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december 2019


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december 2019 / VOLUME 54 / NUMBER 2 Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde Managing Editor Ashley McLellan Art Director Tiffani Reding Amedeo Contributing Writers Fritz Esker, Kathy Finn, Dawn Ruth Wilson, Carolyn Kolb, Chris Rose, Eve Crawford Peyton, Mike Griffith, Liz Scott Monaghan, Lee Cutrone, Dale Curry, Jay Forman, Tim McNally, Robert Peyton Digital Media Editor Kelly Massicot Staff Writers Topher Balfer, Kelly Massicot Melanie Warner Spencer Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan Advertising Sales Manager Kate Henry (504) 830-7216 / Kate@MyNewOrleans.com Senior Account Executives Danielle Kiletico, Meggie Schmidt Account Executive Rachel Webber Director of Marketing and Events Jeanel Luquette Event Coordinator Abbie Dugruise Digital Media Associate Mallary Matherne For event information call (504) 830-7264 Production Manager Emily Andras Production Designers Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney Special Projects Art Director Molly Tullier Patty Traffic Coordinator Lane Brocato Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President Errol Laborde Distribution Manager John Holzer Administrative Assistant Mallary Matherne Audience Development Claire Sargent 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 MyNewOrleans.com

For subscription information call (504) 828-1380

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 2019 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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Contents Local Color jewelry, p. 58

Marquee On the Cover: Chef of the Year Rebecca Wilcomb, Executive Chef Gianna Restaurant

Top Picks for December 24

Photograph by Sam Hanna

Checking In 28

Persona Benny Grunch 26

Biz Chris Rose Taking the Bar Exam 30

Modine Gunch Critter Ridder 32

Joie d’Eve Christmas Listicle 34

In Tune Rockin’ Christmas 36

Chronicles On Your Toes 38

Home New Age 40

76

Features

In Every Issue

Best of Dining

Inside

Our top picks for 2019 44

Why Italian? 14

Seasonal Sparkle

Speaking Out

Jewelry gifts that shine 58

Editorial, plus a Mike Luckovich cartoon 18

Julia Street Questions and Answers About Our City 20

Streetcar The Secret 112

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DIAL 12, D1 Experience composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera featuring pop stars John Legend as Jesus and Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene with rock legend Alice Cooper as King Herod. Filmed live in concert, the musical recounts the last week of Jesus’ life. “Great Performances: Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” premieres Saturday, December 7 at 9:00 p.m. on WYES-TV/ Channel 12. For all WYES program and event information, visit wyes.org.

The Menu Table Talk Culture Connection 70

Restaurant Insider News from the Kitchen 72

Food Seasoned Greetings 74

Last Call Candy Cane, the cocktail 76

Dining Guide Listings by Neighborhood 78


inside

Why Italian? We didn’ t intend it that way,

but there is a distinctive Italian theme to our best of dining selections this year. Our designated Chef of the Year, Rebecca Wilcomb, heads the kitchen at a new Italian restaurant, Gianna, and our Restaurant of the Year, Sofia, is as Italian as Sophia Loren, after whom it is named. Also, among our specialty restaurants we chose Bonci Pizzaria. Of the three nations that are known globally for their food; France, Italy and China, Italy would probably get the gold if the question was put to a vote. So, what is about Italian food that makes it so desirable? My theory begins with unlikely factors: volcanoes. The southern part of Italy, including Sicily, has two of them; Vesuvius near Naples, and Etna, located on the island. Now volcanoes are best known for their destructive power, but they are worshipped for their soil, which, because of the volcanic ash, is considered to be among the most fertile in the world. The ash is loaded with nutrients that are a powerhouse for making fields fruitful. So it is that tomatoes, lemons, olives, figs and grapes sprout from a region of volcanoes whose rich land also nourishes the water buffalo, the namesake for buffalo mozzarella. Other places also produce some of that same bounty, but they are not as blessed by the Mediterranean sun, the riches of the sea and the North African influence. Significantly, most of the great Italian dishes, including

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desserts (pass the spumoni), come from either the southern part including Sicily, and, except for Pasta Bolognese, not so much from the northern areas. Though the latter are more industrious, its people are less likely to take a break for limoncello. Vesuvius of course, is best known for Pompeii, a moment when history stood still, but from that disaster came a fertile land that would contribute to producing great restaurants and chefs of the future.


meet the sales staff

Kate Henry Advertising Sales Manager (504) 830-7216 Kate@myneworleans.com

Meggie Schmidt Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7220 Meggie@myneworleans.com

Danielle Kiletico Senior Account Executive (504) 830-7250 Danielle@MyNewOrleans.com

Rachel Webber Account Executive (504) 830-7249 Rachel@MyNewOrleans.com

Colleen Monaghan Vice President of Sales (504) 830-7215 Colleen@myneworleans.com 1 6 december 2019 myneworleans.com


myneworleans.com december 2019 1 7


speaking out

Year of the Blind Ref (And More) There are three images that

define the year 2019 in New Orleans: one is defiant, the other is humorously pathetic and the other is tragic. That defiance was enacted around town on Feb. 3, the day of what to the rest of the nation was Superbowl Sunday, but what in New Orleans was the “No Call Bowl,” a community ritual of venting against one of the worst referee judgements in sports history and that likely prevented the Saints from going to the Superbowl. The people of New Orleans stood united in their venom, so much so that on Superbowl Sunday local events were scheduled to counter the broadcast of the Superbowl. New 1 8 december 2019 myneworleans.com

Orleans proved itself to be a city not to be messed around with because it could party hardy. The city even had an impact on the national ratings of the game, which finished with some the lowest numbers ever. As for the big game itself, we have heard that it was played anyway and that the undeserving Los Angeles Rams did not perform well and lost. That’s all that mattered. As for the humorously pathetic: one hundred years from now, and beyond, people will talk about the day that the city’s drains were so clogged that an entire abandoned automobile was found stuffed in one. Of all the debate and analysis of the drainage systems, that was an image that people could easily

visualize—a mental picture on which was lying precariously close which to cling. To be fair, the fact to the unfinished building, being that this city, much of which lies purposely launched by an implobelow sea level, can be drained sion and then impaling a block of at all is an engineering marvel, Rampart Street with its landing but nevertheless it needs work. underscores the sheer terror. To That car may have done the city their credit, local first responders, a favor by providing an image being summoned on an otherof the severity. We can wise quiet Saturday be thankful that it was morning, performed there and thankful that An original marvelously and they may have saved other it was removed and most ©Mike Luckovich Cartoon for New thankful that it was not lives by their diligence. Orleans Magazine an 18-wheeler. They were a vision of heroism. We do not mean to equate the tragedy of the fallen New Orleans is seldom dull Hard Rock hotel in the same and certainly 2019 was not. The category as the other two. It was year will be remembered by what a disaster that stands alone, made we saw and by what one person worse by the loss of three lives. did not see. The image of a crippled crane,

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julia street with poydras the parrot

Tokay Tea label (1930s). Courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection, gift of Mr. Robert Clepper

Dear Julia and Poydras, I remember reading, years ago, about Tokay Tea Baseball Park. Can you tell me anything about its namesake product? Was Tokay a local brand? Craig Pierce (Metairie) The New Orleans Import Company, Ltd., which was established in 1888, imported and blended the popular local product. Tokay Tea was a blend of Orange Pekoe and black tea and was a local favorite since its introduction in the late 19th century. The New Orleans Import Company, 407 Magazine Street, was also well known for its Rex brand spices. Tokay Tea Baseball Park was on the lakeside of South Claiborne and Jefferson. In the 1920s, when the land was still undeveloped, the field was a popular play spot for neighborhood children, as well as corporate baseball teams, such as the Tokay Teas, a team comprised of New Orleans Import Company employees. There were, however, other teams that used the same name, much to the 2 0 december 2019 myneworleans.com

chagrin of the original owners. Because the undeveloped tract was both large and flat, it also served as an airfield in the early days of aviation in the 1910s and 20s. The area where the park former stood was later developed as a residential neighborhood.

Dear Julia, Looking for the location of a bar called Colorado Mining Co. [from around] 1972-1973. I think [it was] off of Toulouse, maybe Decatur or Chartres. I spent over two weeks every day all over the web, and nothing. Either I’ve created it in my senior mind or it was real. It was a late night place and [had] pool tables. I’ve used Google maps to walk the streets hoping it would jar my memory, what’s left of it, and Toulouse keeps popping up in the old brain. I lived at 925 Royal and we would not go to far late at night. Any help would be great. Phyllis Lewis (Nashville, Tennessee)

The bar was real, but it existed a bit later than you recall. During its apparently brief lifespan, it had two different locations, neither of which was on Toulouse Street. You wandered only a few blocks from home, but had to have patronized the Colorado Mining Company a few years later than you recall, since the bar appears to have been established in 1975. Its first location, which it briefly occupied, was 626 St. Philip, which had formerly been the Mouse Trap. In June 1976, a five-alarm fire damaged the Colorado Mining Company and other buildings in the 600 block of St. Philip Street. Consequently, the bar moved a block away and across the street to 515 St. Philip, which readers may recall had been the Seven Seas. The second version lasted only a few years. In late 1979, it was one of 30 local drinking establishments the city of New Orleans cited during a crackdown on illegal and criminal activity. Soon thereafter, the Mississippi River Bottom replaced it at the 515 St. Philp Street address.

Dear Julia and Poydras, My late grandfather was a boy during the Great Depression and grew up in Arabi. Whenever he would see me enjoying a certain popular snack cake, he would tell me that there used to be a local “Twinkie” bread he ate as a kid. Do you have any idea what he may have been talking about? J.A. Jones (New Orleans)

have a question for julia? Send your question to: Julia Street, New Orleans Magazine, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 or email: Julia@myneworleans.com.

Your grandfather was remembering Twinky Twins bread, which the A. S. LaNasa Bakery at 6117 St. Claude Avenue, introduced in late 1928. A double-sized loaf, Twinky Twins was promoted as an economical and healthful food for growing children. Sunshine, Faultless and Betsy Ross were just a few of the other breads La Nasa produced its ultra-modern facility, which remained family-owned into the 1940s. Incidentally, Twinky Twins bread was not named for the popular Hostess brand snack cakes, the name of which is spelled somewhat differently. Twinkies® made their debut two years after La Nasa introduced Twinky Twins brand bread.


myneworleans.com december 2019 2 1


Local Color MARQUEE . PERSONA . biz . chris rose . MODINE GUNCH . JOIE D’EVE . IN TUNE . chronicles . home

greg miles photo

Musician Benny Grunch


marquee

December Our top picks for this month’s events by Fritz Esker

Mandatory Merriment

Southern Rep hosts this irreverent holiday comedy musical from Dec. 4-29. Due to unforeseen circumstances, six strangers end up stranded at a French Quarter tavern and are forced to find new ways to celebrate Christmas. Information, SouthernRep.com.

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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live

The award-winning TV comedy Mystery Science Theater 3000 is coming to the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Dec. 7 for a live show featuring Joel Hodgson, the show’s original host. Watch Hodgson and friends riff the 1986 Jean Claude Van Damme film “No Retreat, No Surrender” in person. Information, MahaliaJacksonTheater.com.

NOLA Christmas Fest

One of the Crescent City’s newest holiday traditions is back for another year of family fun. NOLA Christmas Fest will be at the New Orleans Convention Center from Dec. 20-31. As always, there will be a real indoor ice rink, ice slides, a carousel, carnival rides, gingerbread houses and much more. Information, NOLAChristmasFest.com.

Cher: Here We Go Again Tour

The legendary pop star Cher is embarking on her first American tour in over five years. She will appear at the Smoothie King Center on Dec. 13, featuring special guests Nile Rodgers & CHIC. She will play her greatest hits, plus ABBA covers from her latest album, “Dancing Queen.” Information, SmoothieKingCenter.com.


calendar Nov. 29-Jan. 1

Celebration in the Oaks, City Park. Information, NewOrleansCityPark.com. Nov. 29-Dec. 15

Scrooge in Rouge, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts. Information, RivertownTheaters.com. Nov. 30-Dec. 30

Christmas at Lafreniere Park, Lafreniere Park. Information, LafrenierePark.org. Dec. 4-29

Mandatory Merriment, Southern Rep. Information, SouthernRep.com. Dec. 6, 13 & 20

Movies on the Mississippi, Spanish Plaza. Information, DowntownNOLA.com. Dec. 6-23

A Christmas Carol, Le Petit Theatre. Information, LePetitTheatre.com.

Dec. 12-15: Luna Fete, Lafayette Square. Information, LunaFete.org. Dec. 13-15: Festival of the Bonfires, Lutcher Park. Information, FestivalOfTheBonfires.org. Dec. 13-15

Lauren Daigle: The Behold Christmas Tour, Saenger Theater. Information, SaengerNOLA.com. Dec. 14-22

The New Orleans Ballet Theatre The Nutcracker, Orpheum Theater. Information, OrpheumNOLA.com. Dec. 17

Snoop Dogg: I Wanna Thank Me Tour, The Fillmore. Information, FillmoreNOLA.com. Dec 17-22

A Christmas Story: The Musical, Saenger Theater. Information, SaengerNOLA.com. Dec. 19

Dec. 6-15

Annie, Jefferson Performing Arts Center. Information, jpas.org.

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra - Baroque Christmas, Orpheum Theater. Information, OrpheumNOLA.com.

Dec. 7, 14 & 21

Teddy Bear Tea, Stage Door Canteen. Information, NationalWW2Museum.org.

Dec. 20

Greta Van Fleet, UNO Lakefront Arena. Information, arena.uno.edu.

Dec. 7

Dec. 21-22

New Orleans Running of the Santas, Mannings & Apres. Information, RunningOfTheSantas.com.

The Nutcracker, Jefferson Performing Arts Center. Information, jpas.org.

Dec. 7

R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Information, NewOrleansBowl.org.

Dec. 21

Krewe of Jingle, Downtown New Orleans. Information, DowntownNOLA.com.

Dec. 22 Dec. 8

Kidz Bop World Tour 2019, Saenger Theater. Information, SaengerNOLA.com.

Caroling in Jackson Square, Jackson Square. Information, ExperienceNewOrleans.com. Dec. 27

Dec. 10

Disney Jr. Holiday Party, Saenger Theater. Information, SaengerNOLA.com.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, Saenger Theater. Information, SaengerNOLA.com. Dec. 30

Dec. 10

Hanson - Wintry Mix, The Fillmore. Information, FillmoreNOLA.com.

Comedy Laugh Fest, Smoothie King Center. Information, SmoothieKingCenter.com.

Dec. 11

Criss Angel: RAW, Saenger Theater. Information, SaengerNOLA.com.

myneworleans.com december 2019 2 5


persona

caught a glimpse of a Dixie Beer ad along 1-10 near the airport which quoted (with permission) the Yat’s famous line: “A Dix Pack of Sixie.” New Orleans Magazine caught up with Grunch, who was preparing to rev up his vintage scooter and ride into another year’s line-up of December holiday gigs, including an exclusive Rose Garden display of the “12 Yats” in City Park, plus Holidays on Harrison in Lakeview, Harrah’s Casino and the annual Christmas Day concert at Mid City Lanes Rock ‘n Bowl (check out BennyGrunch.net for more dates and times).

Q: When and where did you start playing music?It was as the Brown Door in Hammond. I was playing music with my band, The Dirty Versions, every Wednesday and Friday night. I put up posters around town with a [fake] quote from a fan, Grunch, recommending the band. Back then, you couldn’t advertise an event that was at a place that sold liquor. What did I know? I got called into the Dean’s office, who suspended me for three days, but on the way out, he pointed at the poster and said, “and we’re going to find that Grunch woman.” We joked about it in the band, and they started calling me Benny Grunch. It stuck.

Q: How did you get started writing songs about New Orleans? Around October of ’67, I was travelling with Jimmy Vee, who was big at the Peppermint Lounge in New York, and another band, Everyday People from Chicago. We travelled all over. I cam home in ’73 and was back in New Orleans feeling very nostalgic (mind you I was all of 22 or so at the time). So I wrote “The Spirit of Smiling ??” about all the nightclubs. It was a big hit.

Holiday Soundtrack Musician Benny Grunch By Ashley McLellan

For more than 50 years New Orleans

music icon Benny Grunch, along with his “Bunch,” has been playing the soundtrack of the city, from Kings Day all the way through the year to Christmas, and back again. His appearances on WWLTV’s morning show alongside Frank Davis drew viewers to tune in during the holidays

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for each new premier video. His songs, such as “Nowhere to Pee on Mardi Gras Day,” “Nash Roberts was Our Weatherman,” and the crowd favorite “The 12 Yats of Christmas,” have been played in homes and to crowds of fans and families by the band as part of a year of holiday traditions. You may have even

Q: What did your folks think about you playing music from such a young age? I used to play at a club on Bourbon Street around ’63, ’64, ’65. My mother used to call me Ben, and people would ask her, “What’s Ben up to?” She’d say, “Ben’s trying to find himself,” she was so ashamed I was playing music on Bourbon Street. I used to play at Papa Joe’s Ringside. We wouldn’t start playing until a quarter to 3…A.M.

