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.
The past decade has seen an explosion in craft beer breweries, wineries, and distilleries across the world. More and more people are creating their own spirits that consumers can’t seem to get enough of. Even sake, the fermented rice drink that hails from Japan, is being made for new generations in small breweries throughout the U.S.
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.
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.”