Whether you’re in town for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival or you’re a local taking some time off of work to enjoy the festival without interruption, you may feel at a loss about what to do on the three days between the two fun-filled weekends. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday can be just as fun as fest days if you know where to go to find live music, delicious food, and good times.
Royal Street’s famous Hotel Monteleone may be well known for the decades-old Carousel Bar & Lounge, but Criollo Restaurant is not to be discounted. The continental-meets-Creole restaurant is just on the other side of the room from The Carousel Bar, and it offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bar bites for those seated in and around the revolving bar. Criollo also serves up a specialty on the weekends that should not be missed.
Those who visit New Orleans with the hopes of spotting a real vampire and locals who enjoy a side of intrigue with their meal will find a seat waiting for them at the newly-opened New Orleans Vampire Cafe, which opened on New Year’s Day 2021 at 801 Royal Street, just behind St. Louis Cathedral. The sunny, inviting spot is a welcome respite in the bleeding heart of the French Quarter where you can grab a quick bite before your travels or rest a while and watch the world go by.
You may remember Couvant, a gorgeous French brasserie-style restaurant in the CBD neighborhood of New Orleans helmed by Brad McDonald, opening in 2018, and it shuttered at the beginning of the pandemic just over one year later. It never seemed like the right time to open the doors to diners for the next two years. In this Springtime of Hope, however, Couvant is not just reopening, but being reborn.
One of the top reasons (if not THE top reason) that people visit New Orleans is try out our world-renowned cuisine. Our interesting history has made for a truly unique style of cooking and one-of-a-kind flavor that you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
One of the good things that came from the pandemic was a surge in outdoor activities. As indoor or heavily-populated entertainment options became scarce, people took to their bikes, kayaks, roller skates, and more to get some fresh air and reconnect with nature (and our loved ones). Camping also experienced a wave of interest, but those in the southern U.S. aren’t as likely to camp in the long, humid summer months. That was true until the luxury tiny cabin rental company Getaway took the countryside by storm so that anyone can be surrounded by nature with most of the comforts of home.
The Longway Tavern seemed like a breath of fresh air when it opened in 2018. The Leblanc And Smith project was located in the heart of the French Quarter where you seem to only come across storied institutions that you’ve visited many times before or tourist-oriented establishments that don’t have anything exciting to offer a local. The contemporary, exquisitely-renovated gastropub drew in those who had become weary of the Quarter as well as tourists who were looking for something different than the usual.
With the closure of Dick & Jenny’s came Mister Mao, owned and operated by wife and husband team Chef Sophina Uong and William “Wildcat” Greenwell. The veteran culinary and cocktail whizzes are no strangers to the upscale restaurant scene; you’ve probably sampled their stuff at Rockrose (Uong) or the Elysian Bar (Greenwell). But for the last couple of months, they tested out the flavors that would eventually be featured at Mister Mao on the small scale, popping up around town at places including Zony Mash Brewery. Now that Mister Mao has entered the scene as a full-on brick-and-mortar, Chef Uong, bar genius Greenwell, and the whole staff have a place to let their imaginations and skills flourish.
Chef Eric Cook saw a need for something, and St. John is the answer. Chef Eric Cook who cut his chops in the most popular restaurants in the city and famously opened Gris-Gris on Magazine Street in 2018 felt like there was a dearth of truly authentic, freshly-prepared, and locally-sourced Louisiana dishes in the French Quarter. He felt like he couldn’t enjoy a meal in the area because he knew what was going on in those kitchens.
Who doesn’t love sampling sweets in a funeral home for a great cause? Krewe de Pink’s Death By Chocolate – Not Breast Cancer fundraising gala was held in the long-running Schoen Mansion, which has been performing funeral services for 174 years. Students and instructors from Delgado’s Culinary & Pastry Arts Program pitted against each other to see who create the best sweet or savory dish using chocolate. The guests then voted on their favorite ones as they sipped bubbly and danced to the live music.
When Sucré was originally opened in 2007, Ayesha Motwani was pregnant with her first child. She and her husband had three more children over the years as they became ever more loyal customers to the sweet shop. Then the family learned the sad news. “We were so disheartened to learn that our favorite family sweet spot had closed and would not be a part of our future memories,” Ayesha remembered. Sucré permanently shuttered in 2019 amid scandal and financial losses. “The sexual harassment and exploitation of Sucré employees were shocking and reprehensible to me as well. So was the abrupt disclosure, leaving all those employees jobless without warning.”
