/ VOLUME 55 / NUMBER 3
Best of Dining Food Lovers Guide to Top Restaurants, Bars, Take-out and More
BY JAY FORMAN,
AND ROBERT PEYTON
STANDARDS 5 6 8
FROM THE EDITOR
56 TRAVEL Coastal Holiday
66 CHEERS Christmas Cheer
58 GROWING PAINS Holiday Hurricane
68 DINING GUIDE Listings from Around the City
Eating through 2020 Top Things to Try, Do and Read THE DISH
News from NOLA Kitchens
10 BAR TAB Best in Bars, Drinks and More
The Nice List A Secret Visit
16 PERSONA Chef Meg Bickford 18
20 VINTAGE 1952
ON THE COVER
pepperoni pizza, garlic knots at Pizza Delicious; Roasted Duck, Dirty Rice, Cherry Sauce at Brigtsen’s; Green Tea Mille Crepe Cake Slice, the Beef/Onion Triangle dumplings, Mini Steamed Buns, Cucumber Salad at Wishing Town Bakery, p. 22 Photographed by Sam Hanna
60 HOME ADVICE Niki Epstein
96 STREETCAR An Old Acquaintance
62 TABLE TALK Stoked + Smoked 64 NOSH Holiday Love
DIAL 12, D1
WYES gets you in the holiday spirit with festive programming all month long! Enjoy local and national specials — "Christmas in New Orleans," "Hanukkah: A Festival of Delights," "Call the Midwife Holiday Special,” “Creole Christmas,” “Jewish New Orleans” and many more!
FROM THE EDITOR EDITORIAL
Executive Editor Errol Laborde Editor Ashley McLellan Creative Director Tiffani Reding Amedeo Digital Media Editor Kelly Massicot Contributing Writers Toya Boudy, Cheré Coen, Lee Cutrone, Fritz Esker, Jay Forman, John Kemp, Misty Mioltio, Liz Scott Monaghan, Andy Myer, Elizabeth Pearce, Eve Crawford Peyton, Chris Rose ADVERTISING
Advertising Sales Manager Kate Henry Kate@MyNewOrleans.com Senior Account Executives Nancy Dessens, Meggie Schmidt, Rachel Webber
RENAISSANCE PUBLISHING MARKETING
Coordinator Abbie Dugruise PRODUCTION
Manager Emily Andras Designer Rosa Balaguer CIRCULATION
Subscriptions Jessica Armand Distribution John Holzer ADMINISTRATION
Office Manager Mallary Wolfe Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne
WYES DIAL 12 STAFF (504) 486-5511
Executive Editor Aislinn Hinyup Associate Editor Robin Cooper Art Director Tiffani R. Amedeo NEW ORLEANS MAGAZINE
Printed in USA A Publication of Renaissance Publishing 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 MyNewOrleans.com
n New Orleans, we have a special relationship with food and dining (and, of course, imbibing). This year, due to COVID-19, our love affair with food took on especially new meaning, as many of us turned to comfort food, take-out and special deliveries of meals, kits, mixers and more. New Orleanians watched closely as restaurants, bars and marketplaces transformed their businesses to incorporate a new way to bring their best to hungry and thirsty customers. We celebrated each re-opening, each new take-out and delivery menu and every opportunity to support our favorite local places. This is perhaps New Orleans Magazine’s biggest food issue to date. From our regular food and drink columns to our big Best of Dining feature, we pay tribute to more than 50 of the best people, places and hospitality purveyors that have kept us eating and drinking our way through the pandemic. As 2020 comes to a close, we are excited to see more of Have something you want to share with our favorites returning to business (somewhat) as usual, us? Email ashley@ as well as plenty of new places to try and flavors to sample. myneworleans.com. It is important to remember that there is still a lot of work to do, as we safely move from the darkness of the quarantine days through each phase of re-opening. We thank all of the hardworking restaurateurs, waitstaff, delivery drivers, chefs, bartenders and everyone else behind the scenes. Support your local favorites. Order take-out when you can. Try something new. We will get through this together. And we will be well fed along the way.
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 2020 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.
She and Poydras have flown the coop! You can find them, and answers to your questions, monthly at MyNewOrleans.com/Julia
THERESA CASSAGNE PHOTO
BY FR ITZ E SKE R
1 CHIHULY’S ROSE CRYSTAL TOWER IN THE BOTANICAL GARDEN
For one last month, world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower will be on display in front of City Park’s Botanical Garden. Rose Crystal Tower stands 22 feet tall and is composed of Polyvitro and steel. The tower will be taken down after New Year’s Day, so go check it out!
CELEBRATION IN THE OAKS DRIVING TOUR
Celebration in the Oaks has become one of the Crescent City’s most cherished holiday traditions. Now in its 34th year, its walking tour will be unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, City Park will be bringing back the driving tour. Event organizers say there will still be more than a million lights for visitors to enjoy. Walking tour mainstays like Mister Bingle, the Who Dat Tree, the pirate ship, Flamingo Island, Buggin’ Out, and more will all be featured on the driving tour. A new exhibit saluting our medical personnel will debut this year. The route is expected to take 30 minutes on less crowded nights and 45-50 minutes on high-traffic nights. The driving tour will be from Nov. 26 through Jan. 3, and will be closed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The route will take visitors 2.25 miles around City Park with entrance on Friedrichs Avenue and exit on Dreyfous Avenue. Proceeds from the event will go towards the maintenance, care and beautification of City Park. Every car will need a ticket purchased in advance at NewOrleansCityPark.com/Celebration-In-The-Oaks.
2 THE PRYTANIA THEATRES AT CANAL PLACE
The Canal Place hosted two cinemas since 1988: an art house venue from 1988-2011 and a dine-in theater from 2012-19. Local cinephiles will be happy to hear the Brunet family, owners of the Prytania Theatre in Uptown, has opened a second location for the Prytania at Canal Place. Classics, first-run films, local movies, and family films will play there.
LIVE MUSIC IS BACK!
As of press time, we do not have info on any scheduled live music events in December. However, limited live music is allowed in phase 3.2, so be sure to check out the websites of your favorite venues for updates.
A LONG WAY FROM THE STRAWBERRY PATCH: THE LIFE OF LEAH CHASE
Leah Chase, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 96, remained active until the end of her life. One of her final projects was a collaboration with her biographer, Carol Allen, on a book for middle schoolers titled “A Long Way From the Strawberry Patch: The Life of Leah Chase.” The novel is written in the form of a series of letters from Leah to God. The final letter is an inspirational message from Leah to readers. The book covers the various stages of Leah’s life, starting with her humble childhood in Madisonville as the oldest of 11 siblings. She moved to New Orleans in 1935 to attend St. Mary’s Academy. Among her other adventures chronicled in the book include waving to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he dined at Antoine’s Restaurant. The book emphasizes how Leah’s Catholic faith led her to choose what’s right and to persevere in times of adversity.
A few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of Veterans Boulevard in Metairie is an oasis of tranquility at Lafreniere Park. Located at 3000 Downs Blvd., it features a two-mile walking and jogging track, plentiful green space, a lagoon with benches nearby, and even a little bit of wildlife with ducks and roosters. There is also a man-made ecological marsh environment featuring walking trails within. If you need a break from exercising, there is a Plum Street Snoballs stand with snacks and treats for sale. Frisbee golfers can enjoy the park’s disc golf course. During the holiday season, Lafreniere Park hosts a drive-thru Christmas lights display. Details for this year’s event can be found at LafrenierePark.org.
BY MISTY MIL IO TO
THAI STREET FOOD
Meal Delivery The food and beverage team behind St. Roch Market, Auction House Market and Market Supper Club have started a new local food-delivery service called Parcel. This is no regular meal delivery service though. Instead, Parcel delivers meals to your doorstep prepared by a variety of local chefs. Simply purchase a subscription to a preset number of meals for delivery each week; customize each week’s selections from a revolving menu; and choose any add-ons you may want (options include curated board games, activities for kids, cocktail kits and wine pairings). Meals are delivered refrigerated in insulated recyclable bags, so they can be consumed throughout the week as desired. Each meal is designed to be heated in less than 10 minutes with instructions provided by the chefs. While weekly options include dishes from the aforementioned food halls—covering a spectrum of cuisines from Italian to Japanese—guest collaborators from across the industry also will be announced. Kids meals also are in development. Parcel.strochmarket.com.
Chef Isaac Toups, owner of Toups Meatery and author of “Chasing the Gator – Isaac Toups & the New Cajun Cooking” is offering a new brand of spices just in time for the holidays. Made in partnership with Spiceology, the custom spices make great stocking stuffers for the foodies on your list. Available individually or in bundles, spice options include Heatwave burger seasoning, Fryclone fry seasoning, Thunderdust all-purpose Cajun seasoning and Louisiana Lightning Cajun seafood seasoning. Spiceology.com/pages/isaac-toups.
The much-anticipated Mexican street food restaurant El Cucuy opened in September after being delayed by the pandemic. Located in the Irish Channel, the restaurant offers a bevy of antojitos (little cravings). In addition to tasty tacos, El Cucuy offers tortas filled with carne asada, pollo asada, trompo al pastor or nopales (cactus); a shrimp cocktail; grilled corn on the cob; and duros (fried flour chicharrones with Cotija cheese, lime, salt and hot sauce). The outdoor patio and touchless payment system make for a safe dining experience. 3507 Tchoupitoulas St., 897-5395, ElCucuyNola. com.
Opening earlier this year, Long Chim Nola is an Uptown fast-casual restaurant offering street foods from different regions of Thailand. With a menu that is both approachable to those new to the cuisine, as well as familiar to those who have grown up loving these dishes, Long Chim Nola stays true to the origins of each dish. Sourcing organic and local produce whenever possible, the restaurant offers lots of vegetarian-friendly options. And because the focus is on fresh ingredients, the menu changes seasonally throughout the year. 4113 Magazine St., 982-0046, LongChimNola.com.
Sidecar Patio & Oyster Bar is a new restaurant and bar located adjacent to the Rusty Nail in the Warehouse District. It has a second-floor patio and sprawling courtyard under twinkling lights that are simply perfect for enjoying the cooler weather— all while practicing social distancing, of course. The menu features fresh seafood (including a lovely selection of oysters and a fan-favorite tuna tartare); bright salads; fries with all kinds of toppings (lump crabmeat, sautéed mushrooms and artichokes, anyone?); specialty sandwiches and burgers; and sub-tropical cocktails. Stop by for happy hour, dinner or late-night bites, and enjoy a low-key al fresco experience. The restaurant also accepts same-day reservations. 1114 Constance St., 381-5079, SideCarNola.com.
B Y MISTY MIL IO TO
BEST BOURBON BARS
Cocktail Series Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and Bombay Sapphire have partnered to launch The Canvas Project, a webbased content series featuring the creative passions of last year’s 12 finalists in the Most Imaginative Bartender competition. From photography and videography, to home gardening tips and mindfulness tutorials, the series is designed to spark inspiration and foster connection. It includes a segment by New Orleans bartender Maggie Morgan on the power of embracing imperfection, how to collect art on a budget and the recipe for her Rule of Thirds cocktail. The 12-part series went live on October 1 and is published weekly. mostimaginativebartender.punchdrink.com.
“The Bourbon Review,” in partnership with Buffalo Trace Distillery, recently named Barrel Proof and Bourbon House as two of America’s Best Bourbon Bars for 2020. The distinction, which is based on having expansive whiskey lists, exciting cocktails, the best single barrel offerings and a team of knowledgeable bourbon lovers behind the bar, is awarded to bourbon bars in five regions: Bourbon Country; Northeast; Midwest; West; and South. The winning list consisted of 36 bars in Bourbon Country, 14 in the Northeast, 22 in the Midwest, 20 in the West and 24 in the South, making it the most comprehensive list since it began in 2003. This holiday season, also be sure to pop into Barrel Proof to check out the Christmas Miracle pop-up, when the bar will be decked out in kitschy holiday decor. 1201 Magazine St., BarrelProofNola.com; 144 Bourbon St., 522-0111, BourbonHouse.com.
Sam & Kait Wurth have opened a new neighborhood bar in the Marigny in the previous Cutters space, now known as Pepp’s Pub. Named after their black lab, Pepper, Pepp’s Pub is pet-friendly and a welcome place to hang out and pop a bottle of beer. Drink specials abound, and you’re sure to make a new friend or two. Kait will even snap a pic of your pup to include on their wall of pet Polaroids. 706 Franklin Ave., 985-326-1975, facebook.com/peppspubnola.
WINE & DINE
The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, which showcases culinary excellence in our community alongside national and international wines, has showcased some special events this fall and winter that wrap up this month. In addition to the wine dinner series, which concluded in November, the lineup includes four special wine and food experiences. The final events of the year include an Art Walk & Wine Tasting Dec. 5 from 4-6 p.m. at galleries along the 700 and 800 blocks of Royal Street and a seated Mini-Vinola Dec. 12 from 3-5 p.m. with samples from 10 wineries around the world paired with food from three highly acclaimed New Orleans restaurants. nowfe.com.
BY ANDY MY E R
Smoke’s roll-on Wellspring scent is a green floral musk inspired by time spent exploring rainforests in Belize. With a range of uses from perfume to bath oil, this gift will transport and soothe the mind of the lucky recipient, Smoke Perfume, SmokePerfume.com.
Stunning and unique, Lizzie Fortunato’s gold-plated Santa Maria earrings feature peach aventurine rectangle drops set with faceted green amethyst stones. An exciting Christmas morning stocking surprise if ever there was one! Available at Pilot & Powell, PilotandPowell.com.
The Nice List Be it a stocking stuffer or thank you for your host, tis’ the season for thoughtful gifting. While it’s always a nice idea to bring a little something for your hostess, this berry bowl by local potter Casey Willems, is both unexpected and quite useful. Its small size is perfect for washing and serving fruits and veggies, and it’s so pretty it should be displayed year-round, rather than stacked in a cabinet. Available at Home Malone, HomeMaloneNola.com.
Made from reclaimed wood with contrasting timber stripes, Etu’ Home’s medium charcuterie board in this lovely denim blue will delight any hostess who loves to entertain. Available at Hilltop Shoppe, HilltopShoppe.com.
A professional blowout or styled updo or is the ultimate in pampering. Treat someone you love with a gift card from Bleu, a Blow Dry Bar, good for a range of fun experiences from a full volume “Hurricane Cat 5” blowout to a scalp massage, Bleu, a Blow Dry Bar, Bleuablowdrybar.com.
There’s always a need for a classic set of personalized stationery, a gift that demonstrates true forethought. This refined new collection from Scriptura is available in a range of mix-and-match fonts and painterly, scenic envelope liners. Pair with the shop’s custom Retro 51 Tornado streetcar pen for an extra something special, Scriptura, Scriptura.com.
There’s an old crank in the woods who spends an untoward amount of time ranting on Facebook. He has little else to do anymore. His posts can be quite vitriolic but folks who know him generally see him as a mild fellow, not one prone to road rage or physical violence or any such crimes against fellow humans. He loves puppies and cupcakes. He’s afraid of cockroaches. He misses his mom. But he has this abnormal habit of unleashing his darker soul upon the inhabitants of Facebook. Truth is, when at the keyboard of his laptop, he goes bat shit crazy. He does so by vehemently expressing his views about the man who occupies the Oval Office. He’s not a fan. And apparently has no apprehension – or grace – about expressing such. A few weeks ago, the man in the Oval Office rankled the old crank to such a degree that when the man in the Oval Office contracted COVID, the crank wrote a post wishing him a long, slow and painful recovery. He might have even wished him worse. It wasn’t the crank’s best moment. Apparently, the crank’s rantings and ravings in such a public forum caught the attention of the Secret Service – the federal agency tasked with the safety of the man in the Oval Office. Was there a possible danger lurking in the woods of South Louisiana? Because, after all, it’s always an angry old white guy in isolation in the woods who generally makes really bad stuff happen. We all know that. It’s not unreasonable to think so. The Secret Service, they take this stuff seriously. They have to. It’s the point of their job, after all. And so, one day not long ago, the old crank was sitting on the porch of the cabin in the woods (red flag!) that he shares with his partner. Their driveway is a popular turnaround spot for people who are lost or confused on their stretch of country highway.
A Secret Visit Watching your words
Happens every day: A car pulls in, backs out, drives away. Even though he’s a crank, he always waves a friendly hello to those who have technically breached the property where he lives in sullen isolation and madness. Everybody needs a place to change course, right? One recent morning, however, a big shiny sedan pulls in and doesn’t back out. “What’s this?” the crank says to his partner, in the way Sherlock Holmes says that to Dr. Watson. “This” turns out to be two young agents from the Secret Service paying what you might call an “investigatory visit” to the old crank. They turn out to be very earnest, under-
standing, respectful and professional in every sense. They just want to know what the crank’s intentions are. Turns out that, prior to their visit, they had interviewed several of the crank’s former colleagues at a newspaper where he used to be employed. As well as his ex-wife and the parents For more Chris of several of the Rose check out his blog "Me Again"on crank’s children’s Tuesday mornings at friends. myneworleans.com T he Secret Service is thorough if nothing else. Hell, the crank doesn’t even know the parents of his children’s friends. They wanted to know: Is this guy crazy? Is he a threat? It seems the common responses were: “Yes, he’s crazy. But no, he is definitely not a threat. He cries when he watches old movies.” (The crank, he is grateful to those who stood by his character during these arduous times.) What began as an interrogation turned into a conversation and – as the federal agents exhibited a highly developed sense of humor – there was even some laughter. Measured laughter, but still, laughter. But as their business is, well, serious business, it ended with an admonition. One agent told the crank as he left: It’s all good. Just remember though, you can’t write “KTP.” It was code I understood. The K rhymes with whale food, TP is the guy in the Oval Office. The President. And although the crank did not express that exact intention in his ravings, he did – perhaps – suggest that COVID do the job instead. Bad form, the crank realizes. Very bad form. Lesson here, dear readers: Watch your words. Don’t be a stupid and flailing old crank in the woods wasting the valuable time of federal agents who have real dangers to address on a daily basis without having to drive out to the country to find out if said crank is an actual threat to the Republic. Just scream at the TV instead.
JASON RAISH ILLUSTRATION
BY KE L L Y MASSIC O T
CHEF MEG BICKFORD
ommander’s Palace, nestled in the heart of the Garden District, is at the top of the menu, if you will, when it comes to fine dining in New Orleans. This year, longtime Commander’s chef Tory McPhail announced he would be leaving the restaurant after 18 years to move closer to family in Montana. Though many are sad to see McPhail say goodbye, a new executive chef has been named that promises to continue the restaurant’s high reputation. Chef Megan “Meg” Bickford has worked alongside McPhail since 2008, and was the executive chef of Café Adelaide in the French Quarter. Bickford knows the ins and outs of New Orleans and Commander’s Palace’s style, and the flavors that make the city and restaurant famous. Though she doesn’t necessarily like to focus on the fact that she is the first female executive chef of the iconic restaurant, this move is symbolic in many ways for other women in the culinary industry, as well as young women with dreams of one day running a major, award-winning restaurant. In this month’s Persona we get to know a little more about Bickford, as well as what inspires her passion for cooking and what she plans to bring to her new position.
Q: Why are you a chef and what do you love about your job?
Growing up, food always brought my family together. We had a home cooked meal at least six out of seven nights a week. We cook and we have conservation. Everyone in the family knows how to cook -- mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great aunts, you name it! Being in the kitchen, the heart of the home, was the event, not necessarily sitting down to dinner. The smell of pecan pie brings my grandma back to me. The smell of fried oysters brings me right to the holidays with my family. There’s something powerful in that. I believe food changes you, and I wanted to make memories for people. I see our industry as the people industry. Being a chef is not all about the food, it’s the people that I love most about my job. Teaching people and watching people grow in and out of the kitchen is amazing and so rewarding. My role has allowed me to be there for people, professionally and personally, and guide people through their journey. Watching a cook grow up in our kitchen and then go on to follow their dreams is unbelievably fulfilling. I love
Q watching my team have their “aha!” moment. And it’s fun! Q: Who has inspired you the most in your cooking journey? I’ll be honest
-- this is a hard one to answer as I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of mentors. In my journey at Commander’s chef Tory taught me so much and Chris Barbato truly inspired and pushed me. Chris forced me to think about food in a way that I was not yet. We’d gather and collaborate on the spot. He tries to find things you haven’t done and teaches you how to do it. He’d make you do it over and over again until you became good at it. The constant pushing
and teaching really got me to where I am today. Chris cared about where you came from and where you were going, and he was never satisfied with just good enough. Other influences include Nigella Lawson. I read her book “How to Be a Domestic Goddess” when I was in the ninth grade and it opened the world to me. It had me making things that I didn’t think I was capable of. It taught me how to impress people with what I could create. Julia Child, and her want to spread knowledge, is another inspiration to me. She was constantly learning and being playful. She was such a powerful force.
