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Eat & Drink | New Orleans

Reveling in Réveillon Words by Melanie Warner Spencer

“For a romantic holiday date night or a lively dinner with friends or family Réveillon is an unforgettable and truly New Orleans experience.”

New Orleans’ Réveillon dinners are a Creole tradition dating back to the mid-1800s, when the city was predominantly Catholic. These elaborate feasts, which often lasted until daybreak, were served in private homes after midnight Mass and consisted of primarily breakfast fare, along with cordials, wines and other festive, alcoholic beverages. Today, the tradition has evolved to include all manner of food and is celebrated in eateries, both iconic and new, with traditional or modern flair throughout the month of December. 


There are certain New Orleans stalwarts that everyone must try, at least once. For traditionalists, Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, and Galatoire’s—all located in the French Quarter—a four-course Réveillon dinner is the order of the day. Antoine’s has set the standard for dining in New Orleans since 1840. Its Réveillon dazzles with creamy, buttery crawfish cardinal, Creole soft shell crab and a decadent eggnog bread pudding. Arnaud’s features crawfish cakes, Coquille St. Jacques (Seared Sea Scallop with white wine) or chargrilled pork chops. At Galatoire’s, nosh on Creole classics, such as shrimp remoulade, oysters Rockefeller and duck. The atmosphere for these iconic restaurants is fine dining at its best, but not without fun and festivity. 


Family Feel

If a warm, welcoming and intimate family meal makes your holidays feel complete, book a Révellion dinner at Brigtsen's in the Uptown/Carrolton neighborhood. The restaurant is on a side street in the neighborhood and nestled in a charming, shotgun-style house and is a favorite insider spot for New Orleans locals. Expect expertly crafted stuffed flounder and whole roasted duck.


Contemporary Cuisine

At the James Beard Award winning restaurant Shaya, every meal is an event. Modern takes on Israeli fare, pair with a sexy, minimalist interior to create an unforgettable experience. The four-course Réveillon dinner includes babaganoush with sweet potatoes, scallop hummus with brown butter and herbs, falafel and melabi with local citrus and honey. Located in Uptown on Magazine Street, Shaya is close to myriad wine bars and shops. Slip into Bouligny Tavern for before or after dinner drinks.


En Français

Café Degas is a traditional French restaurant located on Esplanade Avenue, an enchanting, tree-lined street in the Mid-City neighborhood. Veal, cured duck breast, sea scallops and chocolate pot de crème typify the options of this lavish prix fixe menu, which offers as a finale a glass of ruby port.

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