A guide to Reveillon dinners in New Orleans

The word reveillon comes from the French word for 'awakening.'

by Mary Staes
November 28, 2018

It’s holiday time in the city, and that means dozens of restaurants in the city are having Revellion dinners.

But, what exactly is a Reveillon (pronounced reh-veh-yohn) dinner, you might ask?

According to the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the custom goes back to the 1800s and has roots in Creole traditions. The word reveillon comes from the French word for ‘awakening.’ Families would fast before midnight mass on Christmas, and gather after church for a fancy meal. Usual fair might feature turtle soup, oysters and veal grillades well into the night. Eventually, the practice fell out of favor, but in the 1990s local chefs, including Emeril Lagasse and Frank Brigsten, brought back the tradition with a twist, turning it into a four-course meal featured at restaurants during the month of December.

MORE: Chef’s Choice – How New Orleans Revived, Holds Onto Unique Holiday Tradition: Reveillon Dinners

Here are a few notable Reveillon dinners across town:

Café Degas (Esplanade Ridge/$44)

Café Degas’ usual fare features classic French food with a touch of Creole. The Reveillon menu here features:

  • First Course: Salade de Reveillon: Bibb lettuce with Julienned zucchini, roasted corn, cherry tomato, red onion, capers, feta cheese, tarragon lime vinaigrette
  • Second Course: Sea scallops with fennel, spinach, white wine, lemon juice, bacon jam garnish
  • Third course: Veal rack with madeira and mushroom cream sauce, celeriac and potato purée, baby vegetables
  • Fourth course: Chocolate pot de crème
Cafe Degas
Getting there
3127 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
Mon-Tue Closed
Wed-Sun 11am–3pm, 5–9:30pm
More Info

Brigsten’s Restaurant (Uptown/$58)

Part of the original push to bring Reveillon dinners back, this restaurant offers lot of choices.

Brigtsen's Restaurant
Getting there
723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
Mon Closed
Tue-Thu 5–8pm
Fri-Sat 5–8:30pm
Sun Closed
More Info

Café Dauphine (Lower 9th Ward/$48)

This Reveillon menu features lots of New Orleans staples.

First Course: (Choice of)

  • Crawfish corn chowder
  • Chicken, sausage and shrimp gumbo

Second Course:

  • Fried green tomato and remoulade salad

Third Course: (Choice of)

  • Blackened red drum with lump crabmeat served with sauteed vegetables
  • Smothered French-cut pork chops with garlic potatoes and kale sauteed in butter garlic
  • Southern fried chicken with baked macaroni and cheese and kale sauteed in butter garlic

Fourth Course: (Choice of)

  • Strawberry cheescake
  • Raisin-pecan bread pudding with cinnamon-cream rum sauce
Café Dauphine
Getting there
5229 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA
More Info

The Country Club (Marigny/$60)

Known for its chill vibe and pool, this Reveillon menu throws in a little Lagniappe.

First Course:

  • Duck and oyster gumbo

Second Course:

  • Poached royal red shrimp chilled with sauce Gribiche and crispy shallots

Third Course: (Choice of)

  • Truffle roasted poussin: Black truffle jus, buttered collard greens, roasted beets
  • Lemon herb crusted gulf fish: spaghetti squash, candied shallots and fume blanc

Fourth Course:

  • Panettone bread pudding with warm rum anglaise
The Country Club
Getting there
634 Louisa St, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA
Mon-Sun 10am–11pm
More Info

Click here to see a map and menus from Reveillon dinners across the city, provided by the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.

Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether...

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