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grand-isle

Grand Isle Restaurant
575 Convention Center Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 520-8530
https://grandislerestaurant.com/

Located along the Fulton Street Development, near Harrah’s Hotel and Casino, Grand Isle Restaurant serves up fresh seafood, salads, po-boys and yummy desserts in a casual, inviting setting.  The namesake, Grand Isle, Louisiana, is an island located in Jefferson Parish at the mouth of Barrataria Bay, known for its world-class fishing and bird habitats. The physical space, decorated in rich, earthy tones (with accents of green), beautiful wooden floors, with a semi-circular oyster bar, is open and airy with an abundance of seating options.  During our numerous visits, the food has always been fresh and delicious with price tags to fit most budgets.  Some of our favorite dishes include the Hot Crab Dip, Fisherman’s Stew (small plate was a generous portion), Redfish on the Half Shell (when available), Smoked fried Oysters, Chargrilled Oysters, Catfish and Greens (generous portion of catfish), and the Shrimp Caminada-Po Boy. We took our son here for his 16th birthday.  He was in chargrilled oyster heaven, managing to consume 24 chargrilled oysters in a matter of 15 minutes! Make a reservation or just pop in!  Free parking (a valued amenity in the city) is available at the Harrah’s Casino garage with a food purchase.  **Follow them on Instagram @grandislerestaurant.  Whoever manages their IG account frequently posts fabulous food pics!

mopho

514 City Park Ave Suite F
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 482-6845
https://www.mophonola.com/

Sometimes you get lucky and hit a restaurant whose food is so incredible you have trouble finding the words to adequately describe it.  MoPho would be one of those restaurants.  Given that Maypop is another one of our favorite restaurants, we weren’t surprised MoPho exceeded our expectations.  Both restaurants are owned by the Gulotta brothers, Jeffrey and Michael.   In 2014, MoPho opened its doors in a Mid-City building, which previously housed a bookstore. The building is quite unassuming given the level of culinary excellence residing within its walls. Serving up Asian fusion with a creole twist, the kitchen pumps out a multitude of palate-pleasing options.

For appetizers, we settled on the Crispy Vindaloo Bites with coconut ranch sauce and Hand-Rolled Fresh Spring Rolls (Marinated Tofu and Fried Gulf Shrimp) with house-made peanut sauce.  The Vindaloo consists of small chicken bites coated in a delicious rich and spicy Vindaloo sauce.  The Spring Rolls come two to an order, which you can mix and match among 5 different options (marinated tofu, fried gulf shrimp, griddled pork, chicken vindaloo, and roasted eggplant). They are twice the size of a normal spring roll and the freshest, tastiest spring rolls I’ve ever put in my mouth. As an entrée, I chose the Corn and Crab Laksa.  Laksa is a Malaysian spicy coconut noodle soup. The chefs at MoPho insert a bit of Louisiana flare by adding lumps of Louisiana Blue Crab, bacon, and corn to the dish to create a bowl full of flavorful goodness you are certain to enjoy! My husband ordered the Slow Roast Lamb in Green Curry. Another top-notch entrée!! The dish includes smoked tofu, roasted beet, and toasted cashew, along with warm roti bread to soak up every last morsel of the creamy green curry sauce.  I’m not sure how they do it, but the kitchen manages to pair the perfect combination of ingredients to create a burst of culinary exceptionalism in every bite!!  We’re already planning our next visit!

Satchmo Summerfest

Satchmo Summerfest

August 2-4

https://satchmosummerfest.org/

New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz!  What better way to celebrate than a festival showcasing some of the best Jazz musicians in the city? The Satchmo Festival takes place at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Mint.  It is presented by Chevron, with a daily admission of $6. Throughout the three-day festival, you’ll be treated to amazing Jazz music by the likes of Ellis Marsalis, Charmaine Neville, Preservation Brass, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers, just to name a few.  The event also features food and drink tents and Pop’s Playhouse (family fun activities on Saturday and Sunday). A Kick-off Party will take place on Thursday, August 1 from 7-9:30pm at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel—tickets available for purchase via the website.

