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“Excellent food & service”
Review of Irene's Cuisine

Irene's Cuisine
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Ranked #20 of 2,013 Restaurants in New Orleans
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: French, Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: French Quarter
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We went to celebrate our birthdays. Wonderful drum fish dish and steak - cooked to perfection! The service was wonderful too. If you can get in, you should go.

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Thank jam44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 11, 2012

I love reading the reviews from tourists that don't care for Irene's. Well, good! It's hard enough to get a table without y'all messing it up!
Seriously, this place is a local legend and we have great love for it. For those of us that live and work in this end of the French Quarter, it can be a huge curiosity...where is that incredible smell coming from?
The scent is legendary. I've always thought it was intentional...they say that ladies used to turn their fans out of the kitchen windows to broadcast the scent of their cooking, and that this was a mark of status, as well as the obvious reason- men's hearts are in their bellies!
For tortuous years, I breathed the scent of Irene's daily. In fact, it is well known by the locals as "that place that smells really good and makes you hungry".
Herein lies the rub- it ain't cheap. It's also kind of tight, spacewise (as are pretty much all restaurants in New Orleans).
It is very much a "local's place", but not one that people in New Orleans go to often enough...so if you heard about it from all the restaurant lore and you get there and say "it doesn't seem like all the locals are here!", that's why. But trust me, the minute we get the chance, we are there with bells on.
Let's not kid around- that food is good. It lives up to the scent, in a big way. The menu is small, always. The duck is always a good choice (as tends to be the case in Louisiana). I am always of the bent that you shouldn't order chicken in restaurants, but this is an exception to the rule. If they have the soft shell crab, you want that. They can do things with steak that many people can only dream about. You should see what they can do with sweet potatoes, both savory and sweet. If you like chocolate, don't miss that. either. About the only miss that I've seen is the cioppino, and it's fabulous, but I'm from the land of cioppino, and it's not what you are expecting it to be, at all. Order it. Let your assumptions go about this dish.
There will only be about four or five choices on the menu at any time, and they do stick to standard repertoire...but you aren't really coming to a place like this in a city like New Orleans looking for innovation in the cuisine world, are you? Not that New Orleans doesn't have that- but this isn't the place for nouvelle cuisine.
Irene's is what I call Classy Y'atalian- it's a specific type of Italian food only found in New Orleans made by people known as Y'ats..because they greet people with "where yat?" Except it's many steps above the usual Y'atalian.
Some would say that the truly great Y'atalian places are off in the neighborhoods and down in the parish. That's true- those places are terrific, but they are not Irene's. They are unique in their own right, and an entirely different topic.
What they do here is in a realm by itself, and by lucky coincidence for tourists, it happens to be in the Quarter.
The service is odd, but extremely friendly. The bar is packed to the gills with people waiting. Irene is always there to give you a handshake or a mint. The decor- some call quaint, I think it's mostly ugly. It's weird. It's good. And it's absolutely New Orleans.

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Thank worldismyerster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

11 of us raved about our meals last night. A very interesting restaurant with great photos and ambiance. Our server, Matt, was smart, attentive and helped guide the meal. Every course was remarkable and reasonably priced. The place was crowded on a Tuesday night for VERY good reason. Don't miss Irene's.

1  Thank LevtyVail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

There is a reason this restaurant continues to rate high with Frommer's. Quite simply the food is great. The lamb chops with a rosemary port wine glaze are about the best I have ever had and the the Duck St Philip with a raspberry dimi-glace and pecans was great! The resturant itself is a bit tight but this is the French Quarter and almost everything is tight. The staff was professional yet personable. The overall feel was cozy and friendly. The wine list is very good with some interesting options in the mid-price range. Overall great value for the money in a town know for the food.

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1  Thank NBass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012 via mobile

Good value. Food and service was good. Not outstanding, just good food. I live nearby and the competition is pretty stiff.

1  Thank DRB0996
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

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