december 2017 myneworleans.com $4.95
december 2017 / VOLUME 52 / NUMBER 2 Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde Managing Editor Ashley McLellan Art Director Tiffani Reding Amedeo Contributing Writers Mary Lou Eichhorn, Fritz Esker, Kathy Finn, Dawn Ruth Wilson, Brobson Lutz, M.D., Jason Berry, Carolyn Kolb, Chris Rose, Eve Crawford Peyton, Mike Griffith, Liz Scott Monaghan, Lee Cutrone, Dale Curry, Jay Forman, Tim McNally, Robert Peyton, Mirella Cameran Web Editor Kelly Massicot Staff Writers Kelly Massicot, Melanie Warner Spencer Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan Sales Manager Kate Sanders Henry (504) 830-7216 / Kate@MyNewOrleans.com Senior Account Executive Jessica Marasco Account Executives Claire Cummings, Peyton Simms Director of Marketing and Events Cheryl Lemoine Event Coordinator Whitney Weathers Digital Media Associate Mallary Matherne For event information call (504) 830-7264 Production Manager Jessica DeBold Production Designers Emily Andras, Demi Schaffer, Molly Tullier Traffic Coordinator Topher Balfer Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President Errol Laborde Distribution Manager John Holzer Administrative Assistant Mallary Matherne Subscriptions Manager Brittanie Bryant WYES DIAL 12 STAFF (504) 486-5511 Executive Editor Aislinn Hinyup Associate Editor Robin Cooper Art Director Jenny Hronek NEW ORLEANS MAGAZINE Printed in USA A Publication of Renaissance Publishing 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 Subscriptions: (504) 830-7231 MyNewOrleans.com
New Orleans Magazine (ISSN 0897 8174) is published monthly by Renaissance Publishing, LLC., 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005; (504) 828-1380. Subscription rates: one year $19.95; Mexico, South America and Canada $48; Europe, Asia and Australia $75. An associate subscription to New Orleans Magazine is available by a contribution of $40 or more to WYES-TV/Channel 12, $10.00 of which is used to offset the cost of publication. Also available electronically, on CD-ROM and on-line. Periodicals postage paid at Metairie, LA, and additional entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to New Orleans Magazine, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2017 New Orleans Magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark New Orleans and New Orleans Magazine are registered. New Orleans Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in New Orleans Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazine managers or owners.
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60 Best of Dining 2017 Top restaurants, chefs, cuisine By Jay Forman, Tim mcnally, robert peyton
78 Yule Jewels The Brightest Baubles By mirella cameran
on the cover Chef of the Year Jason Goodenough photo by Denny Culbert
Local Color Chris Rose Season’s Musings 44
Modine Gunch Gunches on the Road 46
Joie d’Eve Low Effort Meals 48
In Tune Year End Hits 50
Book Reviews A review of the latest books 52
The Beat Marquee Entertainment calendar 24
Jazz Life Alliances Forged 54
Home Best Laid Plans 56
Andrew Jackson Pollack 26
Persona Actor Marcel Spears 28
Taking the Pill 32
Mais Arepas 86
Straight A’s 34
News From the Kitchens 88
Thrill from the Grill 36
Visions of Cheesecake 90
Good Things, Small Packages 38
The Rum Barrel 92
Santa Comes to Town 40
Dining Guide Plus restaurant spotlights 94
In Every Issue Inside Best of the Chefs 12
Speaking Out Editorial, plus a Mike Luckovich cartoon 18
Julia Street Questions and answers about our city 20
Try This Whatcha Got Cookin’? 134
Streetcar Christmas 2004 136
DIAL 12, D1 WYES-TV/Channel 12 presents THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW “Christmas Masterclass” every Saturday at 7pm. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood take viewers step-by-step through stunning recipes that all the family can make during the festive season.
Best Of The Chefs
everal years ago I was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge (there is a pedestrian lane) when I got in a conversation with another walker. Upon learning that I was from New Orleans he asked about the city’s reputation for good food. As part of my response I asked if he ever heard of Paul Prudhomme? He thought for a moment and then answered, “Is that the fat guy who burns his fish?” That might not have been quite the description that Prudhomme would have liked but it certainly showed his celebrity status that even he drew recognition during a random conversation high above the East River, There have been many great chefs from New Orleans but Prudhomme has the distinction of being the first major celebrity, certainly during the media age. Emeril Lagasse is second, but his star power came in a different way, not for a specific dish like Prudhomme’s blackened redfish, but for his expressive personality. His “Emeril Live” cable show was punctuated with catchphrases such as “Pork fat rules,” “Kick it up a notch,” “Oh, yeah babe,” and “Bam!” In doing so he made cooking shows friendlier to wider audiences. In earlier times, travelers to the city could have heard about Madame Begue who in the 1880s was famous for her breakfasts,
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served at 11 a.m., which provided sustenance for dockworkers in the French Quarter. (Her meals may have been a forerunner to the concept of the “brunch.”) There are many great chefs in the city, though national recognition should not in itself be considered a measure of that greatness. To the contrary, the tradition has most often been for head chefs to work quietly behind the scenes. That has certainly been the norm in the classic French restaurants where the chefs preside over a system in which even the wait staff has a hand in dishing out the food. The chef is the organizer and creator but not intended to be a star. Nevertheless, this is an age when the act of dining out has become so popular that readers want to know more, hence our annual dining issue that boldly pinpoints the best in several categories including chefs. We are blessed with a great culinary scene guided by chefs who know when it is best to kick it up a notch and when to just let the pot simmer.
on the web
2017 Press Club of new orleans AWARDS Ashton Phelps Memorial Award for Editorial Writing Errol Laborde Editoral Print “The T-P and The Advocate” Errol Laborde
Our Blogs Be the first to read our blogs, get the 411 on top events around the city and see the features and columns from all seven of our publications all in one place.
Special Section “People to Watch” Tiffani Reding Amedeo, Morgan Packard, Sarah Ravits
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Layout Design “50 things every New Orleanian Should Do” Tiffani Reding Amedeo Cartoon Mike Luckovich
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meet the sales staff
Kate Sanders Henry Sales Manager (504) 830-7216 Kate@myneworleans.com
Jessica Marasco Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7220 JessicaM@myneworleans.com
Claire Cummings Account Executive (504) 830-7250, Claire@myneworleans.com
Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales (504) 830-7215 Colleen@myneworleans.com
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May We Become Better At Judging History
xcept perhaps for during Mardi Gras we hope the city never again experiences an evening when masked men are lurking about around midnight; worst yet they are city employees and one is the Fire Chief. We believe firmly in the notion that all men are created equally. We also argue that not all historical characters are equal in stature nor should they be equal in statues. Somewhere between there needs to be rational decision making. As the city approaches its Tricentennial, a year dedicated to the exploration of history, it leaves 2017 as a year of botched history. This was the year that Civil War-related monuments were removed. Three disappeared in the dark of night. We do not mean to re-open the debate about the relative merits of the statues that
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were removed; we do maintain that taking away the Beauregard statue was a mistake. Herein lies the interpretive question for the future. Yes, Beauregard fought for the Confederacy in a war that began on the slavery issue, but that is not what his life was about. By most accounts after the war he was a model citizen and even encouraged integration of schools. He was also local and, like much of the city’s history, of French heritage. Like most men of the time, loyalty was given to their state before the nation. The Civil War, and particularly Lincoln’s Gettysburg address would change that perception, but the moment had not yet come. With a new year of historic exploration on the horizon, we need to appreciate that, like the voyages of the explorers them-
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selves, sometimes there are jagged rocks and ill winds along the way, but the mission should be judged by the destination. Not all people for whom statues stand were totally saintly, not even the saints, but most represented some historic episode that should be remembered. New Orleans was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. He and his brother Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville were tough characters who navigated along the Atlantic coast to the Gulf of Mexico. Their father, Charles LeMoyne, was an historic figure in Canada of the late 1600s as a furrier, Indian fighter and land baron, plus he also owned slaves during a pre-industrial era when slavery was an inevitability. Bienville’s decision to build a city at the site of the big bend in
the Mississippi river may have been due to a strategic geographic judgment or it may have been influenced by his being given land in the area. He was probably part hero and part rogue, nevertheless it is to him that we owe the construction of the city and its location. Near that great bend stands a statue of Andrew Jackson; a hero of the Battle of New Orleans. As President his reputation is tarnished because of the displacement of Indians located throughout the South, yet he is also remembered as a populist who opened government to the people and who took on the big banks. Overall he was regarded as a good president though popular opinion, because of one issue, sees him otherwise. There is no shortage of people worthy of memorialization in New Orleans. We have advocated a monument to Allan Toussaint and we expect there to be one for Fats Domino one day. But musicians get an easier pass from history being spared the sticky social and political issues that generals and politicians faced. In this year of paying homage to the past it would be a grand gesture not to dismiss those from the past on one issue and to better understand the complexities of their times •
AN ORIGINAL ©MIKE LUCKOVICH CARTOON FOR NEW ORLEANS MAGAZINE
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Dear Julia, In the Times-Picayune paper dated July 21,1880, there was an article concerning my great grandfather Ferreole Micholet. It said he was the proprietor of a new hotel called the West End Hotel. His father-in-law, my great great grandfather, F. Huppenbauer, was the manager. It seems that Huppenbauer was the veteran caterer of the once popular United States Restaurant on Common St. My question, are there pictures of the hotel, the restaurant or my grandfathers? Where exactly would both of establishments be on our New Orleans map? Thank you so much for your delightful column. I love reading it and learning more about my hometown. - Cathey Theriot (Terrytown, La.) For many years, Fritz Huppenbauer ran the United States Restaurant, which was located
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with poydras the parrot
at 128 Common Street, between had been leased to Edward F. Camp and St. Charles. The restau- Denechaud. After the original rantâ€™s 19th century address hotel burned to the ground roughly corresponds to the in May 1894, a two-story middle of the present-day replacement was erected. Pleasure Resorts 600 block of Common; It was this replacement, West End the restaurant itself was not the hotel your great(1892) demolished years ago. grandfather managed, I found no images Fritz which was demolished Huppenbauer, Ferreole Micholet in the summer of 1912. or the United States Restaurant. The picture accompanying this ----------------------------------------------------------------column shows the West End Hotel as it appeared around 1892 (itâ€™s Dear Julia the three-story building with In the summer of 1954 when I the tower at far right). The old was 15 years old, I lived in an West End resort was built on a apartment building with 8 oneplatform extending into the lake. bedroom units. The apartment Although it was near the present had a Murphy bed that I slept day Southern Yacht Club, its exact on. The apartment was located location no longer exists. at 4800 St. Charles Avenue at It appears your great-grandfa- Bordeaux. I lived with my seldom ther and his father-in-law were at home father, who was a travonly briefly associated with the eling liquor salesman. The twoWest End Hotel. Less than three story apartment complex has since years after its July 1880 grand been converted into beautiful opening, the establishment luxury town home.
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I had a job as a bag boy at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store at the corner of Napoleon Avenue and St. Charles Avenue. That summer was special to me, as I was training to try out for the Fortier High School football team. I made the team and lettered, although Fortier went 0 and 10 for the season. As I was often alone late at night, I would walk a short distance to a 24-hour donut/bakery shop at the corner of Camp and Valence St. that had a wooden window in the back of the building. One had to knock on the wooden window to get service late at night. Wonderful super-sized glazed donuts served in brown paper bags sold for 35 cents a dozen. I would meet my friend, Brent, who also lived in the vicinity and was the son of the great All American Tulane University football player, Jerry Darylrimple. The two of us would eat the dozen donuts easily. The
photograph courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection gift of mrs. sarah mchardy
donut/bakery shop was also a late night date location. I would very much like to be reminded of the name of the donut/ bakery shop and any information regarding it demise, as I feel that it may no longer be there. It was a “time and place” never to be again,” but not forgotten. - Kent Willoughby (Silverthorne, Colorado) You’re trying to recall Breath’s Bakery. Altough altered, the building still stands. Prior to running Breath’s Bakery, proprietor Charles A. Breath, Jr. worked for the Dixie Baking Company, as had his father. The Breaths originally hailed from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where the elder Charles’ father, James H. Breath, was a well-known baker. ----------------------------------------------------------------Dear Julia, Re: Know Your Tricentennial quiz Oct. ‘17 issue, pg. 68 My husband and I are natives of New Orleans. We enjoy your magazine and are interested in the Quiz, and particularly, question No. 17, “Who Gave Louisiana its name?” You featured a lithograph of Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claiming the region for King Louis XIV of France. We have this framed lithograph hanging in our home. It came to us from my husband’s family, and we are curious about how old it is and the origin. We have seen it used in publications and displays before and wonder if you can provide any information. Thank you, Freddie Anne Lambremont (St. Marys, GA) I can understand why you may have assumed the illustration showed de La Salle but the text also mentioned that Louisiana was named for Louis XIV, who was then the ruling French monarch. It is Louis XIV (1638-1715), the “Sun King,” who is depicted.
The illustration you saw in our October issue is from the Historic New Orleans Collection and is their accession number 1991.34.4; it is an illustration from Alcée Fortier’s multi-volume A History of Louisiana, which Goupil and Company published in 1904. It is based on an official royal portrait which artist Hyacinthe Rigaud painted in 1701. Rigaud’s portrait, which shows an idealized monarch, was to have been given to the king’s grandson, Philip V of Spain, but proved so popular at home that it was never sent. The painting remained in the royal collections until after the French Revolution. In 1793, it was given to the Muséum Central des Arts de la République, now known as the Musée de Louvre, where it remains. The portrait shows the 63-yearold monarch in his coronation robes. He holds a scepter and his sword is at his side while his crown sits on adjacent stool.
Win a restaurant gift certificate Here is a chance to eat, drink and have your curiosity satiated all at once. Send Julia a question. If we use it, you’ll be eligible for a monthly drawing for a Jazz Brunch for two at The Court of Two Sisters. To take part, send your question to: Julia Street, c/o New Orleans Magazine, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 or email: Errol@MyNewOrleans. com. This month’s winners are Cathey Theriot, Terrytown, LA and Kent Willoughby, Silverthorne, CO. my n e w or l e a n s . com
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The Beat MARQUEE . ART . PERSONA . BIZ . EDUCATION . HEALTH . STYLE . CHRONICLES
Josh Wool photo
The Mayorâ€™s Marcel Spears
THE beat . marquee
December Our top picks for this month’s events By fritz esker
The Shops at Canal Place Reindeer Run & Romp and Holiday Scavenger Hunt There’s fun and fitness for the whole family on Canal Street on Saturday, December 9. Santa and friends will jingle their bells to start the fun run. Participants will get bells for their sneakers and other holiday goodies. After the race, there will be a scavenger hunt. Information, DowntownNola.com/holidays. 24
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Running of the Santas
NOLA Christmas Fest
Krewe of Jingle Parade
If you’re not interested in heavy exercise, but do want to get into the holiday spirit with music, fun, drinks, food, and Santa costumes, then the Running of the Santas is for you. On Saturday, December 9, the event starts at Manning’s in the Warehouse District and ends at Generations Hall. Proceeds benefit the “That Others May Live” foundation. Information, RunningOfTheSantas.com.
From December 21-31, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will be turned into a winter wonderland with carnival rides, a maze, an ice slide and the Crescent City’s only indoor ice rink. Tickets for admission (including rides and ice skating) cost $20. Group rates are available for 50 or more people. Information, NolaChristmasFest.com.
Can’t wait for the next Mardi Gras season to arrive? The Krewe of Jingle has you covered. Put a little Mardi Gras in your holiday season with this parade on Saturday, Dec. 2. The parade will start on Canal Street at 1 p.m. and travel through the Warehouse District. Information, DowntownNola.com/ holidays.
cheryl gerber photo
calendar Events, Exhibits & Performances
Sept. 30-Jan. 21
Solidary and Solitary: The Joyner and Giuffrida Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, OgdenMuseum.org.
Festival of the Bonfires, Lutcher Recreational Park, FestivalOfTheBonfires.org.
New Orleans Ballet Theater - Nutcracker, Orpheum Theater, OrpheumNOLA.com.
Oct. 6-Jan. 7
East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth Century American Landscape Photography, New Orleans Museum of Art, noma.org. Nov. 24-Jan 1
Celebration in the Oaks, City Park, NewOrleansCityPark.com. Nov. 29-Dec. 27
Home for the Holidays with the Victory Belles, Stage Door Canteen, NationalWW2Museum.org. Dec. 1-TBD
Miracle on Fulton Street, Fulton Street, Facebook. com/FultonStreetNOLA. Dec. 1
The Avett Brothers, Saenger Theater, SaengerNOLA.com. Dec. 1-31
Christmas in the Park, Lafreniere Park, VisitJeffersonParish.com. Dec. 5
Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Saenger Theater, SaengerNOLA.com.
Dec. 8 & 15
Movies on the Mississippi, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Plaza, DowntownNOLA.com.
A Man and His Prostate, Le Petit Theatre, LePetitTheatre.com.
White Christmas, Saenger Theater, SaengerNOLA.com. Dec. 20
Dec. 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23
Teddy Bear Tea, Stage Door Canteen, NationalWW2Museum.org.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Smoothie King Center, SmoothieKingCenter.com. Dec. 23
Orpheum Holiday Spectacular with the 610 Stompers, Orpheum Theater, OrpheumNOLA. com. Dec. 12
Randy Newman, Orpheum Theater, OrpheumNOLA. com. Dec. 13
A Drag Queen Christmas, Civic Theater, CivicNOLA. com.
CBS Sports Classic, Smoothie King Center, SmoothieKingCenter.com. Dec. 26
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, Saenger Theater, SaengerNOLA.com. Dec. 28
XScape with Monica and Tamar Braxton, Smoothie King Center, SmoothieKingCenter.com. Dec. 29-31
Outside the Bachs Baroque Christmas, Orpheum Theater, OrpheumNOLA.com.
New Year’s Eve Special Featuring the Revivalists, Orpheum Theater, OrpheumNOLA.com. Dec. 31
Dead & Company, Smoothie King Center, SmoothieKingCenter.com.
The Legend of Zelda - Symphony of the Goddesses, Saenger Theater, SaengerNOLA.com.
Words and Music Festival, various locations, WordsAndMusic.org.
Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic, UNO Lakefront Arena, arena.uno.edu.
Caroling in Jackson Square, Jackson Square, ExperienceNewOrleans.com.
DJ Soul Sister’s 15th Annual New Year’s Eve Soul Train, Civic Theatre, CivicNOLA.com. Dec. 31
New Year’s Eve Party at the Stage Door Canteen, Stage Door Canteen, NationalWW2Museum.org.
Luna Fete, Lafayette Square, ArtsNewOrleans.org. myne w orleans . com
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THE beat . art
Art on display local exhibits The Art of Giving
December 5, 6 - 8:00 p.m., Ogden Museum of Southern Art Meet the makers and enjoy music, cocktails and crafts while shopping for unique, handmade gifts during the Center for Southern Craft & Design’s free annual holiday shopping event, ogdenmuseum. org/event/art-of-giving.
Glass Act Andrew Jackson Pollack’s Latest By Alexa Renée Harrison
ndrew Jackson Pollack has been an artist his entire life. Raised by artist parents, he was introduced to various mediums at an early age. While studying at Loyola University, he spent most of his time at the New Orleans School of Glass learning the art of glassblowing. He’s since devoted himself to the exploration of his medium, teaching and creating art full-time. Now, he’s opening his own state of the art glass lampwork studio and gallery, in the city that sculpted him into the artist he is today. The studio, which is located in Uptown at 4132 Magazine Street, will be local–centric. The gallery will feature a collection of Pollack’s own work, as well as work from the vibrant community of local glass artists here in New Orleans. Once opened, the studio will have a variety of taster classes, as well as a full curriculum. Workshops will offer everything from glass beadmaking to blowing and sculpture. Introductory projects will include beads, marbles, and ornaments, while more advanced students will learn to create perfume bottles, goblets, and sculptures — such as menorahs, which are one of the items in Pollack’s Judaica line. “The Judaica is one of the first lines I created 26
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when I started my business,” says Pollack. “I sold my work to many synagogue gift shops and to a handful of museum shops, like the Jewish Museums in New York and San Francisco. It really helped me survive as an artist and dial in my style while exploring some ideas.” Now Pollack only makes about a dozen menorahs a year, but each piece is fully functional and one of a kind. Pollack also makes many custom Judaica pieces for events, such as weddings and bar or bat mitzvahs. “I do both sculpting and blowing and combining these techniques to make larger and more complicated and detailed sculptures is probably my favorite challenge,” says Pollack. “It’s a never ending search for the ‘perfect’ form.” In January, Pollack will travel to Atlanta for a show at The Ventulett Gallery. While there he’ll be teaching for a week at a local high school that he’s worked with for over 12 years – bringing glass into their art, science, and history departments. Through this program Pollack has introduced over 1,000 kids to lampworking glass art. Pollack’s work is on regular display at the RHINO Gallery, and on December 30th, fans can find him at the Arts Market in Palmer Park. •
December 6-9, Lafayette Square LUNA Fête, or Light Up NOLA Art, uses illuminated installations, digital sculptures, videomapping projections, and art animated by technology to connect street-based celebration with a new era of contemporary art, artsneworleans.org/ event/luna-fete. Words and Music Festival
December 6-10, Hotel Monteleone Sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, this festival gives new and established authors a chance to showcase works in front of literary agents, publishing companies, and other writing professionals, wordsandmusic.org.
eugenia uhl photos
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THE beat . persona
Josh Wool photo
Triple Threat Actor Marcel Spears By Ashley McLellan
ew Orleans’ own Marcel Did growing up in New Orleans Spears is breaking out, contribute to your artistic talents, both on stage in classic both your acting and your music? and cutting edge plays, and on Most definitely. New Orleans small screens across the country has always been in my opinion, in a prime time role on a major a hot bed of art and artists in network. He has drawn upon his this country. From the time I New Orleans roots throughout was little I have been singing, acting, playing music, dancing, his career. Currently starring in ABC’s and writing. I was always in a The Mayor as church play, or in a Black History T.K. Clifton, Spears is able to Month producTrue Confession: I’m use his comedic tion at school, deathly afraid of heights, skills alongside playing in the and I absolutely still some very well band, or jumping freak out on planes, so known names into somebody’s before every flight I say second line. I (Lea Michele, this prayer, “Lord let this plane take me safely to Brandon Michael wasn’t doing my destination, and if for Hall and Yvette anything different some reason it will not Nicole Brown). I was doing what get there safely, get me For Spears, inspieveryone else outta here before it takes ration and acting in the city was off.” EVERYTIME. are all about doing. It’s just family, citing the built into the support of his own family back DNA of the city. home and the family he has found on stage and on set. We often say: Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans. Is First, the basic New Orleans ques- there anything you miss about tions: what neighborhood did living in New Orleans? I miss you grow up in and where did New Orleans all the time. New you go to high school? I grew up Orleans is a city that knows me mainly in the East, I’m an “East to my bones. New Orleans knows Beast.” My family stayed in the my family. It knows the history same house right off Chef Mentur of me. I literally don’t feel right highway from 4th grade until if I don’t get back to the city a (Hurricane) Katrina. For high few times a year. Something school I split my time between inside me has to go back. McDonogh 35 and The New Orleans Center for Science and When did you start acting? I’ve Math High School on Delgado’s been acting since I was little; it’s campus. After the storm, my always been something I did. family moved to Texas where I My mama put me in a school finished junior and senior year. play in 1st grade, and it’s always
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been something I gravitated to ever since. I started to take it seriously in high school, after the hurricane, expressing myself that way became a kind of therapy. Who were your mentors growing up? Well it starts at home, the first people I ever looked up too were my parents and grandparents. When I got to college though (Prairie View A&M) I had a professor that literally changed my life. Dr. Cristal C. Truscott pushed me in class and on stage (even when I didn’t want to be pushed) encouraged me to go to grad school and get my MFA, and gave me the confidence to really trust my talent. After I got to New York City for grad school, I met Brandon Dirden and he has been my mentor ever since, He is an actor that inspires me every time he steps on stage, and the fact that he takes the time to show me the ropes and give me advice on the business and open his home to me speaks to his character even more. Do you prefer acting on stage or in front of the camera? Both, I can’t choose at this point, I love telling stories, and both offer me that opportunity. On Stage it’s live every night, you see the audience and they see you; whatever happens in that room between the actors and the audience can never be repeated, and that is incredible. I’m still new to camera but I love it, the audience is internalized, you don’t get the immediate response you get from a live audience, you have to trust your instincts. With such an incredible cast and production team, what has your experience been like working on The Mayor? Working on this show feels like working with family. We have all gotten to know each other so well over the past few months of filming that’s what it feels like. It’s a
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short amount of time but I get to come to work every day and tell a story I believe in and make people I care about laugh. This is the most supportive cast and crew ever, and it really goes back to something Yvette [Nicole Brown] said to me before we started filming, she said, “You have to create the kind of environment you want to work in, you have to set the standard on set, treat everyone with respect, and I mean everyone.” And that is something I would do naturally (my mama raised me with good Godly sense) but having her say it out loud and really empowered me and my cast-mates to internalize those words, I think it really made a difference. When you watch this show you can tell we actually like each other, when you laugh during our show I can guarantee you it took us about three tries before we could get it on camera without someone busting in to laughter. That’s how we do on The Mayor.
At a Glance Age: 28 and 11 months Occupation: Multi-hyphenatedartist (lol) Born: December 13, 1988 in Houma, La. Education: Undergrad, Prairie View A&M University, Grad School, Columbia University Favorite Book: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison and all of Harry Potter Favorite Movie: The Last Dragon (Bruce Lee is a black dude named ‘Bruce Leeroy’ enough said) Favorite TV Show: Besides the Mayor.... Insecure Favorite Food: Anything with seafood in it! Favorite Restaurant: Now that I’m in L.A. my favorite is this little diner in Burbank called Paty’s
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THE beat . biz
stats Age, drug costs drive pharmacy trends
28 Million Seniors fill 28 million prescriptions annually, more than double the number filled by adults younger than 64.
Taking The Pill
Almost 90 percent of Medicare Part D plans include preferred pharmacies, up from 7 percent just four years ago.
