3 Fleur
Average check per person $65-$75
BreakfastBreakfast SundayBreakfast MondayBreakfast TuesdayBreakfast WednesdayBreakfast ThursdayBreakfast FridayBreakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Rib Room

French Quarter: 621 St Louis St. 504-529-7045. Map.
Dressy
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Hotel restaurants once were an essential part of the dining scene in New Orleans. Now the only way most hotels can attract customers to their main dining room (if, indeed, they even have one anymore) is to bring in a name chef to run it. The Rib Room–celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year–is one of the few remaining hotel restaurants from the old school. It remains popular with its regulars, (especially on Fridays at lunch), but even that following isn’t what it used to be. The Rib Room nevertheless holds on because of its specialty: prime rib of roast beef. It’s one of the few restaurants in town to make a specialty of the dish.

WHAT’S GOOD
The Rib Room’s straightforward menu relies on the quality of its raw materials to carry the day. The jumbo lump crabmeat begets great crab cakes and crab salads. The gigantic Louisiana shrimp spin on the rotisserie and come out with elemental goodness. The classy fresh fish walks across the grill and comes out vivid and pure. The prime rib is probably the city’s best, although the dish is intrinsically not a major turn-on. The clubby atmosphere at lunch and the big, well-made cocktails complete the elements of a great hangout.

BACKSTORY
The place opened with the hotel in 1960, and through the years has a history of employing great chefs and maitres d’hotel, many of whom went on to open their own restaurants. The Louisiana Supreme Court across the street brings in an important crowd of regulars.

DINING ROOM
The main room is a large, lofty cube with big windows onto Royal Street along one side, an open rotisserie filling another, and a busy bar at the entrance. Few restaurants in New Orleans match its spaciousness. The second dining room opens to the first to continue the expanse. The service staff is a bunch of old pros, including some of the last real maitres d’hotel in the local business.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
Escargot with fried butter
Shrimp cocktail
»Crab cake
Crispy oysters
Mini popovers au jus, horseradish butter
»French onion soup
»Turtle soup
Creole seafood gumbo
»Rib room salad
Entrees
»Roasted prime rib of beef
Chef’s sizzling cut of prime rib
»Sirloin steak deluxe (blue cheese butter)
Blackened Atlantic salmon
»Rotisserie chicken
Andouille mac and cheese with spit roasted shrimp
»Filet of beef au poivre
»Rack of lamb
Black drum meuniere
»Veal Tanet (panneed, romaine, tomatoes)
Desserts
»Creme brulee
»Chocolate mousse

FOR BEST RESULTS
If you’re thinking about lunch on Friday, make a reservation. The tables along the windows and those in the center of the room are the best. Sit as far away from the entrance as possible. The crowd at the bar has a way of spilling into the dining room, not always in the most pleasant way.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The menu doesn’t have enough variety for a restaurant of this size. Dinner is expensive and discourages the locals who might otherwise fill tables. Servers at dinner too quickly assume one is a visitor. The sizzling version of prime rib is a bad idea and should be avoided.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +2
  • Consistency
  • Service
  • Value -1
  • Attitude
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness +1
  • Local Color +2

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Live music every night
  • Romantic
  • Good view
  • Good for business meetings
  • Many private rooms
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all holidays
  • Good for children
  • Free valet parking
  • Reservations recommended

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