Commander’s Palace debuts new Garden District to-go spot, reopens dining room

Commander’s Palace joins the ranks of several other New Orleans restaurants finally reopening dining rooms this fall during the pandemic. When the New Orleans institution reopens its dining room on Friday, Sept 11, it will also debut a new to-go spot, called Le Petit Bleu, right next door.

Le Petit Bleu, housed next door to Commander’s Palace on Washington Avenue, will serve as the fine dining establishment’s takeout-only venture to continue offering to-go dishes for guests while the making room for dining guests.

Commander's Palace
Photo courtesy: Commander’s Palace

In a press release, co-proprietor Lally Brennan revealed they have been working on the new takeout-only concept for more than two years “to serve neighbors and friends in a fun and convenient, and completely Commander’s, way.”

Le Petit Bleu basically transformed the front of the restaurant’s accounting office to create the one-room to-go spot. Guests can call ahead or just stop in to pick up items like the crabmeat ravigote, a muffuletta or miso roasted forest mushroom pasta.

“It’s cute as a button with floor to ceiling Commander’s blue stripes. We took a page from Aunt Adelaide who said, ‘aqua blue paint doesn’t cost any more than beige.’ Now you all can do what I get to do, bring Commander’s favorites home and pretend you cooked them!” Brennan said.

Commander’s also announced plans to reopen for dine-in service on Friday, for the first time during the pandemic. The iconic restaurant had been closed since March 16, when stay-at-home orders went into effect.

Diners can expect several changes upon reopening, including more space in between tables, UV lights installed throughout the restaurant, disposable menus and tableside payment with wireless card readers.

Dinner will be served seven nights a week starting at 6 p.m., and the popular Jazz Brunch will continue on weekends with musicians moving outside on the patio.

The dining rooms will look different with more space in between the tables, masks will be required and worn by employees. Dinner will be served seven nights a week starting at 6 p.m., and Jazz Brunch will continue on weekends, 11 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. That wouldn’t be possible without the live Jazz music, which they are taking out on the patio to play.

A notice on the restaurant’s homepage outlines a list of other changes guests can expect due to COVID-19. Among the changes, guests are required to wear masks and get temperature checks upon entry.

Le Petit Bleu will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with hot takeout beginning at 6 p.m. Commander’s Palace will be open for dine-in dinner service six days a week starting at 6:00 p.m., and for Jazz Brunch Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m.