One of Aimee’s favorite restaurants is Irene’s on the corner of St. Philip and Chartres in New Orleans’ French Quarter. While there is no big, flashy sign out front, you always know when they are open because you can smell the garlic a block away. Since they are usually closed for vacation when it is Aimee’s birthday in early September, the kiddies (kitties, actually), Clarisse and BeBe, thought it would be a fun Mother’s Day treat.

When it comes to holidays, it is better to dine out on a day that is not that day if you can; we went on Monday. We started out with a bottle of Anno Zero Prosecco that was fun but a little overpriced at $47. That said, all the food we had was delicious and the portions were generous. We split the Oysters Irene appetizer at $9.75. This dish exemplifies the restaurant’s style of combining Italian style with fresh local seafood. The bivalves are broiled in the shell with pancetta, lemon juice and Romano cheese.

Aimee’s entrée was very NOLA, and mine was a classic that any great Itailiano joint prepares with grace and elegance. She had the fresh fish amandine ($22.75) and I ordered the veal marsala ($18.50). Aimee had leftovers… While I should have, I did not. Their desserts have a great reputation, but we tried to be semi-well behaved and skipped that course.

Irene’s opened in the early 1990s and photos of celebrities lining the dining room walls celebrate the decades of great food and hospitality. On that note, our server, Dave, did a superb job.

This place always seems packed even though they do very little in the way of promotional specials or events. They do not even have a website. While there is a piano bar in which to wait for a table, the words intimate and cozy come immediately to mind. That said, I would jump at any opportunity to come back to Irene’s!


Irene’s Cuisine: 539 St. Philip Street New Orleans, LA 70116.  They are open for dinner only, Monday thru Saturday.  Reservations and credit cards are accepted.

Contact Irene’s Cuisine:

Phone: 504-529-8811

Website: None