My wife and I have been visiting New Orleans regularly for over 20 years for business, family, and dining. Commander's and Bayona have always been favorites. We don't review hot dog stands (although a Lucky Dog with the works can hit the spot in the right setting). We avoid restaurants of celebrity chefs; we go places where the chef is fabulous, and also actually in the kitchen.
Never got to Christian's. After Katrina, Redemption opened there under new management. The interior is splendiforous now. The seats are comfy. The tables are all well-spaced. There isn't a bad table in the place. Have ya tried to find that in a really great restaurant, foodies? Not easy. Usually quiet enough to have an intimate conversation. They don't overdo the "church" thing, but rather understate it. Church from the outside. Inside, pale yellow walls, lots of nice wood, beams of dark timber, and large windows of gold-green stained glass that give a great light if you are there before dark.
The front is professional, attentive, and courteous without being intrusive or intimidating. Service is excellent.
The reason to go, of course, is the food. Greg Piccolo is a bit of a celebrity chef around New Orleans, well-known as someone who can really turn out creative and delicious variations on local cuisine. Yes, he is in the kitchen, except if he is out cooking at a charity event or such. Send your comment to the kitchen and I expect he will be out to talk it over with you. Last time out I started out with the flash-fried oysters bruschetta. Great sauces throughout--check out the menu on the restaurant website. My wife had the spinach salad with roast beets, which I got to taste--great. My wife had mentioned that she had also wanted to try the mushroom cap stuffed with oysters and escargot, but chose the salad. The chef whipped up a little lagniappe of same, whisked out as an amuse bouche. For main she had the gulf fish, which was pure, heavenly, fresh, prime speckled trout with risotto, peas, and delicate baby asparagus. I had catfish served on angel hair pasta and a light tomato sauce, and surrounded by leaves of spinach. I've had plenty of catfish, but this unique Italian take on it was brilliant. If they had catfish in Italy this is what they would do with it. The wine list is packed with value. Oh, try to go with the specials, which is a good idea when dining with any top chef. The chef apparently has a special interest in wines of the West Coast, although we actually wound up having a Chateau Neuf du Pape that was not expensive and an excellent wine. For dessert I had a delicious light crepe.
Let's not forget value. Prices here are below what you would pay in some of the more well-known, touristy venues, even places where the ambiance, service and cuisine do not compare.
I thought I might be being verbose, but one quality review is worth 10 (or more) nonsense reviews. I mean, I hope you get the picture. This is a restaurant worth a trip for the discerning diner.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.