Modern pharmacies upend corner drugstores 70%
By Kathy Finn
any years have passed since the sight of a drugstore shopper walking down the street toting a purple plastic bag labeled “K&B” was commonplace. While the brand is well-remembered by its patrons, New Orleans’ own K&B drugstores have long since vanished, replaced by the company’s buyer, national drugstore chain Rite Aid. The sale of the highly regarded local drugstore company in 1997 was part of a long-running trend that saw many popular independent retailers get scooped up by high-volume chains and discounters. Decades later, new trends are taking hold in the drugstore industry, and one of them has led to a giant buying one of its peers – or at least a
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big chunk of it. Walgreens recently concluded a $4.4 billion deal to acquire about half of the Rite Aid company, encompassing nearly 2,000 Rite Aid stores. Walgreens, which owns more than 13,000 stores, has said it will close about 600 drugstores as it completes the acquisition during the next year. Most of the closings will be Rite Aid stores that operate within a mile of an existing Walgreens, the company said. It is not yet known how many Louisiana Rite Aid stores may be taken out of commission or re-branded as a result of the deal. But it is safe to say that Rite Aid, which has nearly two dozen stores in the greater New Orleans area, could see its local
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presence diminished. Meanwhile, other forces continue to reshape the way that consumers shop for pharmacy services. Before concluding its deal with Rite Aid, Walgreens was subjected to about two years of intense scrutiny by federal regulators who were concerned about the impact its proposed acquisition might have on competition. Walgreens at first had hoped to acquire the entire Rite Aid company and was willing to pay as much as $17 billion to do it. But the Federal Trade Commission, worried that the deal would leave the United States with just two major pharmacy chains – Walgreens and CVS Health Corp. – and they forced a scaling down of the deal. Now, as Walgreens begins
For big pharmacy chains, prescriptions account for nearly 70 percent of revenue.
4% Fewer than 4 percent of patients use specialty drugs, but those medications comprise more than a third of drug spending.
carrying out its smaller acquisition plan, a potential new twist in the highly competitive business has emerged, and it’s one that few outside observers saw coming. In late October, reports surfaced that CVS had made a $66 billion bid to acquire Aetna, the nation’s third-largest health insurer. Should it come to fruition, the deal could trigger a seismic shift in the pharmacy industry. Even if a deal fails to materialize, the attempt sends clear signals about the future direction of the drugstore business. In recent years, CVS has made waves in its industry by opening retail health clinics, called “Minute Clinics,” inside its stores, where it offers flu shots and other vaccinations, and direct treatment for minor injuries and illnesses. CVS even offers home infusion services and operates long-term care pharmacies. CVS had also become one of the country’s largest pharmacy benefit management companies. PBMs are intermediaries that can negotiate with insurers and pharmaceutical companies on customer pricing, and having that capability has given CVS a competitive edge. All of these services have helped CVS develop closer relationships with customers. Now, a deal with Aetna could give CVS a pathway to 44 million people who are insured by Aetna. The insurer might steer its customers to CVS to fill prescriptions. At the same time, a merger could help Aetna solidify its customer
relationships. But looming above these potential changes is a still more powerful force. A few months ago, this column examined the possibility that a sea change could be at hand in the grocery business due to aggressive expansion by a relatively new operator. Now, that same operator has set its sights on the pharmacy business. Rumors have been swirling that online retailing behemoth Amazon, which recently made inroads in the grocery industry with its purchase of Whole Foods Co., may enter the prescriptiondrug business by opening an online pharmacy and maybe even acquiring its own PBM. The online sale of prescription drugs is not new, but the potential competition from an entity of Amazon’s size is enough to scare the wits out of more traditional pharmacies and insurers. Whether or not a merger occurs between CVS and Aetna, pharmacies and insurers are sure to continue attempting to form tighter relationships that afford them greater control over customer pricing, and Amazon will likely muscle in as well. Customers may hope that all this will result in lower costs, but a Los Angeles Times reporter recently offered this warning. Likening the merger rumors to the affiliations that have occurred among telecom giants that provide pay-television services, reporter David Lazarus raised, then answered, a question. “Has anyone’s pay-TV bill gone down?” he asked. “Exactly,” he answered. •
Who owns the pharmacy business?
Total U.S. stores
10,000* 2,600* 9600
Stores in New Orleans (est.) 30
*Estimated number after completion of merger myne w orleans . com
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THE beat . education
Straight A’s New Orleans: A School Reform Model By Dawn Ruth Wilson
n the past, New Orleans rarely enjoyed good press from national media, but nowadays its public schools rank so high in the estimation of school advocates that it’s being heralded as a possible savior of the country’s leadership and schools. In his new book “Reinventing America’s Schools,” David Osborne, co-author of Reinventing Government, says that New Orleans’ charter school model is transforming the nation’s outdated, centralized school model
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into a 21st Century system that could recharge America’s global competitiveness. In interviews around the country, Osborne, now director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Reinventing America’s Schools Project, repeats the same message he delivered on C-Span’s Book TV. He told an interviewer that New Orleans’ schools were “famously bad, corrupt, awful” before Katrina prompted the state to take control of most of them and turn them over to semi-autonomous charter
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operators. Now, he said, the city’s schools “are clearly the fastest improving in the country, if not in American history, stunning.” Other cities have turned around abysmal schools, often as a result of studying New Orleans’ transformation. Osborne also praises reform in Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado. The results indicate to Osborne that the nation must turn to charter-like schools to meet the challenges of the information age. The charter model transfers decisions such as budgeting, hiring teachers, service contracts and computer software to school-level leaders who know the needs of their students better than off-site bureaucrats. Osborne stresses that school-level autonomy is key to improving schools, not what they are called. The 20th century model gives supreme authority over dozens or hundreds of schools, depending on the size of the district, to elected or appointed school boards and their superintendents. The 21st century model transfers authority to school specific school boards and principals. In the 21st century model, district school boards monitor the academic results of each school. They close schools with poor performance. In New Orleans, for example,
some charter schools have been closed, while the most effective ones have been asked to
Now the city’s schools are clearly the fastest improving in the country, if not in American history, stunning.”
replicate. Up until recently, the state’s Recovery School District managed most of the charters, but the schools under RSD control are in the process of being returned to the Orleans Parish School Board. In an interview with New Orleans Magazine, Osborne said he is “cautiously optimistic” the New Orleans model will, in time, prevail nationwide. “I think for the next 10 years, it will be the big cities and maybe in 20 years it will be the dominant model,” he said. “If we can’t make this work,” he said, “we are kind of doomed.” Osborne says the United States is losing its lead internationally. “The only way we can turn this around is to improve the skill levels of our graduates. A lot is at stake,” he said. “I think what New Orleans has shown is important.” •
Dave Stotzer photo
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THE beat . HEALTH
TIPS Think before you drink*
Alcohol is absorbed more quickly if your stomach is empty. It may help to eat something before drinking alcohol. 2
Take it slow
Pace yourself. Limit yourself to just one drink or less each hour.
Thrill From The Grill A Pancake Temple’s Hangover Cure By Brobson Lutz M.D.
at plenty of pancakes. It absorbs the toxins. That’s why we sell so many pancakes on Sundays,” said Mary ‘Ladybug’ Murdock, ageless, the senior force behind Betsy’s Pancake House. “Pancakes not your thing? We have homemade biscuits with milk gravy.” “Probably ninety percent of our customers are regulars. Our daily regulars don’t order. We tell the kitchen when they walk in the door. Like Judge John Shea likes his bacon slightly undercooked. We call it the Judge’s bacon,” said Ladybug. Regulars at any establishment are generally persons with opinions to share. Betsy’s is a temple of wisdom endowed with the common-sense ways of early morning risers. The regulars populate their tables daily like
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clockwork beginning shortly after Betsy’s 5:30 AM weekday openings. So what about hangover cures? “Don’t drink cheap liquor. But if you do, take two Alka-Seltzers”,” said Leland Roussell, 81, a retired textile processor. His table is in the corner by the Drew Brees poster. His daily special includes two eggs over well with a busted yolk, cooked but not brown. His booming voice of welcome to other regulars led Ladybug to dub him the Mayor of Betsy’s. Steven Oddo, 53, hasn’t had a hangover since getting into his father’s Southern Comfort stash at the tender age of 14. His father rescued him from the throws of that hangover with V-8 juice. “Wash down some Advil with plenty of water and go for a greasy hamburger. Even better
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is a ‘morning after hamburger’ topped with ham and an egg. and, if you don’t have to go to work, a Bloody Mary works wonders,” said Lisa Longordo, a popular waitress at Betsy’s who works the floor with the grace and speed of a ballet dancer. “I think too much alcohol metabolism lowers the blood sugar. Drink a coke and you feel better,” said Detective Winston Harbin, 53, the dancing policeman. Instead of spending hours at some gym, the affable Harbin sheds excess Betsy’s calories doing Wobble dance routines. “I had a few hangovers in my day and would take Alka-Seltzer. But I stopped drinking. Too much trouble,” said James Daniels, 66. “Ya-ka-mein before you imbibe. It coats the stomach,” said Rochelle Anderson, 51, another Betsy’s
Beverages with fewer congeners — such as lightcolored beers and wine — are slightly less likely to cause hangovers than are beverages with more congeners — such as brandy, whiskey, dark beers and red wine. 4
Sip water between drinks
Drinking a full glass of water after each alcoholic drink will help you stay hydrated. It will also help you drink less alcohol. *Source: MayoClinic.org
greg miles photo
breakfast regular before reporting to her nearby day job. She owns Ro’s Smokin Jo’s, a neighborhood restaurant and bar near Dillard University. No roundup of local hangover remedies would be complete without Ya-ka-mein. Core ingredients in this meat or seafood based broth are spaghetti, soy sauce, and hot sauce with halved hard boiled eggs and chopped green onions swimming on top. Before Hurricane Katrina, ya-ka-mein meant a trip to a corner grocery store or food shack in black and transitional neighborhoods. Linda Green, the ya-ka-mein lady and promoter, serves a couple of versions in large Styrofoam cups at most local street festivals. It even migrated to a few white tablecloth restaurants around town. The phase “coat your stomach” often populates hangover discussions. Dr. Ben Guider, an uptown gastroenterologist, downplays the notion: “Alcohol is rapidly absorbed from the gastric mucosa and proximal small bowel. Food may slightly delay alcohol absorption, but food doesn’t prevent it. Hangovers seem to decrease or go away with age. My last was 40 years ago. Binge drinking by younger folks causes most of that commode hugging stuff.” Dr. Guider’s remarks on the fading frequency of hangovers as one ages hit a chord. Maybe I was looking for hangover cures in all the wrong places. The regulars at Betsy’s spoke as historians describing long ago hangovers, and then in walks a handsome, muscular young man who takes a seat at the counter. “Actually, I am getting over a hangover right now. Last night I drank a handful of beers and some margaritas at Juan’s Flying Burrito. Then I had some nightcaps at the Holy Ground,” said Ryan Shaner, 30, a construction manager at the high-end Bywater Woodworks and a post-Katrina transplant from Michigan. “I go to
the gym to lift weights and sweat out the hangover. Then I come to Betsy’s for pancakes and bacon. If I get up too late for breakfast, there is always Parasol’s for a firecracker po-boy, another go to for hangovers.” “He’s a good boy. We see him a couple of times a month,” said Ladybug as Shaner took off for work and was answering questions about her nickname. “My father nicknamed me. He called me his little Ladybug when I was six weeks old and the name stuck. All our family had nicknames. My sister was Monkey and my brother was Peanut. We had a cousin called Pea Liquor, and my daddy was always Punk.” •
Hair of the dog & beyond Betsy’s Pancake House
2542 Canal St, New Orleans. Open for breakfast and lunch daily except for Saturdays. If pancakes and bacon from Betsy’s doesn’t help your hangover, you may need to crawl for help to the nearby cavernous University Medical Center. Ro’s Smokin Jo’s
3827 Frenchman Street, New Orleans. Soul food lunch and dinner specials with music at night. Ya-ka-mein is a seasonal menu favorite. Ya-ka-mein
Also called Old Sober, has become a menu staple on several upscale restaurants around town including Meauxbar, 942 North Rampart Street. For weight loss routines
Detective Winston Harbin shows “Cupid Shuffle” Wobble dance moves as a Zulu parade approaches. Youtube.com/ watch?v=WI2JUqvHUaU
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THE beat . style
Good things, small packages Holiday gifts under $35 By Mirella Cameran
1. New Orleans Cocktails: Over 100 Drinks from the Sultry Streets and Balconies of the Big Easy from Phina, Phinashop. com 2. Reusable Gold Party Cup, from Lionheart Prints, Lionheartprints.com 3. Sustainable Goji Tarocco Orange wax candle by Voluspa, from Babe, @babe.neworleans. 4. Vinrella wine bottle umbrella uncorked with plastic no drip bottle sleeve from Lucy Rose, ShopLucyRose.com 5. Ostrich feather duster or skin tickler, culinary lavender from Sunday Shop, SundayShop.com
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eugenia uhl photo
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THE beat . chronicles
Santa Comes to Town Christmas romping through the years by Carolyn Kolb
n December 26, 1884, The Picayune reported that a 45-foot Christmas tree from Connecticut stood on the Music Hall stage at the Cotton Centennial Exposition in what is now Audubon Park. The tree was laden with toys, which Santa Claus (portrayed by Thomas Pickering, the Connecticut commissioner for the expo) distributed to the children present. Since there were too few children for all the presents, perhaps because New Orleans always seems to have attendance problems at World’s
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Fairs, ,it was decided to repeat the event in a week. Clement Moore’s poem, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” was written in 1822, and defined the sled-driving jovial bringer of Christmas gifts. But by 1810 writer Washington Irving had popularized St. Nicholas as the “patron saint of New York”, a town settled by the Dutch. “Santa Claus” (from the Dutch “Sinterklaas”) became the preferred American name. The first local mention of Santa Claus in the daily paper was in The Picayune, December 26, 1841,
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when a description of Christmas 1901, when D. H. Holmes had a Day noted that “the children contest, and took an ad in The looked as happy as plumcake Picayune to announce that “Santa and the presents of will deliver his cake to Santa Claus could Edna M. Konrad, 1731 Santa Claus make them” Canal St., she having Distributing Gifts The 1850s saw a written him the best From the Christmas steamship named Tree in the Music Hall letter.” of the 1884 Cotton By 1906, Santa Santa Claus which Centennial Exposition h i m s e l f wa s a t plied the waters in Audubon Park of New York State. the store. In the Most memorably, December 22, 1906 the Santa Claus bore the body Picayune, D.H. Holmes advertised of statesman Henry Clay up the “Children’s Day in Toyland” where Hudson River to Albany, New York “Santa Claus is waiting, little ones, from Manhattan on his corpse’s to listen to all your demands… ten-day journey from Washington, and, he will see that your dreams D.C. to Lexington, Kentucky. come true.” Maison Blanche also hosted By 1880, Santa Claus in New Orleans had become entangled Santa. In a December 4, 1914 with two German customs trans- Picayune ad, headlined “Toy and ported here: the Christmas tree Doll Fairyland,” readers were and the kindergarten. As described invited to “visit Santa Claus.” in an 1881 issue of the Louisiana A few decades passed before Journal of Education, Mrs. J. E. Santa rode in his first Christmas Seeman’s Kindergarten Institute parade. On December 12, 1940, hosted Santa Claus, who arrived WWL Radio aired a description “after a very rapid transit from at 9:30 p.m. of the children’s Germany,” came through a second Christmas parade on Canal St., story window, and distributed gifts. and on December 15, 1941, The The December 23, 1883 Picayune Picayune reported “War might described the arrival of Santa be raging throughout the world,” Claus through a trap door on the but “for the school children of stage before Mrs. Seeman’s little New Orleans” the Christmas students at a party at “Werlein season started in earnest with Hall,” a theater which formerly the Christmas Parade “led by a had hosted German plays and was roly-poly Santa Claus, riding in owned by Phillip Werlein, music his reindeer-drawn sleigh.” Luckily for us, Santa is still store proprietor. Santa had made it to the depart- visiting New Orleans! • ment stores by Christmas Day,
courtesy of the historic new orleans collection
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myne w orleans.com
Local Color CHRIS ROSE . MODINE GUNCH . JOIE D’EVE . IN TUNE . BOOK REVIEWS . JAZZ LIFE . HOME
Dr. John and The Gris-Gris Krewe perform at Tipitina’s december 27th and 28th
LOCAL COLOR . CHRIS ROSE
Season’s Musings… From a Professional Curmudgeon By Chris Rose
everal people whose opinions I regard have commented lately that my monthly columns in this magazine have taken on a darker tone than usual. An easy way to dismiss that notion would be to point out that the times we live in have a darker tone than usual, and that, as a journalist, I am simply reflecting and reporting on the environment and culture to which l am exposed. Nevertheless, for this issue of the magazine, imbued with the spirit of the holidays, I thought I would make a concerted effort to embrace the spirit of the season and make an effort to present the 44
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goodness of mankind and the triumph of the human condition. You know: Joy to the World and all that .… This is not an easy task for someone who has made his living in the local media for more than 30 years as a professional curmudgeon. I did it at the Times-Picayune, I did it at Gambit Weekly, I did it for Fox 8 News, and now I do it here. I bitch. It’s good work if you can get it. And to my credit, only one of those media outlets fired me. So I must be pretty good at it. Or, in this era of content over
quality, I am at least a prolific complainer. Thus, inspired by the great campaign slogan by perennial New Orleans mayoral candidate, Manny Chevrolet - “A Troubled Man for Troubled Times” - I present to you my literary dose of seasonal good cheer: Don’t you just go completely bonkers when you’re pumping gas at a corner convenience store and, when it gets to the last fifty cents on the meter, the gas flow suddenly automatically diminishes to a mere trickle and you stand there shaking your knee impatiently waiting for those last drops to get in your tank so you can get on with the horror of a brand new day? I think it’s a scam. A way for local gas merchants to recoup twenty or thirty cents from every customer, because the basic human tendency is to say to oneself, “Oh, to hell with it!” and just place the nozzle back in its holder and head off without wasting any more time. I do that all the time. It’s not until I am out on the street that I realize I wasn’t really in a hurry in the first place. Still, there ought to be a law. On a completely different note: Where is Bobby Jindal? I was just wondering. Several years ago I was Christmas shopping in Metairie and the driver of the car in front of me tossed a bag of trash from Kentucky Fried Chicken out her window into the middle of Clearview Parkway. That kind of thing really jingles my bells. So I sped up alongside her and
rolled down my window to - shall we say - emphatically express my objection to her cavalier breach of holiday comportment. She was still nibbling on her last thigh as she drove and, with a haunting, oily, vengeful smirk, (Think: Heath Ledger in the Batman movie), she whipped the half-chewed remains of her solitary, high-speed suburban Christmas Eve dinner out her window and in mine. Apparently it had been quite a formidable chicken in its time - the cock of the walk! - because that hefty-battered grease bomb hit the side of my neck and exploded inside my car like shrapnel from a roadside IED in Mesopotamia. My car smelled like fried chicken for forty days and forty nights. She couldn’t have wrist-flicked such a random projectile with such stunning, malevolent precision if she tried it a thousand more times. I don’t publicly accost litterers as much as I used to. And here’s two words to brighten your day: Puerto Rico. Did you know that most people there think they are Americans? That’s crazy. Even crazier: Did you know that Santa Claus is white? I heard it on Fox News. I have not made up a word of this story. And speaking of the War on Christmas, please remember in these tranquil, holy and reflective times: Always keep the X in Xmas. It’s important. And may the joys and blessings of the holiday season keep you safe and warm. • Jason Raish Illustration
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LOCAL COLOR . modine gunch
ome people are dreaming of a white Christmas. I’ll take rain. Last year the Gunches spent Christmas Up North. I got to explain. My mother-inlaw Ms. Larda might look like any other old lady, but she caroused around the block a few times when she was young. Her first husband was a Lollapalooza, a Italian boy with a roving eye. Other parts of him roved, too. Those parts was roving with a lady named Bimbette when Bimbette’s husband came home unexpected. Lollapalooza leapt for the balcony, miscalculated, and plunged three floors in his fedora and boxer shorts. This left Bimbette with some explaining to do, and Ms. Larda a tragic widow with four little Lollapaloozas. First thing she did was flush Lollapalooza’s entire wardrobe down the toilet. A year later, she married the plumber, Gomer Gunch, who had come to New Orleans from North Dakota to visit and stayed for the food. The kids all took the name Gunch because it was easier to spell. And before poor Gomer passed on, of Ms. Larda’s wonderful cooking, they produced Gloriosa, the family beauty, and the last of the Gomer Gunches of Frostbit, North Dakota. A year ago, Gloriosa got a legal letter saying that twelve Gunch gravesites in Frostbit would revert to the state on Jan 1, unless she went there and laid claim or sold them, per her great-great-grandpa’s will.
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Gunches on the Road A North Dakota Christmas By Modine Gunch
Gloriosa has married rich and don’t need more money, but she gets a brilliant idea. The entire family can experience a white Christmas. She will sell the plots for enough to fly us all up there. She makes a reservation for us all at the Buttered Toast Lodge in Frostbit. We will occupy the whole place. We get there the day before Christmas Eve, me and all the Gunches, looking like fat mummies in the warmest clothes we own, which ain’t warm enough. Right away, I notice Ms. Larda is glaring at the tourist map. “They got an unhealthy obsession with rear ends in North Dakota,” she says. “Looka all these places. White Butt. Black Butt. Camel Butt. Even Young Man’s Butt.”
“It’s ‘butte.’ Pronounced ‘beaut,” I say. “Yeh? Why not name them ‘asses’ and pronounce them ‘ahhhsses’? Means the same thing,” she says. I don’t argue. I am looking out the window and there ain’t no snow. Just rain. Like home, only colder. Santa is bringing the kids little red sleds tomorrow. This will be a problem. It gets worse. Ms. Larda finds out what Ruth and Ethel, the two old ladies who run the place, are planning for Christmas dinner. Turkey stuffing made from sliced bread and celery. White gravy made from butter and flour. Boiled potatoes. She tells me to call my gentleman friend Lust — he is flying in
late, because his bar business is hopping right now —tell him we got a emergency, and to bring a quart of oysters, some French bread, and a bunch of other things. On Christmas morning, Lust turns up with it all, just like Santa Claus. We still don’t got snow, but we can see a lot of it on top of them butts with the nasty names. So we borrow Ethel’s old VW van, pile in with kids and sleds, and go there. Thank God Ethel dug out something called “snow pants” for the kids, pocket warmers for us, and sent hot chocolate in a lot of thermoses. Ms. Larda stays at the lodge with Ruth and Ethel, all chopping and sautéing and mixing and nobody making white gravy. We slide on sleds; create a Mr. Bingle out of snow; make the kinds of snowballs you throw, and throw them; find out that shrimp boots, even with three pairs of socks under them, ain’t the same as snow boots, and freeze our butts off on that butte. We come home to hot gumbo. Oyster dressing. Stuffed mirlitons. Creamed potatoes with deep brown gravy. Bourbon pecan pie. Ruth and Ethel said they never ate so good in their lives. And we never knew about hand warmers or snow pants in our lives. So we all helped each other. That’s what it’s all about. •
LORI OSIECKI ILLUSTRATION
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LOCAL COLOR . JOIE D’EVE
Low Effort Meals When you just need to get your kids fed. By Eve Crawford Peyton
’ll admit it. I’m kind of spoiled. wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day? Most days, my husband is the Me. Buying birthday presents for one who does all the cooking. parties? Usually me. Remembering Sometimes it’s fancy — herb- when library books are due, when crusted pork loin, risotto cakes, we have to pay the power bill, and and minted peas. Sometimes it’s what nights trash and recycling kid-friendly — spaghetti and meat- go out? Me, me, and me. balls, tacos, red beans and rice. But groceries, meal-planning, Sometimes the kids eat soup, and and cooking? Not it! we eat spicy tofu. And Sometimes I’ll sometimes we just get the urge to cook get tired of washing Excerpted from Eve something or I’ll see a Crawford Peyton’s dishes and order recipe that I’d like to blog, Joie d’Eve, takeout. The food is try, and I enjoy being which appears always delicious, but in the kitchen, chopeach Friday on the main thing that MyNewOrleans.com ping, sautéing, zesting I like is that I don’t lemons, sprinkling salt, have to worry about it. tasting, tweaking, adding a splash Making sure the kids are of wine. But cooking for a family
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of picky kids at the end of a long, hectic day is not nearly as gratifying as cooking used to be in my grad school days, when I had hours to make something elaborate and my friends had hours to enjoy it while they showered me with effusive praise and kept refilling my wineglass. Of course, sometimes I do have to cook — when my husband is sick or out of town or just tired
of cooking. On those days, I have several go-to meals, all of which my kids will eat without complaint (unless they’re in a mood). They’re not gourmet, and they’re not particularly healthy, but they’re better than just ordering pizza (which is my fourth go-to meal in a pinch). Here are a couple your family may also enjoy. •
Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili
Pasta with White Beans, Lemon, and Tomatoes
There are about 80 million recipes for this. This is the one I use because it requires literally six ingredients, including spices, and it requires absolutely no chopping or mincing or dicing. I’m not overpromising here — this probably is not the “world’s best chicken chili.” But it is exactly what it says it is: chicken chili that you make in the slow cooker. 1 package of chicken breasts 2 cans of cannellini beans 1 jar of your favorite salsa (I like Frontera Roasted Tomato) 1 tablespoon of chili powder 1 teaspoon of cumin 1 bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1. Put the first five ingredients in your slow cooker, and cook for six hours (or until you’re able to get home and turn it off). 2. Take the chicken out, shred it, and return it to the slow cooker. 3. Stir in the bag of shredded cheese, and cook for 1 more hour on low. 4. Serve with rice — or just out of bowls.