FAVORITE JUNK FOOD?
My husband calls me the chip monster so needless to say its Zapp’s Spicy Cajun Crawtators.
To continue this conversation, and find out what’s next for chef Meg Bickford, visit our website for exclusive online content. MyNewOrleans.com
GREG MILES PHOTO
Christmas Unwrapped Upcycling for the holidays
You can always tell who, in a Zoom meeting, is not wearing a bra. They are the ones you see just from the eyeballs up. My sister-in-law Gloriosa goes to a lot of them meetings, being socially active and all. At first, she tried to hang in there (ahem!) In August, she bragged to me: “I can take off any bra without taking off my shirt. No matter the style or make. I take it off as soon as I’m done with a meeting and fling it across the room.” A couple days later, her mother-in-law, Ms. Sarcophaga, slunk through Gloriosa’s back door without knocking and got smacked with a flying bra. Gloriosa took that as a sign from God and gave up on bras entirely. “Let the younger generations think I can’t focus my camera right. I don’t care,” she says to me. It’s going to solve another problem too - her Christmas list. I got to explain. Like I told my kids, this Christmas we are going to have to give up on Cheer and settle for Relief That the Hurricane Season is Over. Because it ain’t going to be a great year for present-giving. I am making my own - cookie mix in a jar with a bow around it. That and cats. We got five kittens that decided to be born here a couple months back, and they are going to good homes for Christmas, along with a complimentary jar of cat litter. And in return we get kitten-free peace on Christmas Eve. (Almost. We are keeping one.) We just got to be careful we don’t give somebody cat litter by accident instead of cookie mix. I did that once, years back. It was used litter, unfortunately. I had been dumping it into one of them giant caramel corn gift canisters, and I mixed it up with a new canister I bought for a teachers’ gift. I been trying to forget about THAT ever since, and I bet Sister Gargantua has, too. Gloriosa is also making gifts and at the same time she is recycling her bras. Now, Gloriosa is what you call “endowed,” bosom-wise, and up to now she made the most of it. She has an enormous chest of drawers just for bras: low-cut, athletic, push-up, push-WAYup, black lace, white lace, peek-a-boo, come-hither and other names you are embarrassed to say out loud.
They are all going to become Christmas-themed presents. Her mother, Ms. Larda, don’t approve. “This pandemic will end one day, and you’ll need them,” she says. “This ain’t the first time we tried to get rid of bras. You’re too young to remember bra-burning, Gloriosa, but it didn’t turn out good.” She won’t explain no more, so we got to wonder if she personally got singed. But Gloriosa says she’s never known such freedom, and she ain’t going back. She goes into a Christmas frenzy of transforming bras into snowmen with little pointy hats, snow ladies with strangely shaped bonnets, cone-
shaped penguins - evidently there is no Christmas-y item you can’t create out of a bra if you put your mind to it. When her daughter Momus asks for an outdoor snowman for their front yard, she takes it as a challenge. They unpack the skeleton they used on Halloween. They drape it in a sheet, and tie that in place with bra straps, and use other bra parts for earmuffs and elbows and knees and to make it fat. They cut up a cherry-red bra for mittens and cover a cardboard high hat with silk from some sexy black bras. They even slip in white Christmas tree lights for a magical inner glow. But evidently lights that work on the outside of a tree become a fire hazard inside a plastic skeleton covered in bras. They had to call the fire department. And it wound up in the newspaper (because nothing else was going on in the world.) The story described a fire on Carrollton Avenue caused by Gloriosa G. Oldline. The headline says, “Uptown Bra-burning Causes Uproar.” History repeated. Ms. Larda was right.
LORI OSIECKI ILLUSTRATION
BY JO HN R . KE MP
ingle, Jangle, Jingle, here comes Mr. Bingle.” Every New Orleanian over 40 knows the little ditty that conjures up glorious childhood memories of Christmas on Canal Street where department stores raised Christmas decorations to an art form. For decades at Maison Blanche, Old Saint Nick shared the stage with Mr. Bingle, the store’s popular little holly-winged snowman puppet with an ice cream cone hat. As the story goes, Mr. Bingle was the brainchild of Maison Blanche’s display manager Emile Alline, Sr., who got the idea during a buying trip to Chicago in 1947. There he saw how department stores created Christmas mascots to attract customers. Back home, he sold his idea, a little snowman puppet, to his boss Herbert Shwartz, son of Maison Blanche founder Simon Shwartz. Alline made a snowman doll and, after an unsuccessful employee contest to name it, Shwartz dubbed it “Mr. Bingle” based on the store’s initials “M.B.” Alline gave the job to create Mr. Bingle the puppet and his marionette pals to French Quarter puppeteer Edwin Harmon “Oscar” Isentrout and
his assistants Harry Ory and Ray Frederick. Isentrout, known for his between-acts striptease puppet shows on Bourbon St., went on to create immensely popular holiday puppet shows at Maison Blanche on Canal St. and in other company-owned stores. Bingle had his own television show, appeared in commercials, and performed at Children’s Hospital. After Isentrout died in 1985, the shows stopped and his assistant and fellow puppeteer Jeffrey Kent acquired one of the two Bingle puppets. Though badly damaged when Hurricane Katrina flooded Kent’s Gentilly home, he has since restored Bingle to its former glory. The second puppet is in a private collection, and Emile Alline’s daughters, Denise Gurtner and Jerilyn Faulstich, have their father’s original Mr. Bingle prototype doll. As to the 1949 Mr. Bingle seen here in 1952, several replacements followed, the last being the flying papier-mâché Bingle that hovered above the store’s entrance until 1998. That’s when Maison Blanche’s new owner Dillard’s closed the store, sold the building and moved Bingle for a brief time to Lakeside Shopping Center. It now appears annually at City Park’s Christmas “Celebration in the Oaks.”
THE CHARLES L. FRANCK STUDIO COLLECTION AT THE HISTORIC NEW ORLEANS COLLECTION
BY JAY FORMAN, REBECCA FRIEDMAN, ROBERT PEYTON PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAM HANNA
FOOD LOVERS GUIDE PE
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ew 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, had the difficult task of honoring some of our favorites, a job made even more challenging with the effects of COVID-19 on the dining scene. Restaurateurs, bar owners, caterers, hospitality workers and more have all faced this year’s unique challenges with hard work, innovation and determination. ¶ The people and places listed within mark some of the best of the best for 2020. We look forward to what the menu has in store for 2021.
WINDOW SERVICE VALâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TACOS
Finding a new way to survive has been the name of the game for many businesses in these trying times. But chefs and owners are a creative bunch, and the array of adaptations they have made are pretty remarkable. Here is a look at what a couple of them have done to get by.
RIVERBOAT COFFEE Brice Sanderford helped launch Riverboat Coffee in late 2019. Having identified a demand for nitro cold-brew coffee, he and his partners came up with an innovate, self-contained kegerator system that was a turn-key fit for offices that wanted to offer it as an amenity as well as cafes seeking an easy nitro solution without having to install taps and lines. “Then Covid hit,” Sanderford said. “The restaurants closed and the offices shut down.” The company hit on the idea of home delivery of growlers filled with their signature cold brew. To jump-start the initiative, they reached out to the craft beer delivery service Biermi and onboarded with their platform. It proved to be the perfect tech solution to their logistical needs. Riverboat uses Arabica beans from Colombia for their coffee. The halfgallon glass growlers are bagged in ice and delivered to your doorstep. “We are kind of like the milk man, but for coffee,” Sanderford said. An emphasis on sustainability also means the used coffee grounds go to local farmers and the old glass growlers are swapped out and reused. RiverboatCoffee. com.
Mawi Tortillas Will Avelar’s family enterprise Mawi Tortillas quickly found its footing in this new landscape. When their wholesale corn tortillas business dried up early on, they built out a kitchen in their West Esplanade location and pivoted to prepare take out and specialty food service. Since then they have become a go-to stop for Central American cheeses, dips, salsa and their Instagrammable (and seriously addictive) Birria Tacos. 644-2624.
COMMANDER’S PALACE Even the grande dames have mixed things up. At Commander’s Palace, the pandemic hastened the execution of a plan long in the works: Le Petit Bleu, a walk-in market next door to the restaurant, decorated in the same trademark turquoise hue. The market opened in September and has been gradually adding offerings, from graband-go turtle soup and Commander’s salad to family style and a la carte entrees. The restaurant has even created a house muffaletta. The Commander’s team has long considered a take-out spot to capture some of the neighborhood’s abundant foot traffic. “Every day, out front, there are hundreds, if not thousands of people wandering around the Garden District,” co-proprietor Ti Martin said. “They want to see the cemetery and that ‘Commodore’s Palace’ place across the street, but they’re in shorts and we don’t have a way to accommodate them… We hate telling anybody no, but we believe in our dress code.” Commander’s Palace is also unveiling a new line of cocktail mixers, which come in four flavors including a traditional lime daiquiri and the Tequila Mockingbird #2, which Dan Davis calls “the best tequila-based cocktail ever.” The mixers will be available at Le Petit Bleu and for purchase online. CommandersPalace.com.
HELPING HANDS As the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine and restrictions began to sink in, a group of extraordinary people banded together to make a difference to aid hospitality workers and restaurants across the area, while bringing essential meals and resources to those in need.
Howie Kaplan When we asked Howie Kaplan what motivated him to do all of the work he’s done to help people during the pandemic, he said it was because he saw the city’s culture bearers – the folks that form the backbone of the authentic New Orleans experience – in trouble. As the owner-operator of the music venue the Howlin’ Wolf, he’s intimately familiar with the musicians, hospitality and service-industry employees who are the “face” of our way of life – the people that locals and visitors meet when they attend a concert, dine out or meet for a cocktail. They’re a critical component of New Orleans’ economy and more importantly of our essence, and the pandemic has hit them hard, just as it’s hit music venues like the Wolf. When the virus blew up and the lockdowns started, Kaplan told us that he was reminded of the time after Katrina when Drago’s was serving food in its Fat City parking lot – as so many restaurants did. Kaplan decided to do something similar for musicians, service industry employees, first responders and, at this point, just about anyone who needs assistance. He partnered with the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic to found Meals for Musicians, and started cooking meals to be picked up by musicians at the Howlin’ Wolf. The organization is now also de-
livering meals, groceries and other essentials to culture bearers, first responders and in particular older folks who are at the highest risk of exposure to the virus and are homebound as a result. Kaplan has been a part of Chef’s Brigade – serving first responders and at-risk residents of New Orleans - from the early days. He’s worked with purveyors to obtain donations of all sorts of product, and shared those donations with other restaurants when he could. This year marks 20 years that Kaplan has owned the Howlin’ Wolf, and his primary focus remains on musicians and clubs. He’s active in lobbying in favor of Save Our Stages, (saveourstages. com) a proposed bill in Congress that aims to provide assistance for independent music venues nationwide. Kaplan noted that U.S. Sen. John Kennedy and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond have cosponsored the bill in Congress, and there is some optimism that it will pass. Kaplan is the sort of person who sees a problem and acts on it. He’s a guy who gets things done, and it’s no surprise that’s what he’s doing during the pandemic. He’s one of many people trying to keep our traditions and culture alive, and we’re all lucky that people like him are a part of our community.
PARISH PARLOR While the fallout from coronavirus has killed many businesses, others have sprung up, many of them created by out-ofwork hospitality professionals. Parish Parlor is one example, the brainchild of craft cocktail bartenders Kelsey Fisher and Mason Romain, who used this period of unemployment to pursue an unexpected opportunity: making ice cream. Though Fisher admits to a “wicked sweet tooth,” the pair had no intention of opening an ice cream parlor. Pre-pandemic, Fisher had been accepted into graduate programs for interior architecture, which she hoped to study with the intent of designing bars and restaurants. For Romain, the venture grew out of “quarantine boredom” and experimentation with cooking, baking and, ultimately, ice cream. In mid-September, Parish Parlor opened to the public, offering an ideal grab-and-go product for pandemic life. Fisher relies upon her cocktail background for flavor inspiration. “Whenever I create flavor ideas, I think about what I would do if I was making that ice cream into a cocktail… Does it need to be sweeter, saltier, brighter? Is it too tart? Does strawberry taste like fresh, ripe strawberries? Or is there just a hint of fruit?” The results include flavors like Bananas Foster and pumpkin cheesecake, which pair especially well with Parish Parlor’s exquisite house-made waffle cones. “We are well aware that opening in the midst of a global pandemic is super risky,” Fisher said. “But it also presented a unique opportunity. When else would we have the time necessary to start a new business?” ParishParlor.com.
Leave it to Alon Shaya to find an elegant way to pivot without missing a beat. In the early days, when inhouse seating was not allowed, Shaya hit on care packages as a way to provide food to (very fortunate) Tulane students whose parents were fretting about how their kids would eat. “We quickly found that our regular customers were interested as well,” Shaya said. “It has been a hit. We also have a lot of customers giving them as gifts. Kids have been sending them to elderly parents as well as it keeps them from having to go out.” Saba’s emphasis on spreads, snacks and family-style sharing made it a natural fit for Care Packs. Menus change monthly but the cornucopian bags typically include Labneh, specialty Hummus, farmers market vegetables and foil packs of their amazing pita that can be easily reheated. Little treats like brittle, desserts and spiced seasonal beverages round it out. EatwithSaba.com.
CHEF AMY SINS
my Sins, chef/owner at Langlois, has built a substantial side gig: “rogue do-gooder.” Beginning with the Louisiana floods of 2016, Sins has found herself moving closer to the center of efforts to feed and care for people affected by hurricanes, floods and now, a pandemic. “I’m not a legitimate organization,” Sins said. “I’m just a girl with a Facebook page who facilitates a lot of things and tries to help as many people as possible.” With the increasing number of disasters affecting the region, that flood and disaster outreach Facebook page has become a hotbed of information exchange among restauranteurs, nonprofit workers, faith-based groups and individuals just looking to help. Sins is in the process of setting up her own 501c3 organization so that she can be even more effective in the work she has grown to love – and that thousands of others have grown to depend on. Over time, Sins has learned that her greatest contribution to these efforts isn’t necessarily firing up a stove – there are many others capable of that. It’s connecting would-be helpers with people in need: sending an 18-wheeler filled with bottled water or 200 pounds of smoked pork from a New Orleans restaurant to Lake Charles or distributing socks to evacuees affected by Hurricane Laura. Sins works closely with nonprofit organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank, NeedServ, Mercy Chefs and SBP to direct food, supplies and volunteers quickly and effectively. Sins’ social media network is disaster relief gold. She recalls a moment in 2018 after Hurricane Florence, when she was cooking at Second Harvest for people in the Carolinas who were flooded in and needed food: “I
put on Facebook, ‘Boy, wouldn’t it be amazing if someone could just give me a private plane and we could fly this to people?’” A contact from NeedServ swiftly responded with a message that she had secured two private planes. “It gives me chills because you start to realize that this network comes together, and once you find the right connections, you can really make a huge difference,” Sins said. This year, that impact took the form of six 18-wheelers filled with supplies for storm-battered central Louisiana, in addition to scores of smaller gestures that are harder to quantify. This year has seen many nonprofits consumed by COVID-related efforts, making additional demands – like hurricane response – more challenging. Second Harvest approached Sins this summer with 2,000 pounds of beans and rice that needed cooking; their kitchen had reached capacity with meal relief efforts. Sins quickly found kitchen space within Dickie Brennan’s organization. “If I call them, they always say yes,” Sins said, as do the Better than Ezra Foundation and frequent collaborator Robért LeBlanc from LeBlanc+Smith Restaurant Group. Even for the seasoned disaster relief veteran, the work takes a toll. “Every time I say I need to not get so emotionally involved, and I never listen to myself,” Sins said. But she also knows the value of a helping hand, having been on the receiving end of many after Hurricane Katrina flooded her home. “A lot of strangers brought kindness and helped us… Every time disaster strikes, it gives me an opportunity to pay it forward and teach others the process so they can be do-gooders in their communities.”
Boucherie Carrollton favorite Boucherie presents its contemporary southern cuisine with a newly expanded outdoor dining area. Executive chef Nathanial Zimet built the covered patio himself, providing a new, safe and socially distanced way to enjoy the restaurant’s selection of house made charcuterie, Cajun inspired menu dishes and a new happy hour menu with small bites and drink specials (Old Fashioneds for $7? Yes please). BoucherieNola.com.
Al fresco dining used to be an iffy proposition. The pleasant stretches of weather in spring and fall are more than offset by heat, rain and the occasional hurricane. This year has flipped things on its head, making outdoor dining a lifesaver for restaurants fortunate enough to offer it.
Barracuda rolled the dice with its spacious backyard dining room. The bet paid off. With socially distanced seating for up to 65, it also offers heating and protection from the elements while still maintaining its tacostand vibe. “We also added a standing bar and turned our breezeway into a pickup window,” owner Brett Jones said. “This whole time our way of thinking has been to just stay one step ahead.” Enjoy a margarita and their excellent fish tacos enlivened with pops of pomegranate at a picnic table out back. EatBarracuda.com.
Situated on the Lafitte Greenway, Wrong Iron is a beer garden that offers dining from a revolving cast of food trucks. Dogs are welcome at this laidback bar just at the foot of Bayou St. John. Rem’s Hoochie Coochie Pop Up was providing a full menu at press time. WrongIron.com.
Alison Vega-Knoll’s Station 6 in Bucktown has always had an indooroutdoor vibe. Since coronavirus arrived, she has expanded the seating to include patio space on the left side of the restaurant, creating a wrap-around swath of al fresco seating. “The seating is covered,” Vega said. “One side is protected by a drop-down and the other is screened with bamboo.” Her seared pompano with curried brown butter and cashews is the perfect cool-weather seafood dish. Station6Nola.com.
While many restaurants employed innovation, new ways of doing business and creating new business models, a handful of extraordinary new places made their debut in 2020. We look forward to seeing where a new year takes these pioneers.
Chef Melissa Araujo was born in La Ceiba, Honduras and raised both there and in New Orleans. With family involved in the restaurant business in Honduras, cooking was a natural evolution for her, and in addition to six years in Milan, Italy, she earned a great deal of experience in fine-dining restaurants here, including stints at now-closed Mondo, R’evolution, Doris Metropolitan, Domenica and Shaya. She opened Alma at 800 Louisa St. in August to serve the food of her native country. It may not have been the ideal time to start any business, let alone a restaurant, but given her experience and the quality of the food she’s putting out, Alma will undoubtedly be around for years. Araujo makes her own tortillas, but that’s just the start: Alma’s kitchen turns out everything from yogurt, Honduran-style crema, mayonnaise, biscuits and what she calls “Honduran crack” sauce that adorns the “Cric Cric” sliders in house. If you are familiar with Mexican food, you’ll find a lot of the menu at Alma recognizable; huevos rancheros, breakfast tacos and migas are all options, but the real stars are the Honduran dishes like “Moros y Christianos” (rice and beans cooked with coconut milk and herbs) and a variety of guisos (stews) with main ingredients such as brisket, pork, grilled shrimp or lengua (tongue). Then there are dishes that aren’t necessarily linked to a specific cuisine, but which reflect Araujo’s skill and experience, like the Louisa toast, which features lump crabmeat, soft scrambled eggs, mushrooms and herbs on a piece of rustic bread. The “Dirty Allison” is one of several “bowl” options; it’s fried chicken with tasso-mushroom gravy over dirty rice with pickled red onions and chimichurri sauce. The Ana shrimp dip comes with local shrimp in a “secret” mayonnaise-based sauce. New Orleans has a large Honduran community and in the last few years a number of restaurants serving the country’s cuisine have opened. This is a good trend made better with the debut of Alma. EatAlmaNola.com.
Chef Kina Bullock describes the food at her restaurant, Soulé Cafe as “vegan and friends.” It’s a clever way of explaining that while most of the menu is aimed at vegetarians and vegans, there are options for carnivorous friends, too. Soulé is a family-style, neighborhood restaurant located in a corner building on Banks Street in Mid-City. It’s the sort of place that has daily specials (red beans on Monday, seafood pasta on Friday) and where food is meant to be shared. Appetizers like fried green tomatoes, onion rings and spinach dip are all excellently prepared, and if you are a fan of combining sweet and savory flavors, you’ll want to order the fried cauliflower; it's addictive. Bullock serves a lot of vegetables, as you’d expect, and they don’t suffer from the lack of meat. There are meatbased versions as well, should you find the concept of collard greens or string beans without some form of pork to be sacrilegious. There are vegan poor boys, as well, and a burger made with jackfruit, which has a neutral flavor and a meatlike consistency that one often is prepared like barbecued pulled pork. Meat options include chicken, catfish and shrimp poor boys, burgers and many of the dishes can be made with plant-based ingredients. For example, the special on Tuesday is tacos, and you can order them with tofu, cauliflower, beef, chicken or shrimp. All of this would be nice, and convenient if you have a friend or relative with specific dietary restrictions, but it wouldn’t rate mention were the food not good. It is, though, and it’s a wonderful addition to the neighborhood restaurant scene. TheSouleCafe.com.