Q: What’s it like to be such a part of the sound of New Orleans? When I was 16 or 17, I would have given any part of my body to have a big hit. Now, I take it all in stride. Our Christmas Day concert at

greg miles photo


Born/raised: New Orleans. High School: St. Aloysius. Favorite Carnival parade/day: I live near City Park, so definitely Endymion. Favorite King Cake: I like just the regular flavor. Best place to watch live music: Rock n’Bowl. Favorite restaurant: Well, it was Bud’s Broiler, but now that it’s gone, I like Lakeview Burgers and Seafood.

Rock n’ Bowl has quite a crowd, from toddlers to people in their 90s. It’s most rewarding to look out while we are playing and see people mouthing the words…properly! That is quite rewarding.

Q: Why have you stayed away from politics and politicians for the most part in your music? When people buy my stuff, they don’t want to think about real things. They just want to have fun. However, I am working on a new piece, “The Tricentennial of the Sewerage and Water Board” that should be interesting.

Q: What kind of music do you like to listen to at home? I like rhythm and blues from before the rock and roll era, from the late 40s and early 50s. Young James Brown. Lewis Jordan and his Tipani 5. I also play harmonica, so I like Slim Harpo.

Q: Where did the “12 Yats of Christmas” come from? Around 1990, a fellow band member’s wife suggested I do a New Orleans 12 days of Christmas. Well, we were at an event in Baton Rouge and I was watching our singer go up and down in a hot air balloon (which was something this event had for some reason). Every time I saw her go up and down, I thought of a different “yat.” Except I was stuck on “a crawfish he got in…” Gentilly? No. Metairie? No. I couldn’t get the right place for it. Then I was at the corner of Canal and Baronne and thinking about this. I look up and there’s an Arabi cab. I got it. It was right there in front of me.

Q: How was the “12 Yats of Christmas” received when it premiered? I recorded TRUE CONFESSIONS: I was kicked out of St. Dominic when I was in the sixth grade. They didn’t like my sense of humor. Ok, I wasn’t kicked out, but they told my mom not to bring me back at the end of the school year. I have never drank, never cursed and never been in a Wal-Mart.

it in 1990, although the video didn’t come out until Christmas 1992, and WWL released a press release about it. The lyrics were written up in the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald and the New York Times with the headline “Yats the Way it is in New Orleans.” The year it came out, the radio station B97 used to play the top 9 [hits] at nine. Well, this was the time that “The Bodyguard” soundtrack came out. Whitney Houston’s people must have thought, “what’s going on in New Orleans,” because we beat out Houston every night for some time. myneworleans.com december 2019 2 7


Biz

hotel peter & paul

Checking In Hotels brace for lean times despite high demand by Kathy Finn

With a plethora of holiday activities

lined up, New Orleans is once again poised to welcome the influx of visitors it has come to expect during this festive season. The city has become increasingly popular as a winter holiday destination, and this year’s visitors will find that a larger-than-ever supply of accommodations awaits them. Thirteen hotels have opened in and around New Orleans during the past three years, and at least 11 more are planned through 2023, according to the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association. The city now has an inventory of more than 41,000 hotel rooms.

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Recent additions run the gamut of amenities and prices. They include such downtown inns as the 217-room NOPSI Hotel on Baronne Street; the 196-room Eliza Jane Hotel on Magazine Street; the Ace Hotel’s 234 rooms on Carondelet; and 207 rooms in the re-made Jung Hotel & Residences on Canal Street. While much of the construction has occurred downtown, other neighborhoods also are sporting new hotels. The genteel Henry Howard Hotel, for instance, opened its 18 rooms on Prytania Street in the Garden District, and the chic remake of a church and convent created Hotel Peter & Paul, with 71 rooms, on Burgundy Street

in Faubourg Marigny. As these and other inns were taking shape, still more visitor accommodations were coming online via another pipeline. Shortterm rentals, in the form of private homes and condominiums being rented out by their owners for days or weeks at a time, have come on strong in New Orleans, further expanding the city’s room inventory while creating a new source of competition for local hotels. One reason for surging visitor interest in shortterm rentals, many of which are listed through the popular broker Airbnb, is a rising traveler preference for an “authentic” experience in the places they visit. Whereas hotel rooms can have much the same “feel” from one city to another, residing in a home setting can give visitors a more realistic sample of local life. That trend has helped propel the number of local short-term rental units into the thousands. In response to complaints that some neighborhoods are being overrun with tourists as a result of the Airbnb explosion, the city has enacted increasingly strict rules on the rentals. But these privately owned units will not go away anytime soon. Some hoteliers believe that short-term rentals are hampering hotels’ ability to raise their room rates. Figures compiled by Tennessee-based hotel data

analyst STR show that the current average price of a local hotel room is $162.97. That price is just 84 cents above the average rate of mid-2015, and analysts say the sluggish rates are unusual in a strong market such as New Orleans. On the other hand, local hotels have managed to keep their occupancy at nearly 75 percent, which puts them near the top of national hotel ranks. The fact that local hotels have maintained occupancy while adding new rooms and facing competition from private rentals indicates that visitor interest in New Orleans remains high. But without many blockbuster entertainment events scheduled in the near term, hotels’ struggle to boost their rates likely will continue. Right now, hoteliers would love to see on the horizon a string of big events such as they enjoyed in 2012 and 2013 when New Orleans hosted an NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, a BCS College Football Championship game and an NFL Super Bowl. The college football championship will return to New Orleans this Janual 13 but with few big conventions scheduled in the near term and the next New Orleans Super Bowl four years away, hotel managers acknowledge they will just have to grit their teeth and do their best to wow guests while waiting for better times ahead.

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myneworleans.com december 2019 2 9


chris rose

Taking the Bar Exam Tujague’s first discovered by Chris Rose

There are life-altering moments in

a young man’s life, incidents and accidents that forever imprint themselves into memory and longing. Your first kiss. Your first car. Your first concert. Your first significant fish. And your first drink in New Orleans. I am no longer a young man. And, truth be told, I have not yet caught a significant fish. But the first barroom I ever entered in New Orleans was Tujague’s. It was Thanksgiving week, 1980. My college housemate and I had ditched classes back at the University of Wisconsin to take a road trip. We started at South Padre Island, Texas, but a late season tropical storm chased us away. We drove to the Florida panhandle to resume our camping expedition. On the way, we passed the exit signs for New Orleans on I-10 and looked at each other, each with the same unspoken notion. New Orleans. Obviously, we’d heard stories. Everybody’s heard stories. As fate would have it, the storm kicked east, to the Florida panhandle. Proprietors of the campground where we were staying

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told us we had to leave. So we packed up our gear and got in the car. We didn’t need to talk about it. We knew where we were going next. We pulled off the interstate in New Orleans and found our way to the French Market. We parked and started walking aimlessly with no map, no idea where we were or what we were doing. We were 20. While walking up Decatur Street, we were – I can only say “beckoned,” maybe even “seduced” – by that big beautiful vertical green neon sign that says “Tujague’s” at the corner of Wilkerson Row. It was like that famous star in the birth of Jesus story, except we were two decidedly unwise men on a journey of considerably lesser import. We opened the door and walked into the year 1890 and my life was forever changed. That long mahogany bar. That huge mirror behind it, with all those exotic liquor bottles beneath it. There were no stools, just a brass rail for patrons to rest a leg upon while bellied up to the bar. And that’s how it remains today. It was smoke-filled, dimly lit, with a row of

ceiling fans overhead, all of them turning slowly, none of them at the same speed. The bartender had a fancy mustache and wore a crisp white shirt and black bow tie. In the backrooms, we could hear restaurant diners speaking in muffled tones with indecipherable accents. It felt like we had walked into a movie. And I knew right away: This was my movie. It would be four years later, when I moved to New Orleans, that I actually learned how to pronounce Tujague’s. Two Jacks. It was the name of the family that first opened the bar and restaurant in 1856, serving what was then called a “butcher’s breakfast,” for the meat packers and purveyors in the French Market. It’s now called brunch. Tujague’s is the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans; Antoine’s has been around since 1840. And though I’ve spent many a lost weekend at Tujague’s over the years, I only ate there once, with my parents back in the ‘80s. The 1980s, for the record. We had brisket. Because that’s what you have at Tujague’s. It is a beloved institution, cherished even. And it is moving to a new location. And, as New Orleanians can be about change, this is disconcerting news. But it’s not the first time Tujague’s has changed its location. It moved from its original address at 811 Decatur Street to 823 in 1910. So there’s that. But still. And now it’s moving to 429 Decatur, the former home of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. The transition is expected to be completed next summer. The new location is in an equally old building. Plenty of history there, I’m sure. But, oh, the horror. Will it be the same? That’s impossible. And what about the alleged ghost that wanders around upstairs randomly breaking china, as the legend goes; although I’ve always figured such kerfuffles were the result of the vigorous activities of over-served patrons, not apparitions. But what if? Will he – or she – also make the move? And all the other history, the stories, the politics, the arguments, the laughter and forgetting? Will it move also? Will it transition? Will it translate? Will some other naive, befuddled young man walk in there some night and look around and say: This is where I want to live?

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jason raish ILLUSTRATION


myneworleans.com december 2019 3 1


modine gunch

“T’ wa s t h e n i g h t b e fo r e

Christmas, and all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a...” “Mouse-EE!” sing-songs my niece, Flambeau. Something scurries over my foot. Oh, gawd. A mouse ran out from under the couch —this same couch which we are sitting on — and disappeared into a crack in the baseboard.. My gentleman friend Lust is sitting on the couch too, eating potato chips and listening to the story and checking text messages all at once. He leaps up and stares all around “MOUSE!? “WHERE?” All his hair—- neck, nose, and ears — is standing on end. This was not how I had planned the evening. Flambeau’s mama, my sister-in-law Gloriosa, and her husband Proteus, are at their older kids’ Christmas recitals, and Flambeau is sleeping here at my apartment in her own little portable crib. Me and Lust were hoping she would fall asleep soon, and, and we could have us some hot toddies and watch The Price is Right. It ain’t which you call romantic for most people, but talking about money always gets him excited. The whole mood changes as soon as she says “Mouse!” Now we live in the French Quarter. (Lust owns my apartment and also the Sloth Lounge, which is in front of it). You live in the Quarter, you expect pests. Guys with big smiles who say they know

32 december 2019 myneworleans.com

Critter Ridder A holiday rodent by Modine Gunch

where you got your shoes; guys with big megaphones who say they know who God hates; drunks; rats; roaches; Falcons fans— Lust puts up with them all. But not mice. I got to explain. Lust ain’t been the same since his Traumatic Experience. A mouse scurried out of his pantry and up the inside of one of his legs and down the other. He was in his underwear at the time. I don’t know exactly what the mouse scurried over when he went from one leg to the other, but I am afraid to ask. I told Gloriosa about it and she

said to spray peppermint oil along the baseboards to keep mice away. I did, but it also made me hungry, so after a while I quit. Lust don’t believe in no pansy peppermint oil. He believes in the Jaws of Death Mousetraps. He rushes out for his Jaws. When he gets back, he’s got duct tape wrapped tight around the bottoms of his pants legs so no mice can run up there. He sets out the Jaws - they look like dentures for a small dragon - by the crack where the mouse disappeared. Then a furry little

blur zips out, and dodges right past them. I quick slam the potato chip bowl over him. Lust slides a piece of cardboard under the bowl. We got him trapped. The bowl is clear plastic. And the mouse, instead of trying to get out, just sits up and looks at us, with its tiny front paws together. He is actually pretty cute. “Now what?” I ask Lust. “Flush him down the toilet?” “The little (mumble bad word) would stop up the plumbing,” he growls. “Stab him? Shoot him?” Lust ain’t up for any of that. I remember the time my motherin-law Ms. Larda caught a rat in a bucket that had a lid. Her boys Leech and Lurch decide to put a hole in the lid, run a hose from the exhaust pipe of her car into the bucket, and gas this rat. Which might of worked if she hadn’t forgot to put her foot on the brake when she started the car. She drove into the garage, toppled the bucket, and the rat, being no fool, shot out of there. He’s probably in politics now. Flambeau pokes a potato chip crumb under the bowl. “Mousy,” she says. We watch the mouse eat it. Then Lust says, “I’ll hire him.” So now Mousy lives in an aquarium in the Sloth Lounge. Customers can buy mouse food for 50 cents a tablespoon, drop it into her tank and watch her delicately eat it. She has her own exercise wheel and a empty tomato juice can for privacy. And at my place, the baseboards now smell like peppermint.

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LORI OSIECKI ILLUSTRATION


myneworleans.com december 2019 3 3


JOIE D’EVE

Christmas Listicle What I am looking forward to this year By Eve Crawford Peyton

I t y p i c a lly lo v e a g oo d

portmanteau, so I’m not sure why I have such a visceral dislike for the word “listicle.” I guess I am opposed to it from a journalistic standpoint, as it just seems… well, lazy. It’s lazy to just throw a bunch of items together in a list without having a beginning, middle, or end; without having a through-line! But right now, I am so damn full of Christmas “cheer” (sadly, by “cheer” I mean “stress” and not “bourbon”) that I’ve decided to embrace the listicle. In fact, it even sounds a bit like “icicle,” which makes it festive! So here are the 5 things I am most looking forward to about the holiday season this year: Decorating the tree. I love this tradition even more now 34 december 2019 myneworleans.com

that I have inherited my sister’s Christmas things. From the wreath to the tree skirt to the angel to the picture of her long-dead dog in a Santa hat, everything we use to decorate comes from my sister. It’s a beautiful way to remember her every holiday season, and I look forward to it with bittersweet anticipation every year. Baking! My work Secret Santa knows what makes me tick: So far, I’ve gotten chocolate, a package of brand-new multicolored gel pens, and a holiday baking recipe book. I want to make absolutely everything in it but am planning to start with the hot cocoa cookies topped with toasted marshmallows and culminate in the Italian cream cake for Christmas Eve dinner. Ruby’s birthday. I thought I’d

hate having a Christmas baby. as time off at any stage in life from, I thought she’d hate being a say, ages 5 to 25. Still, I have big Christmas baby. But honestly, plans for cleaning out my closet and we both love it – it just seems like sorting through my clothes and the an extra-special time of year, with girls’ outgrown clothes, and I’m all the lights and Christmas carols having organizational fantasies and all the good food everywhere involving plastic bins and a labelyou turn. maker. This is what brings me joy in life, and yes, it sounds Eggnog. People either love it or hate it. I am a little bit lame when I strongly in the “love it” Excerpted from Eve admit it right here for camp and don’t care if Crawford Peyton’s public consumption, blog, Joie d’Eve, which you hate it – more for appears each Friday on but joy is joy, and I me! I’ve already had my MyNewOrleans.com can’t wait! first cup of eggnog for You know what the the season and plan on best part of a listicle at least a couple more, including is? You don’t have to worry about one in daiquiri form and possibly a clever ending. even an eggnog latte. FIGHT ME. Listicle over. Merry Christmas; (Don’t actually fight me.) happy everything! Time off. Now granted, time off in your late 30s is not as much fun

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jane sanders illustration


myneworleans.com december 2019 3 5


in tune

must-see music DECEMBER 5

Son Little rock Gasa Gasa. DECEMBER 6

Flow Tribe jams at Tipitina’s. DECEMBER 7

Get Up Kids rock One Eyed Jacks. Galactic will host their New Year’s Eve party at Tipitina’s with Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph

DECEMBER 11

Daughters rock One Eyed Jacks. DECEMBER 13

Acoustic Syndicate rocks the Maple Leaf Bar.