I watched Sara Moulton make a version of this when I was home on maternity leave with Ruby. I forget how she made it. This is my version. I’m sure it’s not as good as hers, but I make it all the time. 1 onion, diced Olive oil Salt 1 lemon, zested and then juiced 1 can of cannellini beans 1 can of diced tomatoes 1 pound of cooked pasta 1. Cook the onion in olive oil; add some salt after about 3 minutes, and then continue cooking for at least 15 minutes if your kids are anywhere near as offended by “crunchy” onions as mine are. 2. Add the zest and juice of the lemon, along with the beans and tomatoes. 3. If you have wine or stock, you can add a splash, but it’s fine if you don’t. 4. Let it simmer while the pasta finishes cooking, and then stir it all together. 5. Top with Parmesan if you’ve got it.
jane sanders illustration
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LOCAL COLOR . in tune
calendar must-see music
Dead and Company jam at the Smoothie King Center. DEC. 8
Ambient producer Giraffage plays Republic. DEC. 9
The powerful pop of Pale Waves comes to Gasa Gasa. George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
Year End Hits Funk and More By Mike Griffith
his year Tipitina’s has come through in a big few years Clinton and co. have dropped into Tips way for your New Years celebrations. In those around the New Year. With the versatility and years where New Years Day falls on a Monday, expansiveness of the Parliament Funkadelic crew, the entire week before the holiday seems to fill up you never quite know what to expect from these with excellent events which culminate with the shows—but they are always outstanding. With two weekend crescendo. The festivities begin with nights available to him you can be sure Clinton will two nights of Dr. John and The Gris-Gris Krewe spread out within the material allowing himself on the 27th and 28th. Mac has always had an air a chance to play with the experimentation that of the mystical about his performances. A blessing makes these performances so much fun. from The Night Tripper is certainly a good idea Finally on New Year’s Eve itself, Galactic returns for the year ahead. Dr. John and company spent for their annual New Year’s blow out. In the great the summer on the festival circuit with a couple tradition of Galactic shows, there is a steady stream of gigs supporting The Avett Brothers. They are in of excellent guest performances and extended jams. remarkable form and the signature jams I know I say this every year, but this is that sit at the heart of New Orleans funk truly one of the best places to be in New have rarely sounded better. Of course Tips is Orleans on New Years Eve. The crowd is Playlist of mentioned ground zero for the expansive jam session. great, the environment is comfortable. I If you aren’t danced out after two nights bands available highly recommend the VIP package which of Dr. John, he is followed by the arrival at:http://bit.ly/ includes dinner from Jacques-Imo’s and InTune12-17 of the Mothership—George Clinton and an open bar. Parliament Funkadelic step in for two more nights The timing here is perfect all around. When of funk (29th and 30th). Local funk encyclopedia you are desperate for a bit of an escape from the and longtime friend of Clinton, DJ Soul Sister, will extended family, sneak over to one of these great be getting things going both nights. For the past concerts. It’s a legendary run of shows. •
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Bully brings their excellent new record to Gasa Gasa. DEC. 10
Pokey Lafarge heads to Tips with his excellent Americana. DEC. 12
The incomparable Randy Newman will take the Orpheum Stage. DEC. 17
Guitar phenom Jake Bugg will be at Tipitina’s. DEC. 21
Country Legend Robert Earl Keen drops into the House of Blues.
Dates are subject to change; email Mike@ MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.
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LOCAL COLOR . book reviews
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
The Incomparable Magazine Street by John Magill, Photography by Margot Landen Take a virtual stroll through history along Magazine Street, New Orleans’ celebrated and six-mile stretch of shops, boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, groceries and so much more. The Incomparable Magazine Street gives readers a glimpse into the past with historic photos, advertisements and documents, along with side-by-side comparison of the streetscapes both then and now. While some locations have been completely transformed, like the former Magazine Street Market in the lower garden district, others remain delightfully unchanged (check out the 1940’s version of Casamento’s restaurant with a photo from today). Author and New Orleans historian John Magill and award-winning photographer Margot Landen highlight one of the most important commercial streets in New Orleans, and celebrate the uniqueness that makes it so enduring.
Best-selling author, New Orleans native and Tulane University history professor Walter Isaacson has profiled some of the most influential figures in history, from Benjamin Franklin to Steve Jobs. His latest biography offers a meaningful look at a true genius, Leonardo da Vinci. Isaacson parallels da Vinci’s work as a scientist with his work as an artist, and defines him as a creative and innovative outsider. Da Vinci’s life, through Isaacson’s lens, is an inspiring example of marching to the beat of one’s own drum.
Cityscapes of New Orleans by Richard Campanella Uptown, downtown; riverside, lakeside; mapping and navigating New Orleans has its own unique language. Tulane School of Architecture geographer Richard Campanella explores the faubourgs, rues and wards that reflect the city’s long history and culture from France, Spain and the Caribbean. Visitors will learn the inside information on the stories that surround the city (why are medians called “neutral grounds”?). Locals will enjoy learning the how’s and whys that have created the streetscapes surrounding the landscape of New Orleans (What’s the story on the Canal Street sinkhole?).
By Ashley McLellan, Please send submissions for consideration, attention: Ashley McLellan, 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005
H = Did not finish
HH = Sort of ok, but kind of meh
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HHH = Enjoyable HHHH = Really, really liked it HHHHH = Loved it; a new favorite!
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LOCAL COLOR . jazz life
Alliances Forged Don Paul in words and music By Jason Berry
ew Orleans has been a magnet to artists and activists who can’t shake the pass-through experience, feel the pull, and rearrange life’s furniture in the city at the bottom of America. In this season of giving, we turn to Don Paul, jazz poet, performer, raiser of awareness and funds for causes in his soul. After being the youngest Wallace Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing at Stanford University, Paul spent time in Louisiana in the 1970s, writing fiction in time away from his day job. In 1980 he went back
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to the Bay Area, making a name in San Francisco as a performing poet and record producer. Befriended by the fabled Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Paul had his work displayed on a special rack in City Lights, Ferlinghetti’s iconic bookstore. In 2005, watching Hurricane Katrina’s impact on TV hit Don Paul so hard that in one of those jump-cuts that make sense with the monopoly of hindsight, he moved to the flood-ravaged town and got involved with Common Ground, the grass roots organization in the
Ninth Ward led by Malik Rahim. “We had more than 10,000 volunteers and $2 million in donations in 2006. ” Paul said. “We gutted more than 1,200 houses and 17 schools and and helped to save St. Augustine church.” Paul has since forged alliances with musicians like Kidd Jordan and Morikeba Koyuaté, who performed on the poet’s CD entitledWomen Center Earth, Sea, and Sky. Finding the center put Paul in a new kind of space. Rain needles the roof Like a dancing drill And I wish That we could be together As a single cell or rock or reef of coral Is together As a star is together. The lines are from “I Miss My Wife,” Paul’s celebration of Maryse Dejean, whose mellifluous Haitian accent on WWOZ radio made him want to meet the woman with those tonal currents. It happened in December 2011: he got himself over to the WWOZ volunteers’ party at Café Istanbul and encountered Maryse in the entryway. He smiled, she smiled. He mumbled, she wondered. A groove began, life waves that took Paul to Haiti with Maryse after they married. There
he experienced the island’s beauty and the dignity of Haitian workingpeople. They have been to Haiti six times since January 2014 with the non-profit they co-direct, Sticking Up For Children. Don Paul performs on November 30 at the U.S. Mint with his Rivers of Dreams band and on December 14 at SUFC’s fund-raising Festiva #5, at the Ashe Cultural Arts Ce nter (1724 Oretha Castle Haley Drive). Musicians on both nights include Roger Lewis, Carl LeBlanc and Mario Abney. Festiva #5 adds Evan Christoper and Kirk Joseph for a ‘Classic Quintet’. “Sticking up For Children came about” Paul explained, “when Cyril and Gaynielle Neville in 2013 contacted Maryse and me with drumsticks that they had painted with their grandchildren. Their idea was to sell these drumsticks as art with proceeds to benefit a Haitian orphanage. Since 2014 Sticking Up for Children has provided over $20,000 in funds and over $80,000 in goods and services to its partners in Haiti and New Orleans. Schools are using 3-D printers to generate musical instruments, objets d’art and parts for prosthetic limbs. “New Orleans and Haiti feel a lot alike,” Paul said. “Both places of spirits crossing bridges and surprising you around corners.” •
cheryl gerber photo
LOCAL COLOR . home
Best Laid Plans Handicap accessible, family friendly and timelessly beautiful By Lee Cutrone
full year of planning and another of building went into the realization of Ann and Larry Rabin’s home a block and a half off of St. Charles Avenue. The goal was to build a house that is as beautiful as it is completely functional for Larry’s wheelchair and for the couple’s family, which includes seven grandchildren. “We built it for accessibility and family gathering, but we were also building the house of our dreams,” Ann said. “People walk in and have no idea it’s totally [wheelchair] accessible. It just feels open and airy and bright.” The Rabins – Larry, a commercial real estate investor and developer, and Ann, who is retired as director of education for the Audubon Zoo – wanted to go from two-story living to one-story living, but didn’t want to downsize to a place that wasn’t conducive to family. Originally, they thought they would renovate a house. Then, in 2013, they found an Uptown tear-down with a prime address and decided to build instead. Working with designer and contractor Michael Carbine of M. Carbine Restorations, and with input from their daughter Maggie Weber, who owns her own design business, Sterling + Villa, they took their time mapping out a classically inspired house that would suit both their needs and their tastes.
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Top: Carbine and the Rabins designed a furniture plan to include the Rabin’s antiques and furnishings collected over the years; the neutral palette ranges from yellow, to cream to taupe; curtains by Katie Koch. The idea was for the couple to live on the first floor, while the second floor would accommodate guests and visiting family. To that end, they packed the size of their former home, 3,000 square feet, into the first floor of the new house. The second story has an additional 1,600 square feet with three guest rooms, a sitting room, and an office/crafts room for Ann. The Rabins loved their former home and were set on duplicating some of its features. The pool and covered patio, for example, were designed to replicate the feel of those at the last house. They also noted what they didn’t like and designed accordingly. This time, they wanted a larger dining room, a kitchen that flows into the central living space, a living room with easy accessibility, a wheelchairaccessible elevator, wide threshold-free casement openings and halls, off street parking conducive to going from car to wheelchair to house, a zero-entry shower and two offices instead of a shared office. Ann wanted every room to have outdoor views and access (the intentional
Greg Miles photographs
exception is the master bedroom, which has views only) and few interior halls. Lastly, the couple wanted ample storage and took into account everything that needed a place of its own. Nothing was left to chance. Maggie inventoried the furniture and the Rabins worked with Carbine to devise a floor plan with a spot for each piece. That in turn enabled them to precisely place electrical outlets and lighting. The couple even consulted an occupational therapist about the positioning of items such as grab bars. Ann and Carbine also anticipated how Larry would enter and move through the house. A subtley graded ramp in the driveway allows him to roll into the garden room with ease and pass freely from room to room. “Investing in the design phase is critical,” Ann said. “Designing with Michael, who understands people and what they need was great,” she added. “We moved things around as we needed.” The open design has proved beneficial in another way as well. “It has a great flow for entertaining,” Larry said. To achieve the old world European aesthetic the Rabins envisioned, Carbine combined their request for a low-maintenance stucco exterior with wrought iron architectural details. Inside he combined timeless materials, such as marble and wood floors, with their antiques and art and with decorative touches drawn from his complementary antiques business (such as a pair of old French doors used as closets in the front of the house and an architectural remnant highlighted over the bar). “Michael adapted the European pieces to fit so that there is a seamless
Top, left: Classic Cupboards helped design the kitchen, which combines clean contemporary lines and materials such as stainless steel, with old world touches, such as the stove hood painted by Anne Mcgee; the marble countertops are Calacatta Gold. Top, right: Homeowners Larry and Ann Rabin. Bottom, right: Carbine designed the landings on either side of the front steps for planters, which he had fabricated; customized doors with iron pieces from mac Maison Ltd.; lanterns by Bevolo; landscape by Ryan Cole.
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transfer,” Ann said, who found the process of building new easier than renovating because there were no surprises. “That’s why the planning is so critical. We ended up without mistakes.” Larry is equally pleased with the house. “I love the accessibility for myself,” he said. “But I also love that we have room for our kids and grandchildren to visit.” •
Facing page: Top, left: Kids’ guest room roman shade by Katie Koch, bunk beds from Pottery Barn; the painted chair was made by one of the Rabin’s daughters when she was a child. Top, right: The neutral color of the master bedroom has a touch of gray, while the ceiling has a subtle pink tint. French enfilade from Petricia Thompson Antiques, botanicals from New Orleans Auction, iron and wood chandelier from Karla Katz, headboard and curtains (not shown) by Katie Koch. Bottom, left: The Rabin’s rescue Field Retriever, Fitz (adopted from Gulf South Golden Retriever Rescue), on the living room sofa, his favorite spot; a Nicole Charbonnet painting hangs above the sofa. Bottom, right: The desk area of the kids’ guest room includes artwork by the Rabin’s 9-year old granddaughter, books, crafts supplies, and stools from The Land of Nod. This page: Top: The kitchen roman shade made with a chartreuse Jim Thompson fabric and the outdoor views set the tone for the greens in the garden room; shade and the custom tufted banquette, both by Katie Koch; the sectional sofa from Jade was customized with a higher height for Larry.; diptych above sofa by Karen Stastny, painting over banquette by Elemore Morgan, Jr. Bottom: The dining room furnishings all came from the Rabin’s former house; painted buffet and walnut dining table from Petricia Thompson Antiques, chairs and chandelier from mac Maison Ltd., painting by Allison Stewart.
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TO G R A P H
BEST OF DINING Culbe
he New Orleans dining scene continues to enthrall, thrill and entertain. While we may have lost several local favorites, the list of dining options are bigger and better than ever, and buoyed by a burgeoning craft brewing and distilling scene. We can now drink, as well as eat, local. Our selections for the best of the best were made by our trio of restaurant writers plus our editorial staff. The choice was a challenge, but we were able to make selections with no reservations.
Jason Goodeno ugh
t has been a crazy year on the dining scene. Stoner sandwich shops propelled to the upper echelons of fine dining acclaim, a chain reaction of food festivals, the explosive expose at the Besh Restaurant Group and drama with Tales of the Cocktail…the list goes on. Yet if you look past the spectacle, you might notice a small restaurant in the Riverbend that has quietly been building a name for itself, proceeding with small, precise steps to become a critical darling. In the face of all the trends and hype out there, it has discreetly worked its way to the top. This restaurant is Carrollton Market, helmed by owner Jason Goodenough, who is our 2017 Chef of the Year. Carrollton Market initially opened as a contemporary bistro that leaned heavily on
southern influence. Since then it has matured, unfolding almost organically as Goodenough widened the spectrum to encompass a broad range of perspective, including French, Italian and Japanese. But he still deftly manages to link dishes to home. A case in point is the Duck Confit, with a southern twist on the classic French method. Goodenough supplements the confit process with additional fat rendered from Benton’s Bacon to layer the flavor, resulting in a deeper, smokier taste. At press time it was accompanied by Collard Greens Ravioli and ‘pot likker’ jus – a contemporary southern star. Goodenough spent his formative years in Philly with French Chef Georges Perrier and Japanese Chef Masaharu Morimoto, and their
influence is seen in both these dishes, but Goodenough adds his own spin, setting them apart. Goodenough is quick to credit his staff for their input as well. “Everyone here brings something to the table,” he says. “It’s a collaborative effort and that’s led to the evolution of this restaurant.” Building on his success, Goodenough has lately added brunch with a beast of a cin-
Whole Roasted Fish with farm vegetables, shaved fennel salad, and harissa; Smoky Housemade Duck Confit with collard green and Taleggio ravioli, and pecan-caramel gastrique; Slow-Roasted Pork Belly with vegetable fried rice, baby boy choy, farm egg, and hoisin; Hamachi Crudo with watermelon, lime, mint, and hazelnuts
8132 Hampson St. / 252-9928 CarrolltonMarket.com
namon roll that has received attention from Food and Wine and his burger rates as one of the best of the luxe versions that appear on white tablecloths around town. Chefdom at first did not seem to be in the cards for Goodenough, who originally aimed for a career in finance. But his parents loved food and dining, and an upbringing that included a childhood spent partly in London, augmented by travels in France, planted the seeds for a future in the restaurant industry. “I love food,” he says. “It has always been a central part of my life.” After college he interned on Wall Street but “thought it was like the worst thing, ever.” He switched gears, enrolled in the CIA (Culinary Institute of America), and never looked back. Since then he has made a name for himself with his guest-focused approach and an emphasis on culinary excellence. These are fundamentals, but fundamentals matter. “It is good to know that a focus on the basics and a commitment to customer service can still get you noticed,” Goodneough says. “I’m relieved to know it is not all viral trends and hype.” - Jay Forman
Best bake shop Beth Biundo Sweets 3917 Baronne St. / 899-8059 bethbiundosweets.com
Wedding Cake Cup Cakes with Buttercream Icing; Chocolate Caramel Almond Tart; Five-Layer Ombre Wedding Cake
eth Biundo spent about a decade running the dessert/pastry program at the Magazine Street restaurant Lilette. She left in 2013 to pursue a career in interior design, but at some point she knew she wanted to get back into pastry. She started a business making special order cakes out of a commissary, but she began looking for a storefront before long. It took about a year and a half to find the right space, but she’d outgrown the space she’d been using, and she wanted a place where she could interact with customers without driving all over town to meet with people at their homes. She also enjoyed decorating the new place, which was formerly the butcher shop Cleaver & Co. She’s created a comforting space, with white walls and subtle colors in the pale green leather chairs and occasional bursts of interest such as in the pattern on a woven basket on sale in a display when I was last there. It’s that sort of detail that makes her food so special, too. Baking requires precision, and Chef Biundo marries that precision with the sort of creativity that separates the good cooks from the great. Chef Biundo’s business is still largely special orders, and a lot of that is cakes. But having tasted the desserts she plated at Lilette, I assure you there’s a great breadth to her talent. At her new shop, she offers cookies, cupcakes, tarts and ice cream in addition to cakes, and you can find a limited selection of everything in a glass display case near the entrance. Chef Biundo told me that regular customers call her to find out the ice cream flavor of the day, and I think that tells you all you need to know. When you have that sort of clientele in New Orleans, you’re doing something right. That’s why we’re proud to name Beth Biundo Sweets our Bake Shop of the Year for 2017. - Robert Peyton
Ojo de Bife; Papas Saladas; Grilled Beets with Gorgonzola dolce, pickled pistachios, and salsa verde; Rábano Salad; Grilled Carrots with goat cheese and honey untado, and chive oil Corn Asado
2037 Metairie Road 570-6338 / BrasaSteaks.com
here is something about New Orleans that brings out the best talents in the population. Our want to not do it the easy way. A couple of guys from South America who love good food meet at Delgado Community College, but not in the Culinary School (Finance and Art programs), decide to open a steakhouse featuring beef prepared the way it’s done in their native Ecuador and Columbia, make it casual but decidedly upscale, in a town that is renowned for seafood, and have a great time with the project. Brasa Churrasqueria, and its dedicated, focused owners, Antonio Mata and Edgar Caro, have found a following, which is growing dramatically, by serving excellent cuts of meat cooked over a South Americanstyle wood burning grill. Their success has not just been achieved over the short period of time they have been open, it is the result of growing up with this style of cuisine at their homes in South America. Nothing gimmicky. Straightforward, authentic preparations like Mamá and Papá used to serve every week. - Tim McNally
309 Decatur St. / 525-7877 TedBrennansDecatur.com Salted Pretzel; The Bavarian; Red Cabbage Beer Marinated Pork Shank with sauerkraut, potato dumpling, and gravy
Best German Restaurant
ew Orleans has a German heritage that’s been largely overlooked. We once had multiple German restaurants, and a thriving German culture, but after two world wars, things changed. When I was a young man just starting to work in the CBD, Kolb’s restaurant was the last holdout. I’m told it was far from its glory days when I experienced it, but I certainly enjoyed the food and the beer and dining in a room with belt-driven fans and a lot of history. Bratz Y’all is every bit as German as Kolb’s; chef-owner Sven Vorkauf
Bratz Y’all 617-B Piety St / 301-3222 / bratzyall.com
is from Berlin, and the food and beer at his Bywater restaurant, Bratz Y’all, ist sehr Deutsch. Pretty much everything is made in-house, from the multiple varieties of bratwurst, to the sauerkraut, to the pretzels. It’s the only place in town that I’m aware you can find actual German dumplings, spätzle or the sort of apple strudel you’d find in Deutschland. They make an excellent schnitzel (pork or chicken) and red cabbage with apples and I’ll be damned if I can think of another place in town that uses caraway to such good effect.
