Antoine’s (#211, 4/7/2012)
After 197 restaurants, it was time to try the oldest restaurant in town – Antoine’s, established in 1840, also the oldest family-run restaurant in the U.S. The place has served Franklin Roosevelt, Pope John Paul II, Calvin Coolidge, General Patton, Judy Garland, etc. As far as the old school New Orleans restaurants, this was my best experience. It is very fancy (though I was rather annoyed they let people in wearing t-shirts) and the food was excellent. I had Huitres (oysters) Bienville (which were created there, along with quite a few other well-known dishes) and the grilled chicken breast with a béarnaise sauce over a slice of baked ham. Solid choice, though it looked liked the filet was very tasty as well. I closed with the bread pudding, which kind of sucked, so maybe avoid that and go for the famous Baked Alaska. I’m thinking that based on its history and the quality of my trip there, it could make a case for cracking my Top Ten, even though there were some annoying pesky flies around us the whole time.