This has a little relevance for us eggers, so its not entirely OT. Folks were kind enough to give me a bunch of suggestions last week [ http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/comment/1402968#Comment_1402968
], so I thought I should report back.
Lodging - stayed at Ashton's B&B (2023 Esplanade) and absolutely loved it! Some concerns had been raised about the area the B&B is in, but that area is absolutely fine - unless you are used to living in a WASPy gated community and don't feel safe in any other setting. We drove, and were able to park behind a locked gate, but many cars were parked in the street. About a mile from the French Quarter, and possibly walkable during the day. At night maybe not so, because of the area immediately around I-10 and Esplanade. Otherwise the street is well-lit with enough people around to be safe.
The B&B itself was great. And here's what makes it relevant to this forum - the owner has a medium BGE which guests can use! So if you absolutely must egg while you're away, this is your spot. One of the guests had caught some redfish the day we arrived and so grilled them up for dinner. The owner provides a gourmet breakfast. We had Eggs Sardou, Bananas Foster waffles, and cochon de lait Eggs Benedict with chipotle hollandaise the mornings we were there. A great way to start the day!
Eats: Herbsaint was a very pleasant meal. The gnocchi with pancetta and parmesan was terrific, as was the duck confit with dirty rice. Gumbo was decent. The dessert was a chocolate cake with sea salt caramel sauce and cashew ice cream which was also very good. Its a Susan Spicer resto (owns Cochon as well). I would gladly go back.
The charbroiled oysters for lunch at Drago's did not disappoint, however they were cheesier and more buttery than I remembered. We split an order of shrimp and grits and loved it. The sauce for the shrimp was excellent with a great mouthfeel, without feeling too rich. The shrimp were cooked perfectly. The grits were not the best IMO, but would probably have been better received if we were not in New Orleans - too many great versions to compare it to.
Brunch at The Court of Two Sisters was ok, but did not knock my socks off food-wise. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon - they have a nice patio, and I love live music. The food was a decent sampling of New Orleans fare, and we had a good time overall.
Sat dinner was at Jacques-Imos. Last minute change from our original selection (Dante's Kitchen) because the menu looked more interesting. Yes, I knew there would be a long wait, but a few folks on the forum had also recommended it, so we went. Waited about an hour and a half to be seated, 2hrs+ until we got our entrees. The alligator shrimp cheesecake appetizer was tasty, SWMBO's bbq shrimp dish was very good even if the shrimp were overdone, but my blackened redfish was overdone and lukewarm by the time I got it. The place is supposed to have this "fun" quirky feel to it, but by the time we were seated (in a tight corner of the bar, without any other dining customers nearby), the waitstaff was not feeling quite so "fun". Service was good and courteous, but it was late for both them and us. Seems to be a well-liked place by locals and tourists who find out about it, but I wouldn't go back unless it was a weeknight and I got there right when they opened, or if I had 5+ people in the group so we could make a reservation. The food was good, but not good enough for the time and energy we invested.
Brunch at Commander's Palace Sun morning was a treat. I was determined to go back after I had eaten there a few years ago. The turtle soup finished with sherry was the best I had this trip. I had pecan crusted drum for my entree which was done perfectly - warm, moist, flaky - everything the redfish at Jacques-Imos should have been. SWMBO had the shrimp and grits which she also enjoyed.
I saved the best for last, even though we went there for Fri dinner. Based on the rave reviews from @nolaeegghead
, we ate at R'evolution. Easily the best meal I had in a restaurant this year! We thought about the tasting menu, but the selections were lame, so we decided to make up our own. They let you split certain dishes, and the pasta items come in half portions so you can try more things without filling up too quickly. The Death by Gumbo" quail gumbo appetizer was my favorite gumbo of this trip. Can't pass up bone marrow when I see it, so that was next. The grilled oyster thing was the least favorite item we ordered. A half portion of the sheep's milk ricotta gnocchi with lobster was also one of the best things I ate during this trip - the gnocchi were amazingly good and the sauce was unique. I think it had a hint of lavender in it, and a slight tangy flavor that was just right. SWMBO had the scallops with foie gras for her entree, and I had the crawfish-stuffed redfish Napolean - both excellent and well-executed. Finished with the bread pudding creme brulee for dessert, which was a great variation on the NOLA staple. I think I gained 5lbs that night, but goshdarnit it was worth it!
Ok time to wrap this up. Its long-winded, and took a while for me to type, but I had to tell somebody.