Rockin’ Christmas Fuel for a cool Yule

DECEMBER 13

Cher believes at the Smoothie King Center.

by Mike Griffith

Orleans” tradition with the entire hotel given over local ways of celebrating the holidays, as well as some to the festivities. This sprawling party has multiple old favorites. This year we have a great program of experiences but no matter what ticket you buy, drinks Christmas celebrations before we head into the hedo- and entertainment are included. This year, the party nism of New Year’s Eve. Things kick off on the 14th features Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Flow Tribe, Petey when the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra offers their Pablo and Bag of Donuts, as well as performances from Holiday Spectacular at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Bustout Burlesque. If you are looking for something For this performance the LPO will be joined by the a bit lower key, but still fantastic, checkout DJ Soul 610 Stompers and a whole host of special guests. On Sister’s 17th Annual New Year’s Eve Soul Train at the 18th you can catch the Trans-Siberian Orchestra The Civic Theater. This is a really fun event featuring in all of their weird Christmas glory at the Smoothie the classic Soul Train graphics and amazing music. King Arena. If you are looking for something a bit If the city’s fireworks are a priority for you, both more traditional, the LPO returns on the 19th (at the the Steamboat Natchez and the Creole Queen have Orpheum) and 20th (at the First Baptist Church of New Year’s Eve events that offer an up-close and Covington) with a performance including J.S. Bach’s personal view of the fireworks extravaganza. Both Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah. On the 20th parties provide food and live entertainment, as well and 21st, Anders Osborne returns to Tipitina’s with as a festive environment. BB’s Stage Door Canteen his two night Holiday Spectacular. On Friday is getting in on the action with a party he’ll have G. Love, John Mooney and Big Chief lead by the Victory Swing Orchestra. This Monk Boudreaux joining him. Saturday he’ll event includes a four-course dinner and Playlist of mentioned be joined by Steve Earle, Helen Gillet and bands available midnight chocolate buffet, as well as all Leyla McCalla with Alvin Youngblood Hart. at: http://bit.ly/ the dancing you can handle. Finally, The As usual, things really pick up as we get InTune12-19. Maison will have all three floors open closer to New Year’s Eve. This year, Galactic with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band holding will host their New Year’s Eve party at Tipitina’s with court downstairs and a premium open bar. There are Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph. The event has a VIP option so many choices in how to bid adieu to 2019 that no that includes an open bar and catering from Jacques- matter what your speed or interest there is a party Imo’s. If you are heading downtown, the Revivalists out there for you. I’ll see you out there as we ring in will be at The Fillmore with Durand Jones & the another great year of music. Indications. The Hyatt continues their “Big Night New This time of year always presents some distinctly

DECEMBER 14

Nghtmre moves the Joy. DECEMBER 17

Snoop Dog smokes the Fillmore. DECEMBER 18

Trans-Siberian Orchestra celebrates at the Smoothie King Center. DECEMBER 20

Pile rocks Gasa Gasa. DECEMBER 31

The Revivalists jam at the Fillmore.

Dates are subject to change; email Mike@ MyNewOrleans.com or contact him through Twitter @Minima.

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36 december 2019 myneworleans.com

Melissa Stewart photo


myneworleans.com december 2019 3 7


chronicles

Nutcracker 2019 schedule

(in order of appearance) Ballet Louisiane, Leila Haller Ballet Classique

Fri., 12/13, 7:30 p.m., Sat., 12/14, 2:30 p.m. Roussel Hall, Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans Ballet Theatre Schramel Conservatory of Dance

Sat., 12/14, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sun., 12/15, 2 p.m.; Sat., 12/21, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sun., 12/22, 2 p.m. Orpheum Theatre, 129 Roosevelt Way

On Your Toes

New Orleans School of Ballet

It’s an old Christmas custom! by Carolyn Kolb

Tinsel and stardust, dancing fairies and clever

mice, memorable music: all adding up to a massive annual Yuletide fundraiser for art in New Orleans……… of course, it’s The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s 1892 ballet – the tale of a young girl who receives a nutcracker as a present and has a fantastic dream – was not considered a major work of the Russian composer. The first American full production of the ballet was in 1944 in San Francisco. New choreography by George Balanchine premiered in New York in 1954. Since then, the ballet has become a Christmas staple: the tiniest dancers debut as mice, the proud parents buy tickets, and dance companies fund a year of grueling barre work with a few nights of soaring magic. New Orleans had an early exposure to the ballet. According to the Times-Picayune, on February 18, 1922, Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and her troupe performed at the Lafayette Theatre (today’s Civic Theatre.) One selection on the program was “’Snowflakes: A Ballet in One Act’ from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite,” with Pavlova partnered by Laurent Novikoff. The first Nutcracker with local performers was on January 12, 1930, by residents of the Jewish Children’s Home – an orphanage located where the Jewish Community Center is now. “Choruses, with solo and group dances interpreting the story will be presented by more than 100 boys and girls,” the New Orleans Item reported. Later that year, a short segment of the Nutcracker was part of a dance revue by students of Musette Farrish, on November 28, 1930, according to 38 december 2019 myneworleans.com

The New Orleans States. All that was lacking to bring today’s local Nutcracker explosion was a dance company, or rather, dance companies. New Orleans can thank Anna Pavlova for that, too. In a 1914 visit, the Russian ballerina gained an admirer, the 10-year-old Lelia Haller. Haller would be the spark that ignited the ballet inspiration that still sweeps the city. She danced with the Paris Opera Ballet, gained fame as a performer and finally opened her ballet school in New Orleans, along with Ballet Louisiane – a ballet company. Her rigorous training produced a bumper crop of local dancers. In Harold George Scott’s biography, “Lelia: The Compleat Ballerina,” Haler’s pupils include dancers whose own pupils and their descendants fill today’s local studios. Joseph, Maria and Gwen Delle Giacobbe, Rebecca Webb Lentz, Harvey Hysell, and a host of others carried on the ballet tradition of the city to the present. This year’s Nutcracker season has five different New Orleans productions – and there are others throughout the state. All of them will include classic bits of the ballet, but, there will be some surprises: The Jefferson Ballet Theater’s production features the inventive choreography of Kenneth Beck. “The six dolls will be presented to Clara’s friends, and when they come alive in the second act, the performers’ similar costumes will reflect different nationalities and dances.” Nikki Hefke of the New Orleans School of Ballet promises some local flavor, including a “March of the Pelicans,” “Who Dats” and even a “Mardi Gras Strut.”

Fri., 12/20, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 12/21, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 12/22, 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., New Orleans Jefferson Performing Arts Society/Jefferson Ballet Theater Myra Mier School of Ballet

Sat., 12/21, 2 p.m.; Sun., 12/22, 2 p.m. Jefferson Performing Arts Center, 6400 Airline Highway, Metairie Delta Festival Ballet, Giacobbe Academy of Dance

38th Nutcracker, with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Sat., 12/21, 7:00 p.m.; Sun, 12/22, 2 p.m. Mahalia Jackson Theatre, 1419 Basin St., New Orleans The Moscow Ballet

The Great Russian Nutcracker. Dec. 27, Saenger Theatre

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Armand Richardson photo


myneworleans.com december 2019 3 9


home

The family room’s fireplace is a copy of a 19th century Rumford fireplace, which is taller than most fireplaces. The mirror above it is a Louis Philippe. The wooden chandelier is from Source Interiors, formerly on Magazine Street.

who have four children and six grandchildren, have renovated multiple houses and built several spec houses, but they’d never built one for themselves. When their search for an Uptown house “with fewer larger rooms that would be versatile” led to a dead end, they decided to rent temporarily and look for a place to build. “Older houses with older floorplans were designed for a different lifestyle,” Ann said. “No one lives like that anymore.”

New Age A new house with timeless Italian characteristics by Lee Cutrone photographed by Greg Miles

“We didn’t want it to look like a brand-new

house,” said Ann Williams of the new residence she and her husband retired state appeals court Judge David Williams recently built in Old Metairie. “We wanted it to look inspired by an Italian Villa.”Check

4 0 december 2019 myneworleans.com

and check. The home’s classic bones defy being identified with a particular decade and, like an Italian villa, it was conceived to invite the indoor/ outdoor living associated with the temperate climate of the Mediterranean or California.The Williamses,

Eventually, the Williamses found a rundown property in foreclosure and built a three-bedroom, threeand-a-half-bath house in its place - an H-shaped design with rooms that flow, but also can be closed off. “You can shut doors to make it more intimate and private and soundproof,” Ann said. Ann, who has partnered with her daughter to renovate and build houses, including one in conjunction with Cottage Journal, conceptualized the design and was involved in the day-to-day construction process. David spent hours online sourcing materials. “I like the design part and I don’t mind being in the mud with the guys,” she said. “David is better at the computer part, researching the details. He got to be an expert at shopping and comparing and ordering everything from appliances to light fixtures.”


Top, left: The open-concept kitchen and family room are delineated by furniture and lighting. David found the pair of chandeliers above the Quartzitetopped island on Etsy and had them painted to look distressed. Top, right: Ann and David Williams with the four of their six grandchildren who live in New Orleans, left to right: David, Evie, Waverly and Elle. Bottom, left: The Williamses ordered the groined vault ceiling from a company in Dallas. New Orleans Millworks custom made the French doors and casement windows. Bottom, right: The Williamses designed the house to look Mediterranean with an asymmetrical plan, a wallenclosed front garden and mortar-washed brick. myneworleans.com december 2019 41


Top, left: Designer Katie Koch made the taffeta drapery for the gilded cornice above the bed. The framed piece on the far wall is part of a 19th century Japanese prayer robe that belonged to David’s uncle. Top, right: Ann designed the covered patio with a skylight and added a mirrored panel to make the space feel larger. The same concrete pavers used in the kitchen are carried through to the patio for a seamless transition between indoor/outdoor living. Bottom: A custom bookcase houses the Williamses collection of books and conceals a motorized bed used for guests. The late 18th century brass chandelier was a gift from Ann’s parents when the Williamses’ were first married. The settee under the window is from Keil’s Antiques, and the sofa in front of the bookshelves is from Henry Stern Antiques. The open-back armchairs were purchased at auction and the Napoleonic style chair at left is a fine reproduction made by Kohlmaier and Kohlmaier. The antique lantern wall lights on the far wall were an inexpensive steal found by David’s mother at Trinity Church’s bi-annual rummage sale.


The living room is filled with antiques, including a table used for dining and working at one end. The caned Louis XVI style daybed was purchased at an antiques store on Magazine Street; the Williamses found the coffee table’s faux tortoise and silver tray top in Washington D.C. and had the faux bamboo base made for it. The tapestry chairs are from the French Antique Shop. The Aubusson rug came from Jacqueline Vance Rugs.

To achieve the classic character of an Italian villa, Ann paid close attention to the details and craftsmanship. For help with interior architectural features - such as French doors across the front and back of the house and a Rumford fireplace, which has a taller opening and mantel than today’s fireplaces - she turned to architect Davis Jahncke. She also went with custom carpentry and millwork and

included a covered terrace with garden views for outdoor living. When the couple eliminated a second floor from their original wish list, they decided to have a steeper roof with large custom copper roof vents that have the look of dormers. “The pitched roof creates the impression of a second floor and gives the house greater presence,” Ann said. In place of the stucco that is typical of villas, they opted for a brick façade with a mortar wash. On the terrace, they chose concrete pavers over stone for both modern technology and the look of age. They also kept the landscaping simple and the foundation exposed. Being able to see the intersection of the exterior wall and the ground, according to Ann, creates the illusion

of more space and height, and like the pitched roof, gives the house a greater presence. Inside, the couple furnished the house with some of the many antiques they’d collected over the past 40 years. In fact, some of the custom details in the house were designed with particular pieces in mind. In the living room for example, French doors were spaced farther than originally intended to accommodate the dimensions of a 19th century English breakfront. While the couple did forego both the second story and the staircase that were part of the initial design, the luxury of starting from scratch afforded them the flexibility to make the best use of the square footage and to choose materials that both look timeless and stand up to

daily use. A long-time collector of antiques with her husband and a former antiques dealer (she and several friends owned and operated a Magazine Street store for 11 years) Ann credits the time-worn imperfections of antiques with bringing lived-in authenticity to the space. The rest of it, she says, will evolve as the couple settles in. “We took a few things and had them redone but we mostly used what we had,” she said, pointing out a settee that over time has faded from blue to gray and shifted from room to room. “The Old World effect is there in the materials, the floors, the millwork, in how it reads.”

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myneworleans.com december 2019 43


d


photography by sam hanna

b e s t

o f

ining New Orleans is a food town, with a dedicated population that holds on tightly to old favorite haunts, while embracing and celebrating new traditions and new faces. For our annual December list of restaurant, food and drink “bests,� our team of writers, plus our editorial staff, met with the difficult task of honoring a few of our favorites. The restaurants, people and places listed within mark some of the best of the best for 2019. We look forward to what the menu has in store for 2020.


R e s ta u r a n t o f t h e Y e a r

sofia T

he issue of “authenticity” in restaurants is a tricky one. Some people feel that any chef straying from a cuisine’s traditional recipes is cooking “fusion” food, a pejorative term in their minds. There’s nothing wrong with valuing our culinary past, of course, but ultimately what makes a restaurant great is outstanding food, drink, service and atmosphere. Whether a chef adheres to canon where food is concerned or takes tradition as inspiration is meaningless unless the experience is positive for the diner. ¶ That said, when one dines at a restaurant that bills itself as serving the food of a specific country, one has certain expectations. At Sofia, an Italian restaurant which opened this year in the Warehouse District, those expectations are exceeded. ¶ Sofia is not, strictly speaking, a regional Italian restaurant, or at least not a restaurant that specializes in one region. Executive chef Talia Diele’s menu includes dishes from all over Italy – the bistecca Fiorentina hails from central Italy, while the osso buco originated in Milan and “The Spicy” pizza features ingredients from toe of the country’s boot in Calabria.¶ The menu is divided into Antipasti, Secondi, Contorni (sides), Pasta and Pizza. There are around a half-dozen choic-

es in each category – a few more where antipasti are concerned, and a few less contorni. It’s not a phone-book, in other words, but speaking for myself there wasn’t anything on offer that I wouldn’t order happily and there’s been nothing I’ve sampled that I wouldn’t order again.¶ The restaurant is named for Sophia Loren, a friend of owner (along with Denver -based Culinary Creative Group) Billy Blatty’s parents. Images of Loren by London-born and New Orleans-based artist David Gamble adorn the walls of the restaurant, whose décor overall is modern, yet comfortable. A huge wood-burning oven decorated with a tile mosaic to resemble flames dominates a corner of the dining room near the kitchen. The beverage program is overseen by Hope Clarke, who’s put together an excellent list of specialty and classic cocktails, beers and Italian wines. House-infused liquors and herbs are paired with prosecco and soda water for their “spritzes.” Service is attentive and knowledgeable, just what you’d expect from folks who’ve opened more than one successful restaurant. Sofia is a welcome addition to our dining scene, and a welcoming place in general. Sofia, 516 Julia St., 3223216, SofiaNola.com. - Robert Peyton


Best Neighborhood R e s ta u r a n t

Thalia Thalia, a casual neighborhood spot nested in the Lower Garden

District, is a built to serve multiple roles. Conceived by Kristin Essig and Michael Stoltzfus, it is intended to serve the community (they are nearby residents). It is also a corollary to Coquette, their fine dining flagship, and the two restaurants work together to share ingredients and reduce waste. Finally,

with a simple operating model, it is also a talent incubator. “We see this as a platform for young cooks with talent and potential to help them learn not just about food but also about how to run a business,” Essig explained. ¶ The space is warm and inviting, with cheerful yellow walls and a welcoming vibe. The menu is brief but wide-ranging in scope, though it touches often on the U.S. South. Consider the stuffed artichoke, split down the middle and packed with a mix of breadcrumbs and Pecorino-Romano cheese. Accompanying it is a garlicky brown-butter sauce brightened with lemon zest. For entrées, the barbecue shrimp takes a southern turn, swapping the beer for Coca-Cola and featuring boiled peanuts in the rosemary and homemade Worcestershirespiked sauce. “We took this from a ‘No Menu Tuesday’ we did at Coquette,” Essig said. “It has a really nice sweet/salty balance.” Price points are very reasonable and nightly themed specials keep things fresh. Thalia, 1245 Constance St., 655-1338, ThaliaNola. com. - Jay Forman


Levee Baking Co.