White Linen Night

August 3

https://www.cacwhitelinennight.com/

Celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary, White Linen Night is brought to you by Hancock Whitney, benefitting the Contemporary Arts Center.  Don your favorite white linen attire (not mandatory, but who wants to look out of place!!) and mosey on over to the 300-700 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse Arts District for an evening of fun and fabulous art. Free admission. Food and drink tickets available for purchase.  Galleries will be open from 5:30-9:30pm.  Also available for purchase are tickets to the CAC Cooldown Lounge at the Green Room at Auction House Market (best bang for your buck!) and the Official After Party, Hancock Whitney After Dark.  See website for details.

Hex Fest

hexfest

August 9-11

https://www.hexfest.com/

Now this sounds like an interesting event!! New Orleans is known for its VooDoo, HooDoo and Witchcraft! Come spend a weekend learning about the art of Witchcraft and Magic with some of the best in their craft. The event kicks off with a Riverboat Ritual and Dinner aboard one of the steamboats along the Mississippi River. The following two days are filled with seminars, workshops, drumming and rituals at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, one of the city’s most haunted venues. A Vending Hall will be available to purchase ritual tools, jewelry, signed books and handmade spell crafts. This event is limited to 300 participants, so if this interests you, click on the website to register ASAP.

Salsa-Bachata Festival

Salsa Bachata Festival

August 9-12

https://www.nolasalsabachatafest.com/

All you Latin Dance lovers, put on your dancing shoes and head over to the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel at the corner of Canal St and Bourbon St. This event features international Latin artists performing live shows, conducting workshops, classes, dance performance challenges, and social dancing. There will be three ballrooms, with one each dedicated to Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba/Zouk.  See website for details and ticket purchase.

Dirty Linen Night

dirylinen

August 10

http://dirtylinen.org/about-us

For the past 19 years, this spoof on White Linen Night (held on Julia St. the prior weekend), has taken place along Royal Street, in the not-so-pristine area of the city, hence its name.  The event is organized by the non-profit organization, Royal Street Arts District.  Shops and galleries open their doors to visitors while musicians perform and the crowd enjoys beer, wine, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. A Dirty Linen Night Passport costs $20.

Red Dress Run

reddressrun

August 10

http://neworleanshash.com/rdrsignup.asp

This event is loads of fun for participants and spectators alike.  The streets of the French Quarter will be filled with men and women dressed in some of the most unique and hilarious red dresses.  It’s a grand event for those who enjoy the practice of people watching as much as I do. Sponsored by the New Orleans Hash House Harriers, whose motto reads “A New Orleans Drinking Club with a Running Problem,” the Red Dress Run is a fundraiser with proceeds benefitting several small local charities. Although the route is kept secret until the day of the run, this year it will begin in Louis Armstrong Park at 11:30 (rain or shine) and will, more than likely, wind its way through the Marigny area.

To give you a little history, the idea behind the Red Dress Run was initiated in San Diego in 1987.  A lady, who came to be known as “The Lady in Red,” was visiting a friend who was part of a local Hash House Harriers.  She attended the running club meeting with her friend and, after receiving some grief from a fellow hasher, decided to participate in the run while wearing heels and her red dress.  From this encounter, the Red Dress Run was born.  It is now celebrated by hashers around the world. Visit their website to register for the event.

NOLA International Foodie Fest

nolainternational

August 17

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nola-international-foodie-fest-tickets-63096169341this

Deja Vieux Food Park, located at 1681 Religious Street, will host this event from 12pm-9pm.  Festgoers can sample international flavors from various food trucks, restaurants and pop up chefs, while indulging in specialty cocktails, swaying to the music by local musicians, and perusing vendors offering locally made products.  Free admission with Eventbrite registration while they last, $5 presale tickets available after free tickets are gone, and $10 tickets at the gate on event day.

