Réveillon is a New Orleans tradition dating back to the mid-1800s. Back then, Creole families celebrated Réveillon 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 molded and served cold as hors d’oeuvres 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 an evening of dancing and singing.
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.
Here are our favorite New Orleans restaurants participating this year. Click on the name of the restaurant to start the reservation process.
Andrea's Restaurant – Chef Andrea's four-course holiday feast includes wonderful options like Angel Hair with Smoked Salmon and Vodka Sauce topped with Caviar, Insalata Buon Natale, Slow-roasted Duck Confit with White Bean Cassolet, and Homemade Crepes. $45. $85 with wine pairing.
Bistreaux – Located in the Maison Dupuy, this restaurant led by Executive Chef Matt Regan features a Creole Réveillon with choices such as Crispy Fried Oysters with Abita BBQ Butter, Bacon & Blue Cheese over French Bread, Classic Turtle Soup, Braised Beef Short Rib with Smoked Onion and Cherry DemiGlace, and Dulce de Leche. $48.
Café Amelie – Prepare yourself for a fabulous meal of a Reveillon Salad, Gumbo Ya Ya, Chef-Inspired Local Gulf Seafood, and Cherry Almond Bread Pudding with Brandy Cherry Sauce. $56.
Café Degas – Head to breathtaking Esplanade Avenue for Salade de Reveillon, Sea Scallops, Veal Rack with Madeira and Mushroom Cream Sauce, Chocolate Pot de Crème, and a glass of Ruby Port for lagniappe. $44.
Commander's Palace – A six-course feast awaits in the Garden District. Celebrate the season with Blackened Redfish on the Half Shell, Wild White Shrimp Remoulade, Black Skillet Seared Diver Scallops, Black Pepper Pappardelle Housemade Pasta with Warm Duck and Roasted Shallots, Black Truffle-injected Sliced Tenderloin of Veal, and Cognac Hot Toddy Poached Pear Tomme de Savoie Semifreddo. $90.
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 with choices such as Turtle Soup au Sherry, Seafood Puff Pastry with Champagine Sauce, Grilled Beef Tenderloan, and Bûche de Noël. $50.
Crescent City Brewhouse – Known for its hand-crafted beer and fabulous food, Crescent City Brewhouse's Réveillon menu includes Oyster Stew Redfish Noël, Pickled Shrimp and Vegetables, Seafood Au Grain, and Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream. $44.
Gumbo Shop – Experience traditional and contemporary Creole cuisine in the casual elegance of a restored 1794 cottage. Savor choices like Chicken Andouille Gumbo, Tossed Green Salad with Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette, Catfish St. Peter, Homemade Pecan Pie, and Café Brûlot. $36.
The Pelican Club – Nestled in the quiet Exchange Alley, this French Quarter restaurant features a contemporary Réveillon menu with choices including Cream Oyster and Mirliton Chowder, Mississippi Rabbit with Three Cheese Stone Grits, Rack of Lamb, White and Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding, and Bourbon Spiked Eggnog. $49+.
SoBou – This spirited restaurant located just south of Bourbon Street is serving a Reveillon with Yellowtail Crudo, Street Food Duck Hash, Chargrilled Black Angus Beef, and Creole Yule Log Cannoli. $44.
Tujague’s – The second oldest restaurant in New Orleans blends traditions of the old with the new, as Chef Thomas Robey presents a four-course meal that includes Shrimp and Tasso Vol-Au-Vent, Lobster and Corn Bisque, Braised Colorado Lamb Shank with White Beans and Brussels Sprouts, and Bananas Foster Bread Pudding. $54.
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