There’s a relatively small dining room with high communal tables in the center and seats along a shelf that lines two walls, but the real fun is outside in the courtyard under the hanging lights and patioumbrellas. It’s a great place to try one of the many German beers on tap, or to sample a glass of German wine or schnapps. A lot of the allure of a German beer garden is the atmosphere, and Bratz Y’all pulls that off in spades; but it wouldn’t be deserving of recognition were it not also a great place to eat. - RP
xpectations were already running high for Ted Brennan’s Decatur before its namesake patriarch suddenly passed away in 2016. It fell upon two of his children, Teddy Brennan and Bridget Tyrell Brennan, to carry on their father’s legacy. In August, their ambitious new restaurant opened for business, starting a fresh chapter in the ongoing story of New Orleans’s first family of fine dining. The siblings were supported by a core group of veterans led by Executive Chef Lazone Randolph, who has been with the family since 1965. Several others have ties going back decades, an astonishing statistic for an industry known for its high turnover. Teddy credits his father for engendering such loyalty. “If dad instilled anything in me, it was a respect for people; for the employees as well as the guests,” he said. “They are the reason we do this; they make this all worthwhile.” Step inside and the heritage is unmistakable. The menu is a study in pared down elegance. Dish names have changed and there are some modest refinements, but overall diners will slip into it like a comfortable dinner jacket. This includes their definitive turtle soup, whose recipe is a fiercely guarded secret. Built upon a blonde roux, it picks up its burnished mahogany hue in part from paprika and tomato paste. “And that’s as much as I’m going to tell you,” chef said. For the full experience, consider Ted’s Breakfast, one of the most popular choices according to Bridget Brennan Tyrell. A champagne-based eye-opener leads into turtle soup. Next is a duo of egg dishes – Sardou and Bayou Bengals – followed by Crepes Fitzgerald for dessert. For dinner, Teddy’s go-to entrée is the Filet TMB – beef tenderloin stuffed with homemade Boursin, cracked peppercorns and finished with an orange and Cabernet wine reduction. “That was my dad’s favorite dish,” he says. Of course, no meal would be complete without Bananas Foster Blangé flamed tableside. “We changed the name to pay tribute to our original Chef Paul Blangé, who created the dish,” Teddy says. Their father would be proud. -JF
Banana’s Foster; Eggs Sardou; Brandy Milk Punch; Turtle Soup and Champagne
Ted a n’ s enn Br r Decatu xt gene
restaurant of the Year
ew Orleans has a significant population of folks from the Indian subcontinent, but we don’t have a lot of restaurants serving the cuisine of that region, and none with the ambition of Saffron NOLA, which opened earlier this year as a full-time restaurant on Magazine street. I write “full-time” because previously the Vilkhu family operated Saffron NOLA only one night a week, in what appeared from the outside to be a nondescript space in a strip mall in Gretna. The interior was far more elegant, giving diners a hint of the sort of food they’d soon be tasting. Both restaurants grew out of a catering operation that chef and pater familias Arvinder
Saffron Nola 4128 Magazine st. / 323-2626 / saffronnola.com
Vilkhu and his wife, Pardeep, ran as a side business for many years – long enough for their two children, son Ashwin and daughter Pranita, to become involved. That family connection hasn’t changed. Indeed, all four members of the clan are now directly involved in the eatery – Pardeep as the director of catering, Ashwin as the general manager and director of marketing and Pranita as the front of house manager and director of finance. Arvinder, the executive chef, studied the culinary arts formally in India and thereafter worked in Singapore. Since moving to New Orleans he has been the general manager of the Pickwick Club. The rest
of the family is no less distinguished; Pardeep is a psychologist, Ashwin has a master’s degree in hospitality, restaurant and tourism from UNO and is a certified master of spirits, and Pranita has a master’s in business administration. But what’s important about a restaurant is the food, and the food at Saffron NOLA is outstanding. It’s unmistakably Indian, but incorporates ingredients and techniques from European, Asian and American traditions as well. The roasted oysters are perhaps the best example of how chef Vilkhu has married his disparate influences into a cohesive whole. The dish is essentially a variation on char-
Tandoori Oven Naan and Roti Sathi; Oyster Bed Roast ; Left to right: Ashwin Vilku, Pardeep Vilkhu, Pranita Vilkhu, and Arvinder Vilkhu
grilled oysters, but at Saffron the seasonings include ginger and it’s served with naan bread fresh from the tandoor oven. Subtle changes, but effective. There are a number of other dishes that integrate local ingredients and
recipes into the Indian canon – the curried seafood for example – but the heart of the menu is authentically Indian, with dishes like goat masala, pork vindaloo and a dal that changes daily. The new space also includes a real
tandoor oven, meaning the naan and other breads are now cooked in-house. The beverage program is another area in which Saffron NOLA shines. The cocktails on the menu are thoughtful and pair well
with the food – no surprise with Ashwin’s background in the area. It’s also a beautiful place, with soft lighting and warm colors dominating the design. Imported fabrics on the walls soften the space further, and even when it’s
crowded (and it’s pretty much always crowded,) it’s not too loud. Saffron NOLA is one of the best restaurants to open in New Orleans in recent memory. It is justifiably crowded every night. - RP
Chicken Tinga, Pescado Frito, and Al Pastor
El Pavo Real re
s tau r a n t
4401 S. Broad Ave / 266-2022 elpavorealnola.com Pistachio and Cookies Black
ow and then you find a restaurant that serves comforting food with some ambition, and you want to return again and again. It’s not all that important what kind of food the restaurant serves, just that it feels like something you’d get at a home, albeit the home of someone who loves to cook and does it well. El Pavo Real is that sort of place. It’s a neighborhood restaurant run by a husband and wife team – Mario Aranda and Lindsay McLellan – the former from Oaxaca and the latter with long experience at the Esplanade Avenue restaurant Lola, who’ve looked to put down roots in Broadmoor. The restaurant is located at the juncture of Napoleon Avenue and Fontainebleau Street, in a space that was once a Time Saver convenience store. There’s no indication from the current layout of the building’s former life; there’s now a large, open dining room with ample light from windows on two sides, a bar towards the back and a semi-open kitchen that is actually bigger than it would appear possible when viewing the place from outside. McLellan, a sister-in-law of our own Managing Editor, has found the right balance between chef-driven food and the soul of the cuisine she’s cooking. Tortillas are made in-house, as are the tamales, salsas and one of the best mole poblano preparations you’ll ever taste. The tacos are outstanding, of course, and the chicken soup is a revelation with its mix of chiles, mirliton, potatoes and lime. Translated literally from Spanish, El Pavo Real means “the royal turkey,” but it’s actually an idiom for “peacock.” It’s an amusing name, and it strikes me as perfect for a restaurant that takes food seriously, but not so seriously I’d be worried about bringing children to dine there. That combination of excellent food and a welcoming atmosphere is why we’re naming El Pavo Real our favorite Mexican restaurant of 2017. - RP
Sweet Shop Piccola Gelateria of the Year 4525 Freret St. / 493-5999 / PiccolaGelateria.com
ronte Pistachios from Sicily. Amarena cherries from Modena. Caramelized fig and Valrhona chocolate… It’s not often that a dessert made with less fat can blow the competition away, but such is the case when you use ingredients like these. And this is what you will find at Piccola Gelateria, a jewel box of a sweet shop on Freret Street. “It’s a mixture
of passion, ingredients and technique that goes into our gelato,” says Ria Turnbull, who owns the shop with her chef husband Ross. “There is nothing better than seeing our customers smile when they taste those flavors.” Now entering its second year, Piccola offers the best gelato in town. The look and feel was inspired by the couple’s career travels to
Florence, Italy. The gelato is made in the Bolognese style, which is differentiated by the inclusion of egg yolks in the base for many of the flavors which adds an extra layer of richness. But vegans don’t despair – their sorbettos are completely non-dairy and fat free – and with the intensity of the 70 percent chocolate, rest assured you won’t miss a beat. - JF
3605 S. Carrollton Ave. 482-3935 / FiveHappiness.com beer flight
Craft Beers and Spirits concept of the Year Craft brewing and distilling finally makes it to NOLA
or many years there was a party going on all over America, except in New Orleans and Louisiana. The remedy has been slow in coming, but the Craft Brewing and Distillery movement has finally broken through in America’s best party city. Justin Boswell, Brewmaster at Wayward Owl Brewing Co., noted, “New Orleans is such a great food town, we felt there needed to be a local brew that was up to the challenge. And it had to be New Orleans through and through, which is one of the reasons we established our brewery in the old Gem Theatre in Broadmoor on Thalia.” New Orleans and the region have only recently created a suitable presence in the new world of micro and mini operations
to distill adult beverages. The reasons we have not been able to play in the Big Leagues in producing spirits and beer are both historic and legal. Most of the states who are doing great work in the micro-brewing field are to our west. These states did not bring a lot of historic baggage from the Prohibition years. And those western states did not have major breweries who operated taverns, a practice which became a detriment when the big breweries and distribution companies moved into the industry after the repeal of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Louisiana laws regarding the manufacture of alcoholic beverages needed updating to allow distilleries and breweries, ready with the
newest technology and techniques, to begin operations. Some of those laws were indeed updated. Not all. But it got us to the point where we now have a respectable representation of the distilling and brewing art operating within our borders. We were late to the party but we are finally having a dance. According to Kirk Coco, president, New Orleans Lager & Ale, NOLA Beer and NOLA Distilling, “The new market dynamics of making and selling adult beverages, and the more efficient equipment available, have enabled our breweries and distilleries to play catch-up in a very short period of time. It is amazing how far New Orleans has come, and how quickly.” - TM
ive Happiness is an Asian wish for good luck, prosperity, a long life, happiness and wealth. For more than 30 years in New Orleans, Five Happiness Restaurant has been providing several other wishes to local diners, including excellent Asian cuisines, reasonable prices in a comfortable setting. The restaurant inevitably ends up on diners’ polls not just as the best Chinese and Asian restaurant in town, but as one of the best restaurants of any cuisine type. Five Happiness paints Asian cuisine with a broad stroke. There are the quite-good reduced price/quickly served luncheon platters featuring soups, vegetables, fowl, seafood, and meat. Then, into the evening the entire and complete menus are more involved and richer in texture than standard Chinese restaurant dining fare. Hunan Shrimp and Beef are popular, along with beef and chicken in a hot garlic sauce, or the Moo Shu Pork. The Sweet and Sour chicken or pork are stand-out favorites. Other “usual” items are pot stickers, crispy whole fish and sizzling jumbo shrimp. Often overlooked is a satisfying and creative full bar offering of drinks and cocktails. Many of the cocktails are not just excellent but they are beautiful to behold. The Fog Cutter, Singapore Sling, Navy Grog, Mai Tai and shared Tiki Bowl slip across the line from Asian to Tiki. This level of quality, comfort and service is all the more amazing because New Orleans is not home to a large Chinese population, and the overriding local concept of “the best (fill in the blank with whatever cuisine you are discussing) comes from my momma’s kitchen,” really does not apply here. It has not applied for over 30 years at Five Happiness which has been recognized over and over again as the standard bearer in New Orleans. - TM
Chinese Baked Duck; Asparagus SautĂŠed with Shrimp
Braised Beef Short Rib in Adobo (at Mondo); Caramelized Des Allemandes Catfish (at Rosedale); Salmon Duo - Fried Salmon Collar and Salmon Poke (Bayona); Grilled Teres Major Steak with Potato Tortilla, Pimenton Aioil and Padron Peppers (Bayona)
susa spicen r R e s ta u rate ur o ft he year
t was the music of New Orleans. It spoke to me.” Susan Spicer, one of our town’s most beloved, talented and appreciated chefs, was relating how she came to New Orleans and what guided her. Today, as the proprietor of three highly-acclaimed dining establishments, she continues that journey which defines her career. An apt term for Susan is Restaurant Whisperer. “Each of the places I have started and owned, has spoken to me. I hear them expressing their individuality. The idea of taking a single theme and applying it to multiple addresses is not how I roll.” Bayona in the French Quarter is a different, more upscale dining experience from the casualness of Mondo and Rosedale, both in Lakeview. Susan notes, “There are similarities. We strive for the same quality goals in cuisine and in service, but the self-
expression of each place guides me and also excites me.” Susan’s talent in cooking and restaurant management was not always a thing in her life. She is, to be sure, devoted to her craft, hard-working, creative, curious, generous, detail-oriented and a team player. The only aspect of her well-rounded resume which can come as a bit of surprise is that from an early age being a chef and operating a restaurant was not in the picture. She is in the culinary world, technically, a late-bloomer. But hospitality was in her genes, likely due to her big family and helping her mother and father prepare the meals for the table. If the ideas of being an executive chef and operating restaurants were ever in her mind, those were well-hidden choices. As with all great chefs, there were important influences. In the late 70’s, Susan found work at the Louis XIV restaurant
where she worked under French Chef Daniel Bonnot. “He was tough, with a short fuse, and it forced me to do a better job than I thought I could do. Surprisingly, I found that I liked the craft and I enjoyed learning.” Another big influence in Susan’s career is her partner in Bayona, Regina Keever. “Here was someone who was more than a business partner, she guided me into greater success than I was likely to achieve on my own,” Susan humbly notes. It’s a valid observation that Susan learned restaurant management in the same way she learned how to be a chef: hands-on. But, of course, first one must have the desire and the dedication, and what follows is
experience and sound judgement. Susan attended the University of New Orleans but soon yearned for the alternative, the School of Hard Knocks. She graduated from the latter Cum Laude and continues to dazzle on both sides of the swinging kitchen door. Her gracious Southern charm is lagniappe to an all-star personality and talent. Susan has been inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. She is a multiple James Beard Awardee, winner of the Mondavi Culinary Excellence Award and the prestigious Ivy Award; inducted into Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame, and the Culinary Hall of Fame. - TM
Bayona / 430 Dauphine St. / 525-4455 / Bayona.com Mondo / 900 Harrison Ave. / 224-2633 / MondoNewOrleans.com Rosedale Restaurant / 801 Rosedale Dr. / 309-9595 RosedaleRestaurant.com
105 MetairieHammond Hwy Metairie / 345-2936 station6nola.com
Kimberly and the Rum Barrel tiki cocktail
Mixologist of the Year
’m from Jacksonville, Florida and have always loved the South. I just did not realize how much until I spent some time in New York City.” On such rationales, entire lives are determined, fates sealed and careers assured. Kimberly Patton-Bragg had to leave her home region to find out how wonderful it is. Then she and her husband spent some time in New Orleans. That was the Game Changer. On coming to live in New Orleans: “We could not believe this place. People kept telling us how great the city was, but
Kimberly Patton-Bragg Latitude 29 / 321 N. Peters St. / 609-3811 / Latitude29NOLA.com
not really as a place to live. Yet here was everything we wanted: history, music, culture, the cuisine, the people, and a love of well-crafted cocktails that you experience in very few places. Very few On the cocktail scene: “New Orleans is easily on the same level of professionalism as New York but the people of New Orleans are warmer, more hospitable.” “I love what I do. I am at the center of the scene every night. And in New Orleans, I am happy to challenge myself to stay current and relevant,
but the truth is this town does a good job of keeping me on my toes and on top of my craft.” While a lot of what Kimberly prepares are old standards, her latest gig at Latitude 29, Jeff Berry’s destination bar and restaurant has placed her in the position to learn new tricks. “Tiki drinks are among the most complicated to make. Call Tiki the ‘Dark Arts,” if you will. The multitude of ingredients has to remain balanced, not always the easiest of tasks. It also means that with just a little variation, I can make a whole new drink.” - TM
n the edge of Bucktown and the 17th Street Canal a bounty of seafood places beckon. But there is one that stands apart from the crowd: Station 6. Helmed by the husband-and-wife team of Allison Vega-Knoll and Drew Knoll, this restaurant recently entered its second year with an expanding menu and a terrific under-the-radar brunch. The menu is distinguished by seafood choices that are regional but relatively uncommon in these parts, such as the Seared Pompano basted in a curried brown butter sauce and cracked stone crab claws with house-made aioli (served in season). Credit Drew Knoll, whose experience with local seafood purveyor Craig Borges gives him an insider’s edge on sourcing. But more than anything else it is the skill set of the kitchen’s veteran team that makes this place hum. Station 6 puts a tight focus on execution and the results stand out. “The other night a customer came in and said he loved our restaurant because you get white tablecloth food in a causal setting,” Allison Vega told me, and I couldn’t have put it better myself. -JF
Re s ta ura nt
Station e the y
Kale Salad with goat cheese, grilled corn, sweet onion, tomatoes, pistachios, and roasted poblano vinaigrette Crabmeat topped Soft Shell Crab with Asparagus and Potatoes; Old Fashion Rum Punch
Yule Jewels While we enjoy the twinkling lights of the holiday season, the brightest baubles might be wrapped up under the tree. Here are some stunning pieces from local jewelers to gift or be gifted. by mirella cameran photographed by theresa cassagne model Gabrielle Chaisson makeup by Meggan D. Ory hair by beth danos
Vintage-style 18 karat white gold chandelier earrings featuring 11 carats of round brilliant, baguette, rose and briolette cut diamonds; platinum ring with 4.80 carat cushion cut sapphire with two step cut trapezoid diamonds; 14 karat white gold sapphire and diamond necklace with 15.31 carats of oval cut sapphires and 8.42 carats of round brilliant diamonds; 14 karat white gold link bracelet with 6.95 carats of diamonds and 18 karat white gold vintage diamond bangle. Wellington & Company Jewelers,525-4855, WCJewelry.com.
Rose cut 13.67 carats white diamonds earrings in 18 karat rose gold; pink diamond circle pendant in 18 karat rose gold and 16.38 carats of diamonds, diamond briolette necklace in 18k white gold with 13.66 carats of white diamonds. By Vivaan and exclusive to HGM Fine Jewelry, 957-3409, HGMJewelry.com.
Flower design 18 karat white gold ruby and diamond bracelet; 18 karat white gold ruby and diamond necklace with seven oval rubies encircled by pave diamonds, 18 karat white gold ruby and diamond ring, 18 karat white gold Burma ruby and diamond drop earrings. Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, 832-0000, lmfj.com.
Emerald and diamond18 karat white gold necklace; 18 karat white gold emerald and diamond bracelet; Platinum Jewels By Star handmade emerald and diamond ring featuring a 3.21 emerald surrounded by diamonds. Boudreauxâ€™s Jewelers, 831-2602, BoudreauxsJewelers.com.
Column 18 karat yellow gold choker; earrings feature a classical motif with cabochon green tourmaline, Symmetry Jewelers & Designers, 628-3711, Symmetryjewelers.com.
The Menu TABLE TALK . RESTAURANT INSIDER . FOOD . LAST CALL . DINING LISTINGS
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Bandeja Paisa with the Caipirinha cocktail at Mais Arepas
THE MENU . TABLE TALK
meet the chefs David Mantilla
Mais Arepas Colombian cooking adventure By Jay Forman
ust off Lee Circle is a little slice of Columbia. Chances are you’ve driven by to take that shortcut to jump onto I-10. If so, you might have noticed the crowds that gather expectantly on the corner of Carondelet and Clio, waiting for
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the doors to open. They are counting the minutes to storm into Mais Arepas and to experience one of its namesake overstuffed South American specialties. And after you read about them, you probably will too.
A love of food from home is what prompted Chef and Owner David Mantilla to open Mais Arepas. Originally from Cali, Columbia, Mantilla was one of the original partners in Baru Bistro & Tapas, a pioneering restaurant on Magazine Street that paved the way for a storm of tapas-style dining places that came after. In 2012 Mantilla broke away to do his own thing with a tight focus on Columbian cuisine and Mais Arepas was born and the local dining scene is all the much richer for it. “We work really hard here. But when you love what you do, you do well, always,” Mantilla says.
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Owner David Mantilla is a an Andean potato soup made native of Columbia and moved with chicken, corn, avocado and to New Orleans in 2003. After capers distinguished by guascas, Katrina he became a founding a South American herb. Another member of Baru Bistro & Tapas is the Bandeja Paisa, the unofon Magazine Street. Building on ficial national dish of Columbia. this experience, in 2012 Mantilla It is a carnivore’s mixed-grill left to open Mais Arepas, which delight, featuring outside skirt has been going strong ever since. steak, chorizo, chicharron just to For his solo venture, Mantilla name some of the components. puts the focus on arepas – white “Any Columbian anywhere in the cornmeal cakes grilled to a toasty world will recognize this dish,” crisp exterior. A fundamental part Mantilla says. of the Columbian food scene, there Their cocktail program puts an they are served for breakfast, emphasis on freshness as well. lunch and dinner and are also Have a seat at the bar and you can a popular street food. Here they peek down at the artful layout of serve as the foundation for a ingredients that go into the drinks. number of artfully composed “We squeeze limes and cut the sandwich-like items. Try the produce every morning,” Mantilla Carnicera, made with says. “If you start with grilled skirt steak, fresh ingredients it will taste amazing no plantains, avocado Mais Arepas, and cranberry beans matter the drink.” A 1200 Carondelet cooked down with case in point is the St., Uptown, Caipirinha, a variant pork belly. In the 523-6247, L Tues mood for something on the mojito made – Sat, D Tues – lighter? Try the Reina, with cachaça. Sun. Closed Mon. stuffed with a chilled Mais Arepas is a shredded chicken and avocado small restaurant and fills quickly. salad that gets some pop from lime Early arrival will help get you a and green peppers. Vegetarians seat and they do take a limited have options as well, such as number of reservations. It is also the Fanny made with plantains, very popular with local chefs and avocado and melted mozzarella. the restaurant community in New “I wanted to build a short menu Orleans – always a good sign. • that was also very diverse around the arepa. Each one has a different main ingredient prepared in a different way,” Mantilla explains. Augmenting each arepa is a small dish of coin-sized fried plantain chips and a choice of accompanying sauce. There is the traditional Hogau, a ruddy concoction of red onion, red latin flavor pepper and achiote spice. The Baru Tapas is where David Mantilla Chimichurri is made with fresh got his start in the restaurant cilantro, olive oil and garlic and business. Not strictly Columbian, has a brighter touch. The “Pink it nevertheless offers a wide range Sauce” is akin to a remoulade, and of pan-South American fusion the Aji is like a pico de gallo but style dishes, with a unique menu with a finer consistency. Part of guaranteed to take diners in the fun is pairing the right sauce unexpected directions. Add to the with the right arepa. mix a vibrant bar scene, and you Mantilla also rounds out his have the makings of a seriously menu with some hard-to-find good time. specialties. One is the Ajiaco,
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THE MENU . restaurant insider
News From the Kitchen Flying Pig, Good Bird And Osaka Kohai By Robert Peyton
10 oz. Pork Chop
The Flying Pig
The Flying Pig also opened late this year on Prytania Street, serving a menu heavy on Southern classics including shrimp and grits, pimento mac and cheese and fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade. Caribbean-style fried chicken, pigeon peas and chicken marinated in rum, allspice, garlic and scotch bonnet chiles before being roasted attest to Island influences. Chef Rob Vance, who owns the restaurant with his wife Katrina, have opened a comfortable, welcoming spot that’s a great addition to the neighborhood. 4920 Prytania St., Tue.- Fri., 11-9, and 9-9, Sat.-Sun., 644-2982, TheFlyingPigCafe.com.
A few months ago, Good Bird took over the tiny space at 5031 Freret Street, the first location of Dat Dog and Liberty Cheesteaks. Good Bird, which started in the St. Roch Market, specializes in rotisserie chicken. The menu includes sandwiches such as the Larry Bird (rotisserie chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado on ciabatta) and salads such as the Eagle Street (arugula, kale, chicken, pecans, currants, parmesan cheese and lemon vinaigrette). Vegetarian options make up around one-third of the menu, and breakfast options include bowls, toasts and smoothies. Tue.-Sun., 9 to 9, 5031 Freret St..516-2307, Goodbirdnola.com.
The Flying Pig occupies the spot where Kyoto once served sushi. A former chef at Kyoto, Kanetha Chau, recently brought sushi back to that stretch of Prytania with Osaka Kohai. The menu is standard for Japanese restaurants in New Orleans, with a selection of cooked and raw appetizers, lunch specials and entrees, as well as a few salads and noodle dishes. Wine, beer and sake are available, as well as “rainbow” teas similar to bubble teas found at many Vietnamese restaurants. 4821 Prytania St. Sun., Tues.-Thurs., 11-9 and until 10, Fri.-Sat., 372-4135, OsakaKohai.com.
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THE MENU . food
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styled by photographed by eugenia uhl
Visions of Cheesecake Dessert for the Christmas Table
RECIPE Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake
BY Dale Curry
ome for Christmas feels good this year, having spent my favorite holiday in Los Angeles last time. Oh, it’s great to be in movie land with a daughter’s family, but she’s coming here this year, and I can get out my streetcar ornament collection again. Things are always different here. You start the day with milk punch. It’s usually so warm that the kids can take their new toys outside to play. I still put children’s ornaments on the tree, from the paper plate that spells “Jennifer” with a backwards “J” to the ceramic streetcar that has Elizabeth’s name on it. Christmas memories is what it’s all about. One Christmas we dined at a hotel with huge windows, and snow began falling. Our first grandchild was two, and he suspected we were at the North Pole. He wasn’t the only one who had never seen snow. In our neck of the woods, a lot of grown-up people haven’t either. We usually dine at home, sometimes on a standing rib roast with creamed spinach and potatoes au gratin. The meal calls for a spectacular dessert, and we have gone all the way with flaming bananas Foster and café brulot, but this year, I’m going with color - a raspberry white chocolate cheesecake. One thing four grandchildren have taught me is that cheesecake is something they all like, and you can say that for adults as well. A cheesecake is best made a day ahead, and you can sneak it into the schedule on Christmas Eve, along with the breakfast casserole that has to refrigerate overnight. That takes a load off the big day, which no one wants to spend in
the kitchen. Fortunately, we are a family of cooks so we share the load, each making a special dish. We often talk about ordering a turkey from this place or that as some our friends like to do, but when we get down to it, we enjoy that time in the kitchen together, picking up on each other’s shortcuts and debating the doneness of the meat. It’s true. Everybody gathers in the kitchen. What’s a kitchen for if not for tasting, sipping, gossiping and passing a good time.
the pan and up 1 inch of the
1 ½ cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs 1/3 cup sugar 6 tablespoons butter, melted Filling
3. To make the filling, break white chocolate into pieces into a microwavable bowl. Melt at 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until smooth. Let cool. In the large bowl of an electric mixer,
1 8-ounce package white baking chocolate
beat the cream cheese,
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
well-blended. Add eggs and
½ cup sugar
sugar, flour and vanilla until yolks and beat on low speed until just combined. Stir in white chocolate.
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4. Place springform pan on
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
over the crust. Bake for
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
about 50 minutes or until
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
the center is just set. Cool on
Carefully run a knife around
1 cup red jelly (not jam) such as raspberry, strawberry or currant
Using a springform pan can be tricky. The bottom of this two-piece baking pan must be tightly placed or batter can leak out. Make sure the bottom fits directly into the groove at the base of the pan. Only then should you close the latch, tightening the sides to fit snugly. 2
1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon cornstarch ¼ cup water
a wire rack for 10 minutes. the edge of the pan to loosen and cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight. 1. To make the topping, melt the red jelly in a sauce pan on top of the stove and add sugar. In a small bowl,
1 10-ounce package frozen
mix cornstarch with water,
and pour into the melted jelly. Stirring constantly,
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan.
Springform pans are especially good for cheesecakes, producing perfectly round sides and making them easier to remove from the pan. They can be used for other cakes and tarts, too. Although they are leak-proof if properly assembled, it is a good idea to set them on a baking pan to make handling easier.
a baking sheet. Pour filling
2. To make the crust, break up about 14 (approximately 2 ½-by-4 ½ inch) graham crackers into a food processor. Blend until crushed. You should have 1½ cups crumbs. Add sugar and pour melted butter gradually into the mixture, pulsing until well mixed. Press mixture into the bottom of
thicken over medium-low heat. Cool until just warm, and stir in raspberries. Cool completely. 6. Remove cheesecake from the springform pan and place on serving plate. Spoon raspberry topping over the cheesecake, allowing some of the liquid to run down the sides. Keep extra sauce for spooning over individual servings. Refrigerate cheesecake and remaining sauce until serving time. Serves 12.
THE MENU . last call
Merry Tiki Christmas The Rum Barrel By Tim McNally
irst off, Tiki culture is not real. It is a “play-like” collection of drinks, food, interior design and accessories based on the popular notion of what the culture is in the South Pacific. New Orleans had an outpost of Tiki at the ain’t-dere-no-mo’ Pontchartrain Beach. The Bali Hai restaurant was a gem and a local favorite for cuisine warmed over a small Sterno burner on the table accompanied by rum cocktails laden with fresh fruit, topped with small, highly decorated paper umbrellas. Great fun. The drinks, with romantic names like Mai-Tai, Navy Grog, and Missionary’s Downfall, were served in all manner of cup, chalice, pottery and glass. The mish-mash was fun and the drinks were crazy-good. Tiki still lives in the heart of the world’s leading proponent of Tiki culture, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, author and proprietor of Latitude 29 bar and restaurant, in the Quarter (where else?). Jeff’s acolyte behind the bar is this year’s New Orleans Magazine Mixologist of the Year, Kimberly Patton-Bragg, and she suggests we Deck the Tiki Halls during the Holiday Season.
RECIPE RUM BARREL
1 ounce fresh lime juice
All ingredients, except the
1 ounce grapefruit juice
ice, into a blender. Blend
1 ounce orange juice
at high speed for no more
1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
a ceramic rum barrel or a
1 ounce honey syrup (1 part honey dissolved in 1 part warm water; let cool)
than 5 seconds. Pour into good-sized snifter. Add ice cubes to fill. Garnish: mint, fresh
1 ounce light Puerto Rican rum
pineapple, and an edible
1 ounce gold Jamaican rum
purple orchid. Umbrella
2 ounces aged Demerara rum
Teaspoon Falernum Teaspoon St. Elizabeth allspice liqueur
Latitude 29, 321 N. Peters St.,
6 drops (1/8 teaspoon) Herbsaint
com. Created by Donn Beach,
6 drops (1/8 teaspoon) grenadine
aka Don the Beachcomber, c.
