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Galatoire’s: New Orleans’ Grand Dame of Fine Cuisine

Lobster Thermador from Galatoire's (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Back in 1905, Galatoire’s Restaurant opened its doors at 209 Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Over 100 years later, Galatoire’s remains much the same. While one would normally think that this steadfast adherence to tradition would doom a restaurant as people and tastes change, this is not the case with Galatoire’s. This tradition is, in fact, one of the greatest things about Galatoire’s.

Galatoire’s (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Traditional New Orleans Food

Galatoire’s, believe it or not, is a family run establishment (fourth generation!). Through these four generations it seems that the menu hasn’t changed. And that is a great thing! To know that your favorites will always be available is comforting. While I recommend letting your server guide your meal, here are a few dishes that are crowd favorites. For starters, the souffle potatoes and the Galatoire’s goute are mainstays. The souffle potatoes are like crispy potato dirigibles and never seem to come in a big enough serving. The Galatoire’s goute is their “greatest hits” plate: A hearty serving of shrimp remoulade, oysters en brochette, crab maison and shrimp maison. For the main event, Galatoire’s shines with fresh fish topped with crabmeat and shrimp. A cup of the powerful cafe Brulot ties up the affair nicely.

The Grand Dame Entertains

Galatoire’s is known by locals as the “Grand Dame” of New Orleans. While she may be advanced in her years, this Grand Dame is one heck of a host. A meal at Galatoire’s isn’t so much lunch or dinner as it is a huge social gathering. People are known to rotate tables between courses to say hello to old friends or make some new ones.

This restaurant-wide party is at its absolute best on Fridays at lunch. On Fridays in New Orleans, you’re either at Galatoire’s for lunch or you want to be there. Galatoire’s on a Friday afternoon is an amazing sight, while the food and drinks flow at a steady pace, patrons flit from table to table sharing their celebrations with each other. A truly unique experience that you’ll wish wouldn’t end. And sometimes it doesn’t, more than a few Friday lunches at Galatoire’s have continued into Friday dinners!

One thing to be aware of — even though Galatoire’s is on Bourbon St., this isn’t your typical casual place in the Quarter.  Galatoire’s dress code for lunch is business casual, no shorts or t-shirts. And jackets are required for men starting at 5pm nightly and all day on Sunday. Trust us, it’s worth getting a little more dressed up to experience this place!

Have any great Galatoire’s stories? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

Galatoire’s Restaurant
209 Bourbon Street
Tuesday – Saturday 11:30 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday noon to 10:00 pm

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