eve, and many restaurants overbook. Beware of that.
Below is my list of what I believe will be the one hundred best restaurants for a grand New Year's Eve dinner. It is not a comprehensive list; hundreds of restaurants are open. These are ranked not only according to how good the food is (although that is the primary criterion), but also by amenities, entertainment, and general scene. Restaurants located near the fireworks on the river get a nudge upward in their ranking.
Full disclosure: I have not dined out on New Year's Eve in many years. (I go along with what Dean Martin once said: "I never go out on New Year's Eve. Too many amateurs out there.") This list is based on what I know about the restaurants during ordinary time, the special New year's Eve menus I've seen, and the reports I heard about how they performed last year. But if you can find a better list, use it. (Good luck.)
For a current, detailed review of a restaurant, click on its name. The star ratings are for the food and service in normal times, which may differ for New Year's Eve.
Note To Restaurants: If you have a special menu or entertainment for New Year's Eve, send specifics to me at: email@example.com. There is no charge for being listed. (Or a guarantee that you'll make the list.)
1. Emeril's. Warehouse District. 800 Tchoupitoulas. 504-528-9393. Contemporary Creole.
2. Restaurant August. CBD. 301 Tchoupitoulas. 504-299-9777. Eclectic.
3. Commander's Palace. Garden District. 1403 Washington Ave. 504-899-8221. Contemporary Creole.
4. Muriel's. French Quarter. 801 Chartres. 504-568-1885. Contemporary Creole.
5. Galatoire's. French Quarter. 209 Bourbon. 504-525-2021. Creole French.
6. Stella!. French Quarter. 1032 Chartres. 504-587-0091. Eclectic.
7. Pelican Club. French Quarter. 615 Bienville. 504-523-1504. Contemporary Creole.
8. Tommy's Cuisine. Warehouse District. 746 Tchoupitoulas. 504-581-1103. Creole Italian.
9. Arnaud's. French Quarter. 813 Bienville. 504-523-5433. Creole French.
10. Windsor Court Grill Room. CBD. 300 Gravier. 504-522-1994. American.
11. La Provence. Lacombe. 25020 US 190. 985-626-7662. French.
12. Sazerac. CBD. 123 Baronne, Roosevelt Hotel. 504-648-1200. American Gourmet.
13. Mike's On The Avenue. CBD. 628 St Charles Ave. 504-523-7600. Eclectic.
14. Bombay Club. French Quarter. 830 Conti. 504-586-0972. Contemporary Creole.
15. Antoine's. French Quarter. 713 St Louis. 504-581-4422. Creole French.
16. Keith Young's Steak House. Madisonville. 165 LA 21. 985-845-9940. Steak.
17. GW Fins. French Quarter. 808 Bienville. 504-581-3467. Seafood.
18. Le Foret. CBD. 129 Camp. 504-553-6738. French.
19. Gallagher's Grill. Covington. 509 S Tyler. 985-892-9992. Contemporary Creole.
20. Chateau Du Lac. Old Metairie. 2037 Metairie Rd. 504-831-3773. French.
21. Atchafalaya. Uptown. 901 Louisiana Ave. 504-891-9626. Contemporary Creole.
22. Cafe Giovanni. French Quarter. 117 Decatur. 504-529-2154. Creole Italian.
23. Maximo's Italian Grill. French Quarter. 1117 Decatur. 504-586-8883. Italian.
24. Patois. Uptown. 6078 Laurel. 504-895-9441. Creole French.
25. Impastato's. Metairie. 3400 16th St. 504-455-1545. Creole Italian.
26. Brennan's. French Quarter. 417 Royal. 504-525-9711. Creole French.
27. Mr. B's Bistro. French Quarter. 201 Royal. 504-523-2078. Contemporary Creole.
28. Herbsaint. CBD. 701 St Charles Ave. 504-524-4114. Creole French.
29. Rib Room. French Quarter. 621 St Louis St. 504-529-7045. American.
30. Ristorante Del Porto. Covington. 501 E Boston St. 985-875-1006. Italian.
31. MiLa. CBD. 817 Common. 504-412-2580 . Eclectic.
32. Upperline. Uptown. 1413 Upperline. 504-891-9822. Contemporary Creole.
33. Mat & Naddie's. Riverbend. 937 Leonidas. 504-861-9600. Contemporary Creole.
34. Delmonico. Lee Circle Area. 1300 St Charles Ave. 504-525-4937. Contemporary Creole.
35. Ralph's On The Park. City Park Area. 900 City Park Ave. 504-488-1000. Contemporary Creole.
36. Galvez. French Quarter. 912 N Peters. 504-585-1400. Spanish.
37. O'Brien's Grille. Gretna. 2020 Belle Chasse Hwy. 504-391-7229. Steak.
38. Iris. French Quarter. 321 North Peters . 504-299-3944. Eclectic.
39. Steak Knife. Lakeview. 888 Harrison Ave. 504-488-8981. Contemporary Creole.
40. La Petite Grocery. Uptown. 4238 Magazine. 504-891-3377. French.
41. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. French Quarter. 416 Chartres. 504-524-7394. Cajun.
42. Nola. French Quarter. 534 St Louis. 504-522-6652. Contemporary Creole.
43. Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse. French Quarter. 716 Iberville. 504-522-2467. Steak.