Dash Angostura Bitters
1948, as served at Latitude 29
1 cup crushed ice
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THE MENU . dining listings
H= New Orleans Magazine award winner
Abita Springs Abita Brew Pub Gastropub 72011 Holly St., (985) 892-5837, AbitaBrewPub.com. L, D Tue-Sun. Better-than-expected pub food in its namesake eatery. “Tasteful” tours available for visitors. $$ Akers Middendorf’s Seafood Interstate 55, Exit 15, 30160 Highway 51 South, (985) 386-6666, MiddendorfsRestaurant.com. L, D Wed-Sun. Historic seafood destination along the shores of Lake Maurepas is worldfamous for its thin-fried catfish fillets. Open since 1934, it’s more than a restaurant, it’s a Sun. drive tradition. $$ Avondale H Mosca’s Italian 4137 Highway 90 West, 436-8950, MoscasRestaurant.com. D TueSat. Italian institution dishes out massive portions of great food, family-style. Good bets are the shrimp Mosca and chicken à la grande. Cash only. $$$ Bywater H Pizza Delicious pizza 617 Piety St., 676-8482, PizzaDelicious.com. L, D Tue-Sun. Authentic New York-style thin crust pizza is the reason to come to this affordable
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$ = $5-10
restaurant that began as a pop-up, but they also offer excellent salads sourced from small farms and homemade pasta dishes as well. Outdoor seating a plus. $
H Mariza Italian 2900 Charters St., 598-5700, MarizaNewOrleans.com. D Tue-Sat. An Italian-inspired restaurant by chef Ian Schnoebelen features a terrific raw bar, house-cured charcuterie and an array of refined adult beverages served in the industrial/contemporary setting on the ground floor of the Rice Mills lofts. $$$ Carrollton Bourré AMERICAN 1510 S. Carrollton Ave., 510-4040. L, D Tue-Sun. “Elevated” street food along with quality daiquiris and reconsidered wings are the draw at this newcomer from the team behind Boucherie. $$ Breads on Oak Bakery/Breakfast 8640 Oak St., 324-8271, BreadsOnOak.com. B, L Wed-Sun. Artisan bakeshop tucked away near the levee on Oak Street serves breads, sandwiches, gluten-free and vegan-friendly options. $ City Park
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$$ = $11-15
$$$ = $16-20
$$$$ = $21-25
Café NOMA AMERICAN 1 Collins Diboll Circle, NO Museum of Art, City Park, 4821264, CafeNoma.com. L, (snacks) Tue-Sun. Sleek bar and café in the ground floor of museum offers a thoughtful array of snacks, sandwiches and small plates that are sure to enchant, with a kids’ menu to boot. $$ Morning Call Bakery/Breakfast 56 Dreyfous Drive, City Park, 885-4068, NewOrleansCityPark.com/in-the-park/ morning-call. 24 hours a day; cash-only. Chicory coffee and beignets coated with powdered sugar make this the quintessential New Orleans coffee shop. $ CBD/Warehouse District H Annunciation Louisianian Fare 1016 Annunciation St., 568-0245, AnnunciationRestaurant.com. D Mon-Sat, Br Sun. Chef Steven Manning brings a refined sensibility to this refined Warehouse District oasis along with his famous fried oysters with melted brie. $$$ Balise Louisianian Fare 640 Carondelet St., 459-4449, BaliseNola.com. L Tue-Fri, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Chef Justin Devillier turns back the clock at this turn-of-the-century inspired bistro in the CBD. Decidedly
$$$$$ = $25 & up
masculine fare – think beef tartare with horseradish and pumpernickel – is carefully crafted and fits well alongside the excellent cocktail and beer list. $$$
H BH Steak Steakhouse Harrah’s Casino, 8 Canal St., 533-6111, HarrahsNewOrleans. com. D daily. Acclaimed chef John Besh reinterprets the classic steakhouse with his signature contemporary Louisiana flair. $$$$$ H Borgne Seafood 601 Loyola Ave., 6133860, BorgneRestaurant.com. L, D daily. Coastal Louisiana seafood with an emphasis on Isleños cuisine (descendants of Canary Islanders who settled in St. Bernard Parish) is the focus of this high-volume destination adjacent to the Superdome. $$$ Café Adelaide Louisianian Fare Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras St., 595-3305, CafeAdelaide.com. B, L Mon-Fri, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. This offering from the Commander’s Palace family of restaurants has become a power-lunch favorite for business-people and politicos. Also features the Swizzle Stick Bar. $$$$ Calcasieu Specialty Foods 930
Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2188, CalcasieuRooms.com. For gatherings both large and small, the catering menus feature modern Louisiana cooking and the Cajun cuisine for which chef Donald Link is justifiably famous. Chophouse New Orleans Steakhouse 322 Magazine St., 522-7902, ChophouseNola.com. D daily. In addition to USDA prime grade aged steaks prepared under a broiler that reaches 1,700 degrees, Chophouse offers lobster, redfish and classic steakhouse sides. $$$
famous seafooder specializes in charbroiled oysters, a dish they invented. Great deals on fresh lobster as well. $$$$
H Domenica Italian The Roosevelt Hotel, 123 Baronne St., 648-6020, DomenicaRestaurant.com. L, D daily. Chef Alon Shaya serves authentic, regional Italian cuisine. The menu of thin, lightly topped pizzas, artisanal salumi and cheese, and a carefully chosen selection of antipasti, pasta
628 St. Charles Ave., 523-7600, DesiVegaSteaks.com. L Mon-Fri, D Tue-Sat. USDA Prime steaks form the base of this Mr. John’s offshoot overlooking Lafayette Square, but Italian specialties and a smattering of locally inspired seafood dishes round out the appeal. $$$ Drago’s Louisianian Fare Hilton Riverside Hotel, 2 Poydras St., 584-3911, DragosRestaurant.com. L, D daily. This
800 Common St., 571-9580, MerchantNewOrleans.com. B, L daily. Illy coffee and creative crêpes, sandwiches and more are served at this sleek and contemporary café on the ground floor of the Merchant Building. $
some from chef John Besh’s Northshore
870 Tchoupitoulas St., 525-8205, LaBocaSteaks.com. D Mon-Sat. This Argentine steakhouse specializes in cuts of meat along with pastas and wines. Specials include the provoleta appetizer and the Vacio flank steak. $$$
Emeril’s Louisianian Fare 800 Tchoupitoulas St., 528-9393, EmerilsRestaurants.com. L Mon-Fri, D daily. The flagship of superstar chef Emeril Lagasse’s culinary empire, this landmark attracts pilgrims from all over the world. $$$$$ Gordon Biersch Gastropub 200 Poydras St., 552-2739, GordonBiersch.com. L, D daily. Local outpost of this popular chain serves specialty brews made on-site and crowdpleasing lunch and dinner fare. $$
H Herbsaint Louisianian Fare 701 St. Charles Ave., 524-4114, Herbsaint.com. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. Enjoy a sophisticated cocktail before sampling chef Donald Link’s menu that melds contemporary bistro fare with classic Louisiana cuisine. The banana
H Lüke World 333 St. Charles Ave., 3782840, LukeNewOrleans.com. B, L, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Chef John Besh and executive chef Matt Regan serve Germanic specialties and French bistro classics, house-made pâtés and abundant plateaux of cold, fresh seafood. $$$ Manning’s AMERICAN 519 Fulton St., 593-8118. L, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Born of a partnership between New Orleans’ First Family of Football and Harrah’s Casino, Manning’s offers sports bar fans a step up in terms of comfort and quality. With a menu that draws on both New Orleans and the Deep South, traditional dishes get punched up with inspired but accessible
twists in surroundings accented by both memorabilia and local art. $$$
H Merchant Bakery/Breakfast
H La Boca Steakhouse
H Cochon Louisianian Fare 930
H Desi Vega’s Steakhouse Steakhouse
Johnny Sanchez World 930 Poydras St., 304-6615, JohnnySanchezRestaurant. com. L, D daily. Contemporary Mexican mecca offering celebrity chef cachet to go along with the locally sourced produce accompanying the Bistec a la Parilla. Popular happy hour and downtown locale next to South Market District add to the appeal. $$$
and entrées features locally raised products, farm. $$$$
Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123, CochonRestaurant.com. L, D, Mon-Sat. Chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski showcase Cajun and Southern cuisine at this hot spot. Boudin and other pork dishes reign supreme here, along with Louisiana seafood and real moonshine from the bar. Reservations strongly recommended. $$
brown butter tart is a favorite dessert. $$$$$
Morton’s The Steakhouse Steakhouse 365 Canal St., One Canal Place, 566-0221, Mortons.com/NewOrleans. D daily. Private elevator leads to the plush, wood-paneled environs of this local outpost of the famed Chicago steakhouse popular with politicians and celebrities. $$$$ Mother’s Louisianian Fare 401 Poydras St., 523-9656, MothersRestaurant.net. B, L, D daily. Locals and tourists alike endure long queues and a confounding ordering system to enjoy iconic dishes such as the Ferdi poor boy and Jerry’s jambalaya. Come for a late lunch to avoid the rush. $$ Mulate’s Louisianian Fare 201 Julia St., 522-1492, Mulates.com. L, D daily. Live music and dancing add to the fun at this world-famous Cajun destination. $$ Palace Café World 605 Canal St., 5231661, PalaceCafe.com. B, L, D daily. A classic New Orleans restaurant, located at the foot of the French Quarter, the Dickie Brennan and Palace Cafe team constantly evolve
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traditional Creol dishes. Enjoy specialty cocktails and small plates athe Black Duck Bar on the second floor. $$$
H Pêche Seafood 800 Magazine St., 5221744, PecheRestaurant.com. L, D Mon-Sat. Award-winning southern-inspired seafood destination by chef Donald Link serves whole roasted Gulf fish from its massive, wood-burning oven. An excellent raw bar is offered as well. $$$ Q&C Hotel/Bar AMERICAN 344 Camp St., 587-9700, QandC.com. B, D daily, L Fri-Sun. Newly renovated boutique hotel offering a small plates menu with tempting choices such as a Short Rib Poor Boy and Lobster Mac and Cheese to complement their sophisticated craft cocktails. $$ Red Gravy Bakery/Breakfast 4125 Camp St., 561-8844, RedGravy.com. B, Br, L, Wed-Mon. Farm-to-table Italian restaurant offers a creative array of breakfast items such as Cannoli Pancakes and Skillet Cakes, as well as delectable sandwiches and more for lunch. Homemade pastas and authentic Tuscan specialties round out the menu. $$ H Restaurant August AMERICAN 301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777, RestaurantAugust.com. L Fri, D daily. James Beard Award-winning chef John Besh’s menu is based on classical techniques of Louisiana cuisine and produce with a splash of European flavor set in an historic carriage warehouse. $$$$$ Rock-N-Sake Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 823 Fulton St., 581-7253, RockNSake. com. L Fri, D Tue-Sun, late night Fri-Sat. Fresh sushi and contemporary takes on Japanese favorites in an upbeat, casual setting. $$$ H Root AMERICAN 21800 Magazine St., 309-7800, RootNola.com. L, D Tue-Sat. Chef Philip Lopez opened Root in November 2011 and has garnered a loyal following for his modernist, eclectic cuisine. $$$$ Ruth’s Chris Steak House Steakhouse Harrah’s Hotel, 525 Fulton St., 587-7099, RuthsChris.com. D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Filet mignon, creamed spinach and potatoes au gratin are the most popular dishes at this area steak institution, but there are also great seafood choices and top-notch desserts. $$$$$ Sac-A-Lait Seafood 1051 Annunciation St., 324-3658, Sac-A-LaitRestaurant.com. D Tue-Sat, L Fri. Cody and Sam Carroll’s shrine to Gulf Coast and Louisiana culinary heritage melds seafood, game, artisan produce, and craft libations in an ambitious menu that celebrates local and southern cuisine. The striking buildout in the Cotton Mill lofts adds to the appeal. $$$$ The Grill AMERICAN 540 Chartres St., 522-1800. B, L, D daily. A diner with local character staffed by local characters. $ The Grill Room AMERICAN Windsor 96
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Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 522-6000, GrillRoomNewOrleans.com. B, L, D daily, Br Sun. Featuring modern American cuisine with a distinctive New Orleans flair, the adjacent Polo Club Lounge offers live music nightly. Jazz Brunch on Sunday. $$$$$
restaurant spotlight Parkway Tavern’s New Sunday Poor Boy By Mirella Cameran
Tommy’s Cuisine Italian 746 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-1103, TommysNewOrleans.com. D daily. Classic Creole-Italian cuisine is the name of the game at this upscale eatery. Appetizers include the namesake oysters Tommy, baked in the shell with Romano cheese, pancetta and roasted red pepper. $$$$$ Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar AMERICAN 1009 Poydras St., 309-6530, Walk-Ons. com. L, D, daily. Burger, sandwiches, wraps and more made distinctive with a Louisiana twist are served at this sports bar near the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. $$ Warehouse Grille AMERICAN 869 Magazine St., 322-2188, WarehouseGrille. com. L, D daily, Br Fri-Sat. Creative fare served in an art-filled environment. Try the lamb spring rolls. $$ Victory Gastropub 339 Baronne St., 522-8664, VictoryNola.com. D daily. Craft cocktails served by owner and acclaimed bartender Daniel Victory, as well as refined small plates and gourmet pizza. $$ Central City Café Reconcile Louisiana fare 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157, CafeReconcile.org. L Mon-Fri. Good food for a great cause, this nonprofit on the burgeoning OCH corridor helps train atrisk youth for careers in the food service industry. $$ Covington Don’s Seafood seafood 126 Lake Dr., (985) 327-7111, DonsSeafoodOnline. com. L, D Daily. Popular neighborhood seafood joint offers an array of crowdpleasing south Louisiana dishes, including char-broiled oysters and Zydeco shrimp. Kid’s Menu makes it a good choice for families. $$$ Darrow Café Burnside Louisianian Fare Houmas House Plantation, 40136 Highway 942, (225) 473-9380, HoumasHouse.com. L daily, Br Sun. Historic plantation’s casual dining option features dishes such as seafood pasta, fried catfish, crawfish and shrimp, gumbo and red beans and rice. $$
If the toy company Hasbro decides to make a New Orleans version of Monopoly, Parkway Bakery and Tavern will be a landmark building. The iconic Tavern has been in the business of poor boy making for the last 106 years, and its history reflects in many ways, the fortunes of the city itself. This storied history does not stop current General Manager and Head Chef Justin Kennedy from introducing fun new menu items. The Sunday Brunch now boasts a thinly cut
Latil’s Landing Louisianian Fare Houmas House Plantation, 40136 Highway 942, (225) 473-9380, HoumasHouse.com. D Wed-Sun. Nouvelle Louisiane, plantationstyle cooking served in an opulent setting features dishes like rack of lamb and plume de veau. $$$$$
rib-eye steak poor boy, featuring scrambled eggs, cheddar
Faubourg Marigny Feelings Cafe, Bar and Courtyard Lounge Louisianian Fare 535 Franklin Ave, 446-0040, FeelingsCafeBar.com. D Tue-Sat, L Fri. The All New Feelings Marigny is a complete relaunch of the
and a green sugar glass rim.
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cheese, bacon and an A1 steak sauce mayo on the side. It is only served on Sunday with Bellinis. For the Holidays, there is a new Saint Nicolada, combining rum-chata (a creamy rum concoction), grenadine to create a reddish hue, pineapple
538 Hagan Ave, 482-3047, ParkwayPoorboys.com.
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much beloved “Feelings Cafe”. Under the guidance of new ownership and Executive Chef Scott Maki, everything has been completely transformed into one of the most absolutely charming neighborhood restaurants in the area. Chef Maki’s emphasis on contemporary CreoleLouisiana fare is winning diners over from near and far.$$$$ Langlois AMERICAN 1710 Pauger St., 9341010, LangloisNola.com. L Fri-Sat, D WedSun. *Reservations only Supper club and boutique cooking school in the Marigny serves up culturally informed, farm-to-table fare with the added bonus of instruction. Open kitchen and convivial atmosphere add up to a good time. $$$
H Mona’s Café World 504 Frenchmen St., 949-4115. L, D daily. Middle Eastern specialties such as baba ganuj, tender-tangy beef or chicken shawarma, falafel and gyros, stuffed into pillowy pita bread or on platters. The lentil soup with crunchy pita chips and desserts, such as sticky sweet baklava, round out the menu. $
H Ruby Slipper Café Bakery/ Breakfast 2001 Burgundy St., 525-9355, TheRubySlipperCafe.net. B, L daily, Br Sun. Homegrown chain specializes in breakfast, lunch and brunch dishes with unique local twists such as bananas Foster French toast and barbecue shrimp and grits. $$ The Marigny Brasserie AMERICAN
640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472, MarignyBrasserie.com. L, D daily. Chic neighborhood bistro with traditional dishes like the fried green tomatoes and innovative cocktails such as the cucumber Collins. $$$ Faubourg St. John H Café Degas French 3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635, CafeDegas.com. L, D Wed-Sat, Br Sun. Salad Niçoise, Hanger steak and frites are served in a lovely enclosed courtyard at this jewel of a French bistro. $$
H 1000 Figs World 3141 Ponce De Leon St., 301-0848, 1000Figs.com. L, D Tue-Sat. Vegetarian-friendly offshoot of the Fat Falafel Food Truck offers a healthy farm-totable alternative to cookie-cutter Middle Eastern places. $$ French Quarter Angeline AMERICAN 1032 Chartres St., 308-3106, AngelineNola.com. B Mon-Thu, D daily, Br Sat-Sun,. Modern southern with a fine dining focus is the hallmark of this bistro tucked away in a quiet end of the French Quarter. Southern Fried Quail and Duck Confit Ravoli represent the style. $$$ Acme Oyster House Louisianian Fare 724 Iberville St., 522-5973, AcmeOyster.com. L, D daily. Known as one of the best places to eat oysters. $$
H Arnaud’s Louisianian Fare 813 Bienville St., 523-5433, ArnaudsRestaurant.com. D
daily, Br Sun. Waiters in tuxedos prepare Café Brûlot tableside at this storied Creole grande dame; live jazz during Sun. brunch. $$$$$
Arnaud’s Remoulade Italian 309 Bourbon St., 523-0377, Remoulade.com. L, D daily. Granite-topped tables and an antique mahogany bar are home to the eclectic menu of famous shrimp Arnaud, red beans and rice and poor boys as well as specialty burgers, grilled all-beef hot dogs and thincrust pizza. $$ Antoine’s Louisianian Fare 713 St. Louis St., 581-4422, Antoines.com. L, D Mon-Sat, Br Sun. This pinnacle of haute cuisine and birthplace of oysters Rockefeller is New Orleans’ oldest restaurant. (Every item is à la carte, with an $11 minimum.) Private dining rooms available. $$$$$ Antoine’s Annex Specialty Foods 513 Royal St., 525-8045, Antoines.com/AntoinesAnnex. Open daily. Serves French pastries, including individual baked Alaskas, ice cream and gelato, as well as panini, salads and coffee. Delivery available. BB King’s Blues Club Barbecue 1104 Decatur St., 934-5464, BBKings.com/neworleans. L, D daily. New Orleans outpost of music club named for the famed blues musician features a menu loaded with BBQ and southern-inspired specialties. Live music and late hours are a big part of the
Bayou Burger Burgers 503 Bourbon St., 529-4256, SportsBarNewOrleans.com. L, D daily. Sports bar in the thick of Bourbon Street scene distinguishes its fare with choices like Crawfish Beignets and Gator Bites. $$ Bourbon House Seafood 144 Bourbon St., 522-0111, BourbonHouse.com. B, L, D daily, Br Sun. Local seafood, featured in both classic and contemporary dishes, is the focus of this New Orleans-centric destination. And yes, bourbon is offered as well. $$$ Bayona World 430 Dauphine St., 5254455, Bayona.com. L Wed-Sat, D Mon-Sat. Chef Susan Spicer’s nationally acclaimed cuisine is served in this 200-year-old cottage. Ask for a seat on the romantic patio, weather permitting. $$$$$ Broussard’s French 819 Conti St., 581-3866, Broussards.com. D daily, Br Sun. Creole-French institution also offers beautiful courtyard seating. $$$$
H Cane & Table Gastropub 1113 Decatur St., 581-1112, CaneAndTableNola.com. L Fri, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Open late, this chefdriven rustic colonial cuisine and rum and “proto-Tiki” cocktails make this a fun place to gather. $$ Chartres House Italian 601 Chartres
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St., 586-8383, ChartresHouse.com. L, D daily. This iconic French Quarter bar serves terrific Mint Juleps and Gin Fizzes in its picturesque courtyard and balcony settings. Also famous for its fried green tomatoes and other local favorite dishes. $$$ Court of Two Sisters Louisianian Fare 613 Royal St., 522-7261, CourtOfTwoSisters. com. Br, D daily. The historic environs make for a memorable outdoor dining experience. The famous daily Jazz Brunch buffet and classic Creole dishes sweeten the deal. $$$$$ Criollo Louisianian Fare Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., 681-4444, CriolloNola.com. B, L, D daily. Next to the famous Carousel Bar in the historic Monteleone Hotel, Criollo represents an amalgam of the various cultures reflected in Louisiana cooking and cuisine, often with a slight contemporary twist. $$$ Crazy Lobster Seafood 500 Port of New Orleans Place, Suite 83, 569-3380, TheCrazyLobster.com. L, D daily. Boiled seafood and festive atmosphere come together at this seafood-centric destination overlooking the Mississippi River. Outdoor seating a plus. $$$ Creole Cookery Seafood 508 Toulouse St., Suite C110, 524-9632, NewOrleansCreoleCookery.com. L, D daily. Crowd-pleasing destination in the French
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Quarter offers an expansive menu of Creole favorites and specialty cocktails served with New Orleans flair. $$$ Deanie’s Seafood Seafood 841 Iberville St., 581-1316, Deanies.com. L, D daily. Louisiana seafood, baked, broiled, boiled and fried is the name of the game. Try the barbecue shrimp or towering seafood platters. $$$
H Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House Seafood 144 Bourbon St., 522-0111, BourbonHouse.com. B, L, D daily, Br Sun. Classic Creole dishes, such as redfish on the halfshell, and an Oyster Bar. Its extensive bourbon menu will please aficionados. $$$$ Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse Steakhouse 716 Iberville St., 522-2467, DickieBrennansSteakhouse.com. L Fri, D daily. Nationally recognized steakhouse serves USDA Prime steaks and local seafood. Validated Parking next door. $$$$
H Doris Metropolitan Steakhouse 620 Chartres St., 267-3500, DorisMetropolitan.com. L Fri-Sun, D daily. Innovative, genre-busting steakhouse plays with expectations and succeeds with modernist dishes like their Classified Cut and Beetroot Supreme. $$$$ El Gato Negro World 81 French Market Place, 525-9752, ElGatoNegroNola.com. L, D daily. Central Mexican cuisine along with
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hand-muddled mojitos and margaritas made with freshly squeezed juice. A weekend breakfast menu is an additional plus. $$ Galatoire’s Louisianian Fare 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021, Galatoires.com. L, D Tue-Sun. Friday lunches are a New Orleans tradition at this world-famous French-Creole grand dame. Tradition counts for everything here, and the crabmeat Sardou is delicious. Note: Jackets required for dinner and all day Sun. $$$$$
H GW Fins Seafood 808 Bienville St., 581-FINS (3467), GWFins.com. D daily. Owners Gary Wollerman and twice chef of the year Tenney Flynn provide dishes at their seasonal peak. On a quest for unique variety, menu is printed daily. $$$$$ Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak Steakhouse 215 Bourbon St., 335-3932, Galatoires33BarAndSteak.com. L Fri, D Sun-Thu. Steakhouse offshoot of the venerable Creole grande dame offers handcrafted cocktails to accompany classic steakhouse fare as well as inspired dishes like the Gouté 33: horseradish-crusted bone marrow and deviled eggs with crab ravigote and smoked trout. Reservations accepted. $$$ Hard Rock Café AMERICAN 125 Bourbon St., 529-5617, HardRock.com. L, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Local outpost of this global brand serves burgers, café fare and drinks in their
rock memorabilia-themed environs. $$ House of Blues Louisianian Fare 225 Decatur St., 310-4999, HouseOfBlues.com/ NewOrleans. L, D daily. Surprisingly good menu complements music in the main room. World-famous Gospel Brunch every Sunday. Patio seating available. $$ Irene’s Cuisine Italian 539 St. Philip St., 529-8881. D Mon-Sat. Long waits at the lively piano bar are part of the appeal of this Creole-Italian favorite beloved by locals. Try the oysters Irene and crabmeat gratin appetizers. $$$$
H Italian Barrel Italian 430 Barracks St., 569-0198, ItalianBarrel.com. L, D daily. Northern Italian dishes like Braciola di Maiale as well as an exhaustive pasta menu tempt here at this local favorite that also offers al fresco seating. $$$ Killer Poboys Louisianian Fare 811 Conti St., 252-6745, KillerPoboys.blogspot.com. L, D Wed-Mon. This quasi-popup operating out of the Erin Rose Bar serves some of the city’s best poor boys, including one featuring glazed pork belly. $ K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen Louisianian Fare 416 Chartres St., 596-2530, ChefPaul. com/KPaul. L Thu-Sat, D Mon-Sat. Paul Prudhomme’s landmark restaurant helped introduce Cajun food to a grateful nation. Lots of seasoning and bountiful offerings, along with reserved seating, make this a
destination for locals and tourists alike. $$$$
H Kingfish Seafood 337 Charters St., 5985005, KingfishNewOrleans.com. L, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Regionally inspired seafood dishes with carefully sourced ingredients and southern influence is the focus at this chefdriven French Quarter establishment. $$$ Le Bayou Seafood 208 Bourbon St., 5254755, LeBayouRestaurant.com. L, D daily. Blackened redfish and Shrimp Ya-Ya are a just a few of the choices at this seafoodcentric destination on Bourbon Street. Fried alligator is available for the more daring diner. $$$
gumbo, jambalaya and muffulettas, and for sipping, a Sazerac or lemony Pimm’s Cup are perfect accompaniments. $$ NOLA Louisianian Fare 534 St. Louis St., 522-6652, EmerilsRestaurants.com/NolaRestaurant. L Thu-Mon, D daily. Emeril’s more affordable eatery, featuring cedarplank-roasted redfish; private dining. $$$$$ Oceana Grill Seafood 739 Conti St., 5256002, OceanaGrill.com. B, L, D daily. Gumbo, poor boys and barbecue shrimp are served at this kid-friendly seafood destination. $$ Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar and Bistro
H Marti’s French 1041 Dumaine St., 522-
Gastropub 720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930,
5478, MartisNola.com. L Fri, D daily. Classic French cuisine, small plates and chilled seafood platters like Grand Plateau Fruits De Mer are the calling cards for this restaurant with an elegant “Old World” feel. $$$
OrleansGrapevine.com. D daily. Wine is the
Muriel’s Jackson Square Italian 801 Chartres St., 568-1885, Muriels.com. L, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Enjoy pecan-crusted drum and other local classics while dining in the courtyard bar or any other room in this labyrinthine, rumored-to-be-haunted establishment. $$$$ Napoleon House Italian 500 Chartres St., 524-9752, NapoleonHouse.com. L Mon-Sat, D Tue-Sat. Originally built in 1797 as a respite for Napoleon, this family-owned European-style café serves local favorites
muse at this beautifully renovated bistro, which offers vino by the flight, glass and bottle. A classic menu with an emphasis on local cuisine. $$$
H Patrick’s Bar Vin Gastropub 730 Bienville St., 200-3180, PatricksBarVin.com. D daily. This oasis of a wine bar offers terrific selections by the bottle and glass. Small plates are served as well. $$ Pier 424 Seafood 424 Bourbon St., 3091574, Pier424SeafoodMarket.com. L, D daily. Seafood-centric restaurant offers long menu of traditional New Orleans fare augmented by unusual twists like “Cajun-Boiled” Lobster prepared crawfish-style in spicy crab boil.