UNION RAMEN We first met chef Nhat “Nate” Nguyen at Kin, the restaurant he opened in Central City with chef Hieu Than a few years ago. It was a tiny space, with a miniscule kitchen, but they produced inventive takes on all sorts of food. We were most taken by their ramen. With Jeff Gapultos, Nguyen opened Union Ramen on Magazine Street in August. The restaurant specializes in recipes for the Japanese noodle soup that Nguyen has perfected over the years. Ramen, in its most basic form, is a bowl of broth with noodles and flavorings. There are dozens of regional variations, and Nguyen features two styles distinguished by their broth – Tori is poultry-based and miso features to an umami-rich soup. The basic Tori ramen is traditional, with roast pork, bamboo shoots, scallions, egg and fried garlic providing the flavor. The regular miso ramen features confit oyster mushrooms, roasted tomato, spinach, wakame seaweed, black garlic oil, poached egg and kale noodles. Then there’s the “Slapya-kimchi” mazemen, (brothless ramen) in which the noodles are accompanied by blackened chicken, spinach, house-made kimchi, a poached egg, seaweed flakes and cilantro. All of the ramen bowls can be customized by adding blackened chicken, roast pork, ground beef, tasso and confit oyster mushrooms. Nguyen serves shishito peppers with brown butter, thyme and parmesan cheese, and his sweet-spicy chicken wings come with a pepper jelly glaze. Lumpia (Filipino fried spring rolls) are stuffed with cream cheese, crawfish and shrimp, and Spam musubi are a Hawaiian version of a “sushi” roll, with the seaweed wrapped around a filling of canned meat, cucumber, lettuce, curry aioli and rice. UnionRamen.com.
LUCY BOONE ICE CREAM
hef Todd Pulsinelli was born in Germany, where his father was serving in the Air Force, but his family lives in Ohio and that’s where he received his culinary education. It’s also where he met chef Michael Gulotta, whom he’s known for 25 years. Pulsinelli came to New Orleans 16 years ago for an externship through the culinary program at Nicholls State University. We first became aware of him when he was running the kitchen at Restaurant August, after succeeding Gulotta in that position. Earlier this year, the Leblanc + Smith group announced that Pulsinelli would oversee the food and beverage program for Hotel Chloe, a 14-room hotel in a converted mansion originally designed by Thomas Sully on St. Charles Avenue, and while the start was a bit rocky, things have picked up. Part of that is undoubtedly the space itself, a beautifully restored mansion with multiple dining areas both inside and out. It’s what you’d expect from the Leblanc + Smith gang, whose other ventures include Sylvain, Barrel Proof, Cavan and Longway Tavern. The hotel’s interior design is by Sara Ruffin Costello, and it’s elegant, but not so much that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sitting on any of the furniture. There is a pool and patios at both the front and rear of the proper-
ty. When all restrictions are lifted, and when considering the entire property, Pulsinelli told me they can accommodate 120 people. Chef Pulsinelli is an inventive chef. At Warbucks, the restaurant he opened with BRG Hospitality in 2018 that closed last summer, he did a play on onion rings made with shrimp mousse, and while his menu at The Chloe is not quite that unusual, his cleverness is still on display. The menu, which is divided into “all day” and “dinner,” has a base of classic dishes, sometimes played straight and sometimes combined with flavors and ingredients from elsewhere. The seafood salad features shrimp, crabmeat and ravigote sauce, for example, but beef tartare comes with black garlic ice cream and malt vinegar potato chips. There’s a grilled hanger steak with fries and persillade sauce as well as grilled cauliflower and broccoli with crispy chili, peanuts, lime and fresh jalapenos. There are a good many nods to Creole cuisine, too. Agnolotti Gumbo Z’herbes with pot liquor and the North African hot sauce harissa is one option, and there are shrimp étouffée dumplings with crushed chili and ginger, too. It’s hard to debut during a pandemic, but The Chloe is making it work. TheChloeNola.com.
Ice cream has always been Abby Boone’s favorite dessert. When she attended culinary school, the Iowa native became fascinated by the idea that she could infuse milk and cream to create any flavor she wanted. After a decade as a pastry chef, Boone married New Orleanian Aaron Schnell, and the two have launched Lucy Boone Ice Cream, named for the couple’s 10-month old daughter. “I’ve always wanted an ice cream business,” Boone said. “A couple of years ago, I started dreaming and planning. Then during quarantine, I started making ice cream, and here we are now today.” Lucy Boone’s flavors change from week to week and often incorporate local and seasonal ingredients. Boone makes every mix-in from scratch, from the caramel swirls to cookie crumbles to candy chunks. Best-selling flavors include S’mores, which laces a vanilla base with fudge, graham cracker crumbles and marshmallow swirl, and Northshore Honey, for which Boone caramelizes honey and makes chunks of honeycomb candy. The next-level Cold Brew blends a HEY Coffee Co.steeped base with chocolate cookie crumbles and a caramel swirl. The holiday season will bring ice cream pies and cakes as well as sundae kits (complete with homemade fudge and caramel) designed for gifting. The couple currently sells pints at pop-up markets around the city, including the weekly markets at Coquette and Coffee Science, but hope to one day open a brick-and-mortar shop, preferably in the Uptown neighborhood where Schnell grew up. LucyBooneIceCream. com.
SILVER LININGS FEELING AT HOME WITH DELIVERY ALTHOUGH 2020 BROUGHT SOME TRENDS WE’D LIKE TO FORGET, THERE WERE A FEW POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS AS WELL. FRESH CROISSANTS OR BOILED SEAFOOD DELIVERED TO OUR DOORSTEPS? YES, PLEASE. FINDING RESTAURANT-MADE PRODUCTS WE LOVE IN OUR LOCAL GROCERY STORES WAS ALSO A WIN. AND THE COLLABORATIONS THAT SPROUTED AMONG VARIOUS INDEPENDENT MAKERS GAVE RISE TO SOME AMAZING MARKETS. WE’D BE HAPPY TO SEE THESE PHENOMENA STICK AROUND EVEN AFTER CORONAVIRUS (FINALLY) MAKES ITS EXIT.
Mr. Shrimp Mr. Shrimp delivers fresh local shrimp, either raw or as the featured ingredient in that week’s special dish. For Larry Thompson, Jr., Mr. Shrimp is both his company
name and his identity. “One of my customers said, ‘The name fits you because of how you produce the product,’” Thompson said. “You have to stand by your name.”
Thompson has long been drawn to food, developing his talents in the kitchens of House of Blues and Margaritaville, among others. More recently, Thompson
served as full-time caregiver – and cook – for his ailing father, who complimented his son’s frequent use of seafood. When his father passed in April 2019, Thompson decided to get serious with seafood, forging relationships with local shrimp boats and becoming a wholesaler for New Orleans businesses and consumers. Mr. Shrimp launched in August 2019, but with the onset of the pandemic, business took off, particularly among customers seeking fresh local seafood without a trip to the store. Now, Thompson delivers raw shrimp Monday – Saturday, as well as selections from his 300 prepared seafood recipes. Those plates range from boiled and fried seafood to fan favorites like shrimp alfredo with garlic bread and fried fish. Thompson has also released “Throw it in the Pot” seasoning to help customers replicate his seafood boils at home. As the holidays approach, Mr. Shrimp plans to keep customers well stocked with shrimp for stuffing, gumbos and other traditional favorites. Thompson prides himself on personalized customer service: “When you buy anything from me, or if I just talk to you on the phone, it feels like I’ve known you for years.” He considers it a blessing to serve those who are homebound, citing two elderly women who are longstanding customers. Although he is grateful for the many new clients who have found him during the pandemic, Thompson misses sharing the warm greetings – even selfies with customers – that were a pre-coronavirus Mr. Shrimp hallmark. “My purpose in life – I love to see people happy,” Thompson said. “The product is good, but when I cook it, I feel like I’m giving you me. A lot of things have changed during this pandemic, and for me to give you a little taste of New Orleans in your home, it makes me feel like I’m doing something with myself.” Mr. Shrimp is on Facebook at Mr. Shrimp and Instagram @ mrshrimp504.
COLLABS + MARKETS
THE EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC CONTINUE TO DISRUPT THE STATUS QUO, CREATING A CHAOTIC ENVIRONMENT THROUGH WHICH OPERATORS MUST PICK A CAREFUL PATH. A SILVER LINING HAS BEEN THE LAUNCH OF A NEW GOURMET MARKET, A HIGHTECH UPGRADE FOR A TRADITIONAL FARMERS’ MARKET, AND THE BIRTH OF AN ARTSY, HYPERLOCAL WEEKEND COLLAB. THE WAYS BUSINESSES HAVE FOUND TO ADAPT HAS BEEN REMARKABLE.
Coffee Science Coffee Science in Mid-City has always been more than a coffee shop – owner Tom Oliver is curious and inventive and has been tinkering with the store’s DNA since opening back in 2018. But corona (and the help of his business partner Leah Valtrot) has thrown this inventiveness into overdrive. “Early on we were hearing from our customers that they couldn’t get things they needed in the groceries like milk and produce,” Valtrot recalled. “I reached out to Covey Rise [Farms] to see if they’d be interested in doing produce boxes for us and it took off from there.” This initial collaboration morphed into what has become an exceptionally well-curated small market. The vendors are hyperlocal -- relative newcomers to the food scene like Lucy Boone Ice Cream, Viola Heritage Breads and more. They represent the next generation of purveyors and you can catch them all here on Sundays between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Coffee Science also offers an evening open-air art market on weekends with pop-up dinner service from purveyors like Wolf n’ Swallow. CoffeeScienceNola.com.
COMPAGNON BAKERY What is more decadent than waking to a warm-from-the-oven croissant or crusty baguette outside your front door? The owners of Compagnon Bakery, Quinn Berger and Andrew Roth, tapped into this need for comfort during the most challenging months of 2020. Their initial pivot to home delivery was born of necessity, with farmers markets closed and restaurant and café wholesale accounts suspended. But even after those sales resumed, the pair enjoyed delivery so much that they continued offering it. Compagnon’s philosophy is built upon its use of organic grain from Barton Springs Mill in Texas to create naturally leavened breads and pastries ranging from crusty table loaves to lush brioche cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Like many small producers, Compagnon saw its footprint grow during the pandemic, making a strong social media push to help customers find them online. They also benefited from pre-order, drive-through farmers markets. “With the drive-through market, we got a lot of new customers,” Berger said. “It’s an even playing field, rather than walking into the market and buying the first loaf you see.” It helped that Compagnon was offering the right product at the right time. “In the beginning, grocery stores kept running out of bread, and people needed bread,” Berger said. They also needed comfort in the form of cinnamon rolls, one of Compagnon’s most popular items, croissants and pecan raisin chocolate loaves. As they work toward their goal of eventually opening a storefront, Berger and Roth will keep pushing to expand wholesale and retail sales (current outlets include restaurants Justine, La Petite Grocery and Patois, in addition to Café Bon Ami, Faubourg Wines and St. James Cheese Company). But they will also continue delivery, something Berger considers a “silver lining” of the pandemic. “For people who can’t get to the market, we are thankful there are opportunities for them to get fresh local bread.” Compagnonbakery.com.
Larder Alison Vega-Knoll is best known as the owner of Station 6, her on-point seafood spot in Bucktown. But several years back she owned a gourmet food shop in Antigua. This experience now informs Larder, a new destination for prepared food, deli and wine in Metairie. “The model is for the times,” said Vega, who co-owns Larder with Emeril’s alum Chris Wilson. “People can easily pick up restaurant quality food. We knew it wasn’t the time to open a restaurant but we saw the success that groceries were having with prepared foods and decided to follow suit.” The focus is on quality, speed and convenience. Customers can order ahead and pick up in person or through the drive-through. Counter service is also offered. Larder turns out next-level prepared foods to go such as heatand-serve family meals, charcuterie platters and creative salads. A variety of local companies sell their wares here as well, including Piccola Gelateria and Gracious Bakery. Keep Larder in mind to help with upcoming holiday meals and gifts. LarderGourmetMarket.com.
BREADS + BAKERIES Crescent City Farmers Market Few enterprises are as communityfocused as the Crescent City Farmers Market. So when the pandemic struck, organizers were left in a difficult position – how to safely reopen and connect their wide network of vendors with the individual customers. Complicating the picture was their need to accommodate SNAP enrollees. Eventually they settled on WhatsGood, a farmers marketfocused app that seamlessly helped link vendors with customers. “That was a great solution for us – customers could place orders with multiple vendors and pay them directly,” Director of Markets Angelina Harrison said. Customers order online and print out a placard that is placed on their dash. They are then directed through a loop of vendor stalls where farmers and purveyors place the prepacked orders in the vehicle. As restrictions ease, the more traditional market will return along with hybrid models, but so long as there is a demand for this model of service CCFM will continue offer it. “So far it has been a great fit for our vendors and our customers,” Harrison said. Crescentcityfarmersmarket.org.
Kate Heller’s professional journey has taken her many places, but she always felt happiest by an oven. Heller owns Leo’s Bread, a pop-up bakery whose rustic loaves, pastries and bagels have long been a Crescent City Farmers Market staple. When the pandemic closed the markets, Heller took Leo’s on the road, offering home delivery to carb-seeking customers. “Delivery helped things stay steady,” Heller said. “It’s such a basic and comforting food, bread and pastries. People really responded to that – getting some treats when the world was in total chaos.” The Washington, D.C. native started Leo’s Bread after moving to New Orleans about seven years ago. During the venture’s “scrappy” early days, Heller sold loaves from the trunk of her car outside a Mid-City coffee shop. She continued to hone her skills, working part-time at the French Quarter’s Croissant d’Or Patisserie while operating Leo’s on the side. Heller eventually connected with Gavin Cady and Theresa Galli of restaurant 1000 Figs, and the trio teamed up to open Echo’s Pizza in Mid-City in early 2018. That venture closed in the summer of 2019, and Heller was eager to get back to baking. She resurrected Leo’s and returned to the farmers market, happy to be outdoors interacting with vendors and customers once again. Heller is now working on her next step: opening a neighborhood bakery. Heller is excited for Leo’s Bread to have a permanent spot, which happens to be right by the coffee shop where she once sold bread from her car. During a tumultuous period, Heller had what she calls her “pandemic epiphany”: “You’ve got to stay happy. I want to keep making things that make people happy.” Leosbread.com.
Sam Caruso never set out to become an ice cream maker. In fact, just three years ago he was homeless, embarking on sober life after a yearslong struggle with addiction. In October 2019, Caruso was in a particularly dark place, recovering from a car accident that nearly killed him. Then he came across a few words that changed his life: “Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems.” That quote from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” led him to dust off an ice cream machine he had bought for a couple hundred bucks prior to his accident. “I thought, ‘Maybe I can make ice cream with that machine and sell quarts for $10 apiece to neighbors,’” Caruso said. The New Orleans native always loved cooking, but his time in culinary school taught him that he didn’t want to work in a kitchen. He preferred waiting tables and interacting with customers. What Caruso enjoyed even more, however, was watching the chef there make dessert. Using what he calls “good culinary common sense” and a passion for experimentation, Caruso began selling his creations to friends. Word began to spread, and Caruso moved production to Mid-City coffee shop Monkey Monkey. Every quart of Laozi (pronounced “lousy”) is hand decorated, including the phrase “Made with Good Vibes.” Caruso now releases two original flavors every week. A recent release included Minty Dog, featuring a mint custard with white chocolate Oreo bark and condensed milk, and Punkin Head, a roasted pumpkin and mascarpone custard studded with chunks of pumpkin ooey gooey cake, pumpkin spice caramel and pumpkin seed brittle crunch. The pandemic has meant booming business for Caruso, who sells direct to customers following his every swirl on Instagram. Caruso is hoping to find a production space of his own. Until then, he plans to keep releasing weekly quarts to the growing legion of fans. And he will maintain the spirit of independence and creativity that set him on the path in the first place. “There are good vibes on the lid,” Caruso said. “That needs to ring true.” On Instagram @Laozi.ice.cream and Facebook at Laozi Ice Cream.
LAOZI ICE CREAM
VIOLA’S HERITAGE BREADS
Carla Briggs and Kathryn Conyers created a line of baked goods designed to evoke memories of family traditions, especially their signature teacake. Even when a customer tells Briggs, “It’s a really good cookie, but it’s not the one my grandmother made,” she knows they have struck an all-important chord of nostalgia. Viola’s Heritage Breads emerged early in the pandemic when Conyers noticed the shortage of bread in grocery stores. She tried to make her own but failed – repeatedly. That’s when she joined forces with Briggs, a friend and pastry chef. They initially sought to make simple loaves suitable for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. After positive feedback from friends, they branched out to sweet potato rosemary, now their most popular loaf, as well as brioche and seeded loaves, teacakes, cornbread and cookies. Briggs believes customers are drawn to the simplicity and comfort of their offerings as well as the desire to support a Black-owned, womenowned business. “We are defying the odds to create something good,” Briggs said. Currently Viola’s Heritage Breads are sold online (for delivery and pickup) and at popup markets around the city, but the owners hope to place their products in grocery stores, making them more accessible and building a business for the long term. In the meantime, the company will offer gift subscriptions of bread for the new year as well as king cakes for Carnival, both a traditional flavor, and in a nod to their Heritage, sweet potato. ViolaHeritageBreads.com.
Gracious Bakery When the number of COVID-19 cases began spiraling in New Orleans in March, many businesses shut their doors for months while figuring out their next moves. Gracious Bakery was not one of them. According to co-owner Megan Forman, Gracious closed its doors on a Friday, furloughing employees. By the end of the day, she and husband/co-owner Jay Forman (who is also a long time New Orleans Magazine contributor) were already working out a plan to reopen. “By the following Wednesday, we had devised a preorder menu,” Forman said. “Jay did all the transactions at our Prytania location, and I did all the cooking and baking for a month or two.” The pair gradually brought in more employees to meet customer demand for staples like baguettes and breakfast pastries as they felt their way from one unpredictable week to the next. During this challenging year, Gracious made collaboration a priority. The bakery hosted pop-ups from several local bakers and chefs, including Serigne Mbaye of Senegalese-inspired pop-up Dakar Nola, Katitlin Guerin of Lagniappe Baking, and Indigo Soul Cuisine. According to Forman, these collaborations highlighted the need for empathy in a difficult time. “Let’s help each other,” she said. “There are so many amazing bakers now, people who don’t have spaces. Let’s give them a taste of what it’s like to run your own thing and get their names out. These talented younger Let’s help each other. people might not have the resources or springThere are so many board. I like to think tryamazing bakers now, people who ing to do the right thing don’t have spaces. comes back around.” Let’s give them a As for customer taste of what it’s appetites, people are like to run your own seeking indulgence. thing and get their “People will often go names out. These crazy for something talented younger on Instagram but don’t people might not actually buy it,” she have the resources or springboard. I like said. “Now they will – to think trying to do life’s too short.” the right thing comes These indulgences back around. include donuts, which had left the menu temporarily but have now returned for good. “We will never take those off again,” Forman said. “There was near murder.” As Gracious closes out a year to remember (but not repeat), they are already gearing up for king cake season. This year, in addition to their popular selection of king and queen cakes, Gracious will be offering a king cake mix for people hoping to replicate the delicacy at home. GraciousBakery.com.
LIBATIONS TO-GO (AND MORE) OVER THE PAST NINE MONTHS, RESTAURANTS, BARS AND BREWPUBS ENDURED TUMULTUOUS UPS AND DOWNS WITH CHANGING REGULATIONS AROUND ALCOHOL SALES. WHEN ESTABLISHMENTS WERE FORCED TO CLOSE THEIR DOORS TO PATRONS IN THE SPRING, TOGO COCKTAILS, WINE AND BEER OFFERED A REVENUE LIFELINE TO SUFFERING ESTABLISHMENTS. AS THE PANDEMIC WORSENED, CITY GOVERNMENT BANNED TOGO BEVERAGES IN LATE JULY, ULTIMATELY LEGALIZING THEM AGAIN IN OCTOBER AS THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES DROPPED. ALONG THE WAY, A FEW SPOTS STOOD OUT FOR THEIR MOBILE DRINK OFFERINGS.
