New Orleans is famous for its fine dining, but, of the many elegant restaurants in the city, four
stand out and have become known as the "Grand Dames" of New Orleans: Antoine's, Galatoire's,
Arnaud's and Broussard's.
Antoine's is one of the oldest continually operating restaurants in the United States. It was
established in 1840 by French native Antoine Alciatore. He moved the restaurant into the building it
now occupies on St. Louis Street in 1868. Son, Jules Alciatore, apprenticed in France for several
years before returning to take over the family business in the 1880's. It was Jules who invented
Oysters Rockefeller (named for the richness of the sauce) and the recipe is still a closely guarded
secret, though many have attempted to duplicate it.
In 1947, Frances Parkinson Keyes wrote the popular mystery novel, "Dinner at Antoine's,"
furthering the restaurant's fame, though, by then, it was already well-known as one of New Orleans'
Antoine's grandson, Roy Alciatore, headed the restaurant until the 1970's and Roy's grandsons,
William and Roy Guste, followed him, as did their sons. Today, descendants of Antoine Alciatore
still own and manage the restaurant, where visitors and locals alike gather, as they did 170 years
ago when Antoine, himself, greeted them, to enjoy an elegant and memorable "Dinner at Antoine's."
|President Roosevelt dines at Antoines, 1937
(Thanks to Jennifer Armand for this photo.)
|Main dining room, above, 1930's, below, 1951
(Thanks to Jennifer Armand for the photo below.)
|Two of Antoine's dining rooms: Left, 12th Night
Room; above, Rex Room. Link to Antoine's
website with additional photos is below.
|Autographed photo of French Marshall Ferdinand Foch
at a banquet held in his honor at Antoine's, 1921. A
street in Lakeview is named in honor of Marshall Foch,
who played a significant role in World War I.