Louisianian Fare 301 Dauphine St., 586-
Port of Call Burgers 838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120, PortOfCallNola.com. L, D daily. It is all about the big, meaty burgers and giant baked potatoes in this popular bar/ restaurant – unless you’re cocktailing only, then it’s all about the Monsoons. $$
0972, RichardFiskes.com. B, Bar Lunch daily. Just a few steps off of Bourbon Street you can find this relaxing bar featuring an innovative menu with dishes like Crawfish, Jalapeno-and-Bacon Mac and Cheese garnished with fried oysters. Live music a plus. $$$
H R’evolution Italian 777 Bienville St., 553-2277, RevolutionNola.com. L Fri, D daily, Br Sun. An opulent place that combines the local flavors of chef John Folse with the more cosmopolitan influence of chef Rick Tramonto. Chef de cuisine Chris Lusk and executive sous chef Erik Veney are in charge of day-to-day operations, which include house-made charcuterie, pastries, pastas and more. $$$$$ Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill Italian 115 Bourbon St., 598-1200, RedFishGrill. com. L, D daily. Chef Austin Kirzner cooks up a broad menu peppered with local favorites such as barbecue oysters, blackened redfish and double-chocolate bread pudding. $$$$$
Royal House Louisianian Fare 441 Royal St., 528-2601, RoyalHouseRestaurant.com. L, D daily. B Sat and Sun. Poor boys, jambalaya and shrimp Creole are some of the favorites served here. Weekend breakfast and an oyster bar add to the crowd-pleasing appeal. $$$ SoBou Louisianian Fare 310 Chartres St., 552-4095, SoBouNola.com. B, L, D daily. There is something for everyone at this “Modern Creole Saloon.” Decidedly unstuffy with an emphasis on craft cocktails and wines by the glass. Everything from $1 pork cracklins to an extravagant foie gras burger on accomplished yet eclectic menus. $$
Rib Room AMERICAN Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, 621 St. Louis St., 529-7046, RibRoomNewOrleans.com. B, D daily, L MonSat, Br Sun. Old World elegance and high ceilings, house classic cocktails and Anthony Spizale’s broad menu of prime rib, stunning seafood and on Sundays a jazz brunch. $$$
H Tableau Louisianian Fare 616 S. Peter St., 934-3463, TableauFrenchQuarter.com. B Mon-Fri, L Mon-Sat, D daily, Brunch SatSun. Gulf seafood such as Redfish Bienville and classic Creole brunch dishes like eggs Hussard are the highlights of this Dickie Brennan restaurant that shares space with Le Petite Théâtre on the corner of Jackson Square. $$$
Richard Fiske’s Martini Bar & Restaurant
H The Bistreaux Louisianian Fare New
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Orleans Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St., 586-8000, MaisonDupuy. com/dining.html. B, L, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Dishes ranging from the casual (truffle mac and cheese) to the upscale (tuna tasting trio) are served in an elegant courtyard. $$ The Bombay Club Louisianian Fare Prince Conti Hotel, 830 Conti St., 5772237, TheBombayClub.com. D daily. Popular martini bar with plush British décor features live music during the week and late dinner and drinks on weekends. Nouveau Creole menu includes items such as Bombay drum. $$$$ The Pelican Club AMERICAN 312 Exchange Place, 523-1504, PelicanClub. com. D daily. Serves an eclectic mix of hip food, from the seafood “martini” to claypot barbecued shrimp and a trio of duck. Three dining rooms available. $$$$$
Wood-fired pizza and seasonal Italian cuisine with a locavore philosophy brings respite to the burbs. Family friendly with patio seating to boot. $$ Kenner H Fiesta Latina World 1924 Airline Drive, 469-5792, FiestaLatinaRestaurant. com. B, L, D daily. A big-screen TV normally shows a soccer match or MTV Latino at this home for authentic Central American food. Tacos include a charred carne asada. $$
823 Decatur St., 525-8676, TujaguesRestaurant.com. L, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. For more than 150 years this landmark restaurant has been offering Creole cuisine. Favorites include a nightly six-course table d’hôté menu featuring a unique beef brisket with Creole sauce. $$$$$
H Cava Louisianian Fare 789 Harrison
District Donuts Sliders Brew AMERICAN 2209 Magazine Street, 570-6945, DonutsAndSliders.com. B, L, D daily. Creative sliders (hello, pork belly) and super-creative donuts (think root beer float) are the hallmarks of this nextgeneration café. $ Hoshun Restaurant Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 1601 St. Charles Ave., 302-9716, HoshunRestaurant.com. L, D daily. Offers a wide variety of Asian cuisines, primarily dishes culled from China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. Five-pepper calamari is a tasty way to begin the meal, and their creative sushi rolls are good. Private dining rooms available. $$
H Mr. John’s Steakhouse Steakhouse 2111 St. Charles Ave., 679-7697, MrJohnsSteakhouse.com. D Tue-Sat, L FriSat. Wood paneling, white tile and USDA Prime Beef served sizzling in butter are the hallmarks of this classic New Orleans steakhouse. $$$ Gretna H Tan Dinh Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 1705 Lafayette St., 361-8008. B, L, D daily. Roasted quail and the beef pho rule at this Vietnamese outpost. $$ Harahan
Lakeview Harbor Burgers 911 Harrison Ave., 486-4887. L, D daily. Burgers are the name of the game at this restaurant. Daily specials, pizza and steaks are offered as well. $ Lakeview Pearl Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 6300 Canal St., 309-5711, LakeviewPearl. com. L, D Mon-Sat. A long list of specialty rolls rounds out the offerings of this Asian-Fusion restaurant. $$
H Mondo World 900 Harrison Ave., 224-2633, MondoNewOrleans.com. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat, Br Sun. Chef Susan Spicer’s take on world cuisine. Make sure to call ahead because the place has a deserved reputation for good food and good times. $$$ Lower Garden District H The Green Fork Vegan/Vegetarian 1400 Prytania St., 267-7672, GreenForkNola.com. B, L Mon-Sat. Fresh juices, smoothies and vegetarian-friendly fare make The Green Fork a favorite for lovers of healthy food. Catering is offered as well. $$ The Tasting Room Gastropub 1906 Magazine St., 581-3880, TTRNewOrleans. com. D Tue-Sun. Flights of wine and sophisticated small plates are the calling cards for this wine bar near Coliseum Square. $$ Voodoo BBQ Barbecue 1501 St. Charles Ave., 522-4647, VoodooBBQAndGrill. com. L, D daily. Diners are never too far from this homegrown barbecue chain that features an array of specialty sauces to accompany its smoked meats and seafood. $$ Metairie
Highway, Harahan, 305-4039, OakOvenRestaurant.com. L, D Mon-Sat.
H Andrea’s Restaurant Italian 3100
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Ave., 304-9034. D daily. Fine dining (and excellent wine list) at this high-end Cajun and Creole restaurant that makes customer service a big part of the experience. $$$
H Oak Oven Italian 6625 Jefferson
Restaurant R’evolution’s Holiday Spirit
Lacombe H La Provence French 25020 Highway 190, (985) 626-7662, LaProvenceRestaurant.com. D Wed-Sun, Br Sun. Time-honored Provençal cuisine and rewards guests with a true farm-life experience, from house-made preserves, charcuterie, herbs, kitchen gardens and eggs cultivated on the property. $$$$$
H Tujague’s Louisianian Fare
Garden District Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland’s AMERICAN 2001 St. Charles Ave., 5939955, CopelandsCheesecakeBistro. com. L Mon-Fri, D daily, Br Sun. Shiny, contemporary bistro serves Cajun-fusion fare along with its signature decadent desserts. Good lunch value to boot. $$
Imagine a string of intimate dining rooms with alfresco walls, over-stuffed chairs and thick, starched white tablecloths and you have pretty much dreamt your way into Restaurant R’evolution. The high-end collaboration of lauded chefs, John Folse and Rick Tramonto opened in the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter in 2012. There is no doubt, R’evolution has established itself as one of the city’s premier restaurants and as a sought-after location for special occasions. This December it is offering new ways to celebrate the holidays. R’evolution is introducing a prix fixe ‘R’eveillon’ dinner menu and will be open for lunch on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The restaurant is also taking reservations for an 18th Century Creole R’eveillon dinner on both Christmas and New Year’s Eves. 777 Bienville St., 553-2277, RevolutionNOLA.com.
19th St., 834-8583, AndreasRestaurant.
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com. L Mon-Sat, D daily, Br Sun. Osso buco and homemade pastas in a setting that’s both elegant and intimate; off-premise catering. $$$ Acme Oyster House Louisianian Fare 3000 Veterans Blvd., 309-4056, AcmeOyster.com. L, D daily. Known as one of the best places to eat oysters. $$ Austin’s Louisianian Fare 5101 W. Esplanade Ave., 888-5533, AustinsNo. com. D Mon-Sat. Mr. Ed’s upscale bistro serves contemporary Creole fare, including seafood and steaks. $$$ Boulevard American Bistro AMERICAN 4241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 889-2301. L, D daily. Classic American cuisine including steaks, chops and more is augmented by regional favorites like Boulevard Oysters at this Metairie bistro. $$$ café B AMERICAN 2700 Metairie Road, 9344700, cafeB.com. D daily, L Mon-Fri. Br Sun. Ralph Brennan offers New American bistro fare with a Louisiana twist at this familyfriendly neighborhood spot. $$$ Caffe! Caffe! AMERICAN 3547 N. Hullen St., 267-9190. B, L Mon-Sat. & 4301 Clearview Parkway, 885-4845. B, L daily; D Mon-Sat. CaffeCaffe.com Healthy, refreshing meal options combine with gourmet coffee and espresso drinks to create a tasteful retreat for Metairie diners at a reasonable price. Try
the egg white spinach wrap. $ Crabby Jack’s Louisianian Fare 428 Jefferson Highway, 833-2722, CrabbyJacksNola.com. L Mon-Sat. Lunch outpost of Jacques-Imo’s. Famous for its fried seafood and poor boys including fried green tomatoes and roasted duck. $ Deanie’s Seafood Seafood 1713 Lake Ave., 831-4141, Deanies.com. L, D daily. Louisiana seafood, baked, broiled, boiled and fried, is the name of the game. Try the barbecue shrimp or towering seafood platters. $$$ Don’s Seafood seafood 4801 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 889-1550, DonsSeafoodOnline.com. L, D Daily. Metairie outpost of historic local seafood chain that dates from 1934. Features an array of Cajun and seafood classics like their original ‘Jacked Up’ Oysters and seafood platters. Don’t miss their happy hour specials, which offer a good deal on popular dishes. $$$
crowd and offers a freshly squeezed juice menu to go along with its regular menu and express two-course lunch. $$
destination. Beautiful packaging makes this a great place to shop for gifts. Catering available.
Martin Wine Cellar AMERICAN 714 Elmeer Ave., 896-7300, MartinWineCellar.com. Wine by the glass or bottle to go with daily lunch specials, towering burgers, hearty soups and salads and giant, deli-style sandwiches. $
Vega Tapas Café World 2051 Metairie Road, 836-2007, VegaTapasCafe.com. D Mon-Sat, Br Sun. Fun, eclectic small plates destination offers creative fare keeps guests coming back with frequent regionally inspired specialty menus served with humor and whimsy. $$
Mr. Ed’s Seafood and Italian Restaurant Seafood 1001 Live Oak St., 838-0022, AustinsNo.com. L, D Mon-Sat. Neighborhood restaurant specializes in seafood and Italian offerings such as stuffed eggplant and bell pepper. Fried seafood and sandwiches make it a good stop for lunch. $$
H Royal China Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 600 Veterans Blvd., 831-9633. L daily, D Tue-Sun. Popular and family-friendly Chinese restaurant is one of the few places around that serves dim sum. $$
Drago’s Louisianian Fare 3232 N. Arnoult Road, 888-9254, DragosRestaurant. com. L, D Mon-Sat. This famous seafooder specializes in charbroiled oysters, a dish they invented. Great deals on fresh lobster as well. $$$$
Ruth’s Chris Steak House Steakhouse 3633 Veterans Blvd., 888-3600, RuthsChris. com. L Fri, D daily. Filet mignon, creamed spinach and potatoes au gratin are the most popular dishes at this area steak institution, but there are also great seafood choices and top-notch desserts. $$$$$
Heritage Grill AMERICAN 111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 934-4900, HeritageGrillMetairie.com. L Mon-Fri. This lunch-only destination caters to the office
Sucré Specialty Foods 3301 Veterans Blvd., 834-2277, ShopSucre.com. Desserts daily. Open late weekends. Chocolates, pastry and gelato draw rave reviews at this dessert
Vincent’s Italian Cuisine Italian 4411 Chastant St., 885-2984, Metairie, VicentsItalianCuisine.com. L Tue-Fri, D Mon-Sat. Snug Italian boîte packs them in, yet manages to remain intimate at the same time. The cannelloni is a house specialty. $$$ Voodoo BBQ Barbecue 2740 Severn Ave., 353-4227, VoodooBBQAndGrill.com. L, D daily. Diners are never too far from this homegrown barbecue chain that features an array of specialty sauces to accompany its smoked meats and seafood. $$ Mid-City
H Blue Dot Donuts Specialty Foods 4301 Canal St., 218-4866, BlueDotDonuts.com. B, L Tue-Sun. The Bacon Maple Long John gets all the press, but returning customers are happy with the classics as well as twists like peanut butter and jelly.
H Café Minh Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 4139 Canal St., 482-6266, CafeMinh.com. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. Chef Minh Bui and
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Cynthia Vutran bring a fusion touch to Vietnamese cuisine with French accents and a contemporary flair. $$
H Crescent City Steaks Steakhouse 1001 N. Broad St., 821-3271, CrescentCitySteaks.com. L Tue-Fri & Sun, D Tue-Sun. One of the classic New Orleans steakhouses. Steaks, sides and drinks are what you get. $$$$ Five Happiness Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 3605 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3935, FiveHappiness.com. L, D daily. This longtime Chinese favorite offers up an extensive menu including its beloved mu shu pork and house-baked duck. $$ Gracious Bakery + Café Bakery/Breakfast 1000 S. Jeff Davis Parkway, Suite 100, 301-3709, GraciousBakery.com. B, L daily. Boutique bakery on the ground floor of the Woodward Building offers small-batch coffee, baked goods, individual desserts and sandwiches on breads made in-house. Catering options available. $ Juan’s Flying Burrito World 4724 S. Carrollton Ave., 486-9950, JuansFlyingBurrito.com. L, D daily. Hard-core tacos and massive burritos are served in an edgy atmosphere. $
H Katie’s Restaurant and Bar Louisianian Fare 3701 Iberville St., 488-6582, KatiesInMidCity.com. L, D Mon-Sat, Br Sun. Creative poor boys, local dishes such as
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gumbo and Sunday brunch make this a neighborhood favorite. $$
H Liuzza’s Italian 3636 Bienville St., 482-9120, Liuzzas.com. L, D daily. Classic neighborhood joint serves favorites like the “Frenchuletta,” stuffed artichokes and andouille gumbo. Kid’s menu offered. $$
H Mandina’s Louisianian Fare 3800 Canal St., 482-9179, MandinasRestaurant.com. L, D daily. Though the ambiance is more upscale, the food and seafood dishes make dining here a New Orleans experience. $$
H Mona’s Café World 3901 Banks St., 4827743. L, D daily. Middle Eastern specialties such as baba ganuj, tender-tangy beef or chicken shawarma, falafel and gyros, stuffed into pillowy pita bread or on platters. The lentil soup with crunchy pita chips and desserts, such as sticky sweet baklava, round out the menu. $
H MoPho Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 514 City Park Ave., 482-6845, MoPhoNola.com. L, D Wed-Mon. Vietnamese cuisine meets southern Louisiana in this upscale casual hybrid by chef Michael Gulotta. Mix-andmatch pho and an interesting poor boy menu rounds out the appeal. $$$
some of the best sandwiches in town. Their french fry version with gravy and cheese is a classic at a great price. $ Ralph’s On The Park Italian 900 City Park Ave., 488-1000, RalphsOnThePark.com. Br Sun, L Tue-Fri, D daily. A modern interior and contemporary Creole dishes such as City Park salad, turtle soup, barbecue Gulf shrimp and good cocktails. $$$$
H Ruby Slipper Café Bakery/ Breakfast 139 S. Cortez St., 525-9355, TheRubySlipperCafe.net. B, L daily, Br Sun. Homegrown chain specializes in breakfast, lunch and brunch dishes with unique local twists such as bananas Foster French toast and barbecue shrimp and grits. $$
H Taqueria Guerrero World 208 N. Carrollton Ave., 484-6959. B, L, D, Tue-Sat. Friendly staff and authentic Mexican cuisine make this affordable neighborhood restaurant a neighborhood favorite. BYOB $
H Toups’ Meatery Louisianian Fare 845 N. Carrollton Ave., 252-4999, ToupsMeatery. com. L, D Tue-Sat. Charcuterie, specialty cocktails and an exhaustive list of excellent à la carte sides make this restaurant a carnivore’s delight. $$$
Parkway Bakery and Tavern
AMERICAN 538 Hagan Ave., 482-3047, ParkwayPoorBoys.com. L, D Wed-Mon. Featured on national TV and having served poor boys to presidents, it stakes a claim to
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Trèo Gastropub 3835 Tulane Ave., 3044878, TreoNola.com. L Fri-Sat, D daily. Craft cocktail bar also serves a short but excellent small plates menu to accompany its artfully
composed libations. $$ Multiple Locations Byblos World Multiple Locations, ByblosRestaurants.com. L, D daily. Upscale Middle Eastern cuisine featuring traditional seafood, lamb and vegetarian options. $$ Café du Monde Bakery/Breakfast Multiple Locations, CafeDuMonde.com. This New Orleans institution has been serving fresh café au lait, rich hot chocolate and positively addictive beignets since 1862 in the French Market 24/7. $ CC’s Coffee House Bakery/Breakfast Multiple locations in New Orleans, Metairie and Northshore, CCsCoffee.com. Coffeehouse specializing in coffee, espresso drinks and pastries. $ Copeland’s Louisianian Fare Multiple Locations, CopelandsofNewOrleans.com. L, D daily, Br Sun. Al Copeland’s namesake chain includes favorites such as Shrimp Ducky. Popular for lunch. $$ Little Tokyo Asian Fusion/Pan Asian Multiple locations, LittleTokyoNola.com. L, D daily. Multiple locations of this popular Japanese sushi and hibachi chain make sure that there’s always a specialty roll within easy reach. $$ Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House Seafood Multiple Locations, MrEdsRestaurants. com/oyster-bar. L, D daily. A seafood lover’s
paradise offering an array of favorites like shrimp Creole, crawfish etouffée, blackened redfish and more. An elaborate raw bar featuring gulf oysters both charbroiled and raw is part of the draw. $$$ Reginelli’s Pizzeria pizza Multiple Locations, Reginellis.com. L, D daily. Pizzas, pastas, salads, fat calzones and lofty focaccia sandwiches are at locations all over town. $$ Theo’s Pizza Multiple Locations, TheosPizza.com. L, D daily. The cracker-crisp crust pizzas are complemented by a broad assortment of toppings with a lot of local ingredients at cheap prices. $$ Zea’s Rotisserie and Grill AMERICAN Multiple Locations, ZeaRestaurants.com. L, D daily. Drawing from a wide range of worldly influences, this popular restaurant serves a variety of grilled items as well as appetizers, salads, side dishes, seafood, pasta and other entrées. Also offers catering services. $$$ Northshore Acme Oyster House Louisianian Fare 1202 N. Highway 190, Covington, (985) 2466155, AcmeOyster.com. L, D daily. Known as one of the best places to eat oysters. $$ Dakota AMERICAN 629 N. Highway 190, (985) 892-3712, TheDakotaRestaurant.com. L Tue-Fri, D M on-Sat. A sophisticated dining
experience with generous portions. $$$$$
H Del Porto Ristorante Italian 501 E. Boston St., (985) 875-1006, DelPortoRistorante.com. L, D Tue-Sat. One of the Northshore’s premier fine dining destinations serving Italian food that makes use of locally sourced meats and produce. $$$ Gallagher’s Grill Louisianian Fare 509 S. Tyler St., (985) 892-9992, GallaghersGrill. com. L, D Tue-Sat. Chef Pat Gallagher’s destination restaurant offers al fresco seating to accompany classically inspired New Orleans fare. Event catering offered. $$$ Riverbend H Ba Chi Canteen Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 7900 Maple St., 373-5628. L, D Mon-Sat. The kitchen plays fast and loose with Vietnamese fare at this eclectic outpost on Maple Street. Try the caramelized pork “Baco”. $
H Boucherie Louisianian Fare 1506 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-5514, Boucherie-Nola. com. L Tue-Sat, D Mon-Sat, Br Sun. Serving contemporary Southern food with an international angle, chef Nathaniel Zimet offers excellent ingredients presented simply. $$ Brigtsen’s Louisianian Fare 723 Dante St., 861-7610, Brigtsens.com. D Tue-Sat. Chef Frank Brigtsen’s nationally famous Creole
cuisine makes this cozy cottage a true foodie destination. $$$$$
and Creole Italian specialties as well. $$
H Ancora pizza 4508 Freret St., 324-1636,
Carrollton Market AMERICAN 8132 Hampson St., 252-9928, CarrolltonMarket. com. L Sat-Sun, D Tue-Sat. Modern Southern cuisine manages to be both fun and refined at this tasteful boîte. $$$
AncoraPizza.com. D daily. Authentic Neapolitan-style pizza fired in an oven imported from Naples. The housemade charcuterie makes it a double-winner. $$
H Chill Out Café Asian Fusion/Pan Asian
4729 Magazine St., 894-8881, ApollineRestaurant.com. D Tue-Sun, Br Sat-Sun. Cozy gem serves a refined menu of French and Creole classics peppered with Southern influences such as buttermilk fried quail with corn waffle. $$$
729 Burdette St., 872-9628. B, L daily, D Mon-Sat. Thai food and breakfast favorites like waffles and pancakes can both be had at this affordable college-friendly hangout. $
H Cowbell Burgers 8801 Oak St., 2988689, Cowbell-Nola.com. L, D Tue-Sat. Burgers and homemade sauces on potato rolls are the specialty here, along with other favorites like skirt steak. $$ Upper 9th Ward St. Roch Market Louisianian Fare 2381 St. Claude Ave., 615-6541, StRochMarket. com. B, L, D daily. Beautiful restoration of historic St. Claude Marketplace with open dining space houses a broad collection of independent eateries including craft cocktails and more. $$ Uptown Amici Italian 3218 Magazine St., 300-1250, AmiciNola.com. L, D daily. Coal-fired pizza is the calling card for this destination, but the menu offers an impressive list of authentic
H Apolline Louisianian Fare
Audubon Clubhouse AMERICAN 6500 Magazine St., 212-5282, AudubonInstitute. org. B, L Tue-Sat, Br Sun. A kid-friendly menu with local tweaks and a casually upscale sandwich and salad menu. $$ Blue Frog Chocolates Specialty Foods 5707 Magazine St., 269-5707, BlueFrogChocolates.com. Open daily, closed Sundays in summer. French and Belgian chocolate truffles and Italian candy flowers make this a great place for gifts. Bouligny Tavern Gastropub 3641 Magazine St., 891-1810, BoulignyTavern. com. D Mon-Sat. Carefully curated small plates, inventive cocktails and select wines are the focus of this stylish offshoot of John Harris’s nationally acclaimed Lilette. $$
H Café Abyssinia World 3511 Magazine
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St., 894-6238. L, D daily. One of a just few authentic Ethiopian restaurants in the city, excellent injera and spicy vegetarian fare make this a local favorite. $$ Camellia Grill AMERICAN 626 S. Carrollton Ave., 309-2679. B, L, D daily. A venerable diner whose essential character has remained intact and many of the original waiters have returned. Credit cards are now accepted. $ Casamento’s Louisianian Fare 4330 Magazine St., 895-9761, CasamentosRestaurant.com. L Thu-Sat, D Thu-Sun. The family-owned restaurant has shucked oysters and fried seafood since 1919; closed during summer and for all major holidays. $$ Chiba Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 8312 Oak St., 826-9119, Chiba-Nola.com. L Wed-Sat, D Mon-Sat. Contemporary restaurant features fresh, exotic fish from all over the world and fusion fare to go along with typical Japanese options. Extensive sake list and late night happy hours are a plus. $$$
8324 Oak St., 861-0886, Jacques-Imos. com. D Mon-Sat. Reinvented New Orleans cuisine served in a party atmosphere. The deep-fried roast beef poor boy is delicious. The lively bar scene offsets the long wait on weekends. $$$$
JungsChinese.com. L, D daily. This Chinese destination is a real find. Along with the usual, you’ll find spicy cold noodle dishes and dumplings. One of the few local Chinese places that breaks the Americanized mold. $
H La Crêpe Nanou French 1410 Robert St., 899-2670, LaCrepeNanou.com. D daily, Br Sun. Classic French bistro fare, including terrific moules and decadent dessert crêpes, are served nightly at this neighborhood institution. $$$
Commander’s Palace Louisianian Fare 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221, CommandersPalace.com. L Mon-Fri, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. The grande dame is going strong under the auspices of James Beard Award-winner chef Tory McPhail. Jazz Brunch is a great deal. $$$$
Lilette French 3637 Magazine St., 8951636, LiletteRestaurant.com. L Tue-Sat, D Mon-Sat. Chef John Harris’ innovative menu draws discerning diners to this highly regarded bistro. Desserts are wonderful as well. $$$$$
H Magasin Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 4201
265-0421, CoquetteNola.com. L Fri, D daily, Br Sun. The food is French in inspiration and technique, with added imagination from chef Michael and his partner Lillian Hubbard. $$$
Magazine St., 896-7611, MagasinCafe. com. L, D Mon-Sat. Pho, banh mi and vegetarian options are offered at this attractive and budget-friendly Vietnamese restaurant. Café sua da is available as well. $
Dick and Jenny’s Louisianian Fare 4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 894-9880, DickAndJennys.com. D Mon-Sat. A funky cottage serving Louisiana comfort food with flashes of innovation. $$$$
Martin Wine Cellar AMERICAN 3827 Baronne St., 899-7411, MartinWine.com. Wine by the glass or bottle with cheeses, salads, sandwiches and snacks. $
Domilise’s Louisianian Fare 5240 Annunciation St., 899-912. L, D Mon-Sat. Local institution and rite-of-passage for those wanting an initiation to the real New Orleans. Wonderful poor boys and a unique atmosphere make this a one-of-akind place. $
Mat & Naddie’s Louisianian Fare 937 Leonidas St., 861-9600, MatAndNaddies. com. D Mon-Tue, Thu-Sat. Cozy converted house serves up creative and eclectic regionally inspired fare. Shrimp and crawfish croquettes make for a good appetizer and when the weather is right the romantic patio is the place to sit. $$$$
H Gautreau’s Louisianian Fare 1728 Soniat St., 899-7397, GautreausRestaurant.com. D Mon-Sat. Upscale destination serves refined interpretations of classics along with contemporary creations. $$$$$ Jacques-Imo’s Cafe Louisianian Fare 104
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H Jung’s Golden Dragon Asian Fusion/ Pan Asian 3009 Magazine St., 891-8280,
La Petite Grocery French 4238 Magazine St., 891-3377, LaPetiteGrocery.com. L Tue-Sat, D daily, Br Sun. Elegant dining in a convivial atmosphere. The menu is heavily French-inspired with an emphasis on technique. $$$
Frankie & Johnny’s Seafood 321 Arabella St., 243-1234, FrankieAndJohnnys.net. L, D daily. Serves fried and boiled seafood along with poor boys and daily lunch specials. Kid-friendly with a game room to boot. $$
Sip And Savor At The NOPSI Hotel
Juan’s Flying Burrito 2018 Magazine St., 569-0000, JuansFlyingBurrito.com. L, D daily. Hard-core tacos and massive burritos are served in an edgy atmosphere. $
Clancy’s Louisianian Fare 6100 Annunciation St., 895-1111, ClancysNewOrleans.com. L Thu-Fri, D Mon-Sat. Their Creole-inspired menu has been a favorite of locals for years. $$$
H Coquette French 2800 Magazine St.,
H Panchita’s World 1434 S. Carrollton Ave., 281-4127. L, D daily. Authentic, budget-friendly Mexican restaurant serves tamales, mole and offers free chips and salsa as well as sangria. $ Pascal’s Manale Italian 1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877, PascalsManale. com. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. Vintage neighborhood restaurant since 1913 and the place to go for the creation of barbecued shrimp. Its oyster bar serves icy cold, freshly shucked Louisiana oysters and the Italian specialties and steaks are
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The NOPSI hotel is a wonderful reminder of how far the city has come since the dark days of Katrina. Boarded up and abandoned for 30 years, this magnificent building could easily have lost its chance for reincarnation. However, this summer, the one-time home to the New Orleans Public Service Inc. provider of utilities and transport to the city, reopened as NOPSI Hotel. Magnificently restored, it offers three wittily named bars including Above the Gird, a beautiful rooftop watering hole and Under CURRENT in the marbled filled lobby. Public Service is the main restaurant, which is light and bright, and offers contemporary cuisine from a large open-display kitchen. Chef Dustin Brien showcases the produce of ‘hard-working fishermen and farmers of the Gulf Coast’ in a menu which works just as well for a quiet bite or a three course meal. NOPSI Hotel, 311 Baronne St., 962-6527, PublicServiceNOLA.com.
