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 our favorite New Orleans restaurants that are participating this year:
Andrea’s Restaurant – Chef Andrea serves a traditional Reveillon dinner with an Italian influence. From $50 per person.
Antoine’s: Known for their Oysters Rockefeller, since 1840, world-renowned Antoine's Restaurant has set the standard that made New Orleans one of the greatest dining centers of the world.
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.
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.
Gumbo Shop: Gumbo Shop: Enjoy traditional and contemporary Creole cuisine in the casual elegance of a restored 1794 cottage with muraled walls and a garden patio.
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.
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