Reveillon is a New Orleans tradition dating back to the mid-1800’s. Back then, Creole families celebrated Reveillon twice during the holidays, Christmas Eve and again on New Year’s Eve. Now it’s celebrated on a nightly basis with rich, indulgent and very delicious multi-course meals, from Dec. 1 to New Year’s Eve at premier restaurants throughout the city.
Traditionally, the Christmas Eve meal celebrated the Christian faith. When families returned from St. Louis Cathedral, they broke their daylong fast with a large, extravagant meal that included egg dishes, sweet breads and Creole dishes like daube glace, which is a jellied stew made with seasoned beef and veal stock form molded and served cold as hors d’oeurvre with crackers. The meal typically ended with a cake filled with fruit confection, drizzled with wine or rum and topped with whipped cream.
While Christmas was spent only with the family, New Year’s Eve was celebrated in a large group that also included friends and other loved ones. This fun filled meal featured delicious treats like eggnog, fancy pastries, meringues, sugar sculptures and crystallized fruits. Afterwards, families would return home and enjoy a light meal before dancing and singing the night away.
Today, restaurants in New Orleans serve both traditional menus inspired by the Creole tradition and contemporary menus using modern day ingredients and techniques not available when the tradition started. Menus range from $45 to $55 per person, although the cost will be more higher at some restaurants.
Here’s 13 of our favorite New Orleans restaurants that are participating this year:
7 on Fulton – This Central Business District restaurant offers a contemporary and innovative Reveillon dinner. From $60 per person.
Andrea’s Restaurant – Chef Andrea serves a traditional Reveillon dinner with an Italian influence. From $50 per person.
Arnaud’s Restaurant – Arnaud’s features a traditional four course dinner that includes Roasted Duck Breasts and Pan Seared Pork Chop. Menu starts at $45.
Bistreaux – Located in the Maison Dupuy, this restaurant features a four course contemporary menu featuring Bourbon Roasted Chicken, as well as Braised Beef Short Rib. $45 and up.
Bombay Club – This upscale restaurant and martini bistro, features a contemporary menu with Roasted Cornish Hen and Grilled Redfish. From $46.
Broussard’s – This famous French Quarter restaurant has a five course traditional menu planned that includes entree choices of Pheasant or Gulf Redfish. From $45.
Court of Two Sisters – Few restaurants in the French Quarter are as well known as this one. For Reveillon, they’re serving a traditional four course menu that has choices of Roasted Half Duck, Blackened Pork or Gulf Fish Clemenceau. $45 and up.
Crescent City Brewhouse – Known for its crafted beer just as much as its casual, yet fine dining. They have a traditional five course menu with Redfish Pontchartrain, Shrimp & Grits or Southern Crispy Duck. From $45.
Foundation Room at House Blues – House of Blues is known for its music, but its Foundation Room is worth visiting, even if you’re not there for a show. Their traditional four course menu is $50 and up.
Kingfish – Is an upscale casual restaurant offering a five course contemporary menu that includes Sea Scallops and Lobster Cassoulet. From $45.
The Pelican Club – Nestled in the quiet Exchange Alley, this French Quarter restaurant features a contemporary Reveillon menu with choices including Lobster, Braised Pork Ribs, and Dry Aged Prime Strip. $55 and up.
Tujague’s – The second oldest restaurant in New Orleans has a traditional meal planned with four courses that includes Lamb Chops with Brandy Mushroom Sauce, House-made Gnocchi with Louisiana Blue Crab and Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce, or Gulf Fish on the Half Shell. $45 and up.
Réveillon is a great way to celebrate the holiday season with family, friends and other special people, so make your plans now to enjoy a Reveillon dinner in New Orleans. Make sure to contact each individual restaurant for reservations and to find out about all of the delicious details of their menus.