Picnic Provisions & Whiskey When bars and restaurants started turning to take-away, Picnic Provisions & Whiskey was a step ahead because the restaurant’s picnic-friendly philosophy has always included casual food and drink to-go. In addition, the shaded outdoor picnic tables and cornhole entertainment were perfect for social distancing – no makeover needed. “We wanted to have it be one of those spots that mom and dad can bring the kids and the dog but they also want something good to drink,” owner and co-founder Ti Martin said. “That’s why whiskey is in the title.” As shifting city regulations behind to-go alcohol sales permitted, Picnic focused on offering appealing beverages that could be enjoyed anywhere. “We were one of the first to get the to-go cocktail license,” Martin said. Takeout beverage hits included the frozen pina colada and “Adult juice boxes,” all sealed in plastic pouches. The junior set can sip on a Ducktail, which blends house made lemon-lime soda with sour blue raspberry ice cubes and a rubber duckie. As restrictions relaxed, customers could once again enjoy Picnic’s You Make Me So Happy Hour Wednesday through Sunday as well as monthly whiskey tastings. They can also sample the continually evolving menu, which now extends from crawfish boil hot fried chicken and the wildly popular blue crab dip to lighter options like a grilled chicken club sandwich or an Ochsner Eat Fit-approved salad. “Picnics are such a big part of COCIS,” Martin said. “People want to be outside and they want to have something good to eat.” NolaPicnic.com.
Urban South Brewery
PALM & PINE
One of the city’s largest craft brewers, Urban South Brewery, kept customers coming into its Tchoupitoulas Street facility by developing a more take-home-friendly approach. According to founder Jacob Landry, prior to the pandemic, 90 percent of Urban South’s product went to distributors for sale in grocery stores, bars, and restaurants, with the rest enjoyed by customers in the onsite taproom. With the taproom shuttered, Urban South aimed to make it easier for customers to purchase and take those specialty brews to-go. The brewery typically releases a slate of three to four brand-new specialty beers every Thursday evening so that customers can pick them up throughout the weekend. These releases include creative concoctions like the All Tropical Triple or the Side Line Dry Hopped Gose as well as packaged “beer slushies” in flavors such as Lychee Guava Mint. According to Landry, the wholesale-heavy brewery took a dramatic hit when bars and restaurants closed in the spring but was largely able to offset losses with robust retail sales as customers purchased Urban South standards like Who Dat Golden Ale and Paradise Park American Lager in stores. As of press time, city regulations allow Urban South to offer outdoor seating and limited indoor service, with potential for more. Until then, Landry hopes the to-go model will continue helping to sustain the business: “It certainly doesn’t make up for not being able to open onsite, but it’s definitely been a lifesaver.” UrbanSouthBrewery.com.
The proprietors of French Quarter restaurant Palm & Pine know a thing or two about resilience. After opening in July 2019, the fledgling business suffered a blow with the collapse at the nearby Hard Rock site in October 2019. Then came coronavirus. Through all the obstacles, chefs and co-owners Amarys and Jordan Herndon have soldiered on, working with their team to offer creative cocktails to-go, host a range of pop-ups showcasing local talent, and serve fellow members of the hospitality community with free weekly meals. To-go batched cocktails were an early key to bringing customers back to Palm & Pine. “We had people making a small to-go food order and a large batched cocktail order,” Amarys said. The drinks were also affordably priced, from $30 to $40 for a quart. For people “Festing in place,” the restaurant created “Jazzeracs” by the quart. “It’s something that felt like New Orleans, felt like Jazz Fest and connected us to our guests we were missing,” Amarys said. As the weather warmed, the bar team concocted boozy sno-balls with homemade syrups incorporating seasonal fruits. Amarys credits “stubbornness and creativity” with getting the restaurant through rocky times. “We use it as a skill or accomplishment instead of feeling defeated,” she said. The Herndons also feel a responsibility to help others in the service industry, serving them free meals every Monday since the shutdown began. “We have only missed one week,” Amarys said. They have brought in guest bartenders to serve at weekly Pop-up Tuesdays, giving out-of-work industry members an additional earning opportunity. Pop-ups hold a special place in the heart of Palm & Pine, which started out by popping up in local establishments Erin Rose and Black Penny. “Taking care of people in our industry is the foundation of what we want to do, no matter what,” Jordan said. Though Palm & Pine’s early days have thrown plenty of curveballs, the Herndons remain optimistic. “I am excited for us as a restaurant,” Jordan said. “I can’t wait, whatever happens when we get out of this, to hit the ground running.” PalmandPineNola.com.
TWELVE MILE LIMIT As Mid-City watering hole Twelve Mile Limit celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, owner T. Cole Newton is riding a wave of ups and downs. Like other neighborhood bars, Twelve Mile Limit seemed to reinvent itself again and again through the roller coaster of COVID-related government regulations. In March, Newton set up an “ad hoc, low tech” preorder system with contactless payment. A couple of weeks later, the bar shut down completely for a monthand-a-half before a conditional restaurant permit allowed it to offer packaged drinks and frozen specialties to-go. After another round of loosening and tightening rules, Twelve Mile Limit was finally able to settle into a system of patio dining (with food provided by longtime resident pop-up Que Pasta) and drinking, with to-go beverages still playing a key role. Customers can order ready-to-drink batches of customer favorites like the bourbon-based “Baudin” cocktail as well as classic daiquiris and an expert Old Fashioned. Most important for Newton is that bars survive. “Neighborhood bars are so critical to New Orleans’ cultural identity,” he said. “People love their neighborhood bars… They are a hub for the community in a meaningful and tangible way, an important part of people’s lives. It’s tough that we are on the brink of losing so many of them.” Twelvemilelimit.com.
Barrel Proof For Barrel Proof, to-go cocktails have offered a small window of normalcy in an anything-but-normal time. The bar first closed its doors from March 16 until early July. At that point, frozenfriendly regulations from city government led Barrel Proof, primarily a whiskey bar, to purchase a frozen drink machine and begin serving margaritas through a to-go window. The frosty drinks were popular with neighbors and regulars until the bar was forced to shut down again in late July amidst rising COVID-19 numbers. On Sept. 13, Barrel Proof was back in action, with a conditional restaurant license and a popup kitchen serving food from Matchbook Kitchen and Que Pasta. “We have changed the way we approach service, but it has at least allowed us to be open and keep our heads slightly above water until things start to get better,” Barrel Proof partner Liam Deegan said. As of press time, Barrel Proof’s walk-up window is open from noon until 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making it an ideal place to grab a cocktail of any kind – from pours of whiskey to frozen margaritas – while strolling Magazine Street or enjoying Barrel Proof’s outdoor seating. At 4 p.m., the bar opens inside for dinner service. Over the course of the year, Deegan has seen changes in local drinking habits. “We noticed people weren’t drinking as late as they used to – they were shifting more to day drinking.” Now, he observes, people are coming in at all times. Deegan and his colleagues are just grateful to see those customers coming. “People have been really happy to see the doors open, to come in and support us. It’s nice… to have a little sense of normalcy.” BarrelProofNola.com.
BEST TAKE OUT ‘TO GO’ ORDERS HAVE BEEN AN INDISPENSABLE SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR RESTAURANTS THIS YEAR. SOME OWNERS HAVE HAD TO ADAPT TO THIS NEW DEMAND WHEREAS OTHERS WERE ALREADY WERE WELL SUITED FOR IT. HERE ARE SOME OF OUR FAVORITES.
Wishing Town Bakery Wishing Town may be best known for its stunning desserts, including airy, multilayer “Mille Cakes” in creative iterations like green tea. But what many don’t know is that it also offers a terrific savory menu that is well-suited to takeout. What’s more, its authenticity is a welcome departure from Americanized Chinese fare. Try the mini bao, bite-size steamed buns, as well as the “Onion and Beef Triangle Dumplings” and “Chicken Floss Cold Noodle.” WishingTown.com.
Brigtsen’s Brigtsen’s is an example of a restaurant that had to adapt. “I realized early on that some dishes just would not work, like our seafood platter,” owner Frank Brigtsen said. “But it gave us an opportunity to do things in a different way and serve dishes we wouldn’t otherwise be serving.” Along with classics like his “Roasted Duck with Dirty Rice and Cherry Sauce” and an insanely delicious crab and corn bisque, look for more left-field choices like “Duck Boudin Egg Rolls.” Brigtsens.com.
BEST TAKE OUT
n March 15, maritime journalist Troy Gilbert sat on his back porch wondering how to help restaurantowning friends who were facing a dire situation. He recalled an idea he had conceived, but never pursued, after Hurricane Katrina: a system to harness the power of multiple restaurants to feed front line workers. Gilbert called friend Robert Peyton (who is also a writer for New Orleans Magazine) and tapped others in their networks, and Chef’s Brigade was born. Working quickly to bundle dozens of local restaurants into brigades, the organization was able to deliver its first meals to local first responders on March 26. Chef’s Brigade began crowdsourcing funds and raised $80,000 from people across the country, enough to operate five brigades of restaurants for 42 days. That initial run proved the brigade concept was effective, but the system needed a more stable source of funds to continue. For three weeks, brigades sat idle while the leadership team searched for funding. A stroke of serendipity came in the form of a request for proposal from the city of New Orleans seeking an operator for a new mass feeding initiative. Gilbert and Peyton knew the brigade system could handle the proposal’s call to provide 60,000 meals a day, but they needed more partners to make it happen. Revolution Foods and NOCHI stepped up, and the team sketched out a system that would leverage 80 food providers to produce high quality meals that could be distributed safely around the city. The City selected Chef’s Brigade as the winning proposal. “We blew everybody out of the water,” Gilbert said. “But suddenly, we had to turn the thing on a few days later. We did it even without the contracts being signed.” Since July, Chef’s Brigade has been providing three services: daily hot meals for homeless people; stocking refrigerated trucks at distribution points around the city where registered plan participants can pick up meals; and home delivery to every neighborhood in Orleans Parish (with delivery service provided by d’Livery NOLA). The 80 participating restaurants represent a broad spectrum of the food industry, covering mom-and-pop shops, caterers, food trucks and old-line French Quarter restaurants. According to Gilbert, “The trick for Chef’s Brigade has been to touch as many restaurants as we can within this program while also not diluting the amount of meals we can push to these restaurants.” Given the bleak outlook for the city’s hospitality industry, Gilbert hopes the program can serve as a “bridge” to help these restaurants get to the other side of the pandemic. He also believes that this program can – and should – be replicated in other cities and disaster situations. “New Orleans should take pride in the fact that New Orleanians have built this system that is unprecedented in the culinary and natural disaster history of the U.S. I am stunned it hasn’t been pushed out to the rest of the country because it is economical and efficient. It is absolutely making a difference in effectively saving a huge chunk of the New Orleans restaurant industry – keeping people employed and keeping people fed.”
SNOBALLS Hansen’s Sno-Bliz When Hansen’s Sno-Bliz owner Ashley Hansen reopened this summer, she had to adapt to salvage the store’s peak earning season by implementing a sidewalk system that included social distancing and Plexiglass screens. She first reopened with a limited menu, but quickly expanded the selection after customers begged for their favorites. “People want what they want,” which, according to Hansen, are New Orleans flavors like nectar and satsuma. 4801 Tchoupitoulas Street.
Chance in Hell Snoballs Local cabaret and drag performers Kitten and Lou created the weekend porch pop-up, located at the corner of France and Burgundy Streets, in late May and the business quickly boomed, with an estimated 200 sno-balls a day at their peak. Chance in Hell uses all-compostable packaging and organic produce from local growers, with a rotating menu of creative flavors like ginger basil plum and the “Vampire Slayer,” a blend of black garlic, molasses and chocolate. On Instagram @chanceinhell_snoballs
Culinary Classes with a Local Flair
BEST TAKE OUT
PIZZA DELICIOUS At press time, this Bywater favorite was only offering pickup and delivery. Yet few dishes lend themselves better to takeout than pizza. And when the pizza comes from arguably the city’s best New York-style pie stop, you’ve got a take-out dish that everyone will enjoy. PizzaDelicious.com.
For local food-and-beveragerelated organizations that relied heavily on foot traffic and in-person workshops, online classes became a logical – and necessary – step. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum, the Sazerac House and NOCHI faced a common challenge when they could no longer offer in-person classes, and they all developed remote offerings to keep people learning even from afar. Sazerac House has brought several of its cocktail-related offerings online. Cocktail kits are available for curbside pickup, and participants can choose from “Drink and Learn” classes on topics like Creole holiday traditions or virtual cocktail demonstrations. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum has restarted many of its in-person offerings, but it also maintains virtual options. Every Wednesday at 4 p.m., the Museum goes live on Facebook with cook-along programming, with topics ranging from homemade peanut butter cups to cookie decorating to holiday latkes and more. Classes are free, and calendar information is available on the Museum’s Facebook page. The New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), also turned to the internet to reach its at-home clientele. NOCHI kicked off its “Cooking in Quarantine” series (now “NOCHI Together”), during the early days of quarantine. The classes have offered participants from all over the world a chance to cook along with talented instructors as they work their way across cuisines. Participants can register in advance to receive shopping lists and recipes so that they can create in real time or replicate dishes at their convenience.
Chefs and Grocers Team Up 2020 was a banner year for retail groceries. The onset of stay-at-home life brought skyrocketing demand for staples from sliced bread to household cleaners to toilet paper, and stores fought to keep shelves stocked. It didn’t take long for chefs and restauranteurs to determine that one of the best places to connect with their former dining public was in the aisle of their neighborhood grocery. Rouses stocked items including Galatoire’s shrimp remoulade and Saba’s hummus and pita. Langenstein’s offerings included lentil soup from Jamila’s Café and GW Fins’ Salty Malty ice cream. According to Langenstein’s COO Trey Lanaux, the connections happened organically. “It just kind of originated with talking to customers who had restaurants or knowing businesses who weren’t doing well. We figured we were doing well, and we had the ability to help people out, so we started bringing on their products.” In some cases, like with Jamila’s soup, Langenstein’s turned over all the sales to the restaurant. For others, the store provided a valuable distribution point, like for NOLA Boils, which held crawfish boils in the parking lot of Langenstein’s Metairie location. Collaborations extended beyond food to health and safety. According to Lanaux, “We had customers that started making face masks at home with their sewing machines, and we would sell those and donate the proceeds to local nonprofits.” Stores also stocked hard-tofind hand sanitizer from locally owned NOLA Brewing Company and Seven Three Distilling Co. As Lanaux said, “It was like a wartime effort.”
While eating outside and picking up take-out has become second nature to New Orleanians, many restaurants found themselves pivoting in creative ways with new window-service options that is serving them (and their customers) well.
VAL’S TACOS When CureCo (the folks behind Cure and Cane & Table) announced the restaurant they planned to open on Freret Street, it was to be called “La Ventana at Val’s,” an indication that takeout service was always intended to be an important part of their business model – ventana means “window” in Spanish. They dropped the “La Ventana” at some point, but the idea was prescient, as current circumstances greatly favor eateries with outdoor and takeout options. The means by which food is served, however, is less important than the food itself, and the offerings at Val’s do not disappoint. Chef Alfredo Nogueira, chef at Cane & Table, oversees a small menu of Mexican dishes, including antojitos like chips with a choice
of charred tomato or cremosa salsas, guacamole, queso fundido with chorizo, shrimp ceviche, frijoles charros (pinto beans with bacon) and elotes, Mexican-style grilled corn on the cob. Tacos are served on house-made tortillas, and can be ordered with crispy beef (suaderos, or crispy chopped beef belly), pork shoulder, chicken in green mole sauce, Baja-style fried fish and sweet potato with salsa macha, a piquant, nutty salsa made with dried chiles. As befits a restaurant from CureCo, there’s an excellent selection of cocktails based on tequila and mezcal that run well past the standard margarita. There are a few wines by the glass, beers and a michelada, which should be on more menus. ValsNola.com.
ANGELO BROCATO Some might say that Angelo Brocato has always been a “window service” place. There are a few tables, but a lot of people order their pastries and frozen desserts to go, if only because it’s hard to get a seat much of the time. After the lockdowns, though, the limited space inside the shop put the iconic place in a difficult position. In response, they put a window in the door that previously was an employee-only entrance, and they’ve been serving their specialties from it successfully ever since. Angelo Brocato Original Ice Cream Parlor has been around since 1905. That kind of longevity does not happen by accident. There just aren’t that many places where you can get the sort of high-quality pastries, cookies, cakes and baked goods of all kinds
that they make, and nowhere to find some of the Sicilian specialties they produce. Take the biscotti regina – the oblong sesame cookies – are indisputably the best thing one can have with an espresso or strong coffee, followed closely by the cuccidati fig cookies. Then there are the almond crescents, with their ends dipped in a bittersweet chocolate. They are not actually made by angels, but they could be. You may also be aware that Angelo Brocato Original Ice Cream Parlor serves gelato and fruit ices. These are also outstanding, and while you can purchase them in local groceries, there’s something special about getting a scoop or two at the source. AngeloBrocatoIceCream.com.
Junior’s on Harrison Junior’s on Harrison took over the space formerly occupied by Cava late last year after a renovation. Junior’s is owned by Nick Hufft and Lon Marchand, who also run two restaurants in Baton Rouge – Curbside Burgers and the Overpass Merchant in addition to Gail’s Fine Ice Cream, a dessert truck. They had planned to open a window on the side of Junior’s to serve their ice cream before the pandemic, but after the lockdowns, they’ve used it for takeout service. It’s worked well; it allows a separate area for people picking up food, and when there’s a line for indoor dining, customers can order a drink while they wait. Junior’s menu is eclectic – starters include a thai peanut salad, cheese curds with ranch dressing and steamed buns with a choice of Korean pork belly or hot chili cashew chicken. Larger plates include a cheeseburger and spicy chicken sandwich as well as a Korean “Philly” sandwich, which adds bulgogi-style ribeye to the classic combination of caramelized onion and white “whiz” on a seeded French bun. Weekly specials include items like red beans on Monday, and catfish and corn maque choux on Thursday, with discounted beverages from an extensive cocktail list each day. JuniorsonHarrison.com.'
PURVEYORS + PRODUCE RESTAURANTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS RELY ON THE FRESH PRODUCE, SEAFOOD AND MARKET DELIVERIES. CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS FORCED MANY PURVEYORS TO MAKE A SHIFT, BY PROVIDING PRODUCTS BOTH TO ORGANIZATIONS IN NEED, AS WELL AS DIRECT TO HOMES, WITH WINNING RESULTS FOR ALL.
Louisiana Fresh Produce Louisiana Fresh Produce, has a long history of supplying local restaurants, hotels and caterers, among others with "farm to table" connections and high quality ingredients. They also have a consistent record of supporting groups and causes. Add to that list a number of groups working to feed people during the pandemic, including Chef’s Brigade. In the immediate aftermath of the lockdown, and remembering the huge amount of product they were forced to throw away after Katrina, they opened the doors of their warehouse and over five days, donated thousands of dollars-worth of produce to service industry workers.
Piazza Seafood Piazza Seafood is the sort of company that has been around a long time, but which you probably haven’t heard of, working behind the scenes, supplying restaurants. The Piazza family traces its roots to Sicily. They came here in the 19th century and not long thereafter they were involved in the seafood business. Starting with a hand-drawn cart, the family built the business to what it is today, a trusted purveyor of quality seafood. They specialize in local seafood, but they have global reach and offer everything from catfish collarbone to high-end sushi-grade fish. David Biggar works at Piazza, and when the pandemic hit, he immediately saw that his customers were going to be in trouble. He looked around and found Chef’s Brigade and started offering discounts and donations to restaurants cooking for first responders and, later, for the community. Like most purveyors, Piazza had a lot of product they’d expected to sell. They could have declared it a loss and made an insurance claim, possibly, but this is a company that would rather not see product go to waste. Piazza Seafood is a local operation, and a part of the community, so while it shouldn’t be a surprise that they stepped up during a time of crisis, it’s remarkable. PiazzaSeafood.com.
Ragged Branch is a producer of Virginia straight bourbon. It’s a fantastic, award-winning bourbon, but that’s not why we’re writing about them here. It’s also not because of the Louisiana Reserve Bourbon they produce in honor of Chris Sarpy, a New Orleans native and one of the owners of the company. Rather it’s because Ragged Branch decided early on to grow the grain that they’d use in their whiskeys, and as a result they ended up in the cattle business. They have 50 to 100 cows on two properties at any given time, and those cows have the great good fortune to consume the residual mash from their distillation process. This is similar to the way certain cows are fed the lees from sake production in Japan. Those cows are the true “Wagyu” beef, and while so far as I know the folks at Ragged Branch don’t massage their steers as sometimes happens in Japan, the meat they harvest from their cows is among the finest you will taste. When pandemic restrictions caused restaurants to close, Ragged Branch had a good bit of ground beef that needed a home. They donated hundreds of pounds of it to feed first responders in New Orleans, and they’ve continued to support local efforts to feed people in need. Ragged Branch didn’t ask for publicity for their donation, and most of the first responders who benefitted from it have no idea where the best beef they’ve eaten came from. RaggedBranch.com.
