Friday morning is the best time to come to this revered institution of the New Orleans upper crust. That’s when the local ladies in big hats and gloves and the men who wear bowties (without irony) buy copious bottles of champagne, gossip to high hell and have eight-hour boozy lunches that, in their way, have been going on forever. Dress the part; jackets are a must for men.

Galatoire’s is a special place. Its interior has been frozen in time for over a century, and despite being a top-end joint, the restaurant only recently started taking credit cards. That’s not to say you couldn’t get meals on credit; some families run tabs at Galatoire’s, a sure sign that your name rings out in the right New Orleanian social circles.

There are new stories and new scandals, but they’re all told by a relatively stable cast of larger-than-life characters. Some folks act the absolute merry fool at the Galatoire’s lunch, proving the old saying: ‘What’s the difference between crazy and eccentric? Money.’ If you can’t make it on a Friday – and the lines do sometimes stretch around the block – that’s OK. Show up whenever and ask a tuxedo-clad waiter what’s fresh. Expect to dine on old-line masterpieces and mainstays: pompano meunière, liver with bacon and onions, and the signature chicken clemenceau.