There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread to liven an appetite. New Orleans has seen several excellent bakeries open in the last few years, and recently that number was increased by one that we feel worthy of naming Bakery of the Year for 2019: Levee Baking Co. ¶ Like many new food ventures, Levee Baking Co. got started as a “pop-up” before settling into its permanent address in the Irish Channel. Baker and owner Christina Balzebre, a native of Miami, moved to New Orleans in 2005 and not long after began to indulge her love of baking at home with stints at Satsuma Café, for

the Link Restaurant Group and at Willa Jean.¶ Balzebre is focused on quality, and that starts with the ingredients. While much of what she utilizes is sourced locally, she gets freshly milled flour from Carolina Ground, dairy from Mississippi-based Country Girl Creamery, and eggs and produce from local farmers. Regular offerings include a country-style bread, focaccia, assorted cookies, sweet and savory galettes and hand pies, croissants, buttermilk biscuits, cakes and more. Levee proves itself in the rising tide of new great bakeries.¶ Levee Baking Co., 3138 Magazine St., 354-8708, LeveeBakingCo.com.- Robert Peyton

Bakery of the Year


Chef of the Year

Rebecc a Wilcomb When Rebecca Wilcomb moved from Boston to New Orleans in 2008,

she wasn’t intending to stick around; she was mostly seeking an escape from the frigid New England winters. “I think the plan was to stay a year,” she recalled, “but I ended up falling in love with the city.” New Orleans is the clear winner here. In 2017 she brought us a James Beard Award for Best Chef South and in 2019 she opened the doors to Gianna, her Italian restaurant in the Warehouse District. Because of these accomplishments, Wilcomb is our 2019 Chef of the Year. ¶ Credit also goes to Donald Link’s restaurant group, with its strong history of identifying talent and shaping concepts around them for maximum effect. In Wilcomb’s case, it was on a trip to Italy with the Link Group in 2013 where the idea for an Italian restaurant began to take shape. Over the years (and subsequent trips to Italy) they coalesced into Gianna.

Built around Wilcomb’s talents and named for her grandmother, Gianna is an expression of synergy. First and foremost are her Italian roots. “My cooking has always leaned heavily Italian in technique and style,” she explained. “My mother is from Italy and that whole side of the family still lives there.” Then there is a grounding in Louisiana roots. In this case, the Creole-Italian tradition. Finally there is the ethos and sourcing, which gets help through the restaurant group’s full-time forager. Put all these ingredients together and wrap them in a first-class buildout and you get one of the most exciting new places in town. ¶ Wilcomb’s menu is broad, not focusing on any one region or style. Some aspects resonate, including the “Feed Me Menu,” which is a nod to both the sorely missed Tony Angelo’s as well as an established tradition of service in Italy. To sample dishes near to her heart, consider her “Giannina’s Tortellini in Brodo,” hand-filled pasta in broth (now is the perfect time, as this dish is a Christmastime tradition in her family). The “Eggplant Casseruola” is a nod to Tony Angelo’s “Eggplant Tina” – both dishes are cross-referenced by a similar dish found on travels through Campania, where they were seeking links between Creole-Italian and native Italian cuisine. All pastas are handmade, and fans of veal will delight in her simple-butsatisfying “Veal Saltimbocca” with its salty kick from prosciutto and capers. Can’t decide? Order the “Feed Me” special. “There is something very relaxing about not having to make those decisions, right?” Wilcomb pointed out. “It feels good to be taken care of.” Gianna, 700 Magazine St., 399-0816, GiannaRestaurant. com. - Jay Forman


Cookbook of the Year

C h e f T e n n e y F ly n n i s t h e

The Deep End of FlavoR

Tenney Flynn with Susan Puckett

owner, along with Gary Wollerman, of one of the nation’s best fine-dining seafood restaurants. Since it opened in 2001, GW Fins has served fresh seafood in inventive, sophisticated dishes that highlight the inherent qualities of the products. ¶ In recent years, chef Flynn has “taken a deeper dive” into seafood, learning to spear fish in the Gulf and often serving his catch in the restaurant. He’s an advocate for responsible management of our fisheries and for consuming fish often discarded as “by-catch.” ¶ In “The Deep End of Flavor,” which he wrote with Susan Puckett, chef Flynn has delivered an outstanding cookbook. The “Fish and Seafood Primer” in the introductory portion of the book is worth the price alone for its clear explanations of how to choose fresh fish, break them down and the best method of preparation. ¶ He emphasizes selecting seafood by quality rather than going to the market with a predetermined recipe in mind, and provides alternatives for many of the recipes in the book. The recipes are, of course, outstanding as well, and for all of these reasons we’re delighted to name The Deep End of Flavor our Cookbook of the Year for 2019. - Robert Peyton


Sometimes being second is not such a bad thing. In the case of Tujague’s, the restaurant, was established in 1856 and has been in continuous operation for almost 165 years, making it the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans. The phrase, “If only these walls could talk,” has never been more true. ¶ At Tujague’s, what we once considered “common” dishes, like chicken bon femme, boiled beef brisket, and spicy remoulade, rose to incredible heights. The bar, at which there are no stools, created cocktail classics such as the grasshopper and whiskey punch. The place became a stopping point for dock workers and bankers alike.¶ Owner Mark Latter is the latest caretaker entrusted with the

legendary restaurant. He was five years old when his father and uncle purchased Tujague’s. Recently he announced the restaurant would be moving seven blocks down Decatur Street towards Canal Street. This move will be the restaurant’s third in its history.¶ Making the move will be the vaunted kitchen, the mirrors in the dining room, and the staff. What won’t be making the move will be the bar and the barback, the narrow stairway and the view of the French Market; and we certainly hope the ghosts follow the culinary artwork and the team.¶ Clearly making the move though is the place’s worthiness to be at the top level of our honor roll. Tujague’s Restaurant, 823 Decatur Street, 525-8676, TujaguesRestaurant.com. - Tim McNally

Honor Roll

Tujague’s


C o c k ta i l M e c c a

Sazerac House


E

very year at this time in this space, this magazine recognizes culinary achievement, long and special service to the community, innovation and excellence. ¶ This year, we recognize all of the above and more. The Sazerac House is a loving culmination of over 180 years of New Orleans history, as told using our adult beverages as the central theme. But Sazerac House embodies, and this is very important, the story of our city told in a creative and visually-stunning fashion. ¶ Sazerac House is in every definition of the modern term a museum of sizeable proportions. Everywhere in the 48,000 square-foot five-story structure, three of which are open to the public, are feasts for the eyes, treats for the palate and information overloads on multiple levels. ¶ The building, constructed in the 1860’s, sat vacant on Canal Street at Magazine for almost 30 years. After touring the impeccably designed and restored historic space, the visitor will wonder, “Why did this structure lay fallow for so long?” ¶ There are more interactive exhibits than the visitor will have time to participate in, and the topics range from spirits to cocktails to bitters to distilling to architecture to history and lore, to the evolution of place, New Orleans, which probably could never happen in this way again. ¶ The world’s most authoritative bartender guide, Mr. Boston, is featured, answering the guest’s questions on what to use and how much in just about any cocktail imaginable. The most popular cocktails are made before your eyes by virtual bartenders who like nothing more than to make a drink of your choice and to add some friendly bar banter as you gaze on. ¶ The first floor, which welcomes guests to the museum at no cost, features an impressive work of the distiller’s art, a column still which makes Sazerac Rye Whiskey, aging tanks and barrels, and a manufacturing and packaging unit for the invented-in-New Orleans Peychaud’s Bitters. ¶ Multiple bars are open depending on days and crowds to assist the visitor in sampling the alcohol products under ideal conditions. These samples are available free and are served at the discretion of the staff. Ironically, cocktails cannot be purchased, only sampled. ¶ Guided tours are available, or visitors can proceed at their own pace. Docents are easily found for questions without unwanted intrusions into the visitor’s time or space. ¶ Yes, it’s about adult beverages, but the real story is about New Orleans. Sazerac House, 101 Magazine Street at Canal Street, 9100100, SazeracHouse.com. - Tim McNally


best Pizza

Bonci Pizzaria

We gained some big-league pizza cred over the summer when the acclaimed pizza destination Bonci opened just its third U.S. location right here in New Orleans. The Roman-style pies are made with a multigrain dough and topped with an ethically curated assortment of ingredients. The cashless, counterservice restaurant is as notable for its clean, forward-thinking design as well as its artfully presented food. Make your selections at the counter and the pizza is snipped to order, reheated and rung up by weight. This allows one to sample a variety of styles even for just a modest lunch break. Indecisive folks and the easily distracted never

had it so good. ¶ “What sets it apart is not just the ingredients but also the way our pizza is made,” General Manager Jeff Pizzetta said. “Our Castelli oven gives it that perfect crispness on the bottom and also that airiness in the middle.” It is indeed a distinctive crust, similar to focaccia without a comparable local style, making it unique. The sopressata version is popular, as is the potato and mozzarella. Seek out their more assertive selections such as ones featuring salty, umami-rich anchovies for full effect. Regarding locally influenced choices, they occasionally run a spicy shrimp and eggplant version, as well as an homage to the muffuletta. Bonci Pizzaria, 726 Julia St., 766-6071, BonciUSA.com. - Jay Forman


Best Concept

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Picnic Provisions & Whiskey

ining can create strong memories. The best memories of enjoying fine meals are often those hardest to replicate. The sensuality and easy access of New Orleans restaurants and events works to the advantage of culinary memories able to be repeated again and again. ¶ Picnic Provisions & Whiskey is a wonderful effort to not just preserve key memories but also to create new experiences. The three principals in the project, Tory McPhail, Darryl Reginelli and Ti Martin, all know a thing or two about growing up in New Orleans and savoring local foods, prepared in informal fashions, then dining under oak trees on blankets in parks and along bayous. ¶ Those memories are the very essence of Picnic. McPhail traveled the region seeking the best preparation of fried chicken. The outcome had to be the right result for New Orleans chicken connoisseurs, a truly challenging project. Reginelli knows take-out cuisine from his family’s long experience with culinarily excellent outlets located throughout the metropolitan area. Martin’s family history in the operation of fine restaurants was plugged in to assure the best experiences for patrons.¶ These three created not just a new concept in dining, but crystalized what we all hold sacred: food memories. Picnic Provisions & Whiskey, 741 State St., 266-2810, NolaPicnic.com. - Tim McNally


They say the best gifts come in small packages. These gorgeous pieces from local jewelers will shine year-round.

18 karat white gold, natural sapphire and diamond necklace, and 18 karat white gold, natural sapphire and diamond flower earrings, Adler’s, 523-5292, AdlersJewelry.com.

Seasonal Sparkle By Andy Myer; Photography by Theresa Cassagne; Model Christina Craig; Makeup Meggan Ory; Hair Monique Munoz


Georgian-era vine motif necklace with 7 carats of old-cut diamonds, featuring a double-drop pendant with two Old European diamonds weighing 5.45 carats. Georgian-style emerald and diamond earrings with silver-topped 14 karat yellow gold and clawed bezel settings, with two pear-shaped emeralds weighing more than 13 carats, accented with more than 3 carats of diamonds. Antique platinum bracelet with 12 carats of diamonds set in a design of open arches and bows. Art Deco platinum ring featuring a 2.80 carat Colombian emerald, a pair of rose-cut pear diamonds and a halo of diamonds, Friend & Company, 866-5433, FriendandCompany.com.


18 karat white gold woven diamond necklace featuring 18.72 carats of round, brilliant cut diamonds. 14 karat white gold diamond hoops totaling 4.53 carats of round brilliant cut diamonds. Three stone platinum engagement ring showcasing a 5.20 carat cushion center diamond and two-step cut trapezoid side diamonds totaling .94 carats, Boudreaux’s Jewelers, 8312602, BoudreauxsJewelers.com.


Ruby and diamond necklace set in 18 karat white gold, featuring 38 round rubies, totaling 13.27 carats and 10.12 carats of round brilliant cut diamonds. Stud earrings with 1.50 carats of round brilliant cut diamonds between the two center diamonds with 0.72 carats of Frenchcut rubies and an additional 0.40 carats of accenting diamonds, set in 18 karat white gold. The alternating diamond and ruby band is 14 karat white gold and features four emerald cut rubies totaling 1.13 carats with three emerald cut diamonds totaling 0.99 carats. Ruby and diamond ring with a 2.40 carat oval brilliant ruby, flanked by two tapered, trapezoid brilliant cut diamonds, set in platinum and 18 karat yellow gold, Wellington & Co., 525-4855, wcjewelry.com.


The Menu TABLE TALK . RESTAURANT INSIDER . FOOD . LAST CALL . DINING LISTINGS

jeffery johnston photo

Spring Rolls at Em Trai Sandwich Company


table talk

meet the chef

Bang Bang Shrimp and Pork Belly Bao

Culture Connection Em Trai Sandwich Co. by Jay Forman

There are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants

in New Orleans, but there is only one like the Em Trai Sandwich Company. Recently opened by chef and owner Tung Nguyen, Em Trai cleverly

7 0 december 2019 myneworleans.com

Tung Nguyen spent a lot of time in restaurants growing up. His parents owned a poor boy and seafood shop in Algiers and his sister operates a successful clutch of restaurants are well. One of 13 siblings (Em Trai means “Little Brother”), Nguyen knew right away he had to set himself apart. “My family asked me well, what are you going to do differently here to separate yourself from everyone else?” he explains. “They challenged me.” In response, Nguyen has concocted a unique approach that confidently brings together Vietnamese, BBQ and New Orleans influence.

melds traditional Vietnamese, American barbecue and local poor boy shop influences into one contemporary package served up with slick minimalist style.

jeffery johnston photo


Em Trai landed fully formed, a “I wanted to do some Vietnamese neat trick for a first-time restaurant. classics featuring American ingreThis is not mere luck. Hailing from dients,” Nguyen said. “A lot of a large family, many of whom Vietnamese barbecue is sweet, like own restaurants and work in that char sui marinade. I wanted hospitality, Nguyen had it drilled to bring it where you get more into him from early on that he smokiness. It’s prepared much needed to set himself apart from the same way – Vietnamese and the pack. He therefore rounded Americans both like tender brisket out his work experience in family – but each has a different flavor restaurants growing up with time profile.” spent in corporate environments There are also traditional poor like the Hyatt, where he picked boys (shrimp and roast beef, for up front of house, back example) along with of house and business Banh Mi options. A management skills. All meatless option built Em Trai Sandwich Co., this paved the way for 2372 St. Claude Ave., the around Enoki mushMarigny. L, D Mon.-Sat. this first effort T2, a rooms is notable as Closed Sun. Facebook. stall in the nearby St. a vegetarian option com/emtraisandwichco Roch Market. There, that has a meaty, Nguyen honed his craft umami-rich flavor while seizing pop-up opportunities and texture. “I stir fry them with at Urban South and Second Line red onion, five spice and fried Brewing to tinker with new dishes, shallots and they get served in and paving the way for Em Trai. a traditional banh mi style with The menu manages to be simul- cilantro and the carrots,” he said. taneously broad and streamlined. “Reminds me of a roast beef and It is sectioned out across various gravy sandwich.” The bread comes categories (starters, bao, pho, from Hi-Do Bakery. “I’m all about salads and sandwiches) and the Hi-Do since day one,” Nguyen more items you can try here, the said. “I’m a Westbank boy. I just happier you will be. Start with a love Hi-Do.” selection of bao, small sandwiches wrapped in signature rounds of steamed white dough. His “Bang Bang Shrimp” are tossed with a spicy Kewpie-like mayo punched up with sweet chili, sambal and fresh lime juice. The “Char Siu Pork Belly” is first cooked off in the oven before being portioned and seared to create a terrific caramelized outer crust. The double-wide spring rolls are stuffed with a vibrant assortment of greens with the option of adding in pork or shrimp. “I look at them kind of like a wrap, a sandwich on the Vietnamese Fusion go,” Nguyen said. “So I pack in Over on Maple Street in the a lot of greens with a little bit of Carrollton neighborhood is Ba Chi noodle for texture.” Canteen, which serves up a fusion-y One approach that sets his menu menu ostensibly grounded in apart is that Nguyen sources many Vietnamese but includes a wide of his smoked meats from Central variety of cultural influences such as City BBQ (he is on a Hogs for the Korean and Chinese. Aimed at the Cause team with their pit master college crowd, the price points are James Cruse). The brisket, pulled low and the creative mash-ups pork and chicken all share a tradi- include a long list of “Bacos” – a tionally American barbecue flavor. cross between bao and tacos.

.

myneworleans.com december 2019 7 1


restaurant insider

News From the Kitchen Rockrose, Junior’s, Marie’s Bar & Kitchen by Robert Peyton

Grilled Octopus Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Spread Olives Crab Saganaki

Rockrose

Junior’s

Marie’s Bar & Kitchen

New Orleans finally has a first-rate Greek restaurant now that Rockrose has opened. Owner Nick Asprodites and chef Brian Doyle have a menu leaning more toward fine-dining than hummus and gyros, with dishes like ouzo and beet-cured cobia with orange and labneh, or local fish with roasted grapes, fried capers, fennel puree and roasted cauliflower. There’s souvlaki (chicken, pork or shrimp) on offer at lunch, along with a lamb burger and leek and spinach pie. Rockrose, 217 Camp St., 369-3070; Mon. to Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., dinner seven days starting at 5 p.m. until 10 Sun. to Thurs., and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Rockrosenola.com.

