In charge of lining up a memorable meal for a group this holiday season? While it’s impossible to please all the people all the time, New Orleans offers a wide array of options, from lavish private dining in Creole palaces and hotels to cozy local joints that welcome buy outs and even authentic dives happy to accommodate. Avoid the same old same old and showcase what’s best about the Big Easy - the group will be grateful.Read More
17 New Orleans Party Rooms to Book Before the Holidays
Restaurants with the best private spaces for group dining this holiday season
Local color, down-home Cajun style food and a funky atmosphere. Jacques-Imo’s is all that and more Uptown in Riverbend-Carrollton neighborhood on Oak Street. Situated next to one of the best clubs in town, the Maple Leaf, this local institution definitely makes an impression. There’s a private room for 40 next door, but don’t expect the standard group approach — this place is quirky.
If the idea of hosting a group in what feels like an art-filled living room, with six-time James Beard Award nominated owner/hostess JoAnn Clevenger setting a welcome tone, Upperline fills the bill. Expect fine dining with plenty of charm, along with Creole classics best enjoyed in the Taste of New Orleans menu, a great idea for first timers in town. A private dining room is ideal for small gatherings.
3. Commander's Palace
The turquoise Victorian palace on Washington Uptown is a showstopper of Brennan family hospitality. Reserve the wine room with a chef’s tasting menu for a big wow, maybe with cocktails in the courtyard first? With spacious rooms and two floors filled with seating — plus a back carriage house — Commander’s sets the stage for all kinds of special events.
4. Crescent City Steaks
Locally owned, famous for aged steaks sizzling with butter, Crescent City Steaks is a true New Orleans experience. The Mid City eatery offers two private rooms that can handle from 50 to 100 folks, or buy out the whole joint. The peekaboo booths that flank the dining room are special indeed.
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5. Copper Vine
This newish wine bar and restaurant near the Dome offers a verdant setting for groups up to 175. Copper VIne has two private rooms and a lovely upstairs dining area, along with an outside courtyard that’s always in bloom. Chef Mike Brewer brings a wide array of small plates to the table, along with American classics informed by local ingredients. The Gulf fish bouillabaisse is a keeper.
Gris-Gris is chef Eric Cook’s homage to Southern hospitality and smart comfort cuisine. Eat at the bar to watch the open kitchen in action. Gris-Gris also boasts the Samedi Room, one of the most unique special event spaces in the city, a two-floor kitchen/dining/sitting room with outside balconies overlooking the city. Don’t miss the daily gumbo simmered to a dark and smoky essence.
7. GW Fins
Executive chef Michael Nelson and chef/owner Tenney Flynn have made G.W. Fin’s one of the city’s best destinations for fresh, sustainably sourced seafood. The restaurant is large, with groups up to 275 comfortably welcomed. There’s a small swank dining room for 28 in the mix too. Make an impression with an autographed copy of chef Flynn’s brand new book, The Deep End of Flavor, a great takeaway for VIPs.
A fixture on Bourbon Street for more than a century, Arnaud’s is a warren of 17 private dining rooms, two fab bars and and of course dining in the storied Main Dining Room. Expect private rooms dripping with crystal chandeliers, antique furniture, and formal drapes, with service from a tuxedoed waitstaff. Fancy.
9. Vyoone's Restaurant
Vyoone’s is a hidden gem in the Warehouse District owned by two dynamic local women with a flair for French-Creole cuisine and beautiful hospitality. Private dining upstairs (note there is no elevator) or in the pretty courtyard delivers intimate settings great for large parties or smaller groups. The vibe here is upscale and intimate.
10. Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard
Broussard’s is a French Creole classic, a New Orleans favorite for nearly a century. The restaurant includes three interior dining rooms, the Empire bar, and an elegant courtyard, where local specialties like shrimp remoulade and Gulf fish amandine command the spotlight. Plan for seated dinners for 20 to 225 and receptions for up to 650 sharing the adjacent Hermann Grima Courtyard.
11. Calcasieu Private Dining by Chef Donald Link
Experience private dining from the James Beard Award-winning Link Restaurant group at Calcasieu in the Warehouse District, an airy space from the team behind Cochon, Cochon Butcher and Peche. Located just two blocks from the Convention Center, Calcasieu offers four private dining rooms and a second story vantage point overlooking the neighborhood.
Treated to a fab redo a few years back, Brennan’s is famous for its bananas foster flamed tableside. The restaurant has six separate private event areas, with space for 12 to 160 guests. Enjoy drinks in the stunning courtyard, reserve the wine room or bar area, lots of options at the Creole crowd pleaser.
13. Antoine's Restaurant
Tradition rules at this Vieux Carré landmark, founded in 1840. Antoine’s offers 15 formal dining rooms including the popular Rex Room, with its motif of crowns, scepters and Mardi Gras memorabilia. Oysters Rockefeller was created here in 1889, and the menu is still all about rich French Creole cuisine and Gulf seafood. Be sure to order the bread pudding when it comes time to choose dessert.
14. The Grill Room
This swank hotel dining room at the Windsor Court never disappoints. Crisp white tablecloths, fresh flowers, expert service sets a high bar at the Grill Room, where chef Vlad Ahmadyarov can dazzle groups up to 185 for a standing reception. Three private rooms serve the needs of smaller events. Come for the outstanding $19.84 plate lunch when doing advance research.
Tableau doesn’t just offer sweet private dining rooms, it comes equipped with an entire theater. The adjacent Le Petit Theater can handle up to 365, with private parlors, a wine room and a library available
for smaller numbers. Just off Jackson Square, Tableau’s seafood-centric menu exudes lots of style and polish.
16. Muriel's Jackson Square
Once the 18th century home to Jean Baptiste Destrehan, Muriel’s now offers an intimate series of Victorian dining rooms and bars, including the the decadent Séance Lounge, rumored to be quite haunted. Regional favorites abound, from crawfish and shrimp etouffee to pecan-crusted puppy drum fish and wood-grilled barbecue shrimp. Check out the intimate veranda and the balcony overlooking Jackson Square.
17. The Elysian Bar
For a special event that will truly be a religious experience, book any of the spectaciular spaces at Hotel Peter and Paul, including the church; gorgeous with stained glass windows and the Elysian Bar, where chef Alex Harrell creates winning small bites and handles catering for groups. The folks from Bacchanal wine bar preside over an impressive beverage program. Ask about the aperitifs.