I was in NOLA on business and working with a group who were eating close by elsewhere. I had about an hour to get a bite to eat on my own. Galatoire's had been on my radar for a while, and this seemed the time to drop by.
Note that the kitchen closes at 10pm, but diners can apparently stay as long as they need to finish their meal. I arrived about 9:50 and left an hour later, but only because I had to get back to my group.
I chose a couple of light items, namely the "Salad Maison" and the turtle soup, accompanied by a nice glass of pinot noir from New Zealand and followed by the house coffee. Someone in Galatoire's hundred year-plus history must have pointed out that in French, salad is "salade" and that the name for their menu item is thus an awkward mix of languages.
I let the staff know that I was on a tight schedule, and they brought my items in a timely fashion. A loaf of bread that I assume to have been baked in-house, though not quite fresh out of the oven, accompanied my order. I devoured it, even applying some of the accompanying butter, even though I don't usually butter my bread.
Overall, what I ordered proved ideal for both my schedule and my appetite, and I very much enjoyed the experience. Let me, however, offer a couple of minor comments that may interest prospective diners.
Aside from the Franglais name of the house salad, I'd suggest that they keep the greens fresh right up until the end of the evening. I realize I ordered just before closing, but the greens could have been a bit crisper. And in a perfect world, I'd have liked another anchovy or two on the thing.
The turtle soup, made with what I assume to have been a roux and garnished with a couple of teaspoons of sherry, generally exceeded expectations and was just the thing, except perhaps for one little thing: It could have arrived hotter. That said, I ate it and enjoyed it.
The coffee and water service was fine, and the staff is suitably gracious and not over-friendly, striking just the right note.
It might worth pointing out that, while the Bourbon Street location offers what must be the most tranquil experience on that street, the restaurant is probably not the place for a quiet, romantic dinner. Though the room is attractive and loaded with old-school charm, it's relatively small, quite bright, and not designed to dampen sound.
That said, I recommend the place highly. It's in the constellation of historic New Orleans creole restaurants and offers one of the few opportunities to spend quality time on on Bourbon Street.
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