Lakeview has another restaurant on Harrison Avenue. Nick Hufft and Lon Marchand of Hufft and Marchand Hospitality have tapped chef Jacob Cureton to open Junior’s, a casual contemporary restaurant. Cureton is a veteran of Emeril’s Delmonico, Annunciation and Atchafalaya, and his menu will include roasted shrimp in Calabrian chile butter, steak frites, crab and corn fritters as well as a burger made with chuck, brisket and short rib. Junior’s, 789 Harrison Ave., phone, t.b.d.; open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Juniorsonharrison.com.

There is bar food, and then there is good bar food. Chef Tres Barnard is making the latter at Marie’s Bar & Kitchen, located in Marie’s Bar in the Marigny. Yes, there are cheese fries (with sour cream, green onions and pickled jalapenos) but there are also pork rind nachos, mac and cheese customizable with things like ham, black olives, bacon crumbles and broccoli, and the fat boy fried bologna and cheese sandwich, which includes chow chow and is served on Texas toast. Marie’s Bar & Kitchen, 2483 Burgundy St., 267-5869; kitchen open Thurs. to Sun., 5 p.m. to midnight; bar, open daily from 10 a.m. “until.” Mariesbarandkitchen.com.

7 2 december 2019 myneworleans.com

jeffery johnston photo


food

7 4 december 2019 myneworleans.com

styled by photographed by eugenia uhl


Seasoned Greetings

RECIPEs

Gumbo in the pot

Duck, Andouille, Oyster Gumbo

by Dale Curry

Ingredients 1 5-to7-pound domestic duck such as frozen Maple Leaf, or several smaller wild ducks, dressed

Church services, drop-in parties and

hearty gumbos are Christmas Eve traditions for many south Louisiana families. While our city’s French Creole settlers broke their fast after midnight Mass in a celebration known as Réveillon, schedules now adhere to earlier gatherings to accommodate Santa. Réveillon fare in the 1800s included daube glacé, grits and grillades, gumbos, breakfast items and sweets, and libations such as eggnog and cherry bounce. Some traditions continue today in restaurants serving elaborate Réveillon menus during December, as well as at-home parties where gumbo, turtle soup and grillades still connect. When it comes to gumbo, you’ve got choices from a simple and delicious shrimp and okra, to a robust chicken and smoked sausage. You could knock yourself out with the rice-stuffed quails in “Death by Gumbo.” In that case, look for recipes from the late chef Chris Kerageorgiou and chef John Folse. My choice this year is a duck, andouille, oyster gumbo that will have special appeal for families of hunters since duck season is in. But don’t let that stop you. There’s no hunter in my family. Domestic ducks are available frozen in most grocery stores, and they are - well, almost - just as good. They run five to seven pounds, and if you are feeding a crowd, buy two and double the recipe. It just so happens oysters are in season as well. You don’t have to use them if someone in the family doesn’t like them, but their presence is priceless in a turkey, chicken, duck or goose gumbo. Gumbo may be the most representative of our settlers than any other single dish. Common ingredients and their contributors are: a roux, French; okra, African; sausage, German; a variety of spices, Caribbean; file, native American; and rice combining with seafood, Spanish. And, so it is with our holiday tables being different from others around the nation. Like the rest of New Orleans, our food is unique. Fortunately, it is the best, we think, but we’re not being snobby. It’s just the way it is.

Salt, cayenne pepper and freshly ground black pepper 1 pound andouille sausage 2 dozen oysters with their liquor 3 tablespoons plus 1 cup vegetable oil, divided 1 cup all-purpose flour 3 large onions, divided 1 bunch green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated 1 bell pepper, chopped 4 stalks celery, divided 5 cloves garlic, minced 2 quarts duck or chicken stock 3 bay leaves 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley Cooked rice Directions

File Affliation Filé powder, yes or no? Ground sassafras, introduced to cooking by Native Americans, is an ingredient used by some cooks to thicken and flavor gumbo. They do not agree on when to use it, however. Some add it to gumbo while cooking. Others say that makes the gumbo ropey and it should be added after cooking. Or placed on the table for diners to add their own. Even rewarming with filé has been cautionary. But many cooks leave it out altogether and let the roux do the thickening.

1. Rinse and dry duck. Save neck and gizzard. Discard liver or use for other purpose. Sprinkle with salt and peppers all over and in the cavity. If using small wild ducks leave whole and season. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in the bottom of a large heavy pot and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and cool. Cut sausage into ¼ inch slices and brown. Strain oysters, saving their liquor, and check each oyster for shell. 2. When duck or ducks are cool enough to handle, debone them, placing all bones and skin in another large pot with 8 cups of water, 1 quartered onion and 2 stems of the celery, roughly cut. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for one hour. Cut duck meat into bite-size pieces. Remove as much fat from the stock as possible. Chop remaining 2 onions and 2 stalks of celery. 3. In the same pot, cleaned if necessary, heat remaining 1 cup of oil over high heat and stir in flour. After a few minutes, reduce heat to medium-high and eventually medium, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes a dark brown roux. Add white onions, bell pepper and celery and simmer over low heat until wilted. Stir in garlic and simmer 1 more minute. Gradually stir in stock. Add black and cayenne peppers, bay and thyme. Do not salt until oysters are added later. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until duck is tender. 4. Skim fat off top of gumbo. Add oysters and parsley and continue simmering until oysters curl. Remove from heat. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve in bowls over rice. Serves 8 as main dish or 15 in small cups for a party.

myneworleans.com december 2019 7 5


last call

Sipping at the Roosevelt Candy Cane—The Cocktail by Tim McNally

It’s not much of a contest whenever

some challenge arises regarding where in the world the most amped celebrations take place. While New Orleans may not be in the top spot all the time, for sheer numbers of celebrations, and factoring in quality of revelry, we are always near the top of the list. Holiday season is another shining moment for our city and the let’s-party intensity does not diminish. Not only are we ready to show the world how to properly wrap a celebration in passionate trappings, but we are also in full preparation mode for the just-around-the-corner Carnival season. Excessive? Of course. Locals and visitors alike have absolutely included on their “Holiday List of Things That Must Be Done,” a visit to the annually stunning Roosevelt Hotel lobby. Family traditions do not come any more beautiful or fun than this. The Sazerac Bar, immediately adjacent to the seasonally-festive lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel, has created another reason, a calendar correct cocktail, to make a slight detour into the historic watering hole. They named the drink, “Candy Cane.” Simply delicious.

7 6 december 2019 myneworleans.com

Candy Cane 1 ¼ oz. Rumplemintz ¾ oz. light crème de cacao 1 oz. heavy cream Shake & strain into martini glass lined with raspberry swirl The Sazerac Bar, in the The Roosevelt Hotel, 130 Roosevelt Way, 468-1200, TheRooseveltNewOrleans.com.

eugenia uhl photo


myneworleans.com december 2019 7 7


dining listings H= New Orleans Magazine award winner

Bywater

H Pizza Delicious pizza 617 Piety St., 6768482, PizzaDelicious.com. Authentic New York-style thin crust pizza is the reason to come to this affordable restaurant, that also offers excellent salads sourced from small farms and homemade pasta dishes. Outdoor seating a plus. $ Carrollton Breads on Oak Bakery/Breakfast 8640 Oak St., 324-8271, BreadsOnOak.com. Artisan bakeshop tucked away near the levee on Oak St. serves breads, breakfast, sandwiches, 100 percent vegan. $ City Park Café NOMA AMERICAN 1 Collins Diboll Cir., NO Museum of Art, 482-1264, CafeNoma. com. 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. $ CBD/Warehouse District Balise Louisianian Fare 640 Carondelet St., 459-4449, BaliseNola.com. Chef Justin Devillier turns back the clock at this turn-of-the-century inspired bistro in the CBD. Carefully crafted fare fits well alongside the excellent cocktail and beer list. $$$

H BH Steak Steakhouse Harrah’s Casino, 8 Canal St., 533-6111, HarrahsNewOrleans. com. Acclaimed chef John Besh reinterprets the classic steakhouse with his signature contemporary Louisiana flair. $$$$$

H Borgne Seafood 601 Loyola Ave., 613-3860, BorgneRestaurant.com. Coastal Louisiana with an emphasis on Isleños cuisine (descendants of Canary Islanders who settled in St. Bernard Parish) is the focus of this highvolume destination adjacent to the Superdome. $$$

H Cochon Louisianian Fare 930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123, CochonRestaurant.com. Chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski feature Cajun and Southern cuisine. Boudin and other pork dishes reign supreme, along with Louisiana seafood and real moonshine Reservations recommended. $$

H Desi Vega’s Steakhouse Steakhouse 628 St. Charles Ave., 523-7600, DesiVegaSteaks.com. USDA Prime steaks form the base of this menu, but Italian specialties and a smattering of locally inspired seafood dishes round out the appeal. $$$ Drago’s Louisianian Fare Hilton Riverside Hotel, 2 Poydras St., 584-3911, DragosRestaurant.com. This favorite specializes in charbroiled oysters, a dish they invented. Great deals on fresh lobster as well. $$$$

H Domenica Italian The Roosevelt Hotel, 123 Baronne St., 648-6020, DomenicaRestaurant.com. Authentic, regional Italian cuisine. The menu of thin, lightly topped pizzas, artisanal salumi and cheese, and a carefully chosen selection of antipasti, pasta and entrées features locally raised products. $$$$ Emeril’s Louisianian Fare 800 Tchoupitoulas St., 528-9393, EmerilsRestaurants.com. The flagship of superstar chef Emeril Lagasse’s 7 8 december 2019 myneworleans.com

$ = Average entrée price

$ = $5-10 $$ = $11-15 $$$ = $16-20 $$$$ = $21-25 $$$$$ = $25 & up

culinary empire, this landmark attracts pilgrims from all over the world. $$$$$

H Herbsaint Louisianian Fare 701 St. Charles Ave., 524-4114, Herbsaint.com. Enjoy a sophisticated cocktail before sampling chef Donald Link’s menu that melds contemporary bistro fare with classic Louisiana cuisine. The banana brown butter tart is a favorite dessert. $$$$$

H La Boca Steakhouse 870 Tchoupitoulas St., 525-8205, LaBocaSteaks.com. This Argentine steakhouse specializes in cuts of meat along with pastas and wines. Specials include the provoleta appetizer and the Vacio flank steak. $$$

H Lüke World 333 St. Charles Ave., 378-2840, LukeNewOrleans.com. Germanic specialties and French bistro classics, housemade pâtés and plateaux of cold, fresh seafood. $$$ Mother’s Louisianian Fare 401 Poydras St., 523-9656, MothersRestaurant.net.Locals and tourists alike endure long lines to enjoy iconic dishes such as the Ferdi poor boy and Jerry’s jambalaya. Come for a late lunch to avoid the rush. $$ Mulate’s Louisianian Fare 201 Julia St., 5221492, Mulates.com. Live music and dancing add to the fun at this world-famous Cajun destination. $$ Palace Café World 605 Canal St., 5231661, PalaceCafe.com. Cassic New Orleans restaurant, the Dickie Brennan and Palace Cafe team evolve traditional Creol dishes. Enjoy specialty cocktails and small plates at the Black Duck Bar. $$$

H Pêche Seafood 800 Magazine St., 5221744, PecheRestaurant.com. Award-winning southern-inspired seafood destination by Chef Donald Link serves whole roasted Gulf fish from its massive, wood-burning oven, and an excellent raw bar. $$$

HRed Gravy Bakery/Breakfast 4125 Camp St., 561-8844, RedGravy.com. Farm-to-table brunch restaurant offers a creative array of items such as Cannoli Pancakes and Skillet Cakes, as well as delectable sandwiches and more. Homemade pastas and authentic Tuscan specialties round out the menu. $$ H Restaurant August AMERICAN 301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777, RestaurantAugust.com. James Beard Awardwinning menu is based on classical techniques of Louisiana cuisine and produce with a splash of European flavor set in an historic carriage warehouse. $$$$$ Rock-N-Sake Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 823 Fulton St., 581-7253, RockNSake. com. Fresh sushi and contemporary takes on Japanese favorites in an upbeat, casual setting. $$$ Ruth’s Chris Steak House Steakhouse Harrah’s Hotel, 525 Fulton St., 587-7099, RuthsChris.com. Filet mignon, creamed spinach and potatoes au gratin are the most popular dishes at this steak institution. There are also great seafood choices and top-notch

desserts. $$$$$ Sac-A-Lait Seafood 1051 Annunciation St., 324-3658, Sac-A-LaitRestaurant.com. Cody and Sam Carroll’s shrine to Gulf Coast and Louisiana culinary heritage melds seafood, game, artisan produce, and craft libations in an ambitious menu that celebrates local and southern cuisine. $$$$ The Grill Room AMERICAN Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 522-6000, GrillRoomNewOrleans.com. Modern American cuisine with a distinctive New Orleans flair, the adjacent Polo Club Lounge offers live music nightly. Jazz Brunch on Sunday. $$$$$ Tommy’s Cuisine Italian 746 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-1103, TommysNewOrleans.com. Classic Creole-Italian cuisine is the name of the game at this upscale eatery. Appetizers include the namesake oysters Tommy, baked in the shell with Romano cheese, pancetta and roasted red pepper. $$$$$ Central City Café Reconcile Louisiana fare 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157, CafeReconcile. org. Good food for a great cause, this nonprofit on the burgeoning OCH corridor helps train at-risk youth for careers in the food service industry. $$ Faubourg St. John H Café Degas French 3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635, CafeDegas.com. 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. Vegetarian-friendly offshoot of the Fat Falafel Food Truck offers a healthy farm-to-table alternative to cookiecutter Middle Eastern places. $$ French Quarter Acme Oyster House Louisianian Fare 724 Iberville St., 522-5973, AcmeOyster.com. Known as one of the best places to eat oysters. $$

H Arnaud’s Louisianian Fare 813 Bienville St., 523-5433, ArnaudsRestaurant.com. Waiters in tuxedos prepare Café Brûlot tableside at this storied Creole grande dame; live jazz during Sun. brunch. $$$$$ Arnaud’s Remoulade Italian 309 Bourbon St., 523-0377, Remoulade.com. Home of the eclectic menu of famous shrimp Arnaud, red beans and rice and poor boys as well as specialty burgers, grilled all-beef hot dogs and thin-crust pizza. $$ Antoine’s Louisianian Fare 713 St. Louis St., 581-4422, Antoines.com. 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. $$$$$

new-orleans. New Orleans outpost of music club named for the famed blues musician with a menu loaded with BBQ and southern specialties. Live music and late hours are a big part of the fun. $$$ Bayou Burger Burgers 503 Bourbon St., 529-4256, SportsBarNewOrleans.com. Sports bar in the thick of Bourbon Street scene distinguishes its fare with choices like Crawfish Beignets and Gator Bites. $$ Bourbon House Seafood 144 Bourbon St., 522-0111, BourbonHouse.com. 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. $$$ Bayona World 430 Dauphine St., 525-4455, Bayona.com. Chef Susan Spicer’s nationally acclaimed cuisine is served in this 200-year-old cottage. Ask for a seat on the romantic patio, weather permitting. $$$$$ Brennan’s Louisianian Fare 417 Royal St., 525-9711, Brennansneworleans.com. Chef Slade Rushing’s innovative Cerole menu borrows influences from French and Spanish ancestry with modern updates and distinct seasonal offerings. $$$$ Broussard’s French 819 Conti St., 581-3866, Broussards.com. Creole-French institution also offers beautiful courtyard seating. $$$$

H Cane & Table Gastropub 1113 Decatur St., 581-1112, CaneAndTableNola.com. Open late, this chef-driven rustic colonial cuisine with rum and “proto-Tiki” cocktails make this a fun place to gather. $$ Chartres House Italian 601 Chartres St., 586-8383, ChartresHouse.com. This iconic French Quarter bar serves terrific Mint Juleps and Gin Fizzes in its picturesque courtyard and balcony settings. Also famous for its fried green tomatoes and other local favorite dishes. $$$ Court of Two Sisters Louisianian Fare 613 Royal St., 522-7261, CourtOfTwoSisters.com. The historic environs make for a memorable outdoor dining experience. The famous daily Jazz Brunch buffet and classic Creole dishes sweeten the deal. $$$$$ Criollo Louisianian Fare Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., 681-4444, CriolloNola.com. Next to the famous Carousel Bar in the historic Monteleone Hotel, Criollo represents an amalgam of the various Louisiana cultures, with a contemporary twist. $$$ Crazy Lobster Seafood 500 Port of New Orleans Place, Suite 83, 569-3380, TheCrazyLobster.com. Boiled seafood and festive atmosphere come together at this seafood-centric destination overlooking the Mississippi River. Outdoor seating a plus. $$$

Antoine’s Annex Specialty Foods 513 Royal St., 525-8045, Antoines.com/Antoines-Annex. Serves French pastries, including individual baked Alaskas, ice cream and gelato, as well as panini, salads and coffee. Delivery available.