VIRTUAL REALITY Commander’s Palace As people hunkered down at home, screens became lifelines to jobs, school, friends and family. Restaurants and food and beverage institutions quickly picked up on the opportunity to connect with the community online. Commander’s Palace “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” Wednesdays virtual wine and cheese seminar/costume party/bacchanal hosted by Commander’s Palace may have begun as a lark, but it snowballed into a pandemic fixture that shows no signs of stopping. After the first successful event, the number of attendees doubled… then doubled again. “It was lightning in a bottle,” Commander’s Palace “Wine Guy” Dan Davis said. The team set up a system for wine and cheese deliveries and pickups for attendees, whose ranks continued to grow. The weekly event became a fixture on many calendars – Davis estimates that around 75 households have attended continuously since the beginning. “We even notice when one of them is out of town,” he says. CommandersPalace.com.
Beth Biundo Sweets Local bakery owner Beth Biundo moved her popular baking classes online. Each class covers a single topic, from biscuits to pâte a choux to tarte tatin. Classes are interactive, with participants typing questions in real time as they cook along. They are also completely hands-on, with students making every recipe element, as opposed to working with prechilled dough in a standard class. The classes can be given as gifts – one of many options Biundo offers for the holidays, including packaged items like pound cakes and mini sugar cookies, and her signature special order cakes. BethBiundoSweets.com.
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Southern woman has infamous mystique. Books, ballads, TV shows and films have long tapped into the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fascination with a
woman who is at once feminine, but not afraid to speak her mind;
gracious, but in no way a pushover; and with the strength and force of hurricane winds whipping across the Gulf Coast. The southern woman has earned her fitting nickname: Steel Magnolia.
New Orleans Magazine would like to thank SoSuSu for providing the beautiful clothing and styling, The Cannery and Toulouse Gourmet for providing the venue and catering, H20 Salon & Spa for providing the hair styling, and both Hollywood Makeup Bootcamp and Zoe Skelton Beauty for providing makeup artistry for the 2020 Steel Magnolias photoshoot.
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Clothing from SoSuSu (from left to right): Greta Constantine with Malone Soulier shoes; Preen; Costarellos with Malone Soulier shoes; Sara Roka; Costarellos; Maticevski; Greta Constantine
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Taylor Alfonso Owner of Stella & Grace and Oh La Love Taylor Alfonso is an unstoppable forceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;no matter what life throws at her, she responds with hard work and dedication. When her son was diagnosed with autism, Taylor nearly put her dreams asideâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;instead she harnessed the strength to be both an attentive mother and the woman she knew she could be. Strong, resourceful, and determined, Taylor believes in the power of womanhood, which she further fosters through her businesses and each item of clothing she sells. At a young 29, Taylor stays involved with her local community and the autism community. She co-founded Cocktails and Catwalk, benefitting Safe Harbor Northshore, and is a member of the Leading Ladies League, a group benefiting single mothers. CLOTHING FROM SOSUSU: COSTARELLOS
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Ansley Seaver Marshall, JD, HHS Founding Partner, McEnery Residential Team Leader, Ansley Marshall Group Ansley Seaver Marshall credits those around her for her success as one of New Orleans’ top producing realtors. From her husband and two daughters to her brokerage partners at McEnery Residential and Realtor team members at Ansley Marshall Group, Ansley’s hardworking colleagues and supportive family inspire her to give her all. Focused on giving back to the community in all of her roles—mother, wife, business owner, Realtor, and philanthropist— Ansley devotes time to numerous organizations, such as Legacy Donor Foundation, where Ansley serves on the board, Covenant House New Orleans, the Louise S. McGehee School, and other worthy local causes. CLOTHING FROM SOSUSU: RIXO
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Debra Macaluso Mortgage Loan Officer For more than four years, Debra Macaluso has felt honored to help people achieve their home ownership dreams in her role as Mortgage Loan Officer at Summit Funding. “I heard a saying a long time ago that I hope to put into practice each day: ‘Be the wind in someone’s sail,’” says Debra. To that end, Debra does more than help people secure a home through mortgage loans—she also does it through her giving and volunteerism. Debra supports Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West and is a member of its WATCH program (Women Accepting the Challenge of Housing). In 2019 alone, its members donated $44,000 towards the building of safe, affordable housing. CLOTHING FROM SOSUSU: ALESSANDRA CHAMONIX
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Deborah Augustine Elam President and CEO, Corporate Playbook™ Deborah “Deb” Augustine Elam is one of the country’s foremost experts in diversity, inclusion and leadership development and a fervent advocate for empowering women and diverse leaders. During her tenure at GE, Deb shattered the glass ceiling as the company’s first-ever Black female corporate officer. After a 30-year trailblazing career, she returned home to New Orleans, where her passion continues to fuel new ventures. Through Corporate Playbook™, Deb provides executive coaching and diversity strategy, while Dining with Deb™ delivers an innovative dining experience that brings together professional women across racial, religious, generational and political lines to drive meaningful connections and conversations. Recipient of numerous awards, Deb continues to inspire the next generation of leaders. CLOTHING FROM SOSUSU: MATICEVSKI
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Lesley Gattuso Brown, MCD CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist Owner, NOLA Speech and Language As a mother, balancing a busy career with virtual home school and family life, Lesley Gattuso Brown knows well the importance of resilience and clear communication. As a pediatric speechlanguage pathologist, she is committed to helping area children achieve both. After 11 years at a pediatric clinic, Lesley built NOLA Speech & Language from the ground up, learning to adapt, survive, and persevere with strength and grace. Her practice provides therapy via telehealth, home and office sessions, and in schools across New Orleans, helping children overcome a range of delays and disorders by addressing language, articulation, reading, and processing skills. Additionally, Lesley serves on the fundraising committee of Friends of the New Orleans Public Libraries. CLOTHING FROM SOSUSU: MATICEVSKI
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Michele Cooper, MD Plastic Surgeon The first of her family to attend college, Marylandnative Michele Cooper today enjoys a distinguished medical career complemented by impactful community activism. After residency training at Charity Hospital, Michele worked with some of the most renowned surgeons in New Orleans during her landmark craniofacial fellowship at Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital. After Hurricane Katrina flooded their home, Michele and her family moved to the Northshore, where she began a cosmetic practice that consistently receives top rankings. A fervent volunteer, Michele has been honored by the American Cancer Society and supports many causes and organizations, including You Night Northshore for cancer survivors, the New Heights Therapeutic Riding Program, Covenant House, and Emeril Lagasse Foundation among others. CLOTHING FROM SOSUSU: MSGM
NEW ORLEANS STEEL MAGNOLIAS PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Shelley Hoddinott Richardson Financial Advisor After graduating from LSU, New Orleans native Shelley Hoddinott Richardson followed her passion for finance and service and today enjoys wearing the hats of businesswoman, philanthropist, mother and wife. Shelley is a proud member of the Hoddinott/ Richardson Group at Merrill Lynch, where she works as a Financial Advisor alongside her father, Reginald Hoddinott, III, SVP. Outside of the office, Shelley values the outdoors, travel, and community service. She serves as board member for three organizations—the New Orleans Lympho-Maniac Cancer Fund, Pontchartrain Conservancy, and Sideline Pass—whose goals align with her own and include fighting cancer, driving environmental sustainability, and empowering women, respectively. Shelley and her growing family reside in Mandeville. CLOTHING FROM SOSUSU: JONATHAN SIMKHAI
B Y CHE R É CO E N
Don’t miss the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival, Mississippi’s largest holiday display with more than 1.5 million lights and special attractions (and some new ones this year!) held throughout 40 acres in Jones Park at the Gulfport marina. The annual festival runs through Dec. 31 — but closed Christmas Eve — with children’s activities, a heated and sanitized trolley, and the popular “Dancing Trees,” a massive light show on manmade trees accompanied by music. Safety precautions are in place this year. For instance, no lap sitting on Santa, but a masked Kris Kringle will still hear children’s wishes. Admission is $10 adults, $5 children age 5-12 with children under 4 admitted free. GulfportHarborLights.com STAY
Coastal Holiday Mississippi beach retreats
The weather outside on the Gulf Coast this time of years sits on the good side of frightful. For the most part, the rain and bitter cold have yet to rear their ugly heads. This month on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it’s possible to stroll along miles of peaceful beaches, to dine on seafood fresh from Gulf waters and enjoy attractions devoid of summer crowds. But a trip to coastal Mississippi in December also means great holiday fun. Because it’s the “Coast,” there are numerous boat parades to enjoy, perfect for social distancing. The Sat., Dec. 5, Christmas on the Water Boat Parade floats along the Biloxi Channel between Beau Rivage and Golden Nugget casinos, followed by the Christmas on the Bayou boat parade Sat., Dec. 12, on Bayou Bernard in Gulfport. For those who prefer holiday parades on land, the annual Sea Santa Sail-A-Bration on Dec. 5 moves boats through the town of Long Beach —on streets, pulled by trucks, — and the oldfashioned Christmas Parade rolls through Bay St. Louis that same day, followed by other free fun as part of the city’s Snowflakes and Sugarplum Festival. Other holiday events include Gulfport’s Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum’s nightly “35 Days of Christmas and Trains,” and Pascagoula’s “Downtown for the Holidays” with its tree lighting and parade on Fri., Dec. 4.
Ocean Springs developers Roxy and Ted Condrey have turned to America’s counter-culture days in developing The Beatnik Hotel, a stone’s throw from their other — and more elaborate — boutique hotel, The Roost. The Beatnik’s four cabins situated in a row harken back to a simpler day and the old motor courts where visitors would park their cars and slip inside a small but comfy refuge for the night. These cabins may be retro but simple they’re not, modern in both style and comfort and complete with kitchen, private patio and discreet outdoor showers. The Condreys have installed a plunge pool and outdoor seating with fire pit for visitors to take in cool December evenings with good company. TheHotelBeatnik.com. EAT
Some of the most eclectic biscuits in the South are served next door to The Beatnik at Greenhouse on Porter. And yes, those savory and sweet biscuits arrive inside a greenhouse, complete with house cat and local artwork. For an elegant meal, Chef Austin Sumrall delivers innovative fare utilizing fresh seafood and local produce at Biloxi’s White Pillars. Share the Gulf Seafood Tower with its variety of Gulf bounty, perfect for two, or the cast iron pork chops or wood-grilled swordfish accompanied by delectable sides such as boiled peanut hummus, oysters three ways or duck fat fries with roasted garlic aioli. The bar produces innovative cocktails as well. BiloxiWhitePillars.com.
I am a notorious pessimist. Sometimes I think this comes from a childhood of watching Saints games where they seemed certain to win only to blow it at the last second, but honestly, it’s probably just deeply ingrained in my personality. I assume every hurricane is coming for us. I assume every twinge is cancer. Whenever my phone rings, I assume it’s bad news. When I lost my first pregnancy early in the second trimester, after seeing a heartbeat and being told that my chances of miscarriage were less than 2 percent, I learned something else, though – assuming the worst doesn’t actually shield you from the pain when it happens. I wasn’t really shocked when I went in for an ultrasound and learned there was no heartbeat … after all, I’d been extremely cautious about telling anyone and always added the caveat, “But it’s still so early, so don’t get excited yet.” What I was, though, was devastated. That’s kind of where I am on the pandemic now … I am depressed at the current state of things while not surprised that it’s still going on. “We’re looking at another year of this,” I told my husband bleakly in early May. “Absolutely not,” he said. “That’s insane.” And yet. Here we are, with many months to go. Knowing it was coming didn’t make me any happier about it, but
BY E VE C R AWFO R D PEYTON
for a socially distant and masked visit in our front yard. Georgia had “the best day ever.” The same thing happened on Halloween: I dreaded it for weeks. Could we safely trick-or-treat? Would my kids have fun? How bummed would they be about the lack of class parties and general revelry? I worked myself up into a tizzy … and in the end, we trick-or-treated in a neighborhood we knew wouldn’t be crowded, and everyone we saw was masked up. There were some cool systems for “socially distant candy delivery” that my younger kid thought were hilarious, and my older kid ended up having a “Google Meet” virtual costume party and sleepover with her two best friends. I supplemented their plastic pumpkins with some of their favorite candy … and they both decided it was the best Halloween ever. So I’m feeling, oddly, optimistic about Christmas. It will be different, for sure, than our usual traditions of church and caroling and so many parties … but if we’re learning anything in all of this, it’s that smaller and scaled-down events sometimes make you realize how nice things presents that normally accompany can be when they’re boiled down her big class parties. to their essence. But when the day For more Eve I wish you and yours rolled around, it was check out her blog a lovely holiday season “Joie d’Eve” on actually perfect. We Tuesday mornings at … and PLEASE let 2021 got balloons and party myneworleans.com be better for all of us! supplies delivered, I’m still not an optiI made her favorite dessert (not mist, but sometimes, you’ve just got cake but lemon icebox pie), and to have hope. our immediate family came over
Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime? by now, I’ve made my peace with how different the holiday season will look for us this year. When I realized Georgia’s birthday would have to be “COVIDized,” I actually shed a few tears. I love doing birthday parties for my kids – themes, invitations, favors, the perfect cake! And I feared she would be disappointed at the lack of
JANE SANDERS ILLUSTRATION
BY L E E CUTR O NE
ABOUT THE DESIGNER Niki Epstein grew up in Florida but came to New Orleans in search of warmer weather after living in Chicago for more than a decade. Luckily for locals, she brought her talent for designing container-centric garden spaces for residential and commercial clients with her. Epstein’s work has been featured in “Garden & Gun,” “Elle Décor,” “Southern Living” and “New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles.”
NIKI EPSTEIN Holiday Lighting Advice
agical, twinkling lights are intertwined with the holidays. They announce the arrival of the season, amplify the beauty of our surroundings and our celebrations, and elevate our souls. On the other hand, untangling miles of knotted lights and blowing fuses with competitive lawn tableaux are the stuff of movie spoofs. To take the hassle out of holiday lighting, landscape designer and plant stylist Niki Epstein breaks down the process with some basic advice and important do’s and don’ts. First, Epstein recommends buying more lights than you think you need to ensure that you have enough. Using the same style lights
on a Christmas tree, mantle or other location looks best. Incandescent lights are warm and old fashioned, while LEDs are cooler and brighter and easier to find, she said. Epstein uses 100 lights per every 1.5 feet of tree. “The more sparkly, the better for me,” she said. When working with clients, she chooses lights according to their favorite holiday decorating style: colored lights for a nostalgic touch when the look is traditional; white lights with shimmery elements and ribbon for an elegant look; and white lights for a minimal look. For inspiration, she suggests considering the exterior of your home. For a client whose home overlooked Audubon Park, she went with a minimal approach so that the holiday décor wouldn’t compete with surrounding
1 Group shiny silver items like heirloom candlesticks and/or mint julep cups for a romantic table setting illuminated by candlelight.
2 Fill mason jars with strings of batteryoperated fairy lights surrounded by seasonal greenery.
3 To keep fresh greens looking spry, try Wilt Pruf, available on Amazon (avoid spraying furniture, mantles etc.).
views of oak trees. For continuity, she also recommends using the same theme inside and out. Professionals can solve electrical issues and tackle jobs both small and large. But when professional services and pre-lit trees (Epstein says these will be hard to come by this year) are not an option, Epstein’s tips work for do-it-yourselfers as well. She adds oomph to wreaths and garlands with strings of lights both inside and out, and while she prefers real wreaths, she recommends investing in artificial garland for outdoor use. It will outlast warm weather and can be used again next year. Outside, she uses doubled swags of garland to stand up to exterior proportions, and likes the ease of net lights for hedges. Lighting pathways with holiday themed solar lights, edging a roofline with icicle lights and hanging large 12 to 20-inch light balls from trees also bring the outdoors to life. Inside, she often adorns a large gilded mirror with a lighted wreath hung from ribbon, placing it halfway down the mirror for impact. When ceilings are high, her top tip for the most foolproof source of shimmer: “make your tree the focal point.”
SARA ESSEX BRADLEY PHOTO
BY JAY FO R MAN
Stoked and Smoked Barbecue love on Jeff. Hwy.
f 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the little things matter. Food doesn’t need to be complicated to taste good. And few things exemplify this principal more than barbeque, where it is the quality of the ingredients and the patience of the technique that make all the difference. This focus on fundamentals and the simple love of cooking form the cornerstones of Smoked, a barbeque joint on Jefferson Highway owned by the husband-and-wife team of Steve and Maureen Mock. For Steve, who grew up in rural Kansas, barbeque is a labor of love. The mornings come early and there are no shortcuts. “I’ve done this kind of cooking pretty much my whole life,” says Steve, who quit his nine-to-five to open Smoked. “It what we did growing up. You guys boil seafood down here, and we smoke barbecue up there.” While Steve is from Kansas, he describes his style as more aligned with Texas. The emphasis is on simplicity – let quality meat, basic rubs and woodsmoke do the talking. “Growing up, we always had really good fresh beef, pork and chicken. Cooking wasn’t about doctoring it up; it was about starting with good meat, seasonings and wood,” Steve said. Steve sticks exclusively with oak, whose mild flavor works across a range of proteins. Start with his brisket, seasoned with a simple rub of coarse black pepper, Kosher salt and a little chipotle pepper. He brings it right to the point where the fat barely holds it together and it collapses with the edge of a fork, melting like butter in your mouth. His baby back ribs are best ordered by the rack so you can behold the reddish mahogany hue of its bark, seasoned with chili and onion powder, granulated garlic, salt and unprocessed turbinado sugar, which imparts notes of molasses. The rubs for the protein are seasoning enough, but lest you
BAKED BEANS, PULLED PORK, BURNT ENDS, RIBS, POTATO SALAD, COLE SLAW AND BRISKET
feel something is missing you can choose from an array of homemade sauces, including a vinegar-based one that pairs well with the pulled pork. “I make five different sauces in-house,” Steve said, knowing that locals here like a lot of choices. “People are welcome to put them on, but I don’t. I only use dry rubs on the meat.” Sides include a creamy, mustard and pickle infused potato salad, a traditional sweet and creamy coleslaw, and baked beans studded with lagniappe-y bits of smoked morsels. Desserts include banana pudding and peach cobbler. Smoked recently relocated a few blocks down from its original location. It is still on Jefferson Highway, but now it is nestled alongside My Brothers Bar (imagine some good synergy there…) with a larger space that offers more seating. In these COVID days, BBQ makes for a quick and easy to-go option, but the new location offers more inside seating for those inclined to say. As always with BBQ, it is best to order ahead to ensure you get what you seek. When they run out for the day, they are done, and favorites like burnt ends go fast. Smoked is also available to cater events. Recent customers include the New Orleans Saints. “That was a great experience,” Steve said. Smoked, 6901 Jefferson Hwy., Harahan, 577-0199, SmokedbySteve.com.
ABOUT THE CHEF Smoked is Maureen and Steve Mock’s first foray into the restaurant business. Prior to Smoked, Steve worked for UPS and also as a contractor who built custom homes. One could argue that is a more useful skill than culinary school as it enabled him to basically build out their entire first location. Maureen was in medical sales prior but also brings catering experience, an especially useful angle for barbecue. “It can be pretty stressful for a husband and wife who have never been in this business, but we love what we do,” Steve said. “It’s been a great ride so far.”
JEFFERY JOHNSTON PHOTOS
B Y C H E F T O Y A B O U DY
Holiday Love Feeding family and friends
December is always the perfect time to throw a little extra love in the air. Bring this year to a grand finale with this full-flavored showstopper - juicy pork chops complimented perfectly by a sweet whiskey berry sauce with a swift kick of pepper at the end. Now, I know over the years Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad rap, but I doubt you can deny Brussels sprouts caramelized in bacon drippings. Can you? Pair it with your favorite wine and you’ve become the entertainer of the year! Meals like this make loved ones feel loved. Good food creates an atmosphere for good times and good memories. That’s how we do it in New Orleans, food is our love language. Share the love.
Substitute the whiskey for bourbon, and add more, if you like, to taste.
My secret is that I handle a thick cut of pork like it’s a good steak.
3 Bake the bacon on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for 15-25 mins.
PORK CHOPS WITH A WHISKY BERRY SAUCE AND APPLEWOOD BACON BRUSSELS
Whiskey Berry Sauce 6
tbsp. unsalted butter
tbsp. dark brown sugar
tbsp. white sugar
tsp. fresh lemon juice
1. Melt the butter and add brown sugar, berries, white sugar, lemon and cayenne and simmer until sugar is melted and combined. 2. Remove from heat and add whiskey.
