A beloved local tradition around the holiday, New Orleans restaurants and their Reveillon dinners have been gearing up throughout the month of December in preparation of Christmas and New Year’s. From the French word for “awakening,” Reveillon dinners were historically held after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and again on New Year’s Eve as families and friends gathered to celebrate the holidays. Due to the city’s strong French heritage and love of tradition, New Orleanians continue to revel in the Reveillon dinners every holiday season.
In New Orleans, 47 restaurants across the city will continue this tradition by hosting their own unique Reveillon dinner throughout this month. Original Reveillon menus generally consisted of Creole delicacies, various egg dishes, and sweets, but these local restaurants have developed unique variations of the meal to reflect their house specialties and their take on the spirit of the season.
These meals tend to be luxurious and feature delectable meats and seafood such as oysters, foie gras, escargot, lump crabmeat, various fish straight from the Gulf, premium steaks, and sweetbreads. For example, the Reveillon menu at John Besh’s Borgne in downtown New Orleans includes Gulf Oyster Pan Roast with Artichokes and Bacon, Creole Turtle Soup, and Roast Duckling with Parsnip Puree and Sour Cherry Gastrique. Arnaud’s Restaurant in the French Quarter’s menu includes Shrimp Ravigote, Creole Onion Soup, Bourbon Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Potato Crusted Trout, and Rock Cornish Hen.
The cost of Reveillon dinners at New Orleans restaurants ranges between $35 to $100 depending on your location and choice of meal. On the less expensive end, you can dine at Café Degas ($37), the Gumbo Shop ($38), Tujague’s ($40), or Mat and Naddie’s ($40). For a more expensive Reveillon meal, you can visit Harrah’s Casinos’s Besh Steak ($70), Hotel Monteleone’s Criollo Restaurant & Lounge ($75), Commander’s Palace ($85), John Besh’s August ($95), or Restaurant R’evolution ($95). Check their websites for menus and holiday schedules, and call ahead to reserve a table, especially on the more popular nights.
So if you’re visiting for the holidays, or are a local looking for a different experience for this year’s holiday meal, there are plenty of Reveillon dinner options available to you. All of the participating restaurants and Reveillon menus are available at http://www.neworleansonline.com/holiday/.