OK, woke up on Sunday morning and decided to do something that’s been on my NOLA bucket list for quite a while. Eating at Commanders Palace. Sunday is their Jazz Brunch.
So I didn’t wear my jacket but made sure to dress nice. No blue jeans when you are going to eat here. Got there shortly after 11am and asked if I could get a table for one. They asked my name and said yes they could get me in. From what I’ve heard they keep everyone’s name so that if you are a recurring customer then they try to get you the same wait staff every time. Damn, wish I could remember the name of the smokin hot blonde that waited on me.
As you go in the wait staff welcomes you to the restaurant as you pass each one. You get to your table and it’s white table with china and five pieces of silverware at the place setting. There are balloons at the other tables. Just a very special feeling.
You start to realize their attention to detail. The wall paper is blue with flowers and birds. As you look further on the walls they have little perches where replica birds are sitting.
Then you notice that the chandelier has replica candle lights that are circling like real candle flames.
And then before you know the live Jazz band comes in and starts playing and the customers start dancing their own second line between the tables.
The brunch is a three course meal. You choose the appetizer, meal, and desert. I got the turtle soup, soft shell crab, and pecan pie. The turtle soup was amazing. It’s one of the things Commanders palace is know for and was beyond expectations. I ate my first soft shell crab in NOLA with my Uncle in 2001. Just nothing quite like it. So I get it whenever I visit NOLA. Then the finale was pecan pie with ice cream.
Just can not express how impressive this meal was. I think I was there for almost 2 hours and time went by very quickly. Didn’t even notice. Also, saw one thing I’ve never seen at a restaurant before. For the entire restaurant between the first and second course they brought out all new fresh glasses of water and replaced the ones that you might have partially drank during the appetizer. I asked about this and they said that’s just their level of service and that fresh glasses of ice water were expected.
And thats what blew me away the most about Commanders Palace was the attention to detail on the meal. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. And the price didn’t blow me away. Total it was around $50. I was expecting much more than that.
Afterwards I went across the street to a photo gallery of David G. Spielman’s work. He was there and talked to me about living through and photographing the damage from Katrina. His work is amazing and you can see the damage to the city through his work. He has a book out that catalogs the photographs as well as his emails that he sent out detailing what was happening at the time.
We got to talking about Commanders Palace and he said that after Katrina they realized that it was going to be a while before they could reopen. Their staff had to leave the city and their homes weren’t there for them to come back to. So they took the time to completely refurbish the restaurant from head to toe. And it is beautiful.
He said people come in all the time and ask whether Commanders Palace is over rated or not. He tells them go there and eat and then come back afterward and tell me what you think. He says they are never disappointed.
The rest of today’s story will take place in a separate blog. I wanted to detail Commanders Palace on it’s own.