Holiday Pork Chops 4-6 thick center cut pork chops 2
tbsp. of butter
Chef Toya’s All-in-One seasoning blend or preferred seasoning blend 1. Season generously on both sides of the pork chop. Melt the butter on medium heat. 2. Sear until a beautiful brown color, flip and lower the heat just a tad. Let it cook for about 5-7 minutes.
Applewood Bacon Brussels Sprouts 1
pack thick cut applewood bacon
tbsps. chopped garlic
lbs. Brussels sprouts, cut in half
Chef Toya’s All-in-One seasoning blend or preferred seasoning blend 1. Cook the bacon as you normally would and drain the fat in a measuring cup. 2. Set bacon aside. Pour the bacon drippings into the skillet with the chopped garlic and Brussels sprouts and sauté until the Brussels sprouts are caramelized lightly. 3. Season the to taste with seasoning blend and add half of the bacon chopped. For firmer sprouts, continue to sauté to preferred texture. For more tender sprouts, create a foil pocket and bake for 5 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
4. Before serving add the remaining portion of the bacon, chopped,as a garnish.
FOR THE LIVE VIDEO OF THIS RECIPE OR VISIT MYNEWORLEANS.COM/NOSH
SAM HANNA PHOTO
B Y E L IZ ABE TH P E AR C E
1/2 oz. rosemary simple syrup (see below) 1 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur 1 1/2 oz. cranberry juice
1 Substitute the rum with your preferred liquor.
2 If serving in a punch bowl, do not shake and strain. Instead, chill it ahead of time and add an ice ring to the bowl. As it melts, it will dilute the drink.
3 Instead of serving over ice, pour into a flute and top with champagne.
2 oz. rum 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice Garnish: rosemary sprig
1. Mix all ingredients in a
cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled, about 20 seconds.
2. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with fresh ice.
3. Garnish with rosemary sprig. Rosemary Simple Syrup 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (about 1/4 cup)
1. Combine water, sugar and rosemary leaves in a small saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, stirring until
Christmas Cheer Naughty and nice holiday cocktail
Holiday plans seem a bit uncertain these days. Will we be able to spend time with all our friends and family or continue to be limited to small groups? With that in mind, it’s best to choose a holiday cocktail that can serve the solo imbiber or scale up for a group of thirsty revelers. Santa’s Pants fits the bill. Make the recipe as given for one drink or increase the portions for a crowd. It can even fill a punch bowl! The infused simple syrup can be made ahead of time, so you are always ready to mix up the drink, even if it’s just for yourself. Its cheery color and festive garnish will invoke the holiday season, no matter whom you are spending it with. The name alone should bring a smile to everyone’s face...something we all can use these days.
sugar dissolves. Simmer for 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat and let
syrup steep, about 30 minutes.
4. Strain syrup into clean jar and
let cool. Syrup keeps for a month in the refrigerator.
LISTEN TO ELIZABETH’S PODCAST “DRINK & LEARN;” VISIT ELIZABETH-PEARCE.COM
EUGENIA UHL PHOTO
DINING GUIDE The Dining Guide is comprised of restaurants recently reviewed and visited by New Orleans Magazine. The list will change regularly to provide information on others that are also worth noting and acknowledging. Please check restaurant websites for up-to-date hours and locations. If you feel that a restaurant has been misplaced, please email Editor Ashley McLellan at Ashley@MyNewOrleans.com. $ = AVERAGE ENTRÉE PRICE
Acorn City Park, $ AcornNola.com Audubon Clubhouse Uptown, $$ AudubonInstitute.org Boulevard American Bistro Multiple Locations, $$$ BoulevardBistro.com
$ = $5-10
$$ = $11-15
Upperline Uptown, $$$$ Upperline.com Ye Olde College Inn Carrollton, $$$ CollegeInn1933.com Zea’s Rotisserie and Grill Multiple Locations, $$$ ZeaRestaurants.com ASIAN FUSION/PAN ASIAN
$$$ = $16-20
$$$$ = $21-25
Bayou Burger French Quarter, $$ 5SportsBarNewOrleans.com
The Company Burger Uptown, $ TheCompanyBurger.com
Arnaud’s Remoulade French Quarter, $$ Remoulade.com
Chartres House French Quarter, $$$ ChartresHouse.com
Café NOMA City Park, $ CafeNoma.com
Little Tokyo Multiple Locations, $$ LittleTokyoNola.com
Camellia Grill Riverbend, $ 309-2679
Magasin Uptown, $ MagasinCafe.com
Carrollton Market Riverbend, $$$ CarrolltonMarket.com
MoPho Mid-City, $$$ MoPhoNola.com
District Donuts Sliders Brew Multiple Locations, $ DonutsAndSliders.com
Rock-N-Sake Multiple Locations, $$$ RockNSake.com
Five Happiness Mid-City, $$ FiveHappiness.com
Union Ramen Bar Lower Garden District, $$ UnionRamen.com
Martin Wine Cellar Multiple Locations, $ MartinWineCellar.com
La Petite Grocery Uptown, $$$ LaPetiteGrocery.com
Breads on Oak Carrollton, $ BreadsOnOak.com.
Lilette Uptown, $$$$$ LiletteRestaurant.com
Café du Monde Multiple Locations, $ CafeDuMonde.com
Restaurant August CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$$ RestaurantAugust.com Rib Room French Quarter, $$$ RibRoomNewOrleans.com The Grill Room CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$$ GrillRoomNewOrleans.com The Pelican Club French Quarter, $$$$$ PelicanClub.com
CC’s Coffee House Multiple Locations, $ CCsCoffee.com Gracious Bakery + Café Multiple Locations, $ GraciousBakery.com Ruby Slipper Café Multiple Locations, $$ TheRubySlipperCafe.net BARBECUE
BB King’s Blues Club French Quarter, $$$ BBKings.com/new-orleans
Andrea’s Restaurant Metairie, $$$ AndreasRestaurant.com
Hoshun Restaurant Uptown, $$ HoshunRestaurant.com
Parkway Bakery and Tavern Mid-City, $ ParkwayPoorBoys.com
The Delachaise Uptown, $$ TheDelaichaise.com
Port of Call French Quarter, $$ PortOfCallNola.com
Caffe! Caffe! Metairie, $ CaffeCaffe.com
New Orleans Social House CBD/Warehouse District, $$ NOSocialHouse.com
$$$$$ = $25 & UP
Broussard’s French Quarter, $$$$ Broussards.com Café Degas Faubourg St. John, $$ CafeDegas.com Coquette Uptown, $$$ 2CoquetteNola.com Justine French Quarter, $$$ JustineNola.com La Crêpe Nanou Uptown, $$$ LaCrepeNanou.com
Bouligny Tavern Uptown, $$ BoulignyTavern.com Cane & Table French Quarter, $$ CaneAndTableNola.com Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar and Bistro French Quarter, $$$ OrleansGrapevine.com Patrick’s Bar Vin French Quarter, $$ PatricksBarVin.com Sylvain French Quarter, $$$ SylvainNOLA.com
Domenica CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$ DomenicaRestaurant.com Gianna Restaurant CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$ GiannaRestaurant.com Irene’s Cuisine French Quarter, $$$$ IrenesNola.com
Few restaurants can serve their dishes with the spectacle that Justine provides. This French Quarter restaurant is as much about good times as good food. Look for Champagne happy hours throughout the week including $60 bottles of Veuve Clicquot and $130 magnums of Charles Heidsieck. On Fridays during lunch you can get $12 glasses of Veuve Clicquot. Justine makes for a great option for parties and large groups. Justine, 225 Chartres St., French Quarter, 218-8533, JustineNola.com.
Josephine Estelle CBD/Warehouse District, $$$ JosephineEstelle.com Liuzza’s Mid-City, $$ Liuzzas.com Muriel’s Jackson Square French Quarter, $$$$ Muriels.com Napoleon House French Quarter, $ NapoleonHouse.com Pascal’s Manale Uptown, $$$$ PascalsManale.com Red Gravy Uptown, $$ RedGravy.com Restaurant R’evolution French Quarter, $$$$$ RevolutionNola.com Tommy’s Cuisine CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$$ TommysNewOrleans.com
At Saffron on Magazine Street, the Vilkhu family continues to surprise diners with its Indian menu interwoven with Louisiana influence and a bar menu that garners national recognition. Try the curry leafinfused “Oyster Bed Roast” along with their namesake Old Fashioned spiced up with homemade mango chutney. Saffon, 4128 Magazine St., Uptown, 323-2626, SaffronNola.com.
DINING GUIDE Vincent’s Italian Cuisine Multiple Locations, $$$ VicentsItalianCuisine.com
Drago’s Multiple Locations, $$$$ DragosRestaurant.com
SoBou French Quarter, $$ SoBouNola.com
GW Fins French Quarter, $$$$$ GWFins.com
Emeril’s CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$$ EmerilsRestaurants.com
Tableau French Quarter, $$$ TableauFrenchQuarter.com
Kingfish French Quarter, $$$ KingfishNewOrleans.com
The Bistreaux French Quarter, $$ MaisonDupuy.com/dining
Le Bayou French Quarter, $$$ LeBayouRestaurant.com
The Bombay Club French Quarter, $$$$ TheBombayClub.com
Mr. Ed’s Seafood and Italian Restaurant Metairie, $$ AustinsNo.com
Acme Oyster House Multiple Locations, $$ AcmeOyster.com Antoine’s French Quarter, $$$$$ Antoines.com Arnaud’s French Quarter, $$$$$ ArnaudsRestaurant.com Austin’s Metairie, $$$ AustinsNo.com Boucherie Carrollton, $$ Boucherie-Nola.com Brennan’s French Quarter, $$$$ Brennansneworleans.com Brigtsen’s Riverbend, $$$$$ Brigtsens.com Café Reconcile Central City, $$ CafeReconcile.org Casamento’s Uptown, $$ CasamentosRestaurant.com Clancy’s Uptown, $$$ ClancysNewOrleans.com Cochon CBD/Warehouse District, $$ CochonRestaurant.com Copeland’s Multiple Locations, $$ CopelandsofNewOrleans. com Commander’s Palace Garden District, $$$$ CommandersPalace.com Court of Two Sisters French Quarter, $$$$$ CourtOfTwoSisters.com Crabby Jack’s Metairie, $ CrabbyJacksNola.com Criollo French Quarter, $$$ CriolloNola.com Dooky Chase Restaurant Treme, $$ DookyChaseRestaurant.com
Galatoire’s French Quarter, $$$$$ Galatoires.com Gautreau’s Uptown, $$$$$ GautreausRestaurant.com Herbsaint CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$$ Herbsaint.com House of Blues French Quarter, $$ HouseOfBlues.com/ NewOrleans Jack Rose Garden District, $$$$ JackRoseRestaurant.com Katie’s Restaurant and Bar Mid-City, $$ KatiesInMidCity.com Mandina’s Mid-City, $$ MandinasRestaurant.com Mother’s CBD/Warehouse District, $$ MothersRestaurant.net Mulate’s CBD/Warehouse District, $$ Mulates.com NOLA French Quarter, $$$$$ EmerilsRestaurants.com/ Nola-Restaurant Palace Café CBD/Warehouse District, $$$ PalaceCafe.com Ralph’s On The Park Mid-City, $$$ RalphsOnThePark.com Richard Fiske’s Martini Bar & Restaurant French Quarter, $$$ RichardFiskes.com Royal House French Quarter, $$$ RoyalHouseRestaurant.com St. Roch Market Upper 9th Ward, $$ StRochMarket.com
Toups’ Meatery Mid-City, $$$ ToupsMeatery.com Tujague’s French Quarter, $$$$$ TujaguesRestaurant.com PIZZA
Pizza Delicious Bywater, $ PizzaDelicious.com Reginelli’s Pizzeria Multiple Locations, $$ Reginellis.com Theo’s Pizza Multiple Locations, $$ TheosPizza.com Pizza Domenica Multiple Locations, $$ PizzaDomenica.com SEAFOOD
Borgne CBD/Warehouse District, $$$ BorgneRestaurant.com Briquette CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$ Briquette-Nola.com Deanie’s Seafood Multiple Locations,$$$ Deanies.com Desi Vega’s Seafood and Steaks Metairie, $$$$ DesiVegaSeafood.com
Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House Multiple Locations, $$$ MrEdsRestaurants.com/ oyster-bar New Orleans Creole Cookery French Quarter, $$$ NewOrleansCreoleCookery. com
La Boca CBD/Warehouse District, $$$ LaBocaSteaks.com Mr. John’s Steakhouse Uptown, $$$ MrJohnsSteakhouse.com Ruth’s Chris Steak House Multiple Locations, $$$$$ RuthsChris.com The Steakhouse at Harrah’s CBD/WarehouseDistrict, $$$$$ HarrahsNewOrleans.com WORLD
1000 Figs Faubourg St. John, $$ 1000Figs.com
Oceana Grill French Quarter, $$ OceanaGrill.com
Bayona French Quarter, $$$$$ Bayona.com
Pêche CBD/Warehouse District, $$$ PecheRestaurant.com.
Compére Lapin CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$$ CompereLapin.com
Pier 424 French Quarter, $$$ Pier424SeafoodMarket.com Red Fish Grill French Quarter, $$$ RedFishGrill.com Sac-A-Lait CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$ Sac-A-LaitRestaurant.com SPECIALTY FOODS
Antoine’s Annex French Quarter, $$$ Antoines.com/AntoinesAnnex STEAKHOUSE
Crescent City Steaks Mid-City, $$$$ CrescentCitySteaks.com
Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House French Quarter, $$$$ BourbonHouse.com
Desi Vega’s Steakhouse CBD/Warehouse District, $$$ DesiVegaSteaks.com
Don’s Seafood Metairie, $$$ DonsSeafoodOnline.com
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse French Quarter, $$$$ DickieBrennansSteakhouse. com
Grand Isle Restaurant CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$ GrandIsleRestaurant.com
Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak French Quarter, $$$ Galatoires33BarAndSteak. com
Doris Metropolitan French Quarter, $$$$ DorisMetropolitan.com
El Gato Negro Multiple Locations, $$ ElGatoNegroNola.com Lucy’s CBD/Warehouse District, $ LucysRetiredSurfers.com Lüke CBD/Warehouse District, $$$ LukeNewOrleans.com Mona’s Café Mid-City, $ MonasCafeAndDeli.com Patois Uptown,$$$ PatoisNola.com Saba Uptown, $$$ EatWithSaba.com Seaworthy CBD/Warehouse District, $$$$ SeaworthyNola.com Shaya Uptown, $$$ ShayaRestaurant.com
HolidayGiftGuide 1. Perlis Clothing Perlis.com 6070 Magazine St, New Orleans 600 Decatur St, French Quarter 1281 N. Causeway Blvd, Mandeville 8366 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge A gorgeous hand-made 24k gold plated cuff bracelet crafted with pheasant and guinea feathers. Artisans hand select every feather making each bracelet unique. Packaged in a jewelry bag inside a branded gift box.
2. Cajun Crate CajunCrate.com A Cajun Crate box delivers specially curated boxes filled with Louisiana-made food and drink items. Send to the Louisiana lovers in your life, no matter where they are! Mardi Gras boxes ship in Jan. 2021 3. Phina PhinaShop.com 3717 Veterans Blvd, Metairie, 504-888-4141 2561 Metairie Rd, Metairie, 504-827-1605 Delicate, yet stunning, this gold statement serving piece will be the class your holiday table decor will need. This serving cluster comes with 9 sections. Approximate dimensions are 19″ x 12″ x 2.5″.
4. The Sazerac House Store.SazeracHouse.com/mixology-bar-kit.html 101 Magazine St, New Orleans 504-910-0100 Stainless steel bar kit includes a Japanese-style jigger (2 oz./1 oz), shaker tins (28 oz. & 18 oz), bar spoon, and strainer. $75. 5. Kim Starr Wise Floral Events KimStarrWise.com/the-flower-shop/ 437 Philip St, New Orleans 504-315-5607 We’re offering a weekly, bi-weekly and monthly subscription for a fresh floral bouquet or floral arrangement either picked up or delivered to your door. You can pick a container from the shop to use and we’ll swap it out with new flowers based on your subscription preferences. 6. Clandestine Events & Experiences Clandestine-Events.com/Shop 3436 Magazine St, New Orleans 479-387-6386 Locally curated gift boxes delivered direct to their door. Featured is our Flicks + Fun Box with everything you need for a ’night at the movies’ – wireless Bluetooth projector, tripod, screen + 2 stainless steel tumblers, popcorn and a madeto-order luxe candy box. Custom gifting orders available upon request. 7. Southern Refinishing SouthernRefinishing.com 708 Barataria Blvd, Marrero 504-348-1770 Give a gift card to Southern Refinishing 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 fixtures and tile to have the bathroom of your dreams. 72
8. NOLA Boards NolaBoards.com 4228 Magazine St., New Orleans 504-435-1485 The NOLA Boards Gift Crate is perfect for the foodie in your life! Trinity cutting board, roux paddle, Cajun seasoning, pepper jelly, and infused olive oil. Visit site for details. We also offer handcrafted and wooden kitchen accessories, countertops, and custom furniture.
9. Home Malone HomeMaloneNola.com 629 N Carrollton, Mid-City, 504-324-8352 4610 Magazine St, Uptown, 504-766-6148 Handmade ceramic alligator ornaments with jute hanging hook. Available in 3 colors and measures 4â&#x20AC;? x 2â&#x20AC;?. $14.
10. Auraluz ShopAuraluz.com 4408 Shores Dr, Metairie 504-888-3313 MY SAINT MY HERO ... mission is to bring faith, hope and purpose into everyday life. Their beautiful selection of wearable blessings makes a wonderful holiday gift for those special ones in your life. 11. Diamonds Direct DiamondsDirect.com/ New-Orleans.com 3230 Severn Ave, Metairie 504-383-3900 Look no further for the perfect everyday earrings than these 14K white gold studs, complete with .37 carats of round brilliant cut diamonds.
12. Queork Queork.com 3005 Magazine St, New Orleans 504-388-6803 Our Queork Wine Glass Charms come in an assorted set of 8 colorful cork fleur de lis designs with silver hardware. The perfect gift for wine lover stocking stuffers! $28. 13. Katherine Diamond Designs KatherineDiamondDesigns.com 2105 Kleinert Ave, Baton Rouge 225-421-4740 Give the gift of transforming a house into a home. Original artworks by Donna Roppolo and Tsar Nicholas II Coronation Cup. Contact Katherine for details.
Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
he holidays may look and feel a little different this year, but rest assured New Orleans is still full of opportunities to celebrate the season in fun, memorable ways with your nearest and dearest. Experience the romance of the French Quarter’s twinkling lights, the rich flavors and seasonal cocktails of celebrated local restaurants, the fellowship of friends and family in private dinners and events, and staycations or nearby vacations that will help you escape from routine and properly enjoy the holidays. Sights, sounds, flavors, and scents—from lavishly decorated trees to cheery carols, savory feasts to aromas of cinnamon and spice, this is a season that excites the senses. Find a new way to enjoy its many blessings with your closest loved ones this year and perhaps you’ll begin a tradition that you turn to year after year. For travel ideas, restaurants, accommodations, potential gifts, and more, check out the following offerings from notable local and nearby entities.
DINING & IMBIBING Justine Justine is a brasserie in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. Opened 76
by husband-and-wife team Justin and Mia Devillier, Justine combines the sophistication of Parisian brasseries with the playfulness of the South’s liveliest district. With dishes like Onion Soup Gratinée, Steak Tartare, and Gulf Seafood Bouillabaisse, the menu honors the technique and simplicity of French classics while evoking the senses with exciting, grand presentation. Prior to the pandemic, nightly entertainment added flare to Justine’s Parisian ambiance with a variety of entertainers from burlesque dancers to DJs—Justine plans to revive entertainment once mandates are lifted. True to French brasserie culture, the multi-roomed restaurant offers a versatile space to be enjoyed by all, whether it’s for a Friday lunch, weekend brunch, afternoon glass of wine or celebratory dinner. The café side opens to Chartres Street, emulating the quintessential Parisian-street experience. The kitchen room is anchored by two large communal tables overlooking the kitchen led by James Beard Award Winning-Chef Justin Devillier. In the smokedmirror-embellished bar room, the bar program embraces French spirits, wine, and the drinking culture that surrounds them. For reservations and information about private dining, visit justinenola.com.
SPONSORED poolside hangout, new fire pits invite cozy moments by the fire, while holiday-inspired cocktails keep you in the spirit of the season. Meanwhile, Ace Hotel’s private event space is available for private parties. Book your event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Ace Hotel or to book a room for a holiday vacation or staycation, visit acehotel.com/neworleans/.
