ALADN 2005 ~ "Sittin' in the Sun"

New Orleans, Louisiana
March 6-9, 2005



Darla Rushing

J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans
6363 Saint Charles Avenue, Box 198
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 864-7197 / (504) 864-7247 (fax) /


AIRPORT SHUTTLE: Purchase tickets for $13 one way from the Airport Shuttle desk just outside the baggage claim area, or reserve round-trip for $25 at Note that the Airport Shuttle web site has the Monaco spelled wrong. (We’re not known for literacy down here!) Vans are right outside the door. It takes about 40-45 minutes to reach the hotel.

CAB: The airport flat rate is $28, plus tip, for 1 or 2 people, $10 for each additional passenger. Exit baggage claim and cross over one bay to the cab stand. Note the cab company and cab number in case there’s a problem. It takes about 30-40 minutes to reach the hotel.


Cabs are good, but not cheap. Local companies:

  • United - 504-522-9771
  • Yellow - 504-525-3311
  • White Fleet - 504-948-6605

Public transportation is great! Streetcar lines on St. Charles Avenue, Canal Street, and Riverfront. Buses on other major city streets. You'll want the Magazine bus for sure! The Canal St. streetcar to the New Orleans Museum of Art is #45, and to the cemeteries is #42. Expect to receive passes or tokens in your registration packet.

FOOD (the most important thing in New Orleans):

Darla’s favorite places to eat (So-o-o many possible meals, so little time!):

French Quarter

High end:

Bayona, lunch or dinner, but never on Sunday, may be my favorite, but, oh, that’s so hard to say, because...

Galatoire’s, great anytime, but especially for Sunday-after-church. It’s a New Orleans and a family tradition, and I simply LOVE it. CLOSED MONDAY.

Bistro at Maison de Ville, is romantic and wonderful, and I haven’t been in WAY too long. (So many possible meals, so little time!) L/D

Slightly more casual, but wonderful:

Palace Café, fun, kind of theatrical food. I like it better during the daytime. L/D

Mr. B’s Bistro, great for Sunday brunch–but not quite the tradition of Galatoire’s–and famous for business lunch. L/D

Bacco, modern Italian, great for lunch or dinner–kind of romantic. L/D

All the above are Brennan family restaurants, although the split-off part of the family from THE Brennan’s in the French Quarter. New Orleanians take great interest in the family feuds and law suites.

Downscale, but wonderful:

Acme Oyster House, although it’s so famous now, that... L/D

Felix’s, may be better. Either way, you have to have a high tolerance for that funky smell of raw oysters. L/D

Napoleon House, a great New Orleans hang-out. The food (jambalaya, muffaletta) is passable, but the atmosphere, day or night, is what you’re there for. L/D

Gumbo Shop, has been found by tons of tourists, but it’s good anyway, and the food is like what real people eat, even though it’s in the Quarter. L/D

Maspero's, argument over the Chartres St. or Decatur St. locations, but either way, good food! L/D

Central Grocery, the original muffaletta! Buy one, pick up a beer and sit in Jackson Square, or on the Moonwalk. Take home a jar of the olive salad (it's a real grocery store!).

CBD (Central Business District) aka “The American Sector,” where we are located:

High end:

Cuvee, has gorgeous atmosphere and food, but we go only if someone else is paying! Lots of lawyers at lunch–it’s a better deal–and at dinner. L/D

Lemon Grass, if you’re looking for the latest influence on New Orleans food, courtesy of our large Vietnamese community, but it gets loud, real loud! L/D

Slightly more casual, but wonderful:

Herbsaint, a Susan Spicer (Bayona) spinoff, also never on Sunday, is great for lunch or dinner, “small plates” a real deal. We love it. L, M-F/D, CLOSED SUNDAY.

Rio Mar, may be my favorite (I’m so fickle), and it’s just SO COOL! and loud when it gets crowded with a bunch of locals. CLOSED SUNDAYS.

