This was one of those experiences that have made our adventures unique! Following one of the walking tours of the city, we went in search of a lunch venue that several locals had highly recommended - The Napoleon House restaurant. Most New Orleansians know about this 200 year old National Historic Landmark. Originally built in 1794, for a time it was the home of Nicholas Girod, first public ally elected mayor of New Orleans (1812-15). Girod was a huge fan of Napoleon Bonaparte, and offered the Emperor of France his home while Napoleon was in exile. Napoleon never did accept the offer, but the name of the house stuck. While the ambiance of the building was fantastic, and the food delicious, the really cool part for us happened when we met the Executive Chef and General Manager, Chris Montero. Chris took an immediate liking to us , and offered to give a private tour of the building. This tour included the second floor former apartment of Mayor Girod (now used as private function rooms), as well as the third floor old apartments (now used as storage) and the rooftop cupola. The views of the French Quarter from the cupola were spectacular, as, at one time, this was the tallest building in the French Quarter. The building's owners have long range plans for restoring the third floor and the cupola back to their original 18th century splendor. This was truly a fantastic experience! The other cool part of this story is that Chris and his family plan to be in Madrid around the same time as our stay there, and hope to meet up with us then. That would be a real treat!
The Napoleon House restaurant, offically known as the Mayor Girod House.
Wall plagues designating the building as a National Historic Landmark
Old photo of the building, showing the rooftop cupola.
The main dining room.
The courtyard dining area.
The ground floor stairway leading to the second floor apartment of Mayor Girod (now used as private function rooms).
The repurposed second floor apartment.
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Our gracious host and tour guide, Chris Montero, Executive Chef and General Manager of the Napoleon House.
Stairway to the third floor old apartments (now just storage areas).
one of the third floor rooms set up as an apartment.
Interior of the cupola.
View from the cupola towards what the locals call "The American Sector". Canal street is considered to be the "official" boundary between the French Quarter and the newer parts of the city.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.