Creole Cookery Seafood 508 Toulouse St., Suite C110, 524-9632, NewOrleansCreoleCookery.com. Crowdpleasing destination in the French Quarter offers an expansive menu of Creole favorites and specialty cocktails served with New Orleans flair. $$$

BB King’s Blues Club Barbecue 1104 Decatur St., 934-5464, BBKings.com/

Deanie’s Seafood Seafood 841 Iberville St., 581-1316, Deanies.com. 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. Classic Creole dishes, such as redfish on the halfshell, and an Oyster Bar. Its extensive bourbon menu will please aficionados. $$$$ Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse Steakhouse 716 Iberville St., 522-2467, DickieBrennansSteakhouse.com. Nationally recognized steakhouse serves USDA Prime steaks and local seafood. Validated Parking next door. $$$$

H Doris Metropolitan Steakhouse 620 Chartres St., 267-3500, DorisMetropolitan.com. Innovative steakhouse plays with expectations and succeeds with modernist dishes like their Classified Cut and Beetroot Supreme. $$$$ El Gato Negro World 81 French Market Place, 525-9752, ElGatoNegroNola.com. Central Mexican cuisine along with handmuddled mojitos and margaritas made with freshly squeezed juice. A weekend breakfast menu is an additional plus. $$ Galatoire’s Louisianian Fare 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021, Galatoires.com. Friday lunches are a New Orleans tradition at this worldfamous French-Creole grand dame. Tradition counts for everything here, and the crabmeat Sardou is delicious. Note: Jackets required for dinner and all day Sun. $$$$$ Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak Steakhouse

215 Bourbon St., 335-3932, Galatoires33BarAndSteak.com. Steakhouse offshoot of the venerable Creole grande dame offers hand-crafted cocktails and classic steakhouse fare and inspired dishes. Reservations accepted. $$$

H GW Fins Seafood 808 Bienville St., 581-FINS (3467), GWFins.com. 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. $$$$$ House of Blues Louisianian Fare 225 Decatur St., 310-4999, HouseOfBlues.com/ NewOrleans. Good menu complements music in the main room. World-famous Gospel Brunch every Sunday. Patio seating available. $$ Irene’s Cuisine Italian 539 St. Philip St., 529-8881. 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. $$$$ K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen Louisianian Fare 416 Chartres St., 596-2530, ChefPaul. com/KPaul. Paul Prudhomme’s landmark restaurant helped introduce Cajun food to the nation. Lots of seasoning and bountiful offerings, along with reserved seating, make this a destination for locals and tourists alike. $$$$

H Kingfish Seafood 337 Charters St., 5985005, KingfishNewOrleans.com. Regionally inspired seafood dishes with carefully sourced ingredients and southern influence is the focus at this chef-driven French Quarter

establishment. $$$ Le Bayou Seafood 208 Bourbon St., 5254755, LeBayouRestaurant.com. Blackened redfish and Shrimp Ya-Ya are a just a few of the choices at this seafood-centric destination on Bourbon Street. $$$ Muriel’s Jackson Square Italian 801 Chartres St., 568-1885, Muriels.com. Enjoy local classics while dining in the courtyard bar or any other room in this labyrinthine, rumored-to-be-haunted establishment. $$$$ Napoleon House Italian 500 Chartres St., 524-9752, NapoleonHouse.com. Originally built in 1797 as a respite for Napoleon, this family-owned European-style café serves local favorites gumbo, jambalaya and muffulettas. A Sazerac or Pimm’s Cup are perfect accompaniments. $ NOLA Louisianian Fare 534 St. Louis St., 522-6652, EmerilsRestaurants.com/NolaRestaurant. Emeril’s more affordable eatery, featuring cedar-plank-roasted redfish; private dining. $$$$$ Oceana Grill Seafood 739 Conti St., 5256002, OceanaGrill.com. Gumbo, poor boys and barbecue shrimp are served at this kidfriendly seafood destination. $$ Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar and Bistro Gastropub 720 Orleans Ave., 523-1930, OrleansGrapevine.com. Wine is the muse at this bistro, which offers vino by the flight, glass and bottle. A classic menu with an emphasis on local cuisine. $$$

This oasis of a wine bar offers terrific selections by the bottle and glass. Small plates are served as well. $$ Pier 424 Seafood 424 Bourbon St., 309-1574, Pier424SeafoodMarket.com. Seafood-centric restaurant offers long menu of traditional New Orleans fare augmented by unusual twists like “Cajun-Boiled” Lobster. $$$ Port of Call Burgers 838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120, PortOfCallNola.com. 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. $$

H Restaurant R’evolution Italian 777 Bienville St., 553-2277, RevolutionNola. com. An opulent place that combines the local flavors of chef John Folse with the cosmopolitan influence of chef Rick Tramonto. Chef de cuisine Jana Billiot and executive sous chef Gabriel Beard are in charge of day-today operations, which include house-made charcuterie, pastries, pastas and more. $$$$$ Red Fish Grill SEAFOOD 115 Bourbon St., 5981200, RedFishGrill.com. This vibrant, seafoodcentric polished-casual landmark delivers innivative twists on casual New Orleans seasfood, including local favorites BBQ oysters and double chocolate bread pudding. $$$ Rib Room AMERICAN Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, 621 St. Louis St., 529-7046, RibRoomNewOrleans.com. Old World elegance, house classic cocktails and Anthony Spizale’s broad menu of prime rib, stunning

H Patrick’s Bar Vin Gastropub 730 Bienville St., 200-3180, PatricksBarVin.com.

myneworleans.com december 2019 7 9


seafood and on Sundays a jazz brunch. $$$

served in an elegant courtyard. $$

Richard Fiske’s Martini Bar & Restaurant Louisianian Fare 301 Dauphine St., 5860972, RichardFiskes.com. Just a few steps off of Bourbon Street is 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. $$$

The Bombay Club Louisianian Fare Prince Conti Hotel, 830 Conti St., 577-2237, TheBombayClub.com. 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. $$$$

Royal House Louisianian Fare 441 Royal St., 528-2601, RoyalHouseRestaurant.com. 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. $$$ SoBou Louisianian Fare 310 Chartres St., 552-4095, SoBouNola.com. There is something for everyone at this “Modern Creole Saloon.” Decidedly unstuffy with an emphasis on craft cocktails and wines by the glass. Everything from $1 pork cracklins to an extravagant foie gras burger on an accomplished yet eclectic menus. $$

H Tableau Louisianian Fare 616 S. Peter St., 934-3463, TableauFrenchQuarter.com. 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. $$$

H The Bistreaux Louisianian Fare New Orleans Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St., 586-8000, MaisonDupuy.com/dining.html. Dishes ranging from the casual (truffle mac and cheese) to the upscale (tuna tasting trio) are

The Pelican Club AMERICAN 312 Exchange Place, 523-1504, PelicanClub.com. Serves an eclectic mix of hip food, from the seafood “martini” to clay-pot barbecued shrimp and a trio of duck. Three dining rooms available. $$$$$

H Tujague’s Louisianian Fare 823 Decatur St., 525-8676, TujaguesRestaurant.com. 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. $$$$$ Garden District Commander’s Palace Louisianian Fare 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221, CommandersPalace.com. The grande dame is going strong under the auspices of James Beard Award-winner chef Tory McPhail. Jazz Brunch is a great deal. $$$$ District Donuts Sliders Brew AMERICAN 2209 Magazine Street, 570-6945, DonutsAndSliders.com. 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

8 0 december 2019 myneworleans.com

Asian 1601 St. Charles Ave., 302-9716, HoshunRestaurant.com. A wide variety of Asian cuisines, primarily dishes culled from China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. Private dining rooms available. $$

St., 267-9190. & 4301 Clearview Parkway, 885-4845. CaffeCaffe.com Healthy, refreshing meal options, and gourmet coffee and espresso drinks create a tasteful retreat for Metairie diners at a reasonable price. $

H Mr. John’s Steakhouse Steakhouse

Crabby Jack’s Louisianian Fare 428 Jefferson Highway, 833-2722, CrabbyJacksNola.com. Outpost of Jacques-Imo’s. Famous for its fried seafood and poor boys including fried green tomatoes and roasted duck. $

2111 St. Charles Ave., 679-7697, MrJohnsSteakhouse.com. Wood paneling, white tile and USDA Prime Beef served sizzling in butter are the hallmarks of this classic New Orleans steakhouse. $$$ Metairie H Andrea’s Restaurant Italian 3100 19th St., 834-8583, AndreasRestaurant.com. Osso buco and homemade pastas in a setting that’s both elegant and intimate; off-premise catering. $$$ Acme Oyster House Louisianian Fare 3000 Veterans Blvd., 309-4056, AcmeOyster. com. Known as one of the best places to eat oysters. $$ Austin’s Louisianian Fare 5101 W. Esplanade Ave., 888-5533, AustinsNo.com. Mr. Ed’s upscale bistro serves contemporary Creole fare, including seafood and steaks. $$$ Boulevard American Bistro AMERICAN 4241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 889-2301. Classic American cuisine including steaks, chops and more is augmented by regional favorites like Boulevard Oysters at this Metairie bistro. $$$ café B AMERICAN 2700 Metairie Road, 9344700, cafeB.com. Ralph Brennan offers New American bistro fare with a Louisiana twist at this family-friendly neighborhood spot. $$$ Caffe! Caffe! AMERICAN 3547 N. Hullen

Deanie’s Seafood Seafood 1713 Lake Ave., 831-4141, Deanies.com. Louisiana seafood, baked, broiled, boiled and fried, is the name of the game. Try the barbecue shrimp or towering seafood platters. $$$ Don’s Seafood seafood 4801 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 889-1550, DonsSeafoodOnline.com. Metairie outpost of historic local seafood chain that dates from 1934. Features an array of Cajun and seafood classics like their original ‘Jacked Up’ Oysters and seafood platters. Don’t miss their happy hour specials. $$$ Drago’s Louisianian Fare 3232 N. Arnoult Road, 888-9254, DragosRestaurant.com. This favorite specializes in charbroiled oysters, a dish they invented. Great deals on fresh lobster as well. $$$$ Mr. Ed’s Seafood and Italian Restaurant Seafood 1001 Live Oak St., 838-0022, AustinsNo.com. 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. $$

make this a neighborhood favorite. $$

cocktails. $$$

oysters both charbroiled and raw. $$$

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Steakhouse 3633 Veterans Blvd., 888-3600, RuthsChris. com. Filet mignon, creamed spinach and potatoes au gratin are the most popular dishes at this steak institution, and great seafood choices and top-notch desserts. $$$$$

H Liuzza’s Italian 3636 Bienville St., 482-

H Toups’ Meatery Louisianian Fare 845

9120, Liuzzas.com. Classic neighborhood joint serves favorites like the “Frenchuletta,” stuffed artichokes and andouille gumbo. Kid’s menu offered. $$

N. Carrollton Ave., 252-4999, ToupsMeatery. com. Charcuterie, specialty cocktails and an exhaustive list of excellent à la carte sides make this restaurant a carnivore’s delight. $$$

Reginelli’s Pizzeria pizza Reginellis.com. Pizzas, pastas, salads, fat calzones and lofty focaccia sandwiches are at locations all over town. $$

H Mandina’s Louisianian Fare 3800 Canal

Vincent’s Italian Cuisine Italian 4411 Chastant St., 885-2984, Metairie, VicentsItalianCuisine.com. Snug Italian boîte packs them in, yet manages to remain intimate at the same time. The cannelloni is a house specialty. $$$

St., 482-9179, MandinasRestaurant.com. Though the ambiance is more upscale, the food and seafood dishes make dining here a New Orleans experience. $$

Multiple Locations Café du Monde Bakery/Breakfast 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. $

Mid-City

H Crescent City Steaks Steakhouse 1001 N. Broad St., 821-3271, CrescentCitySteaks.com. One of the classic New Orleans steakhouses. Steaks, sides and drinks are what you get. $$$$ Five Happiness Asian Fusion/Pan Asian 3605 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3935, FiveHappiness.com. This longtime Chinese favorite offers up an extensive menu including its beloved mu shu pork and house-baked duck. $$ Gracious Bakery + Café Bakery/Breakfast 1000 S. Jeff Davis Parkway, Suite 100, 301-3709, GraciousBakery.com.Boutique bakery offers small-batch coffee, baked goods, individual desserts and sandwiches on breads made in-house. Catering options available. $

H Katie’s Restaurant and Bar Louisianian Fare 3701 Iberville St., 488-6582, KatiesInMidCity.com. Creative poor boys, local dishes such as gumbo and Sunday brunch

H Mona’s Café World 3901 Banks St., 4827743. Middle Eastern specialties such as baba ganuj, beef or chicken shawarma, falafel and gyros. The lentil soup 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. Vietnamese cuisine meets southern Louisiana in this upscale casual hybrid by chef Michael Gulotta. Mix-and-match pho and an interesting poor boy menu rounds out the appeal. $$$ Parkway Bakery and Tavern AMERICAN 538 Hagan Ave., 482-3047, ParkwayPoorBoys. com. Featured on national TV and having served poor boys to presidents, it stakes a claim to 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 louisianaian fare 900 City Park Ave., 488-1000, RalphsOnThePark. com. A modern interior and contemporary Creole dishes such as City Park salad, turtle soup, barbecue Gulf shrimp and good

CC’s Coffee House Bakery/Breakfast CCsCoffee.com. Coffeehouse specializing in coffee, espresso drinks and pastries. $ Copeland’s Louisianian Fare CopelandsofNewOrleans.com. Al Copeland’s namesake chain includes favorites such as Shrimp Ducky. Popular for lunch. $$ Little Tokyo Asian Fusion/Pan Asian LittleTokyoNola.com. Multiple locations of this popular Japanese sushi and hibachi chain make sure that there’s always a specialty roll within easy reach. $$ Martin Wine Cellar AMERICAN MartinWineCellar.com. Wine by the glass or bottle to go with daily lunch specials, burgers, soups, salads and deli-style sandwiches. $ Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House Seafood MrEdsRestaurants.com/oyster-bar.A seafood lover’s paradise offers an array of favorites like shrimp Creole, crawfish etouffée, blackened redfish and more. A raw bar featuring gulf

H Ruby Slipper Café Bakery/Breakfast TheRubySlipperCafe.net. Homegrown chain specializes in breakfast, lunch and brunch dishes with unique local twists such as bananas Foster French toast and barbecue shrimp and grits. $$ Theo’s Pizza TheosPizza.com. The crackercrisp crust pizzas are complemented by a broad assortment of toppings with local ingredients at cheap prices. $$ Zea’s Rotisserie and Grill AMERICAN ZeaRestaurants.com. Drawing from a wide range of worldly influences, this popular spot serves a variety of grilled items, appetizers, salads, side dishes, seafood, pasta and other entrées. Catering services available. $$$ Riverbend

H Boucherie Louisianian Fare 1506 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-5514, Boucherie-Nola. com. Serving contemporary Southern food with an international angle, chef Nathaniel Zimet offers excellent ingredients presented simply. $$ Brigtsen’s Louisianian Fare 723 Dante St., 861-7610, Brigtsens.com. Chef Frank Brigtsen’s nationally famous Creole cuisine makes this cozy cottage a true foodie destination. $$$$$

HCarrollton Market AMERICAN 8132 Hampson St., 252-9928, CarrolltonMarket.

myneworleans.com december 2019 8 1


com. Modern Southern cuisine manages to be both fun and refined at this tasteful boîte. $$$

menu has been a favorite of locals for years. $$$

as well. $

twists. $$

H Coquette French 2800 Magazine St., 265-

Upper 9th Ward St. Roch Market Louisianian Fare 2381 St. Claude Ave., 615-6541, StRochMarket.com. Historic St. Claude Marketplace with open dining space houses a broad collection of independent eateries including craft cocktails and more. $$

0421, CoquetteNola.com. The food is French in inspiration and technique, with added imagination from the chefs. $$$

Pascal’s Manale Italian 1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877, PascalsManale.com. A neighborhood favorite since 1913 and the place to go for the creation of barbecued shrimp. Its oyster bar serves freshly shucked Louisiana oysters and the Italian specialties and steaks are also solid. $$$$

H Upperline AMERICAN 1413 Upperline St., 891-9822, Upperline.com. Consummate hostess JoAnn Clevenger presents this nationally heralded favorite. The oft-copied fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade originated here. $$$$

Uptown Audubon Clubhouse AMERICAN 6500 Magazine St., 212-5282, AudubonInstitute. org. B, A kid-friendly menu with local tweaks and a casually upscale sandwich and salad menu. $$ Bouligny Tavern Gastropub 3641 Magazine St., 891-1810, BoulignyTavern.com. Carefully curated small plates, inventive cocktails and select wines are the focus of this stylish offshoot of John Harris’s nationally acclaimed Lilette. $$ Camellia Grill AMERICAN 626 S. Carrollton Ave., 309-2679. 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. The family-owned restaurant has shucked oysters and fried seafood since 1919; closed during summer and for all major holidays. $$ Clancy’s Louisianian Fare 6100 Annunciation St., 895-1111, ClancysNewOrleans.com. Their Creole-inspired

8 2 december 2019 myneworleans.com

Dick and Jenny’s Louisianian Fare 4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 894-9880, DickAndJennys. com. A funky cottage serving Louisiana comfort food with flashes of innovation. $$$$

H Gautreau’s Louisianian Fare 1728 Soniat St., 899-7397, GautreausRestaurant. com. Upscale destination serves refined interpretations of classics.

