Team Ovation Traditions: Our NOLA Restaurant Picks

Posted by Bridget Beirne
March 13, 2013

We all know that sharing a meal can be key to building business relationships- it's also one of our favorite traditions!

In our last blog, we discussed how excited we are to be attending Microsoft's Convergence 2013. The time is almost here for all of our speaker trainees to shine- and we can't wait to see it!

As you may know form past blogs (or from speaking to any of us for five minutes...), we love a great meal. And what better place to get a great meal than the Big Easy! The melding of so many diverse cultures has created a menu as unique, decadent, and spicy as the city team ovation traditions 4itself. When we're not enjoying all that Convergence has to offer, you may find us at one of these NOLA favorites- here are our picks for NOLA Restaurants that can't be missed ( don't judge if our plates are overflowing!):


1.  Pascal's Manale: Pascal's has been serving up it renowned seafood since 1913. Known for its barbecue shrimp (which, incidentally, aren't barbecued!) as well as fresh shucked oysters, Pascal's definitely plates the South. On her last visit, Ovation President Kerri Garbis found a small pearl in one of her oysters- while we can't promise that, we can tell you that you'll love your meal!


2.  Mr B’s Bistro: Mr.B's has received lauds from heady food publications such as FOOD & WINE, GOURMET, and TRAVEL & LEISURE, and with good reason- this stalwart of the French Quarter focuses on keeping things locally sourced when it cooks its Creole cuisine. Should you be in town early, you can catch the Sunday Jazz Brunch- after all, what's New Orleans without jazz?- with classics like Shrimp and grits or new tastes like Lamb Sliders. If you find you can't get the food out of your head, you can order yourself a Mr. B's Cookbook here.


3.  Brennan's: The Brennans are a well- known family of restauranteurs in New Orleans (Mr. B's and the Commander's Palace are theirs, as well...), but their namesake stands out from the crowd as the home of Bananas Foster. (You can try their famous recipe in your own kitchen by clicking here.) Besides culinary innovations (Eggs Hussarde was invented here, as well) you can choose from entrees like Trout Pecan or Brennan's Blackened Redfish. And, if your up to it, take a glance at their impressive menu of cocktails.


4.  Willie Mae’s Scotch House: Off the beaten path and camouflaged by its surroundings, Willie Mae's is the place for down-home southern favorites. Fried chicken (recognized as "America's best"), smothered veal, and various country-fried delectables make up the menu. For more information about the family behind Willie Mae's, and how they survived Katrina, watch this piece by the Travel Channel:

And our Team Ovation unanimous pick!:

5. Commander’s Palace : Located in the Garden district, Commander's Palace is like something out of a riverboat fairytale, and it dates back to 1880. A fusion of old and new, Chef Tory McPhail brings the traditional tastes of Louisiana to today. Beyond the fantastic cuisine, a brief glance at the building's history paints a picture of its austere and *ahem* slightly more racy past. One of our favorites, Dawn Stanyon of Professionality Consulting, shares this great review: "The food: Ooh la la! The last time I was there I started with the classic Turtle Soup. So delicious with a splash of aged Sherry added right at the table. My entrée was another popular stand-by: the Pecan Encrusted Gulf Fish. I would go back in a NOLA minute." And her important reminder? "Gentlemen: wear a jacket at the dinner hour." 

But you don't have to just take our word for it. Check out this spot from the Food Network's Into the Fire- you'll be ringing for reservations: 


We can't wait to dig in! For more suggestions, take a look at And for a brush up on some dining etiquette, take a look at President Garbis's blog, "Which Fork Do I Use?"

Laissez les bons temps rouler!


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