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also solid. $$$$
dishes to try. $$$
H Patois World 6078 Laurel St., 895-9441,
St. James Cheese Company Specialty Foods 5004 Prytania St., 899-4737, StJamesCheese.com. Open daily. Specialty shop offers a selection of fine cheeses, wines, beers and related accouterments. Look for wine and cheese specials every Friday.
PatoisNola.com. L Fri, D Wed-Sat, Br Sun. The food is French in technique, with influences from across the Mediterranean as well as the American South, all filtered through the talent of chef Aaron Burgau. Reservations recommended. $$$ Pizza Domenica pizza 4933 Magazine St., 301-4978, PizzaDomenica.com. L Fri-Sun, D daily. James Beard Award Winning Chef Alon Shaya’s pizza centric spinoff of his popular Restaurant Domenica brings Neapolitan-style pies to Uptown. Excellent
Sucré Specialty Foods 3025 Magazine St., 520-8311, ShopSucre.com. Desserts daily & nightly. Open late weekends. Chocolates, pastry and gelato draw rave reviews at this dessert destination. Beautiful packaging makes this a great place to shop for gifts. Catering available.
salads and charcuterie boards are offered as well. $$
H Ruby Slipper Café Bakery/Breakfast 200 Magazine St., 525-9355; 1005 Canal St., 525-9355, TheRubySlipperCafe.net. B, L daily, Br Sun. Homegrown chain specializes in breakfast, lunch and brunch dishes with unique local twists such as bananas Foster French toast and barbecue shrimp and grits. $$
H Shaya World 4213 Magazine St., 891-4213, ShayaRestaurant.com. L, D daily. James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya’s menu pays homage to his native Israel with this contemporary Israeli hotspot. Cauliflower Hummus and Matzo Ball Soup made with slow-cooked duck are
Tracey’s Irish Restaurant & Bar AMERICAN 2604 Magazine St., 897-5413, TraceysNola. com. L, D daily. A neighborhood bar with one of the best messy roast beef poor boys in town. The gumbo, cheeseburger poor boy and other sandwiches are also winners. Grab a local Abita beer to wash it all down. Also a great location to watch the game. $
H The Company Burger Burgers 4600 Freret St., 267-0320, TheCompanyBurger. com. L, D daily. Custom-baked butterbrushed buns and fresh-ground beef patties make all the difference at this excellent burger hotspot. Draft beer and craft cocktails round out the appeal. $ The Delachaise Gastropub 3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858, TheDelaichaise.com. D daily.
Cuisine elevated to the standards of the libations is the draw at this lively wine bar and gastropub. Food is grounded in French bistro fare with eclectic twists. $$ H Upperline AMERICAN 1413 Upperline St., 891-9822, Upperline.com. D Wed-Sun. Consummate hostess JoAnn Clevenger and talented chef Dave Bridges make for a winning combination at this nationally heralded favorite. The oft-copied fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade originated here. $$$$ H Wayfare AMERICAN 4510 Freret St., 309-0069, WayfareNola.com. L, D daily, Br Sat-Sun. Creative sandwiches and southerninspired small plates. $$ Ye Olde College Inn AMERICAN 3000 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3683, CollegeInn1933. com. D Tue-Sat. Serves up classic fare, albeit with a few upscale dishes peppering the menu. $$$ Vincent’s Italian Cuisine Italian 7839 St. Charles Ave., 866-9313, VicentsItalianCuisine.com. L Tue-Fri, D Tue-Sun. Snug Italian boîte packs them in yet manages to remain intimate at the same time. The cannelloni is a house specialty. $$$ Warehouse District Lucy’s World 710 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995, LucysRetiredSurfers.com. L, D daily. The focus is on fun at this islandthemed oasis with a menu that cherry-picks
tempting dishes from across the globe’s tropical latitudes. Popular for lunch, and the after-work crowds stay well into the wee hours at this late-night hangout. $ West Bank Nine Roses Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 1100 Stephen St., 366-7665, NineRosesResturant. com. L, D Sun-Tue, Thu-Sat. The extensive Vietnamese menu specializes in hot pots, noodles and dishes big enough for everyone to share. $$ West End Landry’s Seafood Seafood 8000 Lakeshore Drive, West End, 283-1010, LandrysSeafood.com. L, D daily. Kid-friendly and popular seafood spot serves of heaping platters of fried shrimp, Gulf oysters, catfish and more. $$
If you feel that a restaurant has been misplaced, please email Managing Editor Ashley McLellan at Ashley@MyNewOrleans.com
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Delta Festival Ballet
he holidays bring a season of merriment to New Orleans, where parties fill the night air with revelry and twinkling lights sparkle from houses and tree branches across the city. Local restaurants honor the old Creole tradition of Reveillon meals with multi-course offerings from award-winning chefs while local festivals celebrate the winter and holiday season as they would a regional delicacy like strawberries or shrimp. Whether you’re sipping hot chocolate with the family or a champagne cocktail with a date on New Year’s Eve, you’re sure to be making memories this season with the abundant offerings for festive fun. Outdoor celebrations turn tree lighting into a work of art while indoor destinations bring casino excitement, dramatic symphonies, and new books for the nightstand. Restaurants are excited to highlight the freshest seasonal ingredients in hearty, warm dishes, and local hotels are pulling out all the stops for a memorable New Orleans holiday stay. Delight in the festivities with your choice of this year’s holiday happenings. 106
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Eat, Drink, & Be Merry Arnaud’s will be at the heart of holiday celebrations this month as it gears up for a full year of celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018. A holiday tradition, Arnaud’s will pay homage to its French roots by offering a special Réveillon dinner menu (December 1-23). Celebrate the joys of the season with four courses of Arnaud’s signature Creole cuisine, including entrée selections of Court-Bouillon, Duck Ál’Orange and Seared Flank Steak, along with an appetizer, soup, and dessert. Lunch hour is also a festive feast at Arnaud’s this holiday season when the restaurant unlocks its doors for special lunch offerings from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (December 10-15, 17-22). Guests can ring in the New Year and simultaneously celebrate Arnaud’s 100th birthday on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. For those who stay through midnight on New Year’s Eve, the restaurant provides celebratory accessories to welcome 2018 in style. Extend your holiday fun with a visit to Arnaud’s French 75 Bar. Master Mixologist
ADVERTISING SECTION Chris Hannah serves up seasonal cocktails, including the Dickens’ Toddy, Tom and Jerry, and hot buttered rums. For reservations, menus, and information about Arnaud’s 100-year legacy, visit ArnaudsRestaurant.com. Holidays are always festive at DON’S Seafood, the perfect place for enjoying soul-satisfying cuisine and seafood. Known for its authentic Cajun cuisine and South Louisiana essence, DON’S Seafood serves up an extensive menu of original family recipes, the freshest Gulf seafood, and sizzling steaks. From traditional Louisiana recipes to recent additions like Zydeco Shrimp or DON’S Original Jacked Up Oysters, the menu offers the best of South Louisiana fare accompanied by timeless cocktails and new specialty drinks. Each location boasts a unique Acadiana-inspired décor and offers a full-service bar and open charbroil grill. DON’S Seafood offers a great atmosphere for holiday parties and group events, and each location provides unique party and menu options. Having a party elsewhere? Call DON’S for a party tray of your favorites: boiled shrimp, fried catfish, boudin balls, hush puppies, and much more. This month, receive a complimentary $25 bonus card for each purchase of $100 in gift cards—the gift that keeps on giving! For more information, visit DonsSeafoodOnline.com and locate the DON’S Seafood nearest you in Metairie, Covington, Hammond, Gonzales, Denham Springs, or Lafayette. Five Happiness, New Orleans’s award-winning Chinese restaurant, offers a delicious menu of Sichuan and Hunan specialties in a recently renovated sleek and elegant dining room. Enjoy the succulent shrimp with honey roasted pecans, General’s Chicken or asparagus sautéed with garlic sauce in a comfortable and unique setting distinguished by its authentic Chinese décor of etched glass and Chinese paintings. The dining room, now split into three rooms, provides a more private dining experience for guests. Five Happiness is available for private parties, receptions, or other functions and can hold up to 60 people. Serving options are customized for each party, ranging from sit-down dinners to buffets or cocktails with hors d’oeuvres and prices starting at $22 per person. For those not wanting to cook during the holidays, Five Happiness happily serves lunch and dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For more information, call 504-482-3935 or visit FiveHappiness.com. Continuing its success as one of OpenTable’s 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America, Red Gravy welcomes its 8th year on Camp Street this winter and is celebrating with delicious cold-weather combinations. From an old Belgian recipe for homemade hot chocolate to stuffed skillet cakes, fresh soups, and handmade pastas, Red Gravy owner Roseann Melisi Rostoker features a variety of specialties she’s picked up from her world travels and her native Jersey shore. This month, she’ll be rolling out zeppole, an Italian doughnut that’s fried, sugared, and traditionally served on Christmas Eve. Also throughout the month, Red Gravy will showcase dishes from the traditional Italian holiday meal, Feast of the Seven Fishes. For details, visit Facebook.com/RedGravyNola. Red Gravy will be open for brunch on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. View the menu and make reservations online at RedGravyCafe.com, or call 504-561-8844. Located in the Lower Garden District and just blocks from Downtown New Orleans, Hoshun Restaurant delivers a flavorful punch of pan-Asian flavors with their own take on traditional dishes from China, Japan, Vietnam and other South-Asian countries. Popular menu items include pho soup and Vietnamese spring rolls, pad Thai, sushi, General Tsao’s Chicken, Hunan steak, Kung Pao shrimp
and more. Enjoy family-style dining in an elegant atmosphere while sharing your favorite appetizers, entrees, combination dinners, and sushi specials. Whether you’re looking for seafood, steak, or vegetarian fare, Hoshun’s extensive menu provides options for everyone. Open daily until 2:00am, Hoshun is a favorite late-night spot for locals and visitors alike. Its great lunch prices and daily happy hour (3:00pm-6:00pm), make it a popular daytime destination as well. On Tuesdays, S.I.N. night extends happy hour from 10:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. For menu and information, visit HoshunRestaurant.com or call 504302-9716. Located at 1601 St. Charles Avenue, Hoshun offers a private party room overlooking the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line fitting between 25-70 people. New Orleanians love brunch, and most locals know that no one does brunch better than The Ruby Slipper Café. The Slipper's original location that has served the Mid-City area for nine years is moving this month to 315 S. Broad Street, where the new location will feature more seating, an outside dining option, eco-friendly parking lot, and a playground for kids. All of The Ruby Slipper Cafés are unique to their location. In fact, the brand categorizes each restaurant based on their specific neighborhood. In New Orleans there is Mid-City, Marigny, Canal, French Quarter, and Uptown. Each location serves scrumptious breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Signature dishes include Eggs Cochon, Bananas Foster Pain Perdu, and Gulf Fish St. Peter. They are also known for the eye-opening cocktails, including the Bacon Bloody Mary, which just one first place at the New Orleans' Bloody Mary Festival. No matter what neighborhood you are in, The Ruby Slipper Café makes it feel like home. Visit the Ruby Slipper online at TheRubySlipperCafe.net and on Facebook. Come relish in The Country Club’s luxurious secret paradise. The holidays are a perfect time to take delight in one of the city’s most innovative culinary experiences. With a newly renovated space, the restaurant offers the perfect setting to enjoy thoughtful, chef-driven cuisine inspired by Italian-French and Creole-Southern heritages. From chateaubriand and bourbon lacquered quail, to shrimp ravioli and saffron mussels, the new menu by Chef Chris Barbato, formerly of Commander’s Palace, has all the foodies talking. Additionally, The Country Club’s new wine program features more than 140 bottles from 13 countries and its very own private label wines. Take a break from cooking this holiday season and let exceptional Chef Chris do it for you. Enjoy a special Reveillon Menu throughout December and ring in the New Year at The Country Club. The Country Club is located at 634 Louisa Street and is open daily from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m. For more information, visit TheCountryClubNewOrleans.com. For over a decade, Austin’s Restaurant has been known as Metairie’s hot spot for steak, seafood, and the Creole-Italian creations of Restauranteur Ed McIntyre and his esteemed culinary staff. Garnering awards and accolades from critics and readers alike, Austin’s was named “Favorite Steak House” and McIntyre named “New Orleanian of the Year” in 2010 by readers of New Orleans Magazine. Austin’s impressive menu includes signature appetizers, soups, and salads such as the popular Austin’s Louisiana Creole Crab Salad and Oyster Fitzgerald, as well as the finest aged USDA steaks and savory Creole-Italian entrees of seafood, veal, duck, and pork. Austin’s is located at 5101 W. Esplanade in Metairie and is open MondaySaturday, 5:00 p.m. ‘til, and for private luncheons and banquets. Austin’s is now accepting reservations for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Mr. Ed’s Restaurant Group Gift Cards are also available for the holiday season. For information and reservations, call 504-888-5533. Visit Austin’s online at MrEdsRestaurants.com. McIntyre also oversees Mr. Ed’s my n e w or l e a n s . com
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ADVERTISING SECTION Mr. Ed's
Taste the rich history of New Orleans this season by going to Pascal’s Manale, home of the original BBQ Shrimp. Founded in 1913, this New Orleans tradition is now in its 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation of family involvement and still serves the classic dishes for which it’s been famous for decades. A blend of Italian and Creole, Pascal’s Manale’s menu includes New Orleans and Italian favorites, steaks, and seafood dishes. Start your night with raw oysters from the oyster bar before indulging in the succulent BBQ shrimp. The Veal Gambero and Fish Pascal specials have flavors all their own while also incorporating the richness of the BBQ Shrimp and its sauce. Other Pascal’s Manale favorites include the Oysters Bienville, baked oysters topped with a mushroom, shrimp, and bacon dressing, or the Combination Pan Roast, which is oysters, crabmeat and shrimp chopped in a blend of parsley, green onions, and seasonings baked in a casserole with a topping of breadcrumbs and butter. Monday-Friday, from 3:00-6:00 p.m., enjoy half-priced raw oysters at the oyster bar as well half-priced beer, wine, and cocktails. For reservations, call 504-895-4877 or visit them at PascalsManale.com. The holidays are happening at a number of Ralph Brennan restaurants with fun-filled family activities and once-a-year dining opportunities. From December 1-23, Brennan's will offer its festive Reveillon Menu. The four-course, $85 menu by James Beard finalist chef Slade Rushing includes Turtle Soup, Seared Foie Gras and Lobster, Roasted Young French Chicken with Black Truffles, and Brennan’s famous Banana's Foster. Brennan's will offer a special "Home for the Holiday" cocktail menu with merriment-inducing drinks such as the Whoville Collins, Scrooged Punch, and the Louisiana Christmas. On Thursday, December 21, enjoy Breakfast at Brennan’s with Santa. The event includes a three-course breakfast, snow in the courtyard, photo opportunities with Santa, cookie decorating, reindeer games, holiday jingle bells, and a special holiday takeaway. Call 504-525-9711 for reservations. Red Fish Grill’s Executive Chef Austin Kirzner and Executive Pastry Chef Brett Gauthier will host Gingerbread Workshops on Saturdays, December 2 & 9 with seatings at 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The $59 kit includes three seats, a gingerbread house, decorations, chef’s hat, crayons, jingle bells, and child’s apron. Santa and his elf will make a guest appearance. Call 504-539-5508 for reservations.
Seafood & Italian Restaurant, Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House, and his newest special event venue, The Pearl Room, located in River Ridge. Known as “the original Cajun restaurant,” Mulate’s is the passion and vision of Founder Kerry Boutté, an Arnaudville, Louisiana native who shares his love for Cajun cuisine and culture through his restaurant located at the corner of Julia Street and Convention Center Boulevard in the New Orleans Warehouse District. Family-owned and operated by daughter Monique Boutté Christina, who shares a passion for Cajun heritage, Mulate’s features authentic Cajun specialties and live Cajun music nightly at 7:00 p.m. Originally opened in Breaux Bridge in 1980, the restaurant has served enthusiastic diners in New Orleans for nearly 27 years. Everything on the menu is prepared fresh, in-house, by Chef Perry Watts, whose dishes such as Catfish Mulate's, Zydeco Gumbo, Crabmeat AuGratin, and Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce have locals and visitors returning time and again. The restaurant, located across from the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, is able to host groups as well as private events. For more information and to view the menu, visit Mulates.com or call 504-522-1492.
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The Rizzuto family’s continued resilience over generations has grown their legacy from its early beginnings as a simple Vieux Carré grocery stand, founded by their immigrant ancestors, into their new restaurant concept, Rizzuto's Ristorante & Chop House. Savor “La Dolce Vita,” or the sweet life, through the eyes of Grandmother Lena and her old-world recipes. Indulge your senses with the flavors of Caporeale, the Sicilian village where the Rizzutos’ age-old culinary tradition began. Let the aroma of fresh herbs invoke your sense of smell, the tannins of the wine invigorate your taste-buds, and prepare for an exquisite encounter. The Rizzuto's Ristorante & Chop House menu proudly showcases the flavors and colors of the family’s Sicilian roots from classic Italian entrees like Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Crab & Lobster Ravioli to Prime Steaks and Chops, marrying old and new world cooking traditions. Additional highlights of the menu are Brisket Salad, Bruciuluni, Crab Pasta, and the succulent Lamb Rack. Buon Appetito! Rizzuto's Ristorante & Chop House is located at 6262 Fleur de Lis Drive. For reservations, call 504-300-1804 or visit RizzutosRistorante.com. For a uniquely Creole holiday experience, visit The Court of Two Sisters at historic 613 Rue Royale in the French Quarter. In true Creole fashion, this award-winning restaurant will uphold the tradition of the
ADVERTISING SECTION Creole Reveillon holiday meal. This year’s famous Reveillon menu at The Court of Two Sisters begins with Turtle Soup Au Sherry, followed by your choice of Baked Oysters on the Half Shell with Louisiana Caviar and Tarragon Aioli or Mixed Greens salad with Applewood Bacon and Candied Pecans. Entrée choices include Corn and Crab stuffed Snapper with Charred Tomato Risotto, Pork Cheek and Oyster Mushroom Ragout with Gruyère Stone-Ground Grits and Baby Carrots, or Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Asparagus Tips, Parmesan Truffle Fries, and maitre d' Butter. The menu concludes on a sweet note with a delicious Egg Nog Ice Cream or the Bûche de Noël. Coffee and tea are included. The menu runs from December 1st through 24th for only $50 per person. Return to The Court of Two Sisters on New Year’s Eve and ring in the New Year with a spectacular multi-course meal. Call 504-522-7261 or visit CourtofTwoSisters.com for reservations. Whether you’re taking a break from holiday shopping at the Riverwalk or looking for a place to enjoy the New Year’s Eve fireworks, you can enjoy riverside dining and drinks this month along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River at The Crazy Lobster and feast on the freshest and best. Share a Steamed Seafood Bucket with your nearest and dearest, or satisfy your own appetite by keeping it all to yourself—a 2-lb. lobster, snow crab, shrimp, crawfish, clams, mussels, corn on the cob, potatoes, and sausage all seasoned to pure perfection. Crazy Lobster also serves up all the New Orleans’ favorites—étouffée, jambalaya, gumbo, and red beans—along with the best fried seafood in New Orleans. Celebrate the season with Crazy Lobster’s Poppy’s Voodoo Juice, a refreshing tropical cocktail. Live music keeps the restaurant hopping nightly with a variety of funky musicians straight from Frenchmen Street. The Crazy Lobster is open seven days a week, from 11:00 a.m.10:00 p.m. For more information and menu, visit TheCrazyLobster.com. Call 504-569-3380 for reservations. Cheer on your favorite team as you dine riverside at the hottest sports bar downtown. Poppy’s Time Out Sports Bar features 18 beers on tap, including loads of local brews. Poppy’s carries all of the DIRECTV sports packages and displays over 20 TVs for fans to keep up with all the excitement around the leagues. Poppy’s menu includes handcrafted, juicy gourmet burgers made using brisket, short rib, and ground chuck. Amazing wings, loaded nachos, and seafood poor boys round out the menu’s top picks for game-winning appetizers and entrees. Bring your entire team to Poppy’s party pavilion to watch all the action. Poppy’s Time Out Sports Bar is located in Spanish Plaza across from Harrah’s Casino at 500 Port of New Orleans, Ste. 80. Happy Hour runs Monday-Friday, 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. and features daily specials. For photos, menus, party reservations and more, visit PoppysTimeOutSportsBar.com or call 504-247-9265 for more information. Celebrate the holidays with family and friends at New Orleans Creole Cookery. Savor authentic Creole dishes prepared by renowned Chef Lance Lewis and relish the time-honored tastes of classic Creole favorites such as Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Crawfish Etouffee, and Snapper Pontchartrain. New Orleans Creole Cookery is everything you love about New Orleans in a setting to fit every occasion. Enjoy casual fine dining at its very best in your choice of the charming Toulouse Lautrec dining room, romantic courtyard, or lively oyster bar. Each offers a Creoleinspired menu complemented by tempting handcrafted cocktails from the bar. Located at 510 Toulouse Street in one of New Orleans’ oldest and most storied locations, New Orleans Creole Cookery is just steps from holiday festivities in the French Quarter, including the annual New Year’s Eve Fleur de Lis Drop and riverfront fireworks.
