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Travel and Leisure

by Jon Bogart

More than a century ago, a French immigrant named Jean Galatoire came to America from a small village nestled in the French Pyrenees and established a restaurant in a three story townhouse on Bourbon Street in New Orleans' French Quarter. We don't know if it was exactly like it is today, but the French Quarter dates back to the 18th century and remains pretty much like it was way back then.

Jean established a restaurant that was true to his native France where meals were events and wine and spirits flowed continuously. Galatoire succeeded in creating an establishment that became a destination where people gathered for much more than dining. It became a meeting place, a social place, and a place where friends got together and political deals were made.

Galatoire's Fast forward to the 21st century and much remains the same. The restaurant is still family owned, now being managed by a fourth generation member. There is a "no reservations" policy for the coveted downstairs dining room, although in 1999 Galatoire's began accepting reservations for upstairs, yet people willingly wait. This is especially true on Friday's where long-time regulars, celebrities, and politicians have no qualms standing in line on Bourbon Street waiting for a table.

For customer convenience Galatoire's recently began accepting credit cards. Not that it was cash-only establishment before, people and businesses set up house accounts where they would sign the checks and pay once a month. The house accounts are still active today.

Hurricane Katrina spared Galatoire's and the building sustained little to no damage. The menu has remained a constant and the French Creole cuisine is distinguished by an array of special spices and sauces that give the dishes their distinct character. The waiters are in formal attire and will know you by name before the night is over.

Galatoire's is quintessential New Orleans on Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter. Galatoire's is a must-do for the first time visitor, the returning traveler, and the local resident.

210 Bourbon St.


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