We had a very aggressive dining schedule on our most recent trip to New Orleans last month, the finale being dinner at Galatoire’s on our last night in the city.
209 Bourbon Street
New Orleans , LA 70130
Galtoire’s is a legendary restaurant, right on Bourbon street, surrounded by strip clubs, bars and even sharing a wall with a sex shop. It’s odd to step from the raucousness of Bourbon Street into a restaurant which has seen over 100 years of history, elegance and tradition, and still manages to be unpretentious and a hell of a lot of fun. Jean Galatoire opened the restaurants doors in 1905, and it has remained in the family ever since, they’re on their fourth generation of family ownership. In November of 2005 the family also opened Galatoire’s Bistro in Baton Rouge. Richard at Appetites gives a good comparison of the two restaurants here.
After all of my trips to New Orleans over the years, I finally made it to Galatoire’s, and it was well worth the wait.
In addition to wonderfully prepared French Creole Cuisine, the highlight of a visit to Galatoire’s will most likely be your waiter, probably one of the most knowledgeable in the city. Our waiter was Tony, an excellent waiter, friendly, jovial, and just one hell of a nice guy.
We started off with Souffle Potatoes and Shrimp Remoulade, I had a Sazerac, which Galatoire’s serves on the rocks, unless specified otherwise. Hey, when in Rome, right?
The Souffle Potatoes are a lost art, except in the old line Creole restaurants of New Orleans, those being Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, and Galatoire’s. They were easily my favorite part of the whole meal, out of sheer respect for the stalwart adherence to tradition and quality. Not to mention they are just a delicious and addicting appetizer. Little edible zeppelins as crispy as a potato chip with a perfect Bearnaise Sauce for dipping.
The Shrimp Remoulade was also fantastic, and my favorite Remoulade Sauce that I’ve had in the city thus far. In my opinion a perfect balance of flavors. (Galatoire’s Shrimp Remoulade Recipe)
Next I selected a nice French White Burgundy for the meal, and Tony brought us a staple for any great dining experience in New Orleans, a loaf of New Orleans French Bread, soft in the center with a flaky crust that keeps the busboys busy with their crumbers.
The fish selections were Pompano, Flounder, and Cobia. My wife asked if the Flounder would be good Amandine style and Tony kind of swayed and suggested it broiled with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Lemon. As I told my wife, trust your waiter. Listen to him. As a matter of fact, many regulars of Galatoire’s will let their waiter order for them. It basically goes like this…What would you like today? Lunch please.
I ordered Pompano with Crabmeat Yvonne and had my first taste of true Meuniere butter, Galatoire’s style, I fell in love with it and it’s now part of my repertoire. The Pompano was everything it should be, buttery flesh that melts in your mouth. The Crabmeat Yvonne topping is sauteed Mushrooms, Artichoke bottoms, Jumbo Lump Crabmeat with Meuniere butter. It is named for the Granddaughter of Jean Galatoire and daughter of Justin Galatoire. She worked in the restaurant starting as cashier in 1938. She managed from 1964 until 1997 when she retired and she was president of the business from 1984 until her death in 2000.
Our side dish was Brabant Potatoes, so named for their square shape. They were crispy and deliciously tossed in a New Orleans Bordelaise which is kind of a garlic butter.
Dessert was a creamy Creme Carmel which is a must at Galtoire’s…
…as is Cafe Brulot, flamed tableside. Brandy and Orange Liqeur are flamed in a Brulot bowl with Orange and lemon peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves…
Tony ladles the flambe for flourish…
The flambe is extinguished with good strong Cafe Noir.
The finished product is ladled into coffee cups.
A perfect end to an extraordinary evening at Galatoire’s. Tony introduced us to one of the Galatoire family members who manages the restaurant, a delightful gentleman who thanked us for our patronage, and even took our picture in front of the restaurant.
By the way Galatoire’s also has a phenomenal Galatoire’s Cookbook that came out shortly before the storm, it’s a keeper. Great pics, recipes, and history.
Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes!
Pan Fried Pomfret with Galatoire’s Style Meuniere Butter
Bearnaise Sauce Recipe
New Orleans Style Bordelaise
Shrimp Remoulade Recipe
Brabant Potatoes Recipe
12 thoughts on “Galatoire’s Restaurant”
Wonderful restaurant, exceptional food, the best service and great people. What more can you ask? Galatoires is my absolute favorite restaurant in the whole world and I have eaten in some mighty fine ones. Sometime, try the simple crab meat omelet or their signature dish of stuffed eggplant. Don’t forget the fried eggplant sticks with powdered sugar for a nibble. Oysters en brochet! Any trout dish! Godchaux salad! It would be difficult to go wrong with anything here. And as you said, ask your waiter.
It is so good to see that your website is back. Thanks! We missed you.
I’m buying that cookbook!
Thanks for your latest…good to “hear” from you again
Glad to see your web is back.
I need to do what you do, I live in Slidell across the lake from N.O. and I need to get over to new orleans and EAT!!!
We’re ging to Sal and Judy’s in a week or so to that a friend of mine for LSU Championship tickets.
Sal’s naturally has fine Italian food, but being in Lacombe right on the lake he also has superior Seafood, like his crab claws in cream sauce, GAWDE is that good. \
Amy way, nice to have you back sir!
Your post on Galatoire’s brought back many memories for me– I haven’t dined there in several years— it was our family tradition to have Easter dinner there every year. Wonderful food!
Great pictures! I’m curious. What kind of camera do you use to take photos in the restaurant? I’ve always been a bit shy of photographing in restaurants myself, but that might also be because our camera is a large Nikon SLR. Did anyone from the restaurant give you any trouble about photographing?
I happend upon your website because I “googled” grits and grillades. All those great pictures of the food just make my mouth water! It makes me want to try my hand at some of those delicious recipes. Your website is fantastic!
i have made creme caramel many times at home…very easy, if somewhat dangerous (you have to boil sugar into caramel, and i was badly burned one time!).
I was first introduced to Galatoires about 15 years ago. While I have been there almost everyday and evening of the week, Fridays for lunch is as much fun as you can have for lunch in New Orleans….I go with friends that have been going their almost every Friday for many years. Our waiter is John Fontenot, who has probably been there longer than anyone else…he is terrific. My friends usually send someone from their office to the restaurant around 10:15 am or so to stand in line for us. They don’t take reservations….never have until recently and only for the upstairs section….it’s a first come first serve process. Friday is also the main day many local businessmen used to show up with their…..ummmm…. let see….oh yeah, beautiful young secretaries. I suspect even today, in keeping with the long standing tradition, most all the young beautiful women there on Fridays and other days for lunch, are secretaries too. And I almost forgot, the food is consistently terrific always…best to let your waiter choose for you or at least recommend based on your preferences. It’s all good and well worth planning a trip. I was there one Friday and two couple had flown in on their private plane just to have dinner there. They started out at the table next to us and ended up sitting with us….great fun.
where can i order the galatoires cook book?
I absolutely agree that Gallatoire’s is my very favorite in the whole world. Of course I am slightly prejudiced considering my brother is Tony Bentley the waiter mentioned in your blog. I own a steakhouse in Bozeman MT. The Mint Bar & Cafe (themintmt.com) and I can tell you that Gallatoires is consistantly the best. I haven’t missed an annual new orleans pilgrimage since 1975, and I’ll be there this year.