44. Vega Tapas Cafe. Old Metairie. 2051 Metairie Rd. 504-836-2007. Mediterranean.
45. Vizard's. Uptown. 5015 Magazine. 504-895-2246. Contemporary Creole.
46. Ristorante Carmelo. Mandeville. 1901 US Hwy 190. 985-624-4844. Italian.
47. Le Meritage. French Quarter. 1001 Toulouse. 504-522-8800. Contemporary Creole.
48. Brigtsen's. Riverbend. 723 Dante. 504-861-7610. Contemporary Creole.
49. Nathan's. Slidell. 36440 Old Bayou Liberty Rd. 985-643-0443. Contemporary Creole.
50. RioMar. Warehouse District. 800 S Peters. 504-525-3474. Spanish.
51. Katie's. Mid-City. 3701 Iberville. 504-488-6582. Neighborhood Cafe.
52. Cochon. Warehouse District. 930 Tchoupitoulas. 504-588-2123. Cajun.
53. Lilette. Uptown. 3637 Magazine. 504-895-1636. French.
55. Clancy's. Uptown. 6100 Annunciation. 504-895-1111. Contemporary Creole.
55. Mr. John's Steakhouse. Garden District. 2111 St Charles Ave. 504-679-7697. Steak.
56. Nuvolari's. Mandeville. 246 Girod St. 985-626-5619. Creole Italian.
57. Lüke. CBD. 333 St Charles Ave. 504-378-2840. French.
58. Annadele Plantation. Covington. 71518 Chestnut. 985-809-7669. Contemporary Creole.
59. Bourbon House. French Quarter. 144 Bourbon. 504-522-0111. Seafood.
60. Austin's. Metairie. 5101 West Esplanade Ave . 504-888-5533. Creole.
61. One. Riverbend. 8132 Hampson. 504-301-9061. Contemporary Creole.
62. N'Tini's. Mandeville. 2891 US 190. 985-626-5566. Creole.
63. Dante's Kitchen. Riverbend. 736 Dante. 504-861-3121. Contemporary Creole.
64. Meauxbar. French Quarter. 942 N Rampart. 504-569-9979. French.
65. Eleven 79. Warehouse District. 1179 Annunciation. 504-569-0001. Italian.
66. Domenica. CBD. 123 Baronne (Roosevelt Hotel). 504-648-6020. Italian.
67. Coquette. Garden District. 2800 Magazine . 504-265-0421. Creole French.
68. Palace Cafe. French Quarter. 605 Canal. 504-523-1661. Contemporary Creole.
69. Court of Two Sisters. French Quarter. 613 Royal. 504-522-7273. Creole French.
70. Dakota. Covington. 629 N US 190 . 985-892-3712. Contemporary Creole.
71. Bistro Daisy. Uptown. 5831 Magazine. 504-899-6987. Creole French.
72. Sal and Judy's. Lacombe. 27491 Highway 190. 985-882-9443. Italian.
73. Bayona. French Quarter. 430 Dauphine. 504-525-4455. Eclectic.
74. Cafe Lynn. Mandeville. 3051 East Causeway Approach. 985-624-9007. Contemporary Creole.
75. Dick & Jenny's. Uptown. 4501 Tchoupitoulas. 504-894-9880. Contemporary Creole..
76. Cafe Adelaide. CBD. 300 Poydras St. 504-595-3305. Contemporary Creole.
77. Broussard's. French Quarter. 819 Conti. 504-581-3866. Creole French.
78. Maple Street Cafe. Riverbend. 7623 Maple. 504-314-9003. Creole Italian.
79. Flaming Torch. Uptown. 737 Octavia. 504-895-0900. French.
80. Drago's. CBD. 2 Poydras. 504-584-3911. Seafood.
80. Drago's. Metairie. 3232 N Arnoult Rd. 504-888-9254. Seafood.
81. Gautreau's. Uptown. 1728 Soniat St. 504-899-7397. American.
82. Irene's Cuisine. French Quarter. 539 St Philip. 504-529-8811. Italian.
83. La Thai Cuisine. Uptown. 4938 Prytania. 504-899-8886 . Thai.
84. Juniper. Mandeville. 301 Lafitte. 985-624-5330. Contemporary Creole.
85. Ruth's Chris Steak House. Metairie. 3633 Veterans Blvd. 504-888-3600. Steak.
85. Ruth's Chris Steak House. CBD. 228 Poydras (Harrah's Hotel). 504-587-7099. Steak.
86. Olivier's Creole Restaurant. French Quarter. 204 Decatur. 504-525-7734. Creole.
87. Ristorante Filippo. Metairie. 1917 Ridgelake. 504-835-4008. Creole Italian.
88. Martinique. Uptown. 5908 Magazine. 504-891-8495. French.
89. Jacques-Imo's. Riverbend. 8324 Oak. 504-861-0886. Cajun.
90. Michael's. Slidell. 4820 Pontchartrain Dr. 985-649-8055. Creole French.
91. Cypress. Metairie. 4426 Transcontinental. 504-885-6885. Contemporary Creole.
92. La Crepe Nanou. Uptown. 1410 Robert. 504-899-2670. French.
93. Lakehouse. Mandeville. 2025 Lakeshore Dr. 985-626-3006. Contemporary Creole.
94. Red Fish Grill. French Quarter. 115 Bourbon. 504-598-1200. Seafood.
95. Andrea's. Metairie. 3100 19th St. 504-834-8583. Italian.
96. La Cote Brasserie. Warehouse District. 700 Tchoupitoulas. 504-613-2350. Creole French.
97. Tujague's. French Quarter. 823 Decatur. 504-525-8676. Creole.
98. Cafe Minh. Mid-City. 4139 Canal. 504-482-6266. Vietnamese.
99. Crescent City Steak House. Mid-City. 1001 N Broad. 504-821-3271. Steak.
100. Morton's The Steakhouse. CBD. 365 Canal (Canal Place Mall). 504-566-0221. Steak.