H La Crêpe Nanou French 1410 Robert St., 899-2670, LaCrepeNanou.com. Classic French bistro fare, including terrific moules and decadent dessert crêpes, are served nightly at this neighborhood institution. $$$ La Petite Grocery French 4238 Magazine St., 891-3377, LaPetiteGrocery.com. Elegant dining in a convivial atmosphere. The menu is heavily French-inspired with an emphasis on technique. $$$ Lilette French 3637 Magazine St., 895-1636, LiletteRestaurant.com. 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 Magazine St., 896-7611, MagasinCafe.com. Pho, banh mi and vegetarian options are offered at this attractive and budget-friendly Vietnamese restaurant. Café sua da is available

H Patois World 6078 Laurel St., 895-9441, PatoisNola.com. French food, with influences from across the Mediterranean as well as the American South, all filtered through the talent of chef Aaron Burgau. Reservations recommended. $$$ Pizza Domenica pizza 4933 Magazine St., 301-4978, PizzaDomenica.com. A pizza centric spinoff of the popular Restaurant Domenica brings Neapolitan-style pies to Uptown. Excellent salads and charcuterie boards are offered as well. $$

H Shaya World 4213 Magazine St., 8914213, ShayaRestaurant.com. James Beard Award-winning menu pays homage to Israel at this contemporary Israeli hotspot. $$$

H The Company Burger Burgers 4600 Freret St., 267-0320, TheCompanyBurger.com. Custom-baked butter-brushed buns and freshground beef patties make all the difference at this excellent burger hotspot. Draft beer and craft cocktails round out the appeal. $

H Wayfare AMERICAN 4510 Freret St., 3090069, WayfareNola.com. Creative sandwiches and southern-inspired small plates. $$ Ye Olde College Inn AMERICAN 3000 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3683, CollegeInn1933. com. Serves up classic fare, albeit with a few upscale dishes peppering the menu. $$$ Vincent’s Italian Cuisine Italian 7839 St. Charles Ave., 866-9313, VicentsItalianCuisine. com. 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., 5238995, LucysRetiredSurfers.com. Island-themed 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 into the wee hours. $

The Delachaise Gastropub 3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858, TheDelaichaise.com. Cuisine If you feel that a restaurant has been elevated to the standards of the libations is the draw at this lively wine bar and gastropub. Food misplaced, please email Managing Editor is grounded in French bistro fare with eclectic Ashley McLellan at Ashley@MyNewOrleans.com


women OF INFLUENCE

Are you a leader in your field? Highlight your impact in our community and build your personal brand as an influential leader in New Orleans Magazine’s July 2020 edition For more information on our Women of Influence special section, contact: Kate Henry 504.830.7216 Kate@MyNewOrleans.com

myneworleans.com december 2019 8 3


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Aucoin Hart 1525 Metairie Rd., Metairie 504-834-9999 AucoinHart.com

Chateau Drugs & Gifts 3544 W. Esplanade Ave. S., Metairie 504-889-2300 ChateauDrugsRx.com

Beautiful in more ways than one. This holiday, find classic diamond jewelry hand-crafted by Aucoin Hart Jewelers on Metairie Road.

This Michael Aram, Palm Menorah is the perfect piece. The warm antique gold finish and the intricate sculpted textures exude comfortable luxury and graciousness. $425.

Fleur D'Orleans 818 Chartres 504-475-5254 FleurDOrleans.com

Home Malone 629 N Carrollton Ave., Mid-City 504-324-8352 4610 Magazine St., Uptown 504-766-6148 HomeMaloneNola.com

Dress up the season with sterling silver cuff links. $160.

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NOLA License Plate Key Holder: $28. Store your keys in a NOLA way! License plate numbers and letters spell out NOLA on this 7� x 6� key holder with 4 cup hooks. Colors and design may vary. Made in New Orleans.


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Jaci Blue 2111 Magazine St., New Orleans 504-603-2929 JaciBlue.com

Martin Wine 3827 Baronne St., New Orleans 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie MartinWine.com

Love Swimming 5221 S. Front St., New Orleans 504-891-4662 LoveSwimming.com

Standout this holiday, in gold shimmering metallic sparkles. This tie-neck dress is ideal for dinner nights, holiday parties, or really anything New Orleans. $156 sizes 0X-3X.

Give the gift that says southern hospitality with a NOLA gourmet food basket, featuring local goods and our special New Orleans labeled wine. NOLA Treats Basket, $59.99.

This year surprise your children with an experience that will last a lifetime. Give your children the gift of swimming. Love Swimming teaches students six months and up in our heated, indoor pools. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Perlis 6070 Magazine St., New Orleans 600 Decatur, French Quarter 1281 N Causeway Blvd., Mandeville 8366 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge Perlis.com

Queork 838 Chartres St., New Orleans 504-481-4910 3005 Magazine St., New Orleans 504-388-6803 Queork.com

Southern Refinishing 708 Barataria Blvd., Marrero 504-348-1770 SouthernRefinishing.com

The 24k Gold Plated CloisonnĂŠ Ornaments by Kitty Keller are the perfect holiday gift that lasts a lifetime. Handcrafted, custom made and shatterproof with a keepsafe gift box included.

Cork Watch, for him or her. Unisex cork watches, with Japanese movement in the choice of natural or dark brown cork. Awesome gift box in cork included. Cork bands are water and sweat resistant and easily cleaned with a damp cloth. $89.

Give a gift card to Southern Refishing this holiday season. With the refinishing/ restoration process, your worn out fixtures and tile can be restored to their original luster in less than a day. You can even change the color of your features and tile to have the bathroom of your dreams.


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A. Renee Boutique 824 Chartres St., New Orleans 504-418-1448 AReneeBoutique.com Fun and Sassy style at A. Renee Boutique: Hand-made pre-tied bow-ties by local designer Linda Fried with feather details; Kent Stetson Handbags, made with kitschy details or crystals and custommade pet bags, a unique holiday gift and conversation piece.

Bleu Blow Dry 5228 Magazine St., New Orleans 504.325.5625 701 Metairie Rd. Ste.112-2A, Metairie 504.309.5999 BLEUaBlowdryBar.com Give the gift of fabulous Hair and Makeup this Holiday Season. BLEU Gift Cards are money to “blow” but definitely not wasted. Can be purchased for any monetary amount desired and applied towards the purchase of services, products and even gratuity.

8 6 december 2019 myneworleans.com

Cristy Cali 504-407-5041 CristyCali.com Queen of Hearts Toggle Bracelet and Queen of Hearts Ring. The secret message behind this piece is to treasure your heart, follow your heart, protect your heart and respect your heart. We are all royalty in our own lives. Remember to be true to yourself and love yourself, because without self love, you cannot love others unconditionally.

Luna Press LunaPress.com Lonely Voyagers. Images by Simon Blake, text by Dalt Wonk. A beautiful hardcover book by local artists. $30. “Word and image combine seamlessly to bring to life a fantastic world. An alluring journey. A beautiful sense of bewilderment.” — David Gordon Green

Konnie's Gift Depot 859 Brownswitch Road, Slidell In the Country Club Plaza 985-643-8000

Historic New Orleans Collection 520 Royal St. New Orleans 504-598-7147 hnoc.org/shop

New for The Holidays...Yankee’s “Scenterpiece” flameless, 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 10 holiday fragrances as well as 30 everyday fragrances. Featured is the new “Frosted Tree” edition with images of snow-covered trees. This unit includes a timer. Several different styles are available including additional units with LED lights as well as 3,6 and 9 hour timers for worry free operation.

The handcrafted oyster trees at The Shop at The Collection add a decidedly local twist to holiday décor, and are charming enough to be enjoyed all year long. Multiple sizes and styles. $75–$200. (shipping not available for oyster trees)


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Maple Street Patisserie 7638 Maple St. New Orleans, LA 504-304-1526 Maple Street Patisserie Wholesale Harahan, LA 504-252-9728 Bring only the best to the table this holiday season. Your family and friends will taste the difference when you have Ziggy Cichowski, our Master Pastry Chef-Master Baker, baking his European Pastries, Breads and Cakes. See why Maple Street Patisserie is voted best bakery in New Orleans year after year!

Seven Three Distilling Co. 301 N. Claiborne Ave., New Orleans 504-265-8545 SevenThreeDistilling.com For the spirit enthusiast in your family, Seven Three Distilling Co. has everything from vodka and gin to whiskey and rum. Stop by their Claiborne Avenue facility for apparel, home bar supplies, and of course, bottles.

Louisiana Children's Museum 15 Henry Thomas Dr., New Orleans 504-523-1357 lcm.org

Auraluz 4408 shores Dr., Metairie 504-888-3313 ShopAuraluz.com

An LCM membership makes a wonderful gift! Give an entire year of learning, exploration and so much more! Family memberships available from $100-$225 per year.

LAMPE BERGER ... the perfect gift! It's both decorative and functional. Made in France for over 120 years, each Lampe Berger cleanses, purifies and fragrances the air with over 50 fragrances to choose from. All available at AURALUZ.

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Beau Rivage

Holiday Happenings

B

y now, you’ve probably heard it played in a store or restaurant “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Surely you’ve seen kids jingle-belling and TV commercials telling you to be of good cheer. And while holiday songs fill the airwaves, twinkling lights have filled local thoroughfares, windows and roofs. The holiday spirit is everywhere, and it’s easy to get in on the fun along the Gulf Coast this year. With concerts, plays, tours, brunches, dinners, private parties and community celebrations happening daily across December, there are tons of ways to spend time with your nearest and dearest this holiday season. Consider photos with Santa, hosting a party at an exquisite event space, or listening to carolers and musicians as they spread cheer and good will. The following guide to all holiday happenings – from entertainment and dining, to home improvement, accommodations, and giving – will help you generate ideas and plans for celebrating the season and making lasting memories with those you love.

Winter Entertainment Haunted History Tours is one of the only tour companies open throughout the holiday season – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Get your haunt on throughout the holidays with the tour company that the Travel Channel has recommended as “The #1 Tours in New Orleans...a must do!” From the daily cemetery tours to the nightly Ghost & Legends Tour, these are the tours you’ve heard about. From walking tours to bus tours, Haunted History has it all with tours in the French Quarter, Garden District, and other historic New Orleans neighborhoods. This is the company that literally wrote the 8 8 december 2019 myneworleans.com

book on New Orleans haunts – New Orleans Ghosts, Voodoo & Vampires has become a local best seller. If you’re looking for something special to do throughout the holidays, here’s an opportunity to find out why New Orleans is considered to be the most haunted city in North America. For more information and to book your tour, visit HauntedHistoryTours.com or call 504-861-2727. Across the Gulf South, the holidays have become synonymous with Beau Rivage Resort & Casino and its whimsical winter wonderland, exquisite shopping, holiday entertainment and visits from Santa. On Sunday, December 8, Santa hosts an exclusive Christmas brunch at acclaimed steakhouse BR Prime. Families make holiday memories and enjoy an upscale menu, strolling characters, keepsake gift and commemorative photo with Santa. Following brunch, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Ballet Theatre graces the stage of Beau Rivage Theatre for its 10th annual presentation of The Nutcracker Ballet for two shows on December 8 at 3 and 7 p.m. December 10-14, Beau Rivage hosts its annual Holiday Open House, the perfect time to shop for unique gifts from artisans and vendors from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sounds of the season will echo through the atrium December 18-20 as live performances by local choral groups greet visitors from 5 to 6 p.m. nightly. Christmas in the Air takes place December 14-27 and features a 26-person cast of synchronized, high-kicking, Rockette-style dancers, world-class singers, veteran TV and film actors, and special appearances from Santa and his pals. For more information, call 888-567-6667 or visit BeauRivage.com.


sponsored This holiday season, English Turn offers the perfect backdrop for a winter gathering of friends, family, or employees. At the center of this luxury golf and residential community sits a magnificent, 43,000-sq. ft. clubhouse that recalls the grace and grandeur of one of Louisiana’s legendary plantation homes. Surrounded by romantic verandas and an expanse of green lush lawns and flowering gardens, the clubhouse offers a spectacular location for your special event. Consider gifting an English Turn membership to your family this year, and enjoy access to the community’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Par 72 Championship Golf Course, where every hole offers an individual personality among meandering lakes that provide quiet and seclusion from the city. English Turn also offers its members an expansive, luxurious pool and grill, tennis and fitness facilities, and a variety of dining options. Experience all English Turn has to offer. For more information, visit EnglishTurnGolf.com or call 504-392-2200. Delta Festival Ballet presents The Nutcracker with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Saturday, December 21, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 22, at 2 p.m. With international guest stars, outstanding local professionals and a youth corps of over 100 young dancers from the Greater New Orleans Area, Delta Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker is the show to see this holiday season. Bringing holiday magic to New Orleans for 38 years, the production is helmed by Artistic Directors, Joseph and Maria Giacobbe, assisted by Ballet Master Richard Rholdon. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Glenn Langdon, will accompany the performances. Artists include Denise Parungao, Joseph Phillips, Janessa Touchet, Romel Frometta, Taela Graff, Donovan Davis and Aaron Wiggins. The role of Clara will be danced by Caroline Fernandez and Izabella De Jesus and Fritz by Clay Kinler. Tickets are on sale now at DeltaFestivalBallet.com and Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. Celebrate the holidays with family and friends this season in the French Quarter’s most iconic location for theater and entertainment, Le Petit Theatre. Established in 1916, the theatre’s legacy continues with exciting productions running year-round just steps from Jackson Square. Running December 6-23 is the holiday favorite A Christmas Carol. Miserly and menacing moneylender Ebeneezer Scrooge learns lessons in love, generosity, and redemption when he is visited by a host of spirits on Christmas Eve. Filled with magic, ghosts, and holiday cheer, Le Petit’s second-annual production of Charles Dickens’ heartwarming Victorian classic features 20 young artists from Le Petit’s Young Conservatory Program and is directed by Maxwell Williams. Single tickets are now on sale for all performances. If you are a current season subscriber, please contact the box office at 504-522-2081 to receive your special subscriber discount rate. Le Petite Theatre is located at 616 St. Peter Street. For tickets and information, visit LePetitTheatre.com or call the box office at 504-522-2081 ext. 1. Music is integral to holiday season celebrations, and there’s no better way to experience the music of the season than with a full-scale symphonic orchestra featuring the state’s most accomplished and talented musicians. This month, enjoy the many seasonal concerts of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). The season begins with Yuletide Celebrations featuring local student choirs on December 5 at Kenner’s Pontchartrain Center, December 6 at Hammond’s Columbia Theatre, and December 8 at Slidell’s Municipal Auditorium. On December 14, the LPO will host its Holiday Spectacular concert with help from the 610 Stompers and other local guest artists at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans. myneworleans.com december 2019 8 9


sponsored As Christmas nears, the LPO will perform two Baroque Christmas concerts, which include classical holiday selections such as excerpts from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah. Experience Baroque Christmas on December 19 at the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans and on December 20 at First Baptist Church in Covington. Consider giving the gift of music this holiday season – for gift certificates, subscriptions, tickets, and information, visit LPOmusic.com. All eyes will be on the skies this December 7, as Santa and his Elves parachute into Breaux Bridge for the Breaux Bridge Community Christmas Celebration. The celebration begins at Breaux Bridge Junior High School football field, which is the “Drop Zone” for the team from the North Pole as well as a revered group of military jumpers from all branches of the U.S. military. In Veteran’s Park, music and caroling commence along with a special military ceremony honoring those who sacrifice so much for the country’s freedom. Papa Noel makes an appearance, too, and children from St. Martin Parish will perform a “Night Before Christmas” play. The celebration culminates with the Lighting of The Biggest Christmas Tree in Breaux Bridge. The city will be in full décor and filled with Christmas spirit. Share this fun and memorable day with your family and friends. For more information, visit TecheCenterfortheArts.com. This winter, soak in a bit of Louisiana history with a visit to beautiful St. Joseph Plantation, where you can walk through time and enjoy a glimpse into the lives of the fascinating people who have called it home. St. Joseph Plantation provides an awe-inspiring setting for holiday parties, weddings, and other private events. Thanks to its historic allure, scenes from All The King’s Men, Skeleton Key, 12 Years a Slave, Underground, Queen Sugar, the remake of Roots, and four-time Oscar nominee Mudbound were filmed at St. Joseph Plantation.

