A timeless institution in NOLA’s French Quarter
Antoine’s | New Orleans, Louisiana
This article also appears on TripAdvisor.
Having attended a conference in New Orleans , my wife and I decided to crown our stay with a dinner at the Famous Antoine’s. The story of this place is the stuff of legend… Antoine, a young man from the south of France, Antoine Alciatore, immigrates to New Orleans in the 19th Century and in 1840 opens this restaurant…..175 years later hiw descendants are still at the helm.
For those who would prefer Hollywood references, it was featured in the movie JFK by Oliver Stone, where Kevin Costner is seen drinking his martini and meeting with his DA staff….
The place is superb. Located in the old French Quarter it truly looks like a movie studio , so unreal it feels….
One of our surprises was the Oysters Rockefeller … Having had them elsewhere I learned that they were created at Antoine’s… But they don’t look like any of the OR I had elsewhere … We preferred the Oysters Bienville ..they were so tasty we could have devoured dozens but we had a dinner waiting for us. I forgot to mention that we had an aperitif in the Hermes Bar . It used to be part of the restaurant and pictures on the walls testify to its grandeur and fame…JFK seating and waving at onlookers …Can’t even be imagined in our brave new world.
The menu is classically French and written in Moliere’s language for the headings at least. Literature describes it a French Creole because of the Gombo and other non French dishes, we stuck to the French cuisine.
We enjoyed it all the rare grilled slab of meat , the salads but oddly enough it was the “pomme de terre souflees” that won the day. Seeing our enthusiasm for that tuber as we ordered it several times we were invited to the kitchen to witness how they were made.
This visit is the type that you tell your friends and grand children about . I know , it may sound like a tourist trap but it truly is not .. It is elegant , classic style with experienced staff dressed the old way , story tellers of the first order ( raconteurs) ..We ended the evening with a full tour including the cellar. I will leave the stories about Katrina aside as it is amazing that this underground cellar survived at all….