New Orleans' month-long COOLinary dining promotion will soon be underway for the entire duration of August, which means some of our city's top restaurants will be offering affordable prix fixe menus in hopes of perking up summer snoozeville. It's a good way to experience fine dining without the steep price tag, with over 50 restaurants offering lunch menus for $20 or less, dinners for $39 or less, and new this year: BRUNCH at $39 or less. There are also a handful of lagniappe specials including happy hours and discounted parking in the Quarter.
While most of these restaurants run their specials on different days of the week, calling ahead/making reservations is encouraged. Here now is a look at the best COOLinary menus of the bunch.
Commander's Palace: The Garden District icon offers the biggest selection of brunch items to choose from—shrimp and grits, cochon du lait eggs Benedict, carrot cake and scones galore— from $36-$39 depending on entree.
Luke: $17 gets you a two-course daily special (soup + main dish) including Tobasco honey fried chicken on Mondays and courtbouillon on Fridays.
Commander's Palace: Absolutely the best lunch steal with tons of options for $18 or $20, including the famous turtle soup, Louisiana white shrimp, and confit pork shoulder. Plus, those epic twenty-five cent martinis.
SoBou: Much like Commander's, SoBou also offers its normal twenty-five cent martinins with the Coolinary lunch menu. Unlike Commander's, the menu here is more street-food oriented with a pulled pork Philly, chicken wings, and those fan-favorite tuna cones, from $16-$18 depending on entree, not available on Sundays.
Cane & Table: This chic proto-tiki lounge in the Quarter from the Cure team is rolling out an $18 three-course lunch including a watermelon salad, flat iron pork, and pain perdu, which means more money to spend on rum. Available Wed-Fri.
Kingfish: A portion of this $18.93 three-course menu goes to the Historic New Orleans Collection. The dishes—including chicken pot pie—were all popular in 1893, the year 'The Kingfish" Huey P. Long was born.
Angeline: Chef Alex Harrell rolls out three-courses of Southern wonders including country fried steak with fried okra plus spiced zucchini cake for $39, Monday-Friday. Also, Hotel Provincial is offering valet for $5.
Carrollton Market: Without a doubt one of the best menus you'll find during Coolinary, with chef Jason Goodenough's housemade papardelle with lamb shoulder ragu, tuna tartare and more elegant dishes. A trip to this Riverbend gem is definitely in order at $38 a pop.
Charlie's Steakhouse: Charlie's gets right to the point with their signature trifecta— thin cut onion rings, a wedge salad, a 10 oz. filet and your choice of side— for a steakhouse steal at $39, available Tuesday-Friday.
GW Fins: This seafood stunner knows how to throw down for Coolinary, with tons of options on the $39 menu to choose from, including Tenney Flynn's signature blue crab potsticks, crudo, wasabi crust Wahoo, stuffed softshell crab, and fresh daily specials. FYI: not available on Fridays or Saturdays.
Galatoire's 33 Bar & Steak: Crabmeat risotto, fried whole quail, and cobbler are just three of the options to choose from at this swanky Quarter steakhouse from the Galatoire's crew. At $35, with a menu including an option for a petit filet, this is most definitely one of the hottest steals.
La Provence: A trip to this Northshore gem will set you back $31 for three-courses, including rabbit & ricotta cavatelli with wild mushrooms, English peas, and roasted eggplant.