Red Gravy is entering a new chapter, and the staff would like to invite you to experience it with them. Red Gravy’s brand new Magazine Street location (4206 Magazine Street) features different hours and menu items than the formerly breakfast-centric eatery had. You are invited to dine during brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 2 PM, and you will want to go back for dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 5 PM to 9 PM.
It’s a lovely time for a picnic, but you don’t have to sit on the ground in a sweltering park to enjoy one. Picnic Provisions & Whiskey has reopened for those seeking upscale picnic fare created by Tory McPhail, Ti Martin, and Darryl Reginelli. The safe, clean, and adorable space on a tree-shaded corner of Magazine Street, not far from Audubon Park, has a spicy, salty, and savory menu that is irresistible.
Chef Amy is no newcomer to Copper Vine Wine Pub’s kitchen. She’s been there for a long time crafting dishes that have garnered headlines. Now, she is making her own signature dishes that have been peppered throughout the dinner and brunch menus.
Commander’s Palace is always a top choice for high-end diners when they want to eat somewhere special, and that sentiment is more special than ever during Christmas time. Right now, as you enter the famed, long-running restaurant, you are greeted at the door with jingle bells placed around your neck
Taking over the building that housed Cava on Harrison Avenue, Junior’s will be a welcome restaurant that will more reflect the makeup of the neighborhood: families with small children. The open, airy restaurant features two floors of luxurious space and a wide balcony. The upstairs area will be reserved for adults only 4 PM- til’ Monday-Thursday and all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The small, but mighty menu boasts family-friendly, gourmet options like Jr’s Onion Rings which have a fairly strong pickle flavor, Crispy Cornbread paired with an arbol chile-infused honey butter, and amazing Brussel Sprouts drizzled with lemongrass ginger dressing. The Country Fried Rib had a thick, tasty crust which encased the savory boneless ribs. Don’t forget to end your meal with some delicious Gail’s Fine Ice Cream which comes in a variety of flavors.
Junior’s opens to the public on Monday, November 11.
Fried chicken was obviously the reason so many people flocked to Woldenberg Park, but you can’t have hot, salty fried chicken and sides without something to wash it down. The Crown Royal Lounge was an amazing respite in the midst of the fest. They had their own DJ who kept things spinning, a Crown Royal throne to take pictures on, their own Gus’s Fried Chicken booth, and of course, copious amounts of Crown Royal, Crown Royal Vanilla, and Crown Royal Apple.
Cafe Sbisa is the third oldest restaurant in the French Quarter; it’s over 100 years old. But they haven’t always featured the same menu as other old restaurants in the city have.
Annunciation is a bright, comfortable, and lovely place in the midst of the Warehouse District. In the airy and pleasant bar and dining area, you will feel transported to a serene, yet friendly heaven with southern-inspired favorites to eat and drink.
Oysters are a necessity down here in New Orleans, although they are available in many part of the U.S. And the New York restaurateurs behind Seaworthy like to showcase the variety of oysters that this great country has to offer.
Sac a Lait was the proud host of a deer and beer-paired dinner on this December evening. The staff even went so far as to wear camo clothes to give us the full hunting experience.
Lakeview, especially around UNO’s campus, has been in dire need of restaurants that aren’t serving fast food to broke college kids and will last more than six months. Places have come and gone, or hung quietly under the radar, but Füd Bar seems to be the first place in a long time that has created such excitement around it, and it’s not just because it’s new food in an under-served neighborhood.
Historically, one makes a traditional Irish Stew with the food items that you get at the parades; the true locals will yell out “cabbage” or “carrots” before screaming for trinkets.
The beloved Mediterranean restaurant, Zoës Kitchen, has added four delicious new menu items to their already amazing menu. Chef Antonio Iocchi, hailing from Rome, Italy, has mixed his grandmother’s love for fresh ingredients with his passion for the Mediterranean food lifestyle to create four brand new dishes for Zoës with locations in Elmwood, Veterans Blvd., and Old Metairie. Old Metairie’s Manager Michael explains that Zoës “educates people about food.”