3 Fleur
Average check per person $35-$45
BreakfastBreakfast SundayBreakfast MondayBreakfast TuesdayBreakfast WednesdayBreakfast ThursdayBreakfast FridayBreakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

5Fifty5

CBD: Marriott Hotel, 555 Canal. 504-553-5638. Map.
Nice Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Connected to a busy lobby, it looks like the dullest kind of hotel restaurant. Every morning, it’s full of people having a quick buffet breakfasts before they head out. The rest of the day it’s uncrowded, sometimes to the point of emptiness. But behind the wall is a kitchen of surprising ability, easily able to deliver a dinner comparable to those in the city’s best-known hotel establishments. This would be a four-star restaurant if it had a four-star clientele.

WHAT’S GOOD
The management gives Chef Mark Quitney free rein not only to create but to do so using unusually fine ingredients, most from local farms and waters. The kitchen line has the talent to make it all taste good. Beyond that, Quitney has one of the few extant major hotel bakery operations, able and willing to turn out top-class breads and desserts.

BACKSTORY
For most of its four-decade history, the big Marriott Hotel on Canal Street served uninteresting, corporate-dictated food. It would have been completely off the local dining map had it not been for the Sunday brunch buffet in its forty-first-floor restaurant–the loftiest in town. But after the hurricane, the hotel moved its a la carte restaurant operation to the ground floor, anointed it with the ill-advised name 5Fifty5 (only advantage: it comes up first in any alphabetical restaurant list), and brought in an ambitious chef.

DINING ROOM
The space is odd: a triangle with two lines of banquettes separated by standard four-tops, with a bar over here and a wall of wine over there. Despite those features, it feels more appropriate for those rushing breakfast-eaters than for gourmet diners in the evening. The service staff is efficient and friendly, but doesn’t have a good grip on fine dining service. This is easy to understand: it’s hard to pull great servers into a slow dining room.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
»Crab cake, succotash, charred tomato vinaigrette
Fried green tomatoes, goat cheese, crawfish poppers, remoulade
Char-broiled oysters
»Fried calamari, Tabasco aioli
Fried crab claws, Cajun tartar sauce
»Surf and turf sliders (crab cake and pork belly)
Seafood gumbo
Sweet corn bisque
»Gazpacho, shrimp ceviche
Caesar, white anchovies
Panzanella salad, balsamic vinaigrette
Entrees
»Bronzed redfish, crab-mache salad
»»Seared scallops, Herbsaint butter sauce
»Brined chicken breast, Creole brown butter, orange cherry glaze
Lobster mac-and-cheese, garlic crostini
»20-oz USDA Prime cowboy ribeye, caramelized onion goat cheese polenta
»»Rack lamb chops, cabernet reduction
»Dry-aged top sirloin, mushroom bourbon ragout
Sandwiches
Club, house made chips
Hamburger
Fried shrimp and oyster poor boy
Grilled summer vegetable wrap, pesto aioli
Desserts
»Crème brulee
Cheesecake, strawberry compote
»Pear frangipane tart
»»Banana foster bread pudding poor boy
Chef’s sorbet, grand marnier berries
Apple tarte tatin, Creole cream cheese ice cream
Doberge cake
Breakfast
(A few standout items)
»French toast, cornflake crusted strawberries, bananas
»Lump crab hash, over easy eggs, Creole mustard hollandaise
»Egg white boudin frittata, mushroom, pepper, onion
Two eggs, tomato, bacon, cheddar, brioche bun, hash browns
»Creole cream cheese pancakes
Creme brulee oatmeal
»Cinnamon brioche French toast, banana Foster

FOR BEST RESULTS
Chef Mark Quitney and his staff rise to particular heights at special-menu times of year–notably the Reveillon and the Wine and Food Experience. Such dinners rival those in the name places, and at a better price, to boot.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
This sounds like a Yogi Berra line, but if only the place could get busy, it would be more popular.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment
  • Consistency
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +2
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness +2
  • Local Color -1

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Romantic
  • Good for business meetings
  • Many private rooms
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all holidays
  • Open all afternoon
  • Quick, good meal (breakfast and lunch)
  • Good for children
  • Reservations accepted

3 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Lisa Tate on March 9, 2016

    Tom–Love your site (and your lost restaurant books) and your yumptious lasagne recipe…a big family fave.

    A question: I’ll be in New Orleans for a conference in early April. The Marriott and the Sheraton on Canal are the conference hotels, but I’d prefer to stay somewhere else accessible by cab or a long walk. But most importantly, somewhere where I can eat at some of the more local restaurants that you review. Suggestions? One choice is the new-ish Le Meridien, but I’ve also been curious about a small-ish hotel/b&b over by the Urseline (?) Convent. Thanks!

    • Tom Fitzmorris Author on March 14, 2016

      There are numerous small hotels and bed and breakfasts throughout the French Quarter, with a concentration of them in the neighborhood of Ursuline Convent. Trouble is, locals like me seldom check out these small hostelries, because when we want a homey feel, we stay at home. So I don’t have any specific recommendations, although you might get some from other readers of this board.

      I will tell you that those small hotels do put you in the middle of a great many small, excellent restaurants, which are numerous not only in that part of the Quarter but also in the adjacent Marigny neighborhood.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

      • Lisa on March 16, 2016

        Thanks, Tom! I have actually been looking for something around the Ursuline Convent. However, I didn’t realize that I would be in a good spot for the kind of culinary experience I’m looking for. Thanks again, Lisa

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