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Commander’s Palace


sponsored Tour the grounds and learn about the Priestly family and grandson H. H. Richardson, who was born at St. Joseph and became one of America’s most important architects of the 19th century. Explore the story of Valcour Aime, known as “The Louis XIV of Louisiana,” and his two daughters, and learn about the slaves that lived and worked here. A thriving sugarcane plantation, St. Joseph also offers insight into the region’s significant sugarcane industry. Visit StJosephPlantation.com or call 225-265-4078 for information on tours and private events. Happy holidays from your Scarlet Pearl family! Visit the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to shop at Frankly My Dear Boutique​for all of your holiday gifts, including Fendi, Pandora, and many more lavish brands. Skip the dishes, and dine with Scarlet Pearl on Christmas Day with pan seared filet of beef, honey glazed ham, and more. Earn entries now to win a 2020 Mercedes CLA or Free Slot Play on Monday, December 30 at 10 p.m. Ring in the New Year with a live performance from Storyville Stompers Brass Band, a walking jazz band, on New Year’s Eve from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. ​ Treat yourself to an ultimate getaway​at Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, voted Best Favorite Casino Resort to Vacation At by Casino Player magazine. With breathtaking views, superior service, and bathrooms that feel more like a spa, Scarlet Pearl has taken the definition of luxury into the clouds. Book your stay at ScarletPearlCasino.com or call 888-BOOK-SPC.

Eat, Drink, & Be Merry: Dining Consistently top rated, downtown brunch staple Red Gravy welcomes the holiday season with its acclaimed brunch and lunch fare in addition to a special, limited-seating dinner opportunity.

On December 19, Red Gravy will host the third installment of its Third-Thursday Wine Dinners, and this dinner coincides with the restaurant’s annual Feast of the Seven Fishes. An Italian tradition, Feast of the Seven Fishes is typically celebrated on Christmas Eve and features a multi-course feast highlighting the bounty of the sea with fin fish, shellfish, mollusks and/or squid. According to owner Roseann Melisi Rostoker, the family feast would traditionally begin as early as 6 p.m. and continue until the family gathered for midnight mass. Red Gravy’s Feast of the Seven Fishes wine dinner will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Seating is limited to 35, and tickets are $90, all inclusive. For information and reservations, visit RedGravyCafe.com or call Chef Roe at 504-561-8844. The holidays are an especially magical time to dine at Commander’s Palace. Holiday carolers provide added merriment to this month’s lunches, December 11-24, and lunch also provides an opportunity to add to your Commander’s jingle bell collection with a complimentary bell, December 2nd through December 23rd. At Commander’s, Executive Chef Tory McPhail, along with the support of an experienced team of sous chefs, serves haute Creole dishes that continue to delight the discerning locals and visitors of New Orleans. The restaurant is known as a place where memories are made. Commander’s Palace was named The South’s Best Restaurant 2019 by Southern Living Magazine. Enjoy dinner seven days a week, lunch Monday through Friday, and jazz brunch on the weekends. Planning a winter dinner party? Commander’s Palace makes entertaining easy. The restaurant’s experienced party planners will work with you to tailor every aspect of the event to your liking. For reservations and more, visit CommandersPalace.com.

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sponsored Located at 701 S. Peters Street in the Warehouse District, Briquette is a celebrated seafood destination from restaurateur 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 a variety of fresh fish and seafood, including whole grilled fish. Other flavorful menu items include aged beef, pastas, pork, and more. The bar at Briquette features a curated wine list to accompany the menu along with specialty, hand-crafted cocktails with fresh local ingredients. Start a new family tradition this holiday season with a delicious food shared together at Briquette. Briquette is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Dinner hours are 5 p.m. ‘til daily with happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information and reservations, visit Briquette online at Briquette-nola.com or on Facebook. 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 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 Monday-Saturday, 5:00pm ‘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 available for the holiday season. For information and reservations, call 504-888-5533. Visit Austin’s online at MrEdsRestaurants.com. McIntyre also oversees The Pearl Room event venue in Harahan, Mr. Ed’s Seafood & Italian Restaurant, and Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House, including his newest location at 821 Iberville Street in the French Quarter. Holiday charm and delicious flavors abound at Ralph Brennan restaurants Ralph’s on the Park, Red Fish Grill, and Brennan’s this month. Ralph’s on the Park is turning Sweet 16 – to celebrate, guests in December will receive a Sweet 16 “sweet-stakes” scratch-off card with a grand prize of a private, seated wine dinner for 16. The 16-week sweet-inspired celebration will continue into the new year with a $16 two-course lunch menu, birthday bubbles, a 16-night charitable giving campaign and more. Visit RalphsonthePark.com for details. Gather your tribe and tap into your creative side with Holiday Gingerbread House Team Building Workshops at Red Fish Grill. Group workshops are available December 2-20, Sunday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Workshops run $38 per person and include one gingerbread house, decorative candy, jingle bell, and a cocktail, beer or wine. Twoand three-course packages are available. Call 504-539-5508 for details. Visit Brennan’s on December 20th for Naughty or Nice Happy Hour. From 2 to 7 p.m., the Roost Bar & Courtyard will play host to a festive happy hour with falling snow, “Home for the Holidays” cocktails, and deeply discounted bottles of bubbly. Cozy up to the fireplace or enjoy crisp evenings in the courtyard this season at Effervescence. Taste bubbles from around the world, with flights available by the full or half glass. Every Wednesday, Effervescence pops open a magnum of Champagne – double the excuse to celebrate midweek. Discover the deeper side of bubbles with sparkling red wine, a special flight only available this holiday season. The full bar also serves cocktails, beer, and spirits. The Effervescence bites menu features items made from fresh and local ingredients prepared by the Michelintrained chef team. Highlights include a Gulf Seafood Plateau, Caviar 9 2 december 2019 myneworleans.com

Service, Dry-Aged Louisiana Wagyu, and Pommes Frites. Effervescence will ring in 2020 with their Roaring Twenties New Year’s Eve celebration. The extravaganza will include a retro-classic dinner, caviar, live music and, of course, Champagne. For holiday hours, New Year’s Eve details, menus, and event bookings, visit NolaBubbles.com. Limited reservations are available on OpenTable. For over 100 years, Parkway Bakery and Tavern has been a staple provider of delicious, locally produced foods, and today, Parkway is known as the go-to place for New Orleans’s signature sandwich – the poor boy. Locally owned since 1911, Parkway has survived major floods and economic shifts, including the Great Depression. This holiday season, make it a yearly tradition to dine with friends and family at one of New Orleans’s most famous and historical sandwich shops. With over 25 different poor boys, ranging from seafood, sausage, turkey and alligator to their famous slow-cooked roast beef and the original French fry poor boy, there’s a sandwich for any appetite. Situated at the corner of Hagan & Toulouse in Mid-City, right on Bayou St. John, Parkway’s poor boys and ambiance create a dining experience unlike any other. Decorated with memorabilia from Parkway’s early days, the historical neighborhood atmosphere is great for reminiscing with friends and family. Parkway is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and closed on Tuesdays. Call-in orders are now taken with pick-up available at a special call-in kitchen window (504-482-3047). For more information, visit ParkwayPoorboys.com. During the holidays, stop by any of the Tropical Isles, Home of the Hand Grenade®, for New Orleans’ Most Powerful Drink® and the Hand Grenade® Martini. It’s the #1 cocktail in the French Quarter. Experience Trop-Rock, Cajun/Zydeco, Traditional Country, Blues and booze with Tropical Isle’s nightly entertainment, the best on Bourbon. State-of-theart sound systems plus great live bands will keep you dancing the night away. Also, enjoy your favorite sporting events with big screen TVs. Treat yourself to a Hand Grenade® at all locations: Little Tropical Isle, Tropical Isle Original, Tropical Isle’s Bayou Club with authentic Zydeco/Cajun music, Tropical Isle Bourbon with the best balcony on the street, and Top of the Trop. Delight in the all new Bourbon Street Honky Tonk with traditional country music mixed with soul-shaking blues. For more on Tropical Isle, visit TropicalIsle.com. For a quiet escape with a casual fine dining atmosphere, visit The Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar & Bistro right off of Bourbon. Enjoy more than 350 varieties of wine by the bottle and over 60 by the glass. Bacon Happy Hour runs 4 – 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight. Visit OrleansGrapevine.com.

Home for the Holidays: Home Improvement Based in New Orleans and licensed by Louisiana, Mississippi, and the International Society of Arboriculture to care for your trees, Benton Tree Service covers both residential and commercial work in Greater New Orleans. Owner Tim Benton, a New Orleans native, has over 20 years of experience in arboriculture and has been operating Benton Tree Service for over 12 years. Benton Tree Service can help you with fine pruning of trees and large hedges, removal of hazardous or declining trees, root pruning and root barrier installation, and protection of your trees from construction or other possible stresses. The company does not apply any harmful or petroleum-based chemicals. All of its remediation techniques are natural and organic-based, and Benton Tree Service enjoys great success with these practices. Benton Tree Service invites you to compare its Google rating with your current tree care provider. For more information or to schedule a free estimate, visit BentonTreeService.com or call 504-896-0820.


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Travel & Accommodations The Alder Hotel Uptown is a true neighborhood gem accommodating visiting family and friends of Uptown residents, Tulane & Loyola Universities, and Ochsner Baptist Hospital. Located off of Napoleon Avenue between St. Charles & Claiborne, this midcentury style hotel features 90 spacious guest rooms with balconies and modern amenities, a serene courtyard with swimming pool, complimentary continental breakfast, and parking onsite. Once a quiet neighborhood thoroughfare, nearby Freret Street has undergone a massive revival, becoming a new food and entertainment destination. Just two blocks from the Alder Hotel, this lively area provides much to see and do. Enjoy the Deep South cuisine of High Hat Café or true Neapolitan-style pizza at Ancora. Listen to music at the hip music venue, Gasa Gasa, or relax with a cocktail at James Beard award-winning bar, Cure. Formerly known as the Bristow Tower, this historic building was once home to doctors and nurses of the Southern Baptist Hospital. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places and graciously restored in 2017, the Alder Hotel provides the style and convenience sought by modern travelers. Visit AlderHotel.com or call 504-207-4600 for more information.

breaks the communication barriers with a new and different way to share a “thank you” while protecting the anonymity of both the donor and patient. Blood brought to a patient’s room includes a green heart hanging from the bag along with a card containing simple instructions on accessing the site. “To date, we’ve already received several messages of thanks from patients,” says Paul Adams, Public Relations Manager for The Blood Center. “Knowing how or when your blood was used can be extremely gratifying and hopefully encourages others to give as well.” If you would like to schedule a blood drive with your business, school, community or religious organization, please call The Blood Center at 504-592-1596, or visit TheBloodCenter.org. Individual donors may also visit website to find the center most convenient to them. •

Effervescence

Holiday Giving The Blood Center and St. Tammany Parish are excited to introduce Thank the Donor, a program that connects patients confidentially with their blood donor. Through ThanktheDonor.org, the technology allows patients, their family, or friends to send a note, photo or video to their donor using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The program

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Neurology

O

ur brains communicate and process so much more than just our thoughts – they define how we feel, how we move and how we operate as people with our own unique personalities. A complex and integral component of the body, the brain and entire nervous system may require highly specialized care in the event of a disease, injury, or disorder. New Orleans is home to a number of neurologists, neurosurgeons, and other specialized healthcare providers who work to care for patients experiencing any number of brain problems such as tumors, seizures, migraines, aneurysm, stroke and more. There are even pediatric specialists trained specifically to work with the delicate and still-developing brains of children. From hospital centers to private practice physicians and surgeons, the following providers may offer you or your loved one the help needed in the event of a brain-related concern. Children’s Hospital New Orleans’ Neurosciences Center serves patients and families from across Louisiana in a new, fully comprehensive center exclusively dedicated to serving children with a wide range of pediatric neurological diseases or disorders. Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive neurologic care for all kids and only kids with eight pediatric-trained neurologists, two pediatric trained neurosurgeons, and specialized pediatric providers in Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine, Neuropsychology, as well as other specialists who work collectively to care for patients. Children’s Hospital has invested in innovative pediatric neuroscience programs that include a specialty clinic for rapidly diagnosing patients with seizures. Children’s was the first in Louisiana to welcome the ROSA robotic device to its neurosurgery department, providing minimally invasive stereotactic intracranial EEG monitoring for epilepsy surgery and delivering life-changing results for patients. The neurosciences clinic also provides multidisciplinary care for patients with cerebral palsy, peripheral nerve and muscle diseases, and intensive rehabilitation for patients with brain and spinal cord injuries. Additionally, Children’s is the only center in the state to provide comprehensive headache management by two board-certified headache neurologists. Learn more at CHNola.org. 9 4 december 2019 myneworleans.com

The brain is an amazing machine, comprised of over a billion neurons, each at work full time and especially in New Orleans, arguably the most stimulating city on earth. Culicchia Neurological help not only your neurons connect, but helps you reconnect with who you are. For years, they’ve brought new advancements and understanding to their patients - people come from all around the region seeking care from award-winning, fellowship-trained specialists and sub-specialists. The Culicchia team work together to diagnose and treat disorders such as brain tumors, aneurysm, stroke, epilepsy, migraines and spinal disorders. Specialties include Neurosurgery, Neurology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Interventional Pain Management. Their affiliate, CNC Hearing and Balance Center, provides the latest in hearing healthcare.  With clinics in Marrero, Uptown New Orleans, Slidell and Mandeville, Culicchia’s function is to improve yours. Call 504-340-6976 for an appointment or visit CulicchiaNeuro.com or CNCHearing.com. Tulane University School of Medicine’s Center for Clinical Neurosciences is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient-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 that can be reached at 504-988-5561. Visit online at TulaneNeurosciences.com. •


streetcar by errol laborde

The Secret One Christmas season as a kid,

I took it on myself to contain a terrible secret, as though I was sparing the world from ever finding out. But the moment of truth was coming. A thing to do during the season was to take a family ride up Canal Street, first passing the Centenni house in Mid-City, a mansion 1 1 2 december 2019

known for its display of lights and remembered most notably for a Santa figure riding an animated life-sized plastic elephant. Then the ride would continue toward the business district. This is where I cringed because each night Santa himself would be sitting on the balcony of the D.H. Holmes department store waving to his

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global constituency. But I was dealing with the harsh reality: someone, and I don’t remember who, but it might have been another kid in the school yard, told me that Santa had been shot. Put bluntly, there had been a pistol at the Pole. Yet, as I slowly glanced toward the balcony I was thrilled, because Clause was there

looking fully fit. And if there were any blood stains on his red coat it was impossible to tell. Somehow the news about the attempted Santacide had escaped the world’s press and was known only to my informant. The Arctic’s first responders must have acted quickly. With the trauma put aside, I could better appreciate the next stop, which was at the hotel then known as the Roosevelt, which would be changed to the Fairmont and then eventually back to the Roosevelt. The block-long lobby that stretched between the hotel’s entrances at University Place and Baronne was converted into a winter wonderland, with a fluffy canopy of show-like cotton lining the ceiling. For New Orleanians, walking through the Roosevelt lobby was our White Christmas. From there, the journey continued down Baronne Street, past the Jesuit church, towards the Sears department store, where a five-stories-high plywood Santa, carrying a package labeled “from Sears,” fronted the building. Now, it was contrary to all that we had been taught that Claus’ stash actually came from Sears, but back then it might have been believable, especially for kids who wanted washers and dryers. That building still stands, now as a hotel, but the plywood St. Nick is long gone. The schoolyard gossiper had it wrong: Neither Sears nor D.H. Holmes would survive, but Santa lives. Just be careful about what people tell you.

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ARTHUR NEAD Illustration


Profile for Renaissance Publishing

New Orleans Magazine December 2019  

New Orleans Magazine December 2019