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Rathbone Mansions
Historic New Orleans Hotel, Steps From the French Quarter
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Insiders Guide of things to do, eats and drinks in New Orleans

Rathbone Mansions Insiders Guide

With its unique, vibrant history, award winning chefs, craft cocktail bars, and party atmosphere, there's no wonder NOLA is consistently ranked one of the best cities to visit. We've got you covered with insiders' tips on the best places to visit, eat and drink during your stay. Click through our blog for suggestions, current events and truly experience New Orleans like a local.

New Orleans has a unique, vibrant history, award winning chefs, craft cocktails galore, and a low-key, Southern fun atmosphere. There's no wonder NOLA is consistently ranked one of the best US cities to visit.  We've got you covered with tips on locals' favorite spots to check out during your stay. Scroll through our blog for suggestions, current events and truly experience New Orleans like a local.

 

BOOK YOUR STAY WITH US NOW!

C’mon Let’s Eat!

Café Degas is a charming and intimate French bistro located at 3127 Esplanade Avenue. It is named after the 19th century French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas who, in 1872, stayed for a short time in New Orleans.

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One of the nicest features of Café Degas is its temperature-controlled deck with awnings. This will give you a sense of dining outdoors even though you’re inside. The founders of the restaurant chose this location for its historic charm and the beauty of Esplanade Avenue itself.

 

If you have a yearning for Belgian waffles, French onion soup, a classic salade niçoise, steak frites au poivre or parmesan-crusted veal medallions then this is the spot for you. Dinner is served Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm and Sunday from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

 

We’ve heard recently that brunch at Café Degas is quite special. Said differently, the crab crepe with hollandaise has been described as “decadent” – how can you resist? Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am until 3:00 pm. Oh yes, we almost forgot the most important thing: Happy Hour at Café Degas is Wednesday and Thursday from 3 pm to 6 pm. White or red wines are only $5.00 each.

 

AN HISTORIC TOUR OF EDGAR DEGAS’ FORMER HOME

 

And while we’re on the subject of this famous French artist – why not take a tour of his former home? You will learn intimate details about Degas from your guide who may be one of his great-grandnieces!

 

The tour includes an award-winning documentary, Degas in New Orleans as well as an up-close and informative look at the historic house, museum, courtyard and studio where Degas worked.  

 

PASSING BY MANSIONS TO EAT LIKE A ROYAL

 

As we were planning our trip to New Orleans I made up my mind that we were definitely going to dine at Commander’s Palace. I liked the name and everything I read about this historical restaurant that is located in the heart of New Orleans Garden District and has been in business since 1893. We took a cab from our hotel to the restaurant and totally enjoyed looking at all the stately mansions that lined the avenue. Note: if you’re coming from the French Quarter take the St. Charles Streetcar Line from Canal Street. It will let you off close to Commander’s Palace. It’s only $1.25 but remember: you must have exact change.

 

This colorful restaurant with its “Commander’s Blue” striped awnings exudes Southern hospitality. My husband Peter and I were won over the minute we stepped in the door. A charming hostess greeted us and gestured for us to follow her through the kitchen. I did a double take and said, “Are you really taking us through the kitchen!” She smiled and said with a charming Southern accent, “That shows you we have nothing to hide.” I thought that was a terrific reply and I’ve never forgotten it.

 

Our waiter was equally charming and attentive. I had carefully researched the menu before we decided to go and said to Peter, “We have to order the turtle soup.” This is listed on the menu as a “Commander’s classic finished tableside with dry Sherry.” It’s absolutely delicious.  

 

For the life of me I can’t remember our entrées BUT I sure remember the dessert: their bread pudding that has to be ordered ahead of time. We had barely settled into our seats when I whispered to our waiter, “We definitely want your Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé. Can we order it now so we’ll be sure to get it.” I felt like a six-year-old saying this but I couldn’t help myself. Their menu calls it “The Queen of Creole Desserts” and it is.

  Bread Pudding Soufflé with Whiskey Sauce at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans

Bread Pudding Soufflé with Whiskey Sauce at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans

   Commander’s Palace Tory McPhail (center) requests that you order the bread pudding soufflé 20 minutes in advance

Commander’s Palace Tory McPhail (center) requests that you order the bread pudding soufflé 20 minutes in advance

The waiter put our desserts on the table, poked a small hole in the top of each one and said as he poured, “This is our special calorie reduction sauce.” My husband looked like he wanted to dive right into the middle of the soufflé and wasn’t really listening, so he said, “Oh, okay.” The waiter looked at me and grinned. Then we both laughed. Hubby caught on very fast. (The whiskey sauce itself was probably 900 calories, but who’s counting.) It was a fun touch to a great dining experience at this landmark restaurant.

 

Shaun Nelson-Henrick