Ace Hotel New Orleans
Red Gravy The holiday season brings two festive events to Red Gravy, the lauded Italian brunch, lunch, and now dinner restaurant from Roseann Melisi Rostoker. The 5th Annual Feast of the Seven Fishes, a holiday tradition, will take place Uptown this year at the restaurant’s new, larger Magazine Street location on Friday, December 18. Due to social distancing guidelines, limited seating is available for the single-seating event. “The Feast of the Seven Fishes has been a Christmas Eve tradition in my family as far back as I can remember,” says Roseann. “The meal could be as many as seven different courses, but one thing never changed—it was always just seafood: stuffed calamari, shrimp scampi, fried flounder, bacala fritters, and my dad’s stuffed peppers,” she says. Now, Roseann brings the yearly tradition to her restaurant guests, Italian or not. On Sunday, December 21, Red Gravy will present a Santas and Elves Brunch, where costuming is encouraged. Attendees can look forward to spiked cider, hot chocolate, and cookies in addition to the restaurant’s brunch offerings. For info and reservations, visit redgravycafe.com or call 504-561-8844. Briquette Start a new family tradition this holiday season with delicious food and wine shared together at Briquette, the 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. Along with its distinctive coastal cuisine, Briquette is also known locally for its enthusiasm for high quality, often hard-to-find wines and spirits. The restaurant recently won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its discerning, expansive wine list. Briquette is open Thursday-Sunday, 3 p.m. until close, and is located at 701 S. Peters Street in the Warehouse District. Book your socially distanced holiday gathering or Christmas Eve dinner by calling the restaurant at 504-302-7496 or via OpenTable. Ace Hotel New Orleans Holiday spirit has arrived at the Ace Hotel New Orleans and its restaurants and lounges—Josephine Estelle, Seaworthy, and Alto— where fun and decadence combine for locals and visitors looking to celebrate the season in style. Outdoor seating is available at all outlets, and gift cards are available for purchase both in-person and online. At Southern- and Italian-inspired Josephine Estelle and seafoodcentric Seaworthy, Reveillon Holiday Prix Fixe menus will be offered December 1- 23. Both restaurants will be open and accepting reservations on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. To reserve your holiday gathering, email enquire@ josephineestelle.com and email@example.com. At Alto, Ace’s rooftop 78
Gautreau’s Restaurant As a celebrated culinary New Orleans destination, Gautreau’s courts its guests with distinctively elegant yet approachable surroundings and a menu both inventive and down-to-earth. Nestled in a lush garden spot in Uptown New Orleans, Gautreau’s has been fortunate to see a succession of great talent in its kitchen, winning several national awards. Appetizers like the Seared Foie Gras with Calvados Gastrique Golden Delicious Apples and the Seared Sea Scallops with citrusgolden pepper emulsion showcase a vast spectrum of flavors that greet guests prior to entrees such as the Sauteed Red Snapper with Ruby Red Grapefruit Beurre Blanc or the Roasted Duck Breast with Molé Reduction. Offering a beautiful dessert menu to end your fine dining experience, Gautreau’s is the perfect location for your intimate, holiday event. For reservations and more information on our Private Dining Experience, please visit GautreausRestaurant.com. WINTER ENTERTAINMENT & TRAVEL English Turn This holiday season, English Turn offers the perfect backdrop for a gathering of friends, family, or employees. At the center of this luxury golf and residential community sits a magnificent, 43,000-sqft. clubhouse that recalls the grace and grandeur of Louisiana’s unique architecture. English Turn’s Clubhouse offers a spectacular location for your special event, complete with great food and drink options. Come visit the Pro Shop for all your golf game needs, and gift cards are available. Consider gifting an English Turn membership to your family this year and enjoy access to this Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Par 72 Championship Golf Course, where every hole offers an individual personality that provides quiet and seclusion from the city. Membership includes a variety of great amenities, including our junior Olympic sized pool, six clay tennis courts and updated fitness center. Experience all English Turn has to offer. For more information, visit EnglishTurn.com or call 504-392-2200. AAA 24/7 Roadside Assistance Now is the perfect time to dream about your future road trip escape. When the time is right and you’re ready to jump in the car, you can make sure your road trip stays on track with the peace of mind that accompanies AAA 24/7 Roadside Assistance. AAA covers you in any car, SUV, or pick-up truck even if you’re not the driver. AAA provides members with free towing, free tire change, free lock-out assistance, free minor mechanical first aid, free jump start, and free delivery of emergency fuel. For a limited time, readers of New Orleans Magazine can join AAA for only $52 and get two household members free (promo code 175644). Current AAA members can add two new household members free (promo code 175646). For more details, see AAA’s ad in this issue, call 844-330-2173, or visit AAA.com/ValueOffer. Join AAA today. Premier Island Management Group Make the most of the winter season with an escape to Pensacola Beach, Florida, and the properties of Premier Island Management Group. Whether you’re purely on vacation or looking for a change of scenery as you work—or school—remotely, Premier Island’s Pensacola properties will provide the perfect balance of indulgence, focus, natural beauty, and adventure. Situated just three hours outside of New Orleans along the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Island National Seashore, this collection of vacation rentals includes beach homes, condos, and the acclaimed skyhomes of Portofino Island Resort. Enjoy beach views while you work, and once you power down the lap-top, explore the Santa Rosa Sound on a kayak or paddleboard, surf the emerald green waters of the Gulf, soar through the sky under a parasail, or board Portofino I and
Portofino Island Resort
watch curious dolphins play in the water. Guests of all ages enjoy the properties of Premier Island. Make the most of your ability to work or learn from anywhere. Find your home away from home today at PremierIsland.com or call 866-966-1420. Ritz-Carlton New Orleans Celebrate the season with a staycation in your hometown, where The Ritz-Carlton is celebrating its 20th anniversary offering luxurious accommodations and unforgettable experiences. This winter, a festive and colorful display of lights and glass ornaments will greet guests on the hotel’s third floor lobby, creating a twinkling wonderland sure to bring cheer and romance to your holiday. Papa Noel rates start at $229+/night and are available now through December 30 (some blackout dates apply). For added luxury, reserve your staycation on The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans’ Maison Orleans Club Level, which is open for overnight guests Thursday-Saturday. This oasis is often referred to as a hotelwithin-a-hotel, where a dedicated concierge attends to your individual needs in a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment. Continuous culinary offerings in addition to wine, beer, and cocktails are available throughout the day. For more details and to book your stay, visit ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/neworleans or call 504-524-1331. NEW ORLEANS LIVING Lumina Apartments Set in vibrant and stylish Mid-City and just steps away from the Lafitte Greenway, Lumina Apartments offers luxurious and spacious living spaces with sleek, modern amenities. Both one- and two-bedroom floor plans feature high ceilings and contemporary finishes, with designer touches including vinyl plank floors, spacious walk-in closets, pendant lighting and granite countertops. Got a roommate? The Lumina offers the space you need—huge
bedrooms with walk-in closets and double-hung shelves and chefinspired kitchen with a custom designed table make Lumina your best choice for sharing costs without sacrificing space or style. Spread out even more by grabbing your laptop and heading to the posh clubroom, or work in the lounge with free Starbucks coffee. A resort-inspired pool and onsite 24-hour gym add to the luxury apartment allure. With popular restaurants and shops just a short walk away, Lumina is nestled in the heart of a thriving and active community. For more information and to set up an in-person or virtual tour, visit LuminaMidCity.com or call 504-608-5778. The Lumina is currently offering one month free with a 13-month lease. The Delaneaux Apartments All the luxury and amenities of Mid-City’s Lumina are now available in the Lower Garden District with The Delaneaux Apartments. This modern living community is designed to cater to your busy schedule and to ensure comfort, convenience and relaxation when you return home. Chef-inspired kitchens feature sleek, stainless steel appliances and custom island dining tables, and each floor plan is accented with contemporary finishes that set these spaces above all the rest. Amenities unique to The Delaneaux include a movie theater, a grand two-story clubroom and a resort-inspired pool, allowing residents to savor the rich history of their neighborhood whether inside their apartments or spending time with neighbors in communal spaces. The elegance of these spaces combines the beauty, distinction, and originality that make New Orleans an exceptional place to live with modern comforts and exquisite touches that create an unrivaled residential experience. For more information or to sign up for the VIP waiting list, call 504-841-9900 or email delaneauxmgr@greystar. com today. The Delaneaux is currently offering one month free with a 13-month lease. • MYNEWORLEANS.COM
SPONSORED and support the synthesis of new tissue and enhance the body’s own regenerative power. Through the overlap of cell and molecular biology, biomaterial and bioengineering disciplines, the vision of restoring and extending a patient’s normal, active lifestyle without the use of plastic, metal or foreign tissue parts is no longer science fiction. To learn more and potentially join the NOVOCART® 3D clinical trial, visit aesculapbiologics.com/en/patients.html. WELLNESS VISITS
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is devoted to its mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Now more than ever, it’s important to stay on top of your healthcare, especially if you’re over 60 or have a long-term condition like diabetes or high blood pressure. Getting your annual wellness visit is a great opportunity to talk to your primary care provider about any health concerns you may have to be sure you’re staying on track. If you’ve been putting off needed care because of COVID-19, now is the time to make your annual wellness visit a priority. You may even be able to have a virtual visit right from your home. Call your primary care provider today to make an appointment. And while you’re there, be sure to ask about getting a flu shot to help you avoid getting sick. For more on keeping up with care, visit www.bcbsla.com/ keepupwithcare. BLOOD DONATION & COVID-19 ANTIBODY TESTING
rom dealing with lingering knee pain to getting your annual flu shot or watching for signs of venous disease, the body can require a great deal of maintenance and attention. While keeping up with health needs can seem an intimidating task, it doesn’t have to be. Wellness checks with your primary care physician are one of the best ways you can make sure your body is functioning as it should. Staying up to date with health news and advancements is another way to get ahead of the game. According to the AARP, a recent Cleveland Clinic survey found that a majority of men would rather do household chores such as cleaning the bathroom than go see their doctor. This month, we encourage men of all ages to show their body the love it deserves by taking simple steps to maintain and improve good health. Additionally, they can consider showing love to others with a blood donation and, in certain cases, a COVID Convalescent Plasma donation. Saving lives starts with caring for your own. CLINICAL TRIALS
Aesculap Biologics If you are experiencing continued knee issues following a previous cartilage injury, you may be a good candidate for Aesculap Biologics’ Phase 3 clinical trial for NOVOCART® 3D, a tissue engineered cell-based product designed to repair articular cartilage defects of the knee. Exciting advances in cellular research have allowed medicine to begin a new focus on regenerative medicine, which encourages the body to repair damaged or diseased tissue by recreating and integrating new tissue in the place of old tissue. Using a combination of cells and smart biomaterial devices, Aesculap Biologics’ products may stimulate 80
The Blood Center For a limited time, The Blood Center is screening all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. This free service informs the donor if they carry the COVID-19 antibody, which has been used via plasma transfusions to help critically ill patients battling the coronavirus. Scheduled donations are required to practice social distancing and insure a safe, stable blood supply. Results post three to five days after a completed blood donation. Following donation, donors need to visit TheBloodCenter.org and log into My Account for their results. Donors testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be eligible to donate COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP). “We’ve seen promising results from patients who’ve received CCP, but there’s only a few recovered patients eligible to give at this time,” says Dr. Tim Peterson, Medical Director for The Blood Center. “The scarcity of donors with the COVID antibody make this test extremely beneficial to patient care.” Testing also provides statistics to the Louisiana Department of Health about what percentage of the population was exposed to COVID-19. To schedule your blood donation and help save lives, visit TheBloodCenter.org or call 1-800-86-BLOOD. VENOUS DISEASE
Cardiovascular Institute of the South Venous disease is a condition when the veins in the legs do not properly return blood flow back to your heart. Damaged veins cause blood to flow backwards and pool in the legs. This leads to varicose veins, which are enlarged, bulging or twisting veins. Who is most at risk for venous disease? Venous insufficiency affects about 40 percent of people in the U.S. Women are actually up to three times more likely than men to develop venous disease due to changes in hormone levels. Standing for long periods of time can also increase the chances of vein leakage. Those who spend most of the day on their feet, or whose jobs require them to stand all day—such as teachers, hospital workers, cooks, baristas, cleaners, factory line workers, or retail workers—are more at risk for this reason. If you think you may have venous disease, see a vein specialist at Cardiovascular Institute of the South. Call the Uptown clinic at 504-897-9686 or visit cardio.com. •
he brain is one of the most complicated, fascinating parts of the body, affecting its overall functioning. When problems such as stroke, tumors, or seizures arise, the affects can be significant. Greater New Orleans offers its citizens and those of surrounding regions a wealth of specialists in neurosciences, who can be instrumental in the diagnosis and treatment of complex neurological issues. Whether treating adults or children, these specialists often offer collaborative care that helps ensure better outcomes by considering the bigger neurological picture. From offering minimally invasive procedures with advanced technologies to aiding in research and understanding, specialists across New Orleans are advancing care in meaningful, life-saving ways. If you or someone you love is facing a neurological issue, there are a number of resources available. Find out more about local neurological care offerings with the latest news from the following specialists. Culicchia Neurological 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 is the synapses that helps 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 works 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. Children’s Hospital New Orleans’ Neurosciences 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. • MYNEWORLEANS.COM
A Special Section of New Orleans Magazine WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM & EVENTS GUIDE DECEMBER 2020
SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM WYES!
Wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year ! CHRISTMAS IN NEW ORLEANS | HANUKKAH: A FESTIVAL OF DELIGHTS | CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR FEATURING KELLI O’HARA AND RICHARD THOMAS | JEWISH NEW ORLEANS | LUCY WORSLEY’S 12 DAYS OF TUDOR CHRISTMAS | CALL THE MIDWIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL | ELLA WISHES YOU A SWINGIN’ CHRISTMAS WITH VANESSA WILLIAMS | CHRISTMAS WITH WALDO | CREOLE CHRISTMAS
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
LIVING IN THE NEW NORMAL: CHALLENGES FOR NON-PROFITS Thursday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, December 13 at 10:00 a.m. Non-profit organizations across the New Orleans region offer important community services in a diverse array of areas. Most are dependent on financial support from businesses and individuals to continue their operations. But during the COVID-19 pandemic that financial support has been under strain. How community groups are coping is the focus of the next installment of the continuing WYES series LIVING IN THE NEW NORMAL: CHALLENGES FOR NON-PROFITS.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR FEATURING KELLI O'HARA AND RICHARD THOMAS Monday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m.; Friday, December 18 at 9:30 p.m. Tony® Award-winner Kelli O’Hara and Emmy® Awardwinner Richard Thomas join The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells at Temple Square for an Americana-themed Christmas special.
AMERICAN MASTERS “Laura Ingalls Wilder: Prairie to Page" Tuesday, December 29 at 7:00 p.m. Explore the life, times and controversial legacy of the writer of the "Little House" series. Photo Credit: LIW Historic Home and Museum, Mansfield, MO
MUSIC DREAM: AN AMERICAN STORY Sunday, December 13 at 10:30 a.m.; Saturday, December 19 at 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, December 27 at 10:00 a.m. The half-hour program profiles musician/songwriter/music entrepreneur Henry Turner, Jr. and his band, Flavor. The film also explores reggae’s influence on blues music. Photo Credit: Ralph Barrera
VERNON JORDAN: MAKE IT PLAIN Monday, December 28 at 10:00 p.m. The film chronicles Jordan’s modest origins through his rise to national renown as a pioneering attorney, businessman, civil rights leader and counselor to presidents spanning the era from LBJ to Barack Obama. D2
THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE! REGISTER, VIEW & BID AT WYES.ORG.
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
ONLINE AUCTION DECEMBER 4-10
Funds raised from the auction benefit WYES’ production of award-winning documentaries that spotlight our culture, history, notable citizens and achievements to a local, regional and national audience; award-winning national cooking shows, local arts and news series; innovative educational programs on and off the air…and much more! D3
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
Let's Sip TEA and Be Merry!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10 / 4:00 P.M.- 5:00 P.M ZOOM EVENT / $45-$100 / TICKETS: WYES.ORG/EVENTS Let’s enjoy a Par-TEA and wear your favorite hat! Be a part of the hat contest with prizes. Enjoy fun themes: Alice in Wonderland, Downton Abbey, Mother/Daughter Tea and lots more! International known TEA experts: James Norwood Pratt will enlighten you on the “History Of Tea” and Bruce Richardson will share “Tea Rituals Around the World.”
NEED A HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA? Give an autographed Kevin Belton cookbook or a WYES local documentary! In order to ensure delivery by December 25th, you must place your order prior to December 15th.
To Order Online: wyes.org under "Shop WYES” *Orders placed on December 15th and later are not guaranteed delivery by December 25th. D4
1 TUESDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
10:30pm MEMORY RESCUE WITH DANIEL AMEN, MD
3 THURSDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm ANDY WILLIAMS: GREATEST LOVE SONGS (MY MUSIC) Favorites included are “Love Story (Where Do I Begin),” “Can't Get Used To Losing You,” “Dear Heart,” “Butterfly” and “Moon River.”
8:30pm CHANGE YOUR BRAIN, HEAL YOUR MIND WITH DANIEL AMEN, MD The program teaches viewers six practical steps to help them feel happier, sharper and more in control of their own destinies. 10:30pm STEPPIN' OUT 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
5 SATURDAY 7am EASY YOGA FOR ARTHRITIS WITH PEGGY CAPPY 8am LONGEVITY PARADOX WITH STEVEN GUNDRY, MD 9:30am KEVIN BELTON’S NEW ORLEANS CELEBRATIONS
9:30pm THE BEE GEES: ONE NIGHT ONLY One of the very few Bee Gees performances ever filmed, the music special showcases many of their greatest disco and pop hits, including “How Deep Is Your Love,” “To Love Somebody,” “Massachusetts," “You Should Be Dancing/Alone,” and many more. 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
8:30pm MASTERPIECE “50 Fabulous Years” Celebrate the iconic series that introduced generations of PBS viewers to the delights of British drama. From “Upstairs Downstairs” to “I, Claudius” to “The Jewel in the Crown” and “Downton Abbey,” MASTERPIECE has stood the test of time. 10pm LONGEVITY PARADOX WITH STEVEN GUNDRY, MD Dr. Gundry shares informative, life-changing information with viewers and shows a step-by-step easy approach to help us all feel better and more youthful today, no matter your age.
10am KITCHEN QUEENS: NEW ORLEANS 10:30am FRONTLINE “From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians” Drawing upon new and sometimes controversial historical evidence, the series transports the viewer back two thousand years to the time and place where Jesus of Nazareth once lived and preached and challenges familiar assumptions and conventional notions about the origins of Christianity.
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
7pm 70’S SOUL SUPERSTARS Soul diva Patti LaBelle hosts the historic reunion of classic recording artists of the decade, including the Commodores, original lead Eugene Record reuniting with the Chi-Lites, the Stylistics, Yvonne Elliman, Heatwave, Earl Young’s Trammps, the Emotions and the Manhattans.
9pm NOVA “The Mysteries of Sleep”
11:30pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
4 FRIDAY 5pm LOUISIANA STUDENT FILM FESTIVAL Amazing high school filmmakers are honored at the Louisiana Student Film Festival award show for their artistic and technical merit. 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm THE BRAIN REVOLUTION Discover how the brain can change over the course of a lifetime and how to protect it as we age.
6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm INFORMED SOURCES 7:30pm STEPPIN' OUT 8pm WASHINGTON WEEK
3:30pm RICK STEVES’ EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS celebrates the Christmas season throughout the European continent. In the special, Rick visits friends and families in England, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy to reveal their customs and practices of the holiday season.
5:30pm MAGIC MOMENTS: THE BEST OF 50’S POP (MY MUSIC)
4pm CHANGE YOUR BRAIN, HEAL YOUR MIND WITH DANIEL AMEN, MD
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
7:30pm 70’S SOUL SUPERSTARS 10pm 5 DAY RAPID RESET WITH DR. KELLYANN is designed to quickly refresh, restore and re-energize you! Dr. Kellyann's plan is a new take on losing weight, gaining energy and reclaiming your joie de vivre.
7:30AM & 3:30PM XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM Inspired by the best-selling kids book series, the series follows the adventures of Xavier, Yadina and Brad as they tackle everyday problems. 5:00am READY JET GO!
