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“Off Night” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Italian Barrel

The Italian Barrel
430 Barracks St, French Quarter, New Orleans, LA 70116-2602 (French Quarter)
504-569-0198
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Ranked #90 of 1,602 restaurants in New Orleans
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: French Quarter
Cross street: Decatur Street
Transit: Street car stops just one block away
New Orleans, Louisiana
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Off Night”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Italian Barrel is one of our favorites, but last night the luster was dulled. The chef was not in the kitchen(Monday) and unfortunately the food reflected her absence. The special, floured veal chop was over cooked and tasteless with a bunch of Parma ham on top. It was like dry tasteless veal chop tempura. The veal scallopini, also had thick flour coating with the sauce tasting nothing but flour.
We will be back because it is a very good restaurant we enjoy. Chef just has to make sure the sous chef can handle the task when she is out.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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168 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
    103
    39
    16
    7
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Orleans
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Best Kept Secret in New Orleans Italian Cuisine---NO MORE”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

This place is tucked away at the edge of the French Quarter--Parking is a challenge but is more than worth the hassle--if you're a tourist...it doesn't matter because you're either walking or catching a short cab ride from wherever you're staying. The Chef is from Northern Italy. She imports most of her base ingredients from Italy (likely a reason for the umm....elevated prices) and she is a culinary beast!!! Specials change daily to reflect what's "fresh" "seasonal" and "still available", but this place is off the charts. Yes....its small..yes...the seating is close quarters (they are looking at expansion options), but if you're into the real deal on veal, fish, pastas, and artisan cheeses---Italian Barrell is exquisite. never had a bad time or a less than stellar meal. Call for reservations....trust me on this one....its worth it

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Island, Canada
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“Wonderful Christmas Eve dinner”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

My husband and I had a beautiful dinner on the sidewalk outside this restaurant on Christmas Eve. We had made reservations months earlier via the concierge at the Roosevelt Hotel, but when we arrived we were told we would be sitting at the bar stools inside. This was not what we wanted for our special dinner. Apparently the concierge hadn't called them himself, but went on Open Table and reserved. Word of caution, if you reserve with Open Table, you may get the bar stools too. We lucked out and an outside table became available and it couldn't have been lovelier. Our meal was fantastic. We started with this vegetable soup which I can't even describe how good it was. Talked to the owner/chef and she gave me a few secrets on how to make it myself. Our meal wasn't cheap, but was one of our highlight meals in New Orleans. I don't know if I would want to eat inside as it is "very" small but the outdoor seating was romantic and exactly what we wanted. It's set on a side street so it's not too busy with traffic. Will definitely go back next time we're in NOLA.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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New Oxford, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent Italian Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

You will need a reservation to eat at this small restaurant or eat at off times. The veal and the pasta were delicious. The appetizer was also delicious. They serve unlimited bread and olive oil for dipping. There were no vegetables served with the main meal and the servings were not large but all the cheeses and the creams were the finest quality. It is a bit pricey, but the service was excellent.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Little Rock, Arkansas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Skip your turn in the Barrel”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

In our last two visits to New Orleans, we spent more than a week going to nine of the top rated restaurants. Eight of the nine were visited in the last week of December 2012 and into early January 2013. Four of the nine were exceptionally outstanding: Five stars. Four had deteriorated substantially but still merited at least one star. One was so exceptionally wrong that if it once had a star, only a black hole remained.. and that hole took the shape of a restaurant. This review is about this last restaurant.
The Italian Barrel had such positive reviews and was recommended to me by a very well known Italian family there, so we made a reservation by phone, weeks earlier, for our New Year’s Eve dinner in New Orleans. The time was a little early at 5:30 PM but we were told that it was the only time left. We arrived on time at this tiny restaurant and were told that the only space we could have was on bar stools. The owner was on the sidewalk and, when told of this, he went in to check. Returning he said the cashier claimed we had been called about this and we weren’t telling the truth (when we checked later, our answering machine only had a confirmation call from this restaurant). The owner said they had overbooked (airlines no longer are the only ones doing this, it would seem) but he could give us a table if we promised to be done in less than an hour; dessert would be on him. He said a lot of other people had been denied their reservation there too, and also pointed out that we were unlikely to find any other place that could take us so close to New Year’s Eve. Having a rushed holiday dinner with no time for wine or conversation seemed a violation of Italian culture but we tried it out with misgivings. The restaurant is tiny- looks not much larger than a barrel. A big Zagat commendation was on a wall between the bar and front door; dozens of tables were crammed together. We told a waitress with an eye patch that we had little time and tried to order something basic with a small substitution of a supporting dish (tomatoes for broccoli); she said that was not allowed. The food ranged from bland to adequate to unpleasant. When we left the little hole-in-the wall we could see the people waiting in outdoor tables, on a cold night, who had also been overbooked. Avoid this place. No need to spend your time in the barrel.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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