Bon Ton, old-fashioned food, THE original place for crawfish in New Orleans, great for lunch or unwinding on a Friday night. Classic, not tricked-up, bread pudding. Closed S/S.

Cobalt, the reason we’re having the conference at the Monaco... L/D

Downscale, but wonderful:

Mother’s for poboys, but it’s just too crowded since it’s been discovered. L/D

La Boulangerie, choices will be limited, but you can manage to get something for lunch. L



As I was explaining to someone recently, there’s hardly a restaurant in town, no matter how elegant, that doesn’t have a kind of rowdy party atmosphere. Part of it is, we drink a lot. But another part of it is that New Orleans is really a small town for those of us who live in the city, and everybody knows everybody else and your business. Since eating out is a way of life for us–that is, when we’re not cooking just as well at home–we always see somebody we know, so there’s lot of table hopping and visiting. Even though Commander’s Palace is the haute of Uptown cuisine in the same way Galatoire’s is in the Quarter, it’s got a sort of family reunion feel. The rest of the “upscale” restaurants I’ve chosen are in old historic store-fronts or little cottages.

I’ve listed these in order from distance away from downtown, first out the St Charles streetcar, then along Magazine and Tchoupitoulas. See the map at registration.

Commander’s Palace, the grande dame of this part of the Brennan family food empire, your best choice for the elegant 25¢-martini lunch with the 2-course luncheon specials. Add dessert, and you won’t need to eat again for days, but you will. Way expensive at dinner! L/D

Upperline, wonderful food matched by Joanne Clevenger’s hospitality as well as her art collection. D, CLOSED MONDAY.

Gautreau’s, small, elegant tucked away a few blocks off the streetcar line. An additional benefit is walking past the Soniat house, one of the few remaining plantations in the city. D, CLOSED SUNDAY.

Brigtsen’s, a touch of Cajun inspiration, a locals’ favorite in a lovely old Carrollton cottage. D, CLOSED SUNDAY/MONDAY.

Mat & Naddie’s, great food in a bistro atmosphere, also in a Carrollton cottage, ca. 1830. Outdoor deck if the weather is nice and you don’t mind the occasional train. L/D

Lilette, way cool place, imaginative food, although I wish they would use local oysters instead of hauling them in from Seattle or Maine. Place to see–Dustin Hoffman, etc.,–and be seen. L/D, CLOSED SUNDAY/MONDAY.

Dick & Jenny’s, tiny and wildly popular, but no reservations, so you might wait for an hour. However, if you plan to go to Tipitina’s, it’s a good choice, since it’s a block away. D, CLOSED SUNDAY/MONDAY.

Martinique, almost invisible and we like it that way. If the weather is nice, there’s nothing more romantic than the patio (ignore the noise of the Magazine bus), and the Carribean-inspired food is wonderful. D

Clancy’s, used to be a neighborhood bar, and still is, in many ways, a real way Uptown hang-out with great food. We love it! L,T-F/D. CLOSED SUNDAY.

Slightly more casual, but wonderful:

La Crepe Nanou, the original nouvelle Nouvelle Orleans bistro, in a converted City Service gas station, can get pretty pricey if you do the prix fixe dinner. Very hip with the younger crowd, although plenty of us older folks still go there. D

Maple Street Café, a favorite for us Uptowners, especially for lunch. Lovely college student wait-staff, and excellent food, especially for the price. L/D

Ciro’s Côte Sud, formerly a pizza place, now a Crepe Nanou spin-off, a REAL French bistro owned by the Guillot family. They kept pizza on the menu, but everything else is truly French and truly wonderful. D

Jacques-Imo’s, the rowdiest place Uptown, no reservations, so you can wait for–I’m not kidding–hours for Creole/Cajun/soul food fusion, but it’s the place to go if you plan on hanging on Maple Street for music at the Maple Leaf Bar. CLOSED SUNDAY.