Noon SESAME STREET
12:30am ELINOR WONDERS WHY
6am MOLLY OF DENALI 6:30am WILD KRATTS 7:00am HERO ELEMENTARY 7:30am XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM 8am CURIOUS GEORGE 8:30am DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD 9:00am DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD 9:30am ELINOR WONDERS WHY 10:00am SESAME STREET 10:30am PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC 11:00am DINOSAUR TRAIN
11:30am CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG
1:00pm HERO ELEMENTARY 1:30pm LET’S GO LUNA! 2:00pm NATURE CAT 2:30pm WILD KRATTS 3:00pm MOLLY OF DENALI
7am THE BRAIN REVOLUTION 9am RICK STEVES’ FESTIVE EUROPE 9:30am INFORMED SOURCES 10am AGING BACKWARDS 3 WITH MIRANDA ESMONDE-WHITE The former ballerina uses groundbreaking science to develop a practical six-point plan anyone can use to keep their minds sharp and their bodies active using gentle daily movement. 11am RICK STEVES’ EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS 1pm KEVIN BELTON’S NEW ORLEANS CELEBRATIONS
4:00pm ODD SQUAD 4:30pm ARTHUR
5:30pm PEG + CAT 6:00pm PBS NEWSHOUR
8pm THE BEE GEES: ONE NIGHT ONLY 9:30pm 70’S SOUL SUPERSTARS Soul diva Patti LaBelle hosts.
7 MONDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
1:30pm KITCHEN QUEENS: NEW ORLEANS
3:30pm XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM
5pm CAT IN THE HAT KNOW A LOT ABOUT THAT!
6pm MAGIC MOMENTS: THE BEST OF 50’S POP (MY MUSIC) Join hosts Phyllis McGuire, Pat Boone and Nick Clooney for a nostalgic trip back to the 1950s. Return to the era’s pop music days with a mix of live performance and archival footage, including classic moments from favorite performers.
2pm SUZE ORMAN’S ULTIMATE RETIREMENT GUIDE Join the acclaimed personal finance expert for essential advice on planning for and thriving in retirement. With empathy, straight talk and humor, Suze provides information about key steps for anyone trying to achieve their “ultimate retirement.”
7pm ANTIQUES ROADSHOW “New Orleans” (Hour 1 of 3) Check out hidden treasures like a diamond bracelet and a Van Cleef & Arpels ring, Mardi Gras Comus Krewe parade float watercolors from 1892 and Keith Haring subway graffiti art from around 1980. One of these is worth up to $95,000! Pictured: Kevin Zavian (right) appraises a diamond bracelet and Van Cleef & Arpels ring. 8pm ANTIQUES ROADSHOW “New Orleans” (Hour 2 of 3) Items include a "Blade Runner" set decoration, Agnes Martin paintings and a feather golf ball, ca. 1840.
9 WEDNESDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
9pm JEWISH NEW ORLEANS explores the legacy of the Jewish community in the Crescent City. From its pre-Louisiana Purchase beginning to its post-Katrina effort to re-populate and re-build, this program tracks the exuberant undercurrent of Jewish life in the multicultural history of the Crescent City. Narrated by Lee Zurik. 10pm HANUKKAH: A FESTIVAL OF DELIGHTS Explore the evolution of Hanukkah from a small holiday within Judaism to prominence in American culture.
8pm NOVA “Bird Brain”
7pm INFORMED SOURCES Now in its 36th year, the weekly news analysis program INFORMED SOURCES continues to offer viewers an in-depth look into the important news of metro New Orleans and Louisiana. Repeats Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. Missed an episode? Watch it on the WYES On Demand channel at YouTube.com and at wyes.org. Pictured: Host Marcia Kavanaugh and Producer Errol Laborde
6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
7:30pm STEPPIN' OUT
9pm NOVA “Rise of the Rockets” 10pm NATURE “Snow Bears” 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
8 TUESDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
7pm THE ORNAMENT OF THE WORLD Filmed in Cordoba, Granada, Seville, and Toledo, this is the story of a remarkable 800-year period when Muslims, Christians, and Jews in medieval Spain forged a common cultural identity that often transcended their religious differences. Pictured: Great Mosque of Cordoba. Photo Credit: Kikim Media 9pm FRONTLINE
7pm LIVING IN THE NEW NORMAL: CHALLENGES FOR NON-PROFITS Non-profit organizations across the New Orleans region offer important community services in a diverse array of areas. Most are dependent on financial support from businesses and individuals to continue their operations. But during the COVID-19 pandemic that financial support has been under strain. How community groups are coping is the focus of the next installment of the continuing WYES series LIVING IN THE NEW NORMAL.
8pm WASHINGTON WEEK 8:30pm CRAFT IN AMERICA “Storyteller” (Part 1 of 2) highlights artists who use narrative to communicate personal and universal truths. 9:30pm CRAFT IN AMERICA “Democracy” (Part 2 of 2) explores how craft is intertwined with our nation’s defining principles. 10pm STEPPIN’ OUT 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
7:30pm WUTHERING HEIGHTS Witness Heathcliff and Cathy’s fiery romance in this adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic novel. Tom Hardy stars as Heathcliff and Charlotte Riley as Cathy.
6pm LAWRENCE WELK: PLEASANT DREAMS
10pm JAMESTOWN, SEASON 1 (Part 6 of 8)
8pm AUSTIN CITY LIMITS “Kane Brown/ Colter Wall”
11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
10pm A PRINCE AMONG SLAVES Narrated by Mos Def.
11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
7pm NATURE “Snow Bears” Witness the incredible journey of newborn polar bear cubs as they learn to survive in the Arctic.
7pm FINDING YOUR ROOTS “Homecomings”
9pm DICK (1999) Stars Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams.
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
7pm ANTIQUES ROADSHOW “New Orleans” (Hour 3 of 3)
11pm THE KATE ”John Oates” (Part 6 of 6)
13 SUNDAY 4pm LOUISIANA STUDENT FILM FESTIVAL
2:30pm MY GREEK TABLE WITH DIANE KOCHILAS Travel vicariously to Greece with Diane Kochilas and let's enjoy her foods, wines, culture, history, passionate artisans, and timeless natural beauty together.
5:00AM MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD 5:30AM ARTHUR 6:00AM MOLLY OF DENALI 6:30AM WILD KRATTS 7:00AM GROWING A GREENER WORLD 7:30AM WOODSMITH SHOP 8:00AM AMERICAN WOODSHOP 8:30AM THIS OLD HOUSE
5pm MASTERPIECE “The Chaperone” reunites the writer (Academy Award®-winner Julian Fellowes), director (Michael Engler) and star (Academy Award® nominee Elizabeth McGovern) of “Downton Abbey” for an immersive and richly emotional period piece.
11:30AM AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN FROM COOK’S ILLUSTRATED NOON COOK’S COUNTRY 12:30PM CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL’S MILK STREET 1:00PM MOVEABLE FEAST WITH FINE COOKING 1:30PM PATI'S MEXICAN TABLE 2:00PM SARA’S WEEKNIGHT MEALS
9:30AM KEVIN BELTON’S NEW ORLEANS CELEBRATIONS
2:30PM MY GREEK TABLE WITH DIANE KOCHILAS
10AM KITCHEN QUEENS: NEW ORLEANS
3:00PM NOVA 4:00PM NATURE 5:00PM ANTIQUES ROADSHOW
8pm CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR FEATURING KELLI O'HARA AND RICHARD THOMAS Tony® Award-winner Kelli O’Hara and Emmy® Awardwinner Richard Thomas join The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells at Temple Square for an Americana-themed Christmas special. 9pm CREOLE CHRISTMAS 9:30pm ALL IS CALM: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914 A remarkable true story told in the words of the men who lived it, the new docu-musical.
11:00AM LIDIA’S KITCHEN
9:00AM ASK THIS OLD HOUSE
10:30AM CHEF PAUL PRUDHOMME’S ALWAYS COOKING
10:30pm MUSIC & SPOKEN WORD: DICKENS CHRISTMAS WITH JOHN RHYSDAVIES British character actor John Rhys-Davies joins the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY 7pm MASTERPIECE “Sanditon” (Part 1 of 8) Screenwriter Andrew Davies (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Les Misérables,” Primetime Emmy® winner for “Little Dorrit”) picks up Austen’s plot and takes it in a glorious and satisfying direction in early 1800s England. Shown: Rose Williams as Charlotte Heywood 8pm MASTERPIECE “Sanditon” (Part 2 of 8) 9pm MASTERPIECE “Sanditon” (Part 3 of 8) 10pm DICK (1999) 11:30pm MUSIC & SPOKEN WORD: CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER
14 MONDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
15 TUESDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm ELLA WISHES YOU A SWINGIN’ CHRISTMAS WITH VANESSA WILLIAMS Enjoy an evening celebrating Ella Fitzgerald’s entire iconic album of holiday classics presented by the American Pops Orchestra. Featuring appearances by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Norm Lewis, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Nova Payton, Dave Detwiler and Morgan James. 8pm CHRISTMAS AT BELMONT 9pm FRONTLINE “I Am Not A Monster” 10pm LOVE WINS OVER HATE explores the personal transformations of six individuals who went from agents of anger and bigotry to advocates for empathy and inclusivity 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
7pm NATURE “Animal Odd Couples”
7pm INFORMED SOURCES
9pm MUSIC DREAM: AN AMERICAN STORY profiles musician/songwriter/music entrepreneur Henry Turner, Jr. and his band, Flavor. The film also explores reggae’s influence on blues music.
9pm NOVA “Apollo’s Daring Mission”
9:30pm OLIVER! (1968)
7:30pm STEPPIN' OUT WYES’ weekly local restaurant, arts and entertainment discussion program is now in its 34th season. Host and producer Peggy Scott Laborde welcomes regular guests Poppy Tooker, Alan Smason, plus new roundtable visitors every week. Missed an episode? Watch it on YouTube at wyesondemand and at wyes.org. 8pm WASHINGTON WEEK 10pm CHRISTMAS IN NEW ORLEANS Enjoy fond memories of Mr. Bingle, downtown New Orleans Christmas decorations, rare snowfalls, and bonfires along the Mississippi River. 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
8:30pm ELLA WISHES YOU A SWINGIN’ CHRISTMAS WITH VANESSA WILLIAMS Enjoy an evening celebrating Ella Fitzgerald’s entire iconic album of holiday classics presented by the American Pops Orchestra. Featuring appearances by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Norm Lewis, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Nova Payton, Dave Detwiler and Morgan James.
6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
9:30pm CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR FEATURING KELLI O'HARA AND RICHARD THOMAS
7pm THIS OLD HOUSE
10:30pm STEPPIN’ OUT
7:30pm THIS OLD HOUSE
11:30pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
8pm CALL THE MIDWIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2018 See how some unexpected Christmas visitors cause joy and chaos in equal measure for the midwives. 9:30pm CHRISTMAS ON THE DANUBE 10pm JAMESTOWN, SEASON 1 (Part 7 of 8) 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
20 SUNDAY 5:30pm A CLASSIC CHRISTMAS WITH THE BACH FESTIVAL SOCIETY 6:30pm SPOKEN WORD CHRISTMAS IN THE AIR WITH TOM BROKAW 7pm MASTERPIECE “Sanditon” (Part 4 of 8) 8pm MASTERPIECE “Sanditon” (Part 5 of 8)
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
8pm NOVA “Einstein’s Quantum Riddle”
9pm MASTERPIECE “Sanditon” (Part 6 of 8) 10pm OLIVER! (1968)
21 MONDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm ANTIQUES ROADSHOW “Orlando” (Hour 1 of 3) Which item will appraise for $200,000? Tune in to find out. 8pm ANTIQUES ROADSHOW “Orlando” (Hour 2 of 3) 9pm CHRISTMAS IN NEW ORLEANS
6pm LAWRENCE WELK: CHRISTMAS 7pm FINDING YOUR ROOTS “This Land is My Land” 8pm AUSTIN CITY LIMITS “Khalid/Mac DeMarco”
10pm REAL RAIL ADVENTURES: SWISS WINTER MAGIC Host Jeff Wilson shares
the world’s best trains to grand winter adventures, including Alpine and cross-country skiing, snow-kiting, bobsledding, fat-tire biking, snowshoeing and more.
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
22 TUESDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm MISTER ROGERS: IT’S YOU I LIKE pays tribute to Fred Rogers and the nearly 900 episodes of the children's television program. Hosted by award-winning actor Michael Keaton, enjoy memorable segments, archival performances, and lots more!
11am KEVIN BELTON’S NEW ORLEANS CELEBRATIONS Chef Kevin Belton dishes up his twist on some of the city’s best-tasting festival favorites.
5:00am MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD 5:30am ARTHUR 6am MOLLY OF DENALI 6:30am WILD KRATTS 7am HERO ELEMENTARY 7:30am XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM 8am CURIOUS GEORGE 8:30am WASHINGTON WEEK 9:00am FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER
DIAL 12 | January 2019
9:30am INFORMED SOURCES 10:00am MOVIE/VARIOUS PROGRAMMING 11:00am KEVIN BELTON’S NEW ORLEANS CELEBRATIONS 11:30am KITCHEN QUEENS: NEW ORLEANS Noon TBA 1:00pm RICK STEVES 1:30pm-5:00pm VARIOUS PROGRAMMING
24 THURSDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm THIS OLD HOUSE 7:30pm THIS OLD HOUSE 8pm CALL THE MIDWIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2019 Mother Mildred and the Nonnatus House team go to the Outer Hebrides in response to a nursing shortage. 9:30pm CREOLE CHRISTMAS 10pm JAMESTOWN, SEASON 1 (Part 8 of 8)
8pm CHRISTMAS IN NEW ORLEANS
11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
9pm ST. OLAF CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL: A NEW SONG OF JOY AND HOPE
10pm CRANE CANDLELIGHT CONCERT: HOMEWARD BOUND FOR THE HOLIDAYS In a concert tradition that began in the 1930’s, the Crane Chorus and the Crane Symphony Orchestra come together to present a very special holiday concert. In addition, the local youth choir, Holy Name of Jesus Academy Chorus, performs during the 2019 concert. 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
23 WEDNESDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm NATURE “Snowbound: Animals of Winter” 8pm NOVA “Pluto and Beyond” 9pm NOVA “Flying Supersonic” 10pm NATURE “Snowbound: Animals of Winter” 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm INFORMED SOURCES 7:30pm STEPPIN' OUT 8pm WASHINGTON WEEK 8:30pm CALL THE MIDWIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2020 It is December 1965. Everyone at Nonnatus House is looking forward to traditional celebrations with all the trimmings, but nothing goes quite to plan. Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital, and Trixie is incensed to receive a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas gift. Meanwhile, a surprise reunion for Shelagh involves her in a deeply moving birth, and the Circus arrives in Poplar, bringing new friendships, new experiences and an exciting adventure for Nurse Crane! 10pm BETTY WHITE: FIRST LADY OF TELEVISION 11pm STEPPIN’ OUT 11:30pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
26 SATURDAY 6pm LAWRENCE WELK: NEW YEARS
9pm LOUISIANA ARTISIT SPOTLIGHT
7pm FINDING YOUR ROOTS “Beyond The Pale” explores the Jewish heritages of actor Jeff Goldblum, radio host Terry Gross and comic Marc Maron.
10pm LUCY WORSLEY’S 12 DAYS OF TUDOR CHRISTMAS
27 SUNDAY 5:30pm CALL THE MIDWIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2020 7pm MASTERPIECE “Sanditon” (Part 7 of 8) 8pm MASTERPIECE “Sanditon” (Part 8 of 8)
HIGHLIGHT 10pm VERNON JORDAN: MAKE IT PLAIN spotlights the life of one of the most groundbreaking and influential African American thought leaders in the United States. Appearing in the film are President Bill Clinton, to whom Jordan is a friend and adviser, scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who describes Jordan as “the Rosa Parks of Wall Street,” and a host of other notables. Photo Credit: Ralph Barrera 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
30 WEDNESDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm NATURE “Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo” 8pm NOVA “The Impossible Flight” 9pm NATURE “Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo”
10pm NATURE “Snowbound: Animals of Winter”
6pm PBS NEWSHOUR
11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
8pm AUSTIN CITY LIMITS “Gary Clark, Jr.” 9pm CITY HALL (1996)
8:30pm AMERICAN MASTERS “Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind ‘Little Women’” reveals a remarkable woman, ahead of her time, who was much more than a writer of children’s books.
31 THURSDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm UNITED IN SONG: A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA’S RESILIENCE Say goodbye to 2020 with a concert celebrating the irrepressible strength of Americans. From the enormity of COVID-19 to the presence of social injustice, this special evening brings us together in the pursuit of our uniting as one America.
9pm LUCY WORSLEY’S 12 DAYS OF TUDOR CHRISTMAS Join Lucy Worsley on a 12day extravaganza as she discovers that much of what we enjoy in contemporary Christmas — from carols to turkey, giftgiving to mistletoe and mulled wine — has surprising Tudor origins, rooted in devotion and charity. 10pm TOMMY (1975)
28 MONDAY 6pm PBS NEWSHOUR 7pm ANTIQUES ROADSHOW “Orlando” (Hour 3 of 3) 8pm ANTIQUES ROADSHOW “Harrisburg” (Hour 1 of 3)
7pm AMERICAN MASTERS “Laura Ingalls Wilder: Prairie to Page” Follow the remarkable story of an Ozarks farm woman who, at 65, turned her childhood into the best-selling “Little House” series. This portrait dives into the life, times and controversial legacy of this pioneer woman. The documentary delves into the legacy of the iconic pioneer as well as the way she transformed her early life into enduring legend, a process that involved a little-known collaboration with her daughter Rose.
8:30pm LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER “NY Philharmonic Celebrating Sondheim” The New York Philharmonic and guest vocalist Katrina Lenk ("The Band's Visit") celebrate the orchestral music of Stephen Sondheim, performing suites from "Sunday in the Park," "Into the Woods," "Sweeney Todd" and more. 10pm LONDON NEW YEAR'S DAY CELEBRATION 2021 PREVIEW 11pm AMANPOUR AND COMPANY
Lagniappe WYES-TV/CHANNEL 12 PROGRAM GUIDE | DECEMBER 2020
WYES’ quality programming and events are brought to you through the generous support of the following businesses and corporations. To join our list of community-minded groups, contact Jim Tapley at (504) 837-8987, jtapley@ wyes.org or Kerri Blache at (504) 483-8487, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Betsy Ashton appreciates the PBS programs that have inspired a new generation of talented people to become artists. She believes PBS shares her values. That’s why she has decided to leave her PBS station a gift in her will. Please consider including WYES in your will or future plans. Contact: Robin Cooper 504.486.5511
PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel & Live Stream is available during primetime, weekends and other out-of-school times when children and their caregivers are most likely to tune in. The channel is available on TV and as a live stream on pbskids.org and on the free PBS KIDS Video App for mobile and tablet devices. D12
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BY E R R O L L ABO R DE
An Old Aquaintance
ne night in March I was clicking the TV remote control through those late night talking head news shows when I was stopped cold by a news item. There was a picture of a headline from the next day’s “Wall Street Journal.” The headline said that America was about to enter, “a long, dark period.” What! We had been hearing about the virus spreading in spots throughout the world, but that was everywhere else’s problem. Perhaps I should have taken seriously when, during Mardi Gras, there was a picture in the newspaper of a solitary masker in Venice. The Carnival celebration had been cancelled there because of this virus. Our Mardi Gras, however, had been bright, boisterous and successful. On New Year’s Day, I had experienced an abundance of black-eyed peas and cabbage, guaranteed, sort of, to bring luck and wealth. The year started off well: The economy was good, LSU beat Clemson for the College Football Championship and the town, already blessed by a Saint name Drew, was excited by a giant named Zion. March, though, was when life began to hurt. That month is ordinarily one of the most celebratory in the city’s calendar. As spring blooms, there are the celebrations of the Irish and the Italians. St. Patrick’s Day is usually an occasion for gathering outside of bars to worship the saints with a mug of beer. This year, however, the police rolled in and broke up the crowds. Celebrations are in the city’s soul, now they were banned. Being social morphed into social distancing. Over the weeks and months ahead, events began to fall like tin cans on
a shooting range. French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, any fest of any sort, plus theater and sports events. They were banned too. We know the rest; our lives changed. Pity those who planned big weddings or graduation parties. At least the face masks hid their frowns. Restaurants, bars - all were forbidden territory. In a year of restrictions only hurricanes were bountiful. They attacked from all sides, seemingly from A to Zeta. They showed their power and took away ours, leaving us in the dark. We all know where we have been in 2020, though we are less sure of where we are heading. Mercifully, the Christmas season comes just in time to see off a bad year - an old acquaintance best forgotten. This is the season when music helps soothe the soul. To New Orleans’ credit, the city is home to one of the most beautifully performed songs ever, Aaron Neville’s rendition of “Ave Maria.” All of the lyrics, beginning with Ave Maria, Gratia plena (Hail Mary, full of grace), are in Latin but this allows space for the angels within us to sing, perhaps of a yearning for hope, and joy. And to wish: May your new year be sincerely happy. May our celebrations be rewarded and not raided. May we wear masks only at Carnival. May there be a Jazz Fest, and may we get to hear Aaron Neville’s mighty falsetto. And may there be a chicken in every pot. With black-eyed peas and cabbage on the side.
ARTHUR NEAD ILLUSTRATION