Antoine’s Restaurant, another famous New Orleans eatery near our hotel, was our choice for a seafood lunch before departing for home. From the moment we walked through the doors of the elegant dining room, we were treated like somebodies. The tuxedo-clad waiter welcomed us warmly to the 175-year-old, fifth generation, family-owned restaurant. After inquiring about us, he asked our opinion of the Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. But what really impressed me was the offer of a 25 cent cocktail if we ordered the entree. After bringing delicious hot bread to our table, he took our order for Charbroiled Oysters, Louisiana Drum (Gulf Fish) and Chocolate Ganache Cake. My friend could not resist ordering a side dish of Oysters Rockefeller - six oysters in a secret sauce invented by Antoine. Whenever any waiter spotted me taking a sip of my ice water, he rushed over to top up my glass. Our waiter informed us that we were free to take the fancy menu with us as a souvenir. The service at Antoine’s made us wonder why the owner of Willie Mae’s fried chicken did not send her staff there for training. Perhaps we just “lucked out,” but it was an upbeat end to a memorable holiday.
As seasoned tourists who have travelled far, New Orleans tops our list of favourite cities. Everyone should go to the Big Easy at least once in his life even if it breaks the piggy bank.