Café Rani, best for lunch when you’re shopping Magazine Street, sit under the giant “Branche Dubois” oak on the patio, get a coffee next door at CC’s, and keep spending money! L/D

Downscale, but wonderful:

Joey K’s, another great place for pausing from shopping on Magazine Street, has great specials as well as drippy roast beef poboys and, of course, great fried shrimp poboys. L/D, CLOSED SUNDAY.

Casamento’s, the best oyster bar ANYWHERE, and that’s pretty much what it’s for, except for the wonderful spaghetti daube. L/D. CLOSED MONDAY

Mona’s, a Middle Eastern place (several locations) that’s won the hearts of New Orleanians, the one on Magazine is a great lunch stop, but it’s also great for casual dinner because you can bring your own wine. L/D

Franky & Johnny’s, T.H.E. neighborhood joint Uptown where the fried oysters are sometimes as good as the oysters en brochette at Galatoire’s (well, almost), daily specials that always include some kind of beans. Hey, we’ve gotta eat something that’s not fried, although I recommend the fried bell pepper rings, even if you’re having beans. L/D

Mid-City/Esplanade Ridge


Christian’s, not so named because of its location in a deconsecrated church, but for its owner Chris Ansel, of the Galatoire’s family, the Mid-City place to see and be seen. L, T-F/D, CLOSED SUNDAY/MONDAY

Gabrielle, tiny and fabulous, a touch of Cajun that contains possibly the highest per/once calorie count in the city. D

Indigo, in an old store-front next to one of the city’s few remaining plantation houses (now a B&B called the House on Bayou Road), Indigo is elegant and–surprise!–occasionally quiet. (I’m not making any promises, here. It depends on who shows up.)

Ralph’s On the Park, the latest Brennan family restaurant, beautiful decor, honest food, although tre expensive at dinner, extremely popular and with the typical Brennan family flair for hospitatility. Great for lunch if you’re visiting the New Orleans Museum of Art. L/D

Slightly more casual, but wonderful:

Mandina’s, the home of the old-fashioned 3-martini lunch, crowded, bustling, best turtle soup other than what the Brennans make, the sort of New Orleans-Italian neighborhood place that helped make people move here and stay and makes the native born wonder why anyone would want to live anywhere else. L/D, NO CREDIT CARDS!!!

Venezia, same as the above, but with a little more Italian menu that includes pizza, a place where you might see a large family group with a priest or two included. L/D

Café Degas, largely al fresco (OK, it’s more Anglo-French than Italian) dining, a great favorite for lunch and Sunday brunch, especially if you’re going to the museum. L, T-F/ D, CLOSED SUNDAY EVENINGS.

Lola’s, favorite place for Spanish food, small, bustling, fun. Bring your own wine from Whole Food across the street and be prepared to wait. NO CREDIT CARDS.

Ruth’s Chris, yeah, the original Ruth’s Chris, it was Chris’s before it was Ruth’s, the favorite place of local pols at lunch, it’s in a not-so-great commercial neighborhood, but you sure get the true flavor or New Orleans. L/D

Dooky Chase, THE best Creole food in the African American tradition, and Leah Chase’s amazing art collection, plus Leah herself make this worth a visit. L/D, CLOSED MONDAY.

Downscale, but wonderful:

Liuzza’s, bustling, crowded, great! especially if you like fried dill pickles and eggplant poboys with red gravy. There’s more “normal” food, too, a melding of the best of Italian and New Orleans, as well as Abita on tap in large frozen footed glasses. L/D, CLOSED SUNDAY.

Katie’s, a little calmer than Liuzza’s, and only a block away, situated between Mandina’s and Liuzza’s, has similar food and a beautiful outdoor patio. L/D

Liuzza’s By the Track, an old-fashioned tavern, light on fried, and another place where the wait can sometimes seem interminable. Nice place to go for lunch if you’re walking around the Esplanade Ridge neighborhood. L/D. CLOSED SUNDAY.

Darla's recommendations for things to do:

Right in the neighborhood:

French Quarter: