Christmas is a time of tradition and this year we started one that is familiar to many New Orleanians’. We went to Antoine’s on Royal Street for lunch. We made a noon reservation for five and sat in the main dinning room. Lunch was wonderful. The Martini’s were perfect and the soft shell crab will be the only thing I order in the future. They’re the best. After our lunch we were given a tour, and heard some of the fascinating history of this 177-year-old establishment. Antoine’s is the oldest family run restaurant in the country. The Alciatore family is a long line of family members and descendants that continue to guide Antoine’s in to the future.
We entered the restaurant through the Grand Doorway, which is the original entrance. The Main Dinning room has a golden hue and the curtains are swaged, fancy and luxurious. We were led through the Large Annex where families were enjoying the holiday festivities, and then slowly made our way through the private rooms bearing the names of Carnival Crews (Proteus, Rex, 12th Night Revelers and Krewe of Hermes). The photos and memorabilia take you on a journey to New Orleans of the past. There is no shortage of elaborate decor and the Christmas decorations made the experience beautiful. We had a family photo taken on the balcony overlooking the streets below. My favorite part of the tour was walking up the old staircases and peeking in to the closets and nooks and crannies that abound in such an old building. We were shown the doorway to the private apartment where an elder of the family still has an apartment. It was delightful to be able to look all around and get the feel of the history. The wine cellar which is 165-feet long and 7-feet wide, holds approximately 25,000 bottle of wine and can be viewed from a small window on Royal street and from a doorway inside
As always, I strongly recommend Antoine’s and hope to return myself and enjoy this Big Easy classic.
Antoine’s 513 Royal Street New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 525-8045
Hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00am-7:00pm