New Orleans Creole Cookery is open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. for lunch and dinner. Take advantage of Oyster Happy Hour Monday through Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m., with $1.00 chargrilled and $0.50 raw oysters along with drink specials. Visit NewOrleansCreoleCookery.com or call 504-524-9632. This fall, the Warehouse District welcomed Briquette, a new restaurant at 701 S. Peters Street by Anna Tusa, Owner of New Orleans Creole Cookery. With Briquette, Tusa puts seafood and contemporary coastal cuisine at the center of the dining experience. As the name indicates, the restaurant features a large charcoal grill to highlight the fresh coastal flavors. The menu emphasizes small plates for sharing the variety of fish and seafood, including whole grilled fish. Other flavorful menu items include aged beef, pastas, and more. The bar at Briquette features a curated wine list to accompany the menu along with specialty, handcrafted cocktails. Start a new family tradition this holiday season with a delicious food shared together at Briquette. For more information and reservations, visit Briquette online at BriquetteNola.com or on Facebook. Curio, the French Quarter’s newest “it” spot, welcomes you for a delightful holiday feast. This month, culinary marvels Steven Marsella and Executive Chef Hayley Vanvleet are offering an exceptional fourcourse Reveillon meal, which starts with a Roasted Fennel, Garlic and Crab Bisque followed by a Fresh Shaved Vegetable Salad with a Spicy Truffle Vinaigrette. The Muscovy Duck Leg Confit entrée is served with creamy Goat Cheese Grits, Crispy Fried Onions and a Satsuma Creole Mustard Sauce. Lastly, and not to be missed, is the Buttered Rum Yule Log complete with Toasted Hazelnuts and a Cinnamon Chocolate Sauce. Curio is an inspired upscale eatery where flavor is the main attraction. Located at the corner of Royal and Bienville in the heart of the French Quarter, Curio features a remarkably exciting and inventive menu that redefines culinary standards. Open for lunch, dinner, brunch, and with a quick pre-packaged, fresh, carry out menu, it is the one spot in the Quarter that you will not want to miss. Find out more at CurioNola.com or by calling 504-717-4198. Tommy’s Cuisine in the Warehouse District combines the quintessential New Orleans reverence for fine ingredients with artfully concocted combinations to create a truly world-class dining experience. Tommy’s is excited to introduce its four-course Reveillon menu, which starts with a Roasted Beet & Arugula salad, Ricotta Salad with toasted hazelnuts, or Ribolitta Soup followed by you choice of pasta: Handmade Tagliatelle Bolognese or Gemelli with butternut squash, sage, and gorgonzola. Entrée choices include Pan Roasted Gulf Fish all’ Acqua Pazza, Gulf Shrimp with fennel, tomato, and cippolini onions, or Pork Chop Milanese. Dessert brings an espresso dipped Tiramisu or Chocolate Truffle Mousse. Perfectly pair your meal with Tommy’s exceptional wine list, which runs the gamut from amazing to sublime. Tommy’s is located at 746 Tchoupitoulas Street, just a short walk from the galleries of Julia Street, several museums, and the New Orleans Arena and Mercedes Benz Superdome. For menus, reservations, and more information, visit TommysCuisine.com or call 504-581-1103. Broussard's Restaurant is the ultimate gathering place this holiday season with a traditional Reveillon menu available throughout the month of December. Executive Chef Jake Shapiro shares his culinary creativity with a festive holiday meal including, for starters, a choice of Crispy Oysters Bienville with Taragon, Mushrooms and Tasso or Duck Confit featuring a Brandy Duck Liver Mousse, creole mustard and an Apricot Glaze. This course is followed by a Butternut Squash Bisque with Truffle my n e w or l e a n s . com
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ADVERTISING SECTION Crema or a Belgian Endive and Baby Arugula Salad. Chef Shapiro’s entrees are designed to delight—Pan Roasted Gulf Fish with Andouille Potato Hash and a Creole Meuniere Sauce or a perfectly Grilled Petit Filet accompanied by Celery Root Mashed Potatoes. Finish the meal with Peppermint Panna Cotta with a dark chocolate Ganache or Praline Bread pudding with eggnog custard and bourbon sauce. For more information on Broussard’s and its brunch, lunch, dinner or Reveillon menu, visit Broussards.com or call 504-581-3866 to make reservations. Located on the edge of the French Quarter near the shimmering lights of Armstrong Park is an elegant champagne bar where the glasses shimmer with bubbles and chef-inspired sharing plates provide complementing bites. At Effervescence, holidays are made magical with the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree and fireside sipping by the renovated 1900s Victorian cottage's two fireplaces. “Toasting the everyday is what we do well at effervescence,” says Owner Crystal Coco Hinds. Effervescence offers 10 flights (half and full glass), 33 bubbles from around the world by the glass, vintage and non-vintage bottles of bubbles and wine, decadent sharing plates with fresh, local ingredients, a full bar with specialty cocktails, and modern ambiance in the city’s most historic neighborhood. Enjoy dinner after holiday shopping, or book a Sharing Champagne Table for your holiday get-together with family and friends. On New Year’s Eve, Effervescence invites you to make reservations for the Gatsby Fête Du Champagne or to wander in for bubbles “to go” all night. For holiday happenings, menus and more, visit NolaBubbles.com or follow on Facebook or Instagram (EffervescenceNOLA). During the holidays, stop by any of the Tropical Isles, home of the Hand Grenade®, New Orleans’ Most Powerful Drink® and the Hand Grenade® Martini. Also, enjoy a Hand Grenade® at Funky Pirate Blues Club or Bayou Club. Experience Trop Rock, Cajun/Zydeco and the Blues with Tropical Isle’s nightly entertainment, the best on Bourbon. State-of-the-art sound systems plus great live bands will keep you dancing the night away at Tropical Isle Bourbon, Tropical Isle Original, Little Tropical Isle, Funky Pirate, and the Bayou Club. While there, ask about the Hand Grenade® Martini. Enjoy big screen TVs at Funky Pirate, Bayou Club, Tropical Isle Bourbon, and Top of the Trop. For more on Tropical Isle, visit TropicalIsle.com. For a quiet escape, visit local favorite The Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar & Bistro right off of Bourbon at 720 Orleans Avenue, which has more than 200 varieties of wine by the bottle and plenty of wine by the glass, plus a Bacon Happy Hour. For sample menus and wine lists, visit OrleansGrapevine.com. As the newest member of the Riccobono family of restaurants, Sala is a contemporary seafood restaurant and cocktail bar bringing a casual dining experience to beautiful Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans’ West End neighborhood. Great for drinks and small plates with friends after work, a celebratory dinner with family, or a leisurefilled weekend brunch, Sala delivers with delicious food, a diverse menu, superb wines and cocktails, and a chic atmosphere. Sala is also now open for lunch. Located at 124 Lake Marina Avenue, directly across from the Marina, Sala joins Café Navarre, Riccobono’s Peppermill, and Panola Street Café as part of the Riccobono family. Happy hour is offered weekdays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., late night hours run until midnight Thursday through Saturday, and weekends feature breakfast with bottomless mimosas starting at 8:00 a.m. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. For more information, menus, and reservations, visit salanola.com or call 504-513-2670.
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Winter Festivities & Entertainment Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park is the most spectacular holiday lights festival in the country. City Park’s famous oaks are swathed in over a million twinkling lights with breathtaking light displays placed throughout 25 acres of the Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. New Orleans’ mild winter weather and City Park’s stunning landscape with its oak groves, moss-covered cypresses, and meandering lagoons make Celebration in the Oaks a unique holiday event. This annual celebration is magical for all ages and has become an enduring holiday tradition for families. Visitors experience a range of attractions, from light displays to walkways lined with Christmas trees, to rides on the holiday train and historic Carousel. Celebration in the Oaks runs November 24th through January 1st. The event is closed November 27th through November 30th as well as on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Hours are 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. on Fridays, 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. on Sundays. For more information on events and Park amenities, visit NewOrleansCityPark.com.
Celebration in the Oaks
ADVERTISING SECTION With nearly a half-million objects dating to Louisiana’s earliest years and reflecting its most significant accomplishments, the Louisiana State Museum is one of the most important and comprehensive museum systems in the nation. It is Louisiana’s Smithsonian. Five museums call New Orleans’ historic French Quarter home and offer a chance to hear Louisiana’s music, discover its history, experience its culture, see how residents lived in the 1850s, and explore New Orleans’ unique architecture. Three Jackson Square sites include the Cabildo (1799), the Presbytère (1813), and 1850 House in the Lower Pontalba building. Madame John’s Legacy (1788) is the oldest example of French Creole residential architecture in the Quarter, and the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint (1838) on Esplanade Avenue is devoted to Louisiana’s rich musical heritage. Museums outside of New Orleans include the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches, the Wedell-Williams Aviation and Cypress Sawmill Museum in Patterson, and the E.D. White Historic Site in Thibodaux. For more information on the unique offerings of each museum, visit LouisianaStateMuseum.org. Located just over an hour east of New Orleans, Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort offers “The New Way” to celebrate the season with friends and family. This month, the Casino Resort celebrates its 2nd anniversary and invites guests for Cupcakes & Champagne on December 8-9, 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. You could win a 2017 BMW 320i on Saturday the 9th. Say hello to 2018 at Scarlet Pearl’s Flutes & Feathers on New Year’s Eve. A full night of entertainment includes the Storyville Stompers Brass Band and the sultry sounds of Tyler Kinchen & The Right Pieces. Toast to the New Year at midnight with a complimentary champagne toast. Escape Krampus returns to the Scarlet Pearl for more escape room fun, running Thursdays through Sundays until December 31. ‘Tis the season to dine out with family and friends, and Christmas dining specials will be offered at Scarlet Pearl restaurants Under the Oak Cafe, Scarlet’s Steaks & Seafood, and Waterfront Buffet. For more information and ideas for holiday season fun, visit ScarletPearlCasino.com. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is returning this month with an updated orchestral adventure. The show features an all-new movement from Skyward Sword, the much-anticipated Breath of the Wild arrangement, and the return of a classic that might just make some wishes come true. Celebrating 30 years of stirring virtual feats and memorable soundtracks with live orchestral renditions directly approved by franchise producer Eiji Aonuma, The Symphony of the Goddesses is now in its fourth season. The two-hour concert comes to life with an 88 piece ensemble, and a reimagined score that draws from recent and requested Zelda games, including A Link Between Worlds, Twilight Princess, and the remake of Majora’s Mask, while still paying homage to such classics as Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past. Throughout the evening, a video collage syncs up with the adventurous tunes to spotlight exciting moments from the venerable franchise. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses comes to the Saenger Theatre on Friday, December 15. For ticket and information, visit bit.ly/LoZNola. This January, author Martha B. Boone will release her debut novel, a stunning yet humorous medical drama whose protagonist is one of the first women urology surgeons in New Orleans. In The Big Free, the excitement and dark humor of the inner-city emergency room sets the stage for a beautiful coming-of-age story from a talented story teller who is able to capture the intimacy of the lives of doctors, nurses,
and their patients. Set in 1982 at Charity Hospital, horror and humor transform one of the first women surgeons from a naïve southern girl into a competent woman and surgeon. The book is the first by Martha B. Boone, a private practice urologist in Georgia who, as one of the first women in urology, obtained her surgical training from Tulane School of Medicine at Charity Hospital under the mentorship of celebrated surgeon Dr. Norman McSwain. A fictionalized version of Dr. McSwain appears in The Big Free as a tribute to his leadership, guidance, and lasting legacy. Boone will read from and sign copies of The Big Free on January 12th at Garden District Books, 2727 Prytania Street, at 6:00 p.m.
Accommodations In the heart of the French Quarter, Royal Sonesta New Orleans emanates a spirit of fun and luxury and immerses each guest in the true New Orleans experience. As Carnival season approaches, the resort-style hotel initiates Mardi Gras weekend revelers with its annual Greasing of the Poles, a star-studded and music-filled event drawing international crowds, traditionally held the Friday before Fat Tuesday. While all guests at Royal Sonesta New Orleans have a VIP seat to Mardi Gras and exclusive access to Bourbon Street’s best seat in the house, the Bourbon Balcony guest rooms allow guests to live like royalty, overlooking the revelry below while celebrating with fine Cajun and Creole cuisine, libations and authentic hospitality from the privacy of their own coveted balcony. Mardi Gras 2018 is a special celebration, commemorating New Orleans’ Tricentennial year, and there’s no better way to ring in 300 years than at 300 Bourbon Street. Visit Sonesta.com/RoyalNewOrleans to book your Mardi Gras 2018 stay. B On Canal brings Self-Expression Hospitality™ to New Orleans. Located in the bustling, arts and dining-filled Central Business District near the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Tulane Medical Center, the BioDistrict, and the French Quarter, the hotel offers luxury accommodations and lively amenities. From 155 guest rooms and suites and a sultry, full-service, locallysourced seafood restaurant with a craft cocktail bar, to the B Signature Elements including the B Indulged Spa Suite, B Active Fitness Center, FreeB Wi-Fi and a B Adventurous Program to explore the city, the hotel leaves nothing to be desired. In a city that has long been the epicenter of art, music, and exploration, B On Canal serves as fuel to the fire and offers a destination for self-expression within a destination of vivid culture. It’s exactly where you want to B. For more information and reservations, visit BOnCanal.com or call 866-316-5607. The hotel is located on the edge of the French Quarter and CBD at 1300 Canal Street in New Orleans. There's no place like New Orleans during the holidays. Feasts, fêtes and festivals await visitors around the city. Celebrate the holidays at NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans. It’s hard to believe the holidays are already here, and you’re invited to share in the joy. Whether it’s the festive Lobby Lighting event on December 1st, the classic ugly sweater party at Above the Grid held on National Ugly Sweater Day, or the unique Christmas Day PJ Brunch and blowout NYE lobby party, NOPSI Hotel shines brightly all season long. The first luxury hotel to open in New Orleans in a generation, NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans welcomes guests with a magnetic elegance and dynamic vibe that reflects the spirit and energy of the city. NOPSI, which stands for New Orleans Public Service Inc., opened in the former headquarters of the city’s power and transportation company. Originally built in 1927, the alluring nine-story building has been transformed into one of New Orleans’ most luxurious destinations. Visit NOPSIHotel.com or call 504-962-6500 for details and reservations. • my n e w or l e a n s . com
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1. A Renee 824 Chartres St., New Orleans 504-418-1448 A Renee Boutique, a French Quarter standout, carrying a Smoking Hot Fashion palette “For Women Who Dress to Kill”. This adorable boutique carries the most unique fashions and shoes with a lagniappe of personal stylist services to compliment your shopping experience. From fashion rebel to career minded; youthful and mature; to funky and sexy. A. Renee Boutique is the store for all women who want to look astounding and feel amazing.
2. Auraluz ShopAuraluz.com 4408 Shores Dr., Metairie 504-888-3313 LAMPE BERGER...the perfect gift! It's both decorative and functional. Made in France for over 119 years, each Lampe Berger cleanses, purifies and fragrances the air with over 50 fragrances to choose from.....all available at AURALUZ
3. Belladonna belladonnadayspa.com 2900 Magazine St., New Orleans 504-891-4393 Malin + Goetz "The Vices Votive Set" features their best-selling Dark Rum, Mojito, and Cannabis votives. Each candle is handmade and poured with a blend of natural waxes for a clean, slow burn that lasts up to 25 hours. Burn individually or pair them together to create your own signature scent! $46.95
4. Cristy's Collection cristycali.com 504-407-5041 The Fleur de Knot Key - “Sterling silver key design inspired by the ancient Celtic love knot. Represents finding the key to happiness in love."
5. Delta Festival Ballet deltafestivalballet.com 3351 Severn Ave. # 304, Metairie 504-888-0931 Delta Festival Ballet performs The Nutcracker at Mahalia Jackson Theater with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday, December 22 at 7:30pm and Saturday, December 23 at 2:00pm. Guest artists include Christine Shevchenko and Gray Davis of American Ballet Theatre. 112
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6. Etre Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Center EtreCosmeticDerm.com 1224 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans 504-227-3873 Are you holiday ready? Drs. Coleman and Donofrio specialize in nonand minimally-invasive cosmetic dermatologic procedures including facial injectables, laser treatments, body contouring, and cellulite reduction. Try our newest procedure, Instalift, to treat wrinkles and deep lines by smoothing and tightening the skin of the face. Experience almost instantaneous face lifting results in only 45 minutes. Call today for your free consultation!
7. Fleur d'Orleans fleurdorleans.com 3701 Magazine St., New Orleans 504-899-5585 818 Chartres St., New Orleans 504-475-5254 Petite sterling silver fleur d’ lys earrings, hand set with 116 pave diamonds; gold and black rhodium plated. Designed by Fleur D Orleans, perfect gift for the holiday season. $220. Limited Edition.
8. HGM Fine Jewelry hgmjewelry.com 3617 Magazine St., New Orleans 504-957-3409 HGM Fine Jewelry is a jewelry salon and consultancy in New Orleans. Graduate Gemologist Hope Goldman Meyer is uniquely qualified to help her clients find the perfect piece to fit their style, occasion and budget. Pictured is a 12.41ct Natural Blue Sapphire Art Deco Ring from the 1940’s.
9. Historic New Orleans Collection hnoc.org/shop The Shop at The Collection, part of The Historic New Orleans Collection 533 Royal St., New Orleans 504-598-7147 Local designer Jill Shampine used images from the Michael P. Smith Archive at The Historic New Orleans Collection to create decorative pillows exclusively for The Shop at The Collection. Multiple designs available. Item shown: $65 (16" x 12")
10. Jaci Blue JaciBlue.com 2111 Magazine St., New Orleans 504-603-2929 At Jaci Blue, you’ll find gorgeous clothing hand picked to flatter women sizes 12 and up. This emerald Karen Kane top with a touch of sparkle is the perfect holiday look. Also, available in black. $128 my n e w or l e a n s . com
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11. 11. Judy at the Rink 2727 Prytania St., New Orleans 504-891-7018 Stop by for Santa pillows and home décor for the holidays!
12. Konnie's Gift Depot 859 Brownswitch Rd., Slidell In the Country Club Plaza 985-643-8000 New for The Holidays....Yankee’s “Scenterpiece” Easy Melt Cup system makes changing fragrances easy and convenient. Change the “Easy Meltcup” for a different fragrance without handling or spilling hot wax ! Melt Cups are available in 50 fragrances. Several different styles are available including units with LED lights as well as 3,6 and 9 hour timers for worry free operation.
13. 13. Louisiana Children's Museum lcm.org 420 Julia St., New Orleans 504-523-1357 Create. Construct. Connect! Your little ones will extend their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills while creating new wonders with one of our hands-on building sets. From traditional blocks to suction cup thingamajigs, there is no limit to what your kids will imagine. Constructibles: $13.95. Squigz: $24.95. Plus-Plus Tube: $6.95.
14. NOLA Boards NolaBoards.com 4304 Magazine St., New Orleans 504-516-2601 519 Wilkinson St., New Orleans 504-435-1485 This year give a gift that is handmade right here in New Orleans! NOLA Boards is now located in TWO convenient locations in Uptown and French Quarter New Orleans. Check their store out online as well. Pictured is the Louisiana Etched Whiskey Glass Set.
15. The Woodhouse Day Spa NOLA.WoodhouseSpas.com 4030 Canal St., New Orleans 504-482-NOLA Woodhouse Day Spa is an award winning, full service, luxury spa. A perfect treat for the Holidays, the journey begins in a peaceful and relaxing environment. Woodhouse Spa will immerse mind, body and spirit; you can enjoy first-class comfort and a beverage while indulging in your choice of over 70 rejuvenating spa treatments. 114
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16. River Road Press
RiverRoadPress.com New books from River Road Press, New Orleans The Incomparable Magazine Street (John Magill/ Margot Landen), Cajun ABC (Rickey Pittman/ Alexis Braud), Goodnight to da Parish, A Tree in the Sea (Holly and Blaine Kern) and more! At local retailers, or online.
17. Perlis perlis.com 6070 Magazine St., New Orleans 504-895-8661 Set of four New Orleans themed creole cottages ceramic coasters. Corked backs prevent damage to furniture. 4" square. The perfect Southern holiday gift!
18. Symmetry Jewelers SymmetryJewelers.com 8183 Hampson St., New Orleans 504-861-9925 Symmetry is a full service jewelry store and graphic design studio, offering antique jewelry restoration, traditional jewelry repairs, and the finest in original custom creations using your gemstones or ours. Pictured is the Platinum Sapphire and Diamonds Vintage Pendant designed by in-house designer craftsman, Tom Mathis.
19. Scarlet Pearl
ScarletPearlCasino.com 888-752-9772 Find a lavish array of upscale handbags and jewelry at Frankly My Dear Boutique. Offering the finest ready-to-wear clothing and decorative items for your home and garden. The boutique features a flower wall and deep turquoise décor contrasted by a reflective, glitter runway.
20. The Basketry TheBasketry.com 12337 Hwy. 90, Luling 985-785-8769 The Basketry has been providing beautiful custom designed gift baskets since 1995. Customer form across the globe simply call Kristi and her team with a price range and they handle the rest. Same day hand delivery and shipping to anywhere with baskets starting at $25. Pictured item is the highly anticipated “Prosseco Pong”, perfect for any holiday party.
Queork.com 838 Chartres St., French Quarter 504-481-4910 3005 Magazine St., Garden District 504-388-6803 This women's wallet is made using REAL CORK! The outer fabric is sealed with silicone making it durable like leather, water resistant and easy to clean with a damp cloth. $65 my n e w or l e a n s . com
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Tulane University School of Medicine’s Center for Clinical Neurosciences is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient-
hile neurology remains one of the most important studies for knowing more about the human brain and nervous system, it’s not an oft-highlighted subject outside of medical journals. New Orleans is home to a number of respected health providers who work in neurology and the neurosciences and bring an invaluable resource for people suffering from injuries or illnesses that affect the nervous system. From stroke to cancer to traumatic injuries, a number of ailments to the central nervous system can wreak havoc on the body and one’s quality of life. Seeking care from a trained specialist can mean the difference in not just life and death but in levels of functioning that range from independent to requiring extended rehabilitation and care. Learn what’s available in the community and know where to turn if needed for an expert in this highly complex specialty.
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centered care by combining cutting edge technology with personalized attention. The center allows for faster consults between physicians who specialize in different neuroscience disciplines and provides an improved continuity of care for neuro patients. The center, in partnership with the world-class physicians at Tulane University School of Medicine’s Center for Neurosciences, offers the expertise and capabilities to effectively diagnose and treat spine, brain, and neurological conditions. To continue their tradition of excellence and expertise in providing the best quality care, education and research are integrated through the combined resources of Tulane University Hospital and Clinics and the Tulane School of Medicine. The Center for Clinical Neurosciences operates an outpatient clinic located in Tulane Hospital at 504-988-5561 or visit online at Tulaneneurosciences.com. Patients recovering from a serious brain or spine injury require rehabilitation coordinated by an experienced rehab team. The team of neurologists, physical rehabilitation specialists, rehab nurses and physical, occupational, and speech therapists at Culicchia Neurological Clinic work together to plan each patient's recovery and transition to home. "Our goal is to help our patients achieve a level of independent function so that they feel confident leaving the hospital and returning home," says clinic physician Andrea Toomer, M.D. The Culicchia Rehab Team treats patients with suffering from a brain and/or spine injury, stroke, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and other neuromuscular disorders as well as patients who have weakness as a result of a serious medical illness. Patients are seen on both an inpatient and outpatient basis in New Orleans at Cobalt Rehab Hospital and in Jefferson Parish at West Jefferson Medical Center. Call 504-340-6976 or visit CulicchiaNeuro.com for more information. •
Whatcha’ Got Cookin’? Stirring the Pot at SoFab by KELLY MASSICOT
n Louisiana, our food is part of our culture. There is seldom an event or gathering that happens within families or communities that doesn’t involve some sort of food. But, and my sweet mother can attest to this, though food brings people together, not everyone knows how to cook. This is where the Southern Food and Beverage Museum steps in. SoFab is part of the National Food and Beverage Foundation and a self-titled “nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South.” SoFab is determined to promote all southern food and culture to those visiting the museum. And they use their state-of-the-art Rouses Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-Air to host individuals and groups from the south and beyond, giving them a glimpse, and a taste, into what makes our
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food great. The Renaissance Publishing editors accepted SoFab’s offer to teach our culture through our stomachs by visiting the museum and participating in their Taste of Louisiana class. One sunny day, we headed down to the museum to experience a Louisiana’s Cajun Cuisine demonstration - one of three cooking classes the museum offers. The courses were offered by Liz Williams, SoFAB founder and president, and Jyl Benson’s, SoFAB’s director of Culinary Programming. Upon arrival, we were met by a front row seat to the impressive kitchen located in the back of the museum, and an amazing aroma of familiar spices in the air. Benson and Williams have a wealth of culinary knowledge. Our class consisted of plate after plate of macques choux with tasso, Cajun gumbo and Gateau de Sirop. I had never had maques choux
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before, but any dish corn-based with cream never sounds bad to me and Benson’s historical and cultural explanation of the dish completed the first round. However, my absolute favorite part was the Cajun gumbo. No one tell my grandmother this, but Benson’s gumbo was the best I’ve ever tasted. Benson took the time to make a very dark, chocolatecolored roux, which imparted deep nutty tones. Along with chicken and Andouille from a nearby farm, this gumbo was good to the last spoonful. We were also given fresh ground filet to sprinkle on top, which added a unique herby flavor. We took this class when the weather was still scorching hot, but I could have gone back for seconds, thirds and eighths. We finished the meal with a dessert that had just the right amount of sugary taste. The Gateau de Sirop was rich, and the cake was just right. The entire dish is
made with and soaked in Steen’s cane syrup, which tastes amazing. Besides the meal and cooking demonstration, each ticketed guest also receives a jar of SoFab’s spice mix or a cocktail recipe book. The best part about the class is that you get to take the recipes home with you. Recipe sheets are provided at the beginning of the class and Benson gives you all the tips you need to recreate the tasty dishes. •
SoFab offers three cooking classes to individuals or groups: Louisiana’s Cajun Cuisine, Creole New Orleans Cuisine, and Creole Italian Cuisine. Group options are also available upon request to the museum. Any museum or class information can be found at natfab.org/southern-food-andbeverage/.
cheryl gerber photo
CHERYL GERBER PHOTO
Divine Jewels at HGM Fine Jewelry When you talk to Hope Goldman Meyer it takes less than a minute to be infected with her passion. Before you know it, your head is swirling with ideas of white and pink diamonds and precious South Sea pearls. Located within Empire Antiques, Hope’s expert eye curates an antique and estate jewelry collection. She also features some contemporary jewelry designers on an exclusive basis and works on commissioned pieces. Hope’s jewelry is not just beautiful, but each piece is as unique as the next, and the prices are competitive too. HGM Fine Jewelry, 957-3409 or 897-0252, HGMJewelry.com.
Scarlet Pearl’s Anniversary When you think of Vegas, it’s all fine dining, great entertainment, pools and bars. Fortunately all of that is also available at The Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in Mississippi. The resort is celebrating its second anniversary this December and is offering complimentary cupcakes and champagne on December 8 – 9, from 5-11 p.m. You might even win a BMV 320i. The current “Escape Krampus” room is open until December 31 and there’s a host of Holiday and New Year’s Eve options. Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, 9380 Central Ave, D’Iberville, Mississippi, 228-392-1889, ScarletPearlCasino.com. By Mirella Cameran
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by errol laborde
Christmas 2004 Life’s window
rom the beginning, we knew that Christmas dinner 2004 was going to be more sentimental than joyous. Mom had insisted on preparing a dinner in memory of Dad, for whom Christmas was his favorite time of the year. To him, who was raised during the depression, Christmas was not just about merriment but overcoming hard times. (That sentiment was enhanced after surviving Christmas 60 136
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years earlier during the Battle of the Bulge, where he and thousands of other soldiers had been submerged in deep snow during one of the coldest winters in European history.) No longer was the house decorated as ambitiously as it had once been, which is how Mo m wanted it. Instead of the usual big flocked tree, a small plant with ornaments stood near the television. There was, however, no cutting back on dinner, which
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included turkey, dressing and, most of all, two of Mom’s signature dishes - mushroom rice and stuffed mirlitons. We tried to be as upbeat as we could during dinner, but the moment was badly in need of something special. That’s when one of us glanced out the window and noticed that the landscape had suddenly changed. The gray-brown of winter foliage had suddenly disappeared and was covered in white. Lo and
behold it was snowing—on Christmas Day. Never had a family needed a flurry from the sky so badly; never was the timing more opportune; the street was white; the cars were white. For a moment life seemed purified of any hint of sadness. Sitting at the table we did face a protocol question. Should we leave briefly to go romp in the street? Or should we remain seated? Out of respect for the stuffed mirlitons maintaining their temperature we did the latter, though with many glances through the window. We could not have realized how much life would change by the following Christmas. On August 29, 2005, because of Hurricane Katrina, the levee broke only four blocks from Mom’s house. Luckily we were all in central Louisiana by that time and spared witnessing the horror. The aftermath was horrible enough. It was about two weeks before I got to the house where the entire interior had been turned into mush with huge pieces of furniture tossed around. By Christmas 2005 Mom was still in central Louisiana staying with a sister, but constantly wanting to go to a home she could not return to. We relocated to a small apartment on Julia Street that at Christmas was brightened by a two-foot artificial tree purchased at the Alexandria Wal-Mart. It became part of the Katrina lore, spoken in jest by some but taken seriously by others, that the hurricane was nature’s pay back for for the Christmas snow as though the cosmos was responding to a weather pattern that had gone astray. That is a debate for meteorologists and spiritualists. I am just appreciative that the last Christmas experienced in the house that Dad built was a white one. • ARTHUR NEAD Illustration