Running of the Bulls at San Fermin in Nueva Orleans

Running of the Bulls at San Fermin in Nueva New Orleans

August 23-25

http://nolabulls.com/

Come enjoy New Orleans’ version of the world famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain (Running of the Bulls) at The Sugar Mill. The three-day long event kicks off with El Txupinazo on Friday, August 23, a fundraiser benefitting the non-profit organization, Beth’s Friends Forever, whose mission it is to assist women battling cancer in the New Orleans area. El Encierro will begin promptly at 8am at The Sugar Mill on Saturday, August 24. “Rollerbulls” (roller derby girls) from derby leagues around the world will take the place of live bulls. Along with thousands of runners, the Rollerbulls will take to the streets of the city to celebrate this historical event, followed by what’s promised to be “one helluva show!” The party continues into the night with La Fiesta De Pantalones, hosted by and held at The Rusty Nail. Dress in white pants, shirts, skirts, shorts with accents of red around your neck or waist, Pamplonese style. The event culminates with El Pobre de Mi: Poor Me at Lula Restaurant Distillery from 10am-2pm on Sunday, August 25. Celebrate with Nola Bulls and Roxie Le Rouge’s Bog Deal Burlesque, food, and drinks!

Note: This event was previously scheduled for July 12-14 but was rescheduled due to inclement weather.

NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival

noladowntown

August 24-25

https://festivalnet.com/82231/New-Orleans-Louisiana/Festivals/NOLA-Downtown-Music-Arts-Festival

As part of the Cutting Edge Music Business Conference, NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival will take place at Duncan Plaza, located on Loyola Ave in-between City Hall and the New Orleans Public Library. New Orleans Saints Fans will be honored with a “Get Ya’ Saints Song On” celebration! Come enjoy music, food, art, pop-up shops, a car show and a parade. The festival is presented by The Music Business Institute (MBI), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing entertainment education, business and career development. I had a bit of difficulty finding an official website for this event.  See the attached link for details.

festivals

July 3rd and 4th Activities

1. Happy 3rd of July at City Park

http://neworleanscitypark.com/events/3rd-of-july

The Marine Corp Band New Orleans will provide patriotic music starting at 7pm on the       Golfberg/Woldenberg Great Lawn, followed by a firework display at 9pm from the top of the Peristyle. Food, snowballs, and drinks will be available for purchase or you can opt to bring your own food. Admission is free!

 

2. Go 4th on the River

http://www.go4thontheriver.com/

Dueling barges on the Mississippi River will put on a spectacular fireworks display, choreographed to patriotic music.  Enjoy the show along the riverfront (Woldenberg Park) or consider getting tickets to view the show from either the Steamboat Natchez ($109/adult, $55/children 6-12, $25/kids under 6) or the Creole Queen ($129/adult, $69/children 6-12, $20/children 3-5). Each cruise will feature a buffet-style dinner and live entertainment. The Steamboat Natchez will provide an open beer, wine and soda bar.  The Creole Queen will feature an open call brand bar.  Visit their websites for details/tickets.

https://www.steamboatnatchez.com/special-event-cruises

https://www.creolequeen.com/4th-of-july-celebration-cruise

 

3. Sneauxball Fest

http://www.sneauxballfest.com/

This is a brand-new event taking place on the 4th of July from 9AM-9PM in the 5900 block of Bullard Ave (New Orleans East). It will feature live entertainment, ten different snowball vendors, food vendors, merchant vendors, fun family activities, as well as, networking opportunities. Tonya Boyd-Cannon, former Voice contestant, is one of the event collaborators.

 

Creole Food Festival

Creole Food Festival

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-creole-kreyolkriolcrioulo-food-festival-tickets-54107944318

The 2nd annual Creole Food Festival showcases Creole cuisine, which incorporates a blend of French, Spanish, West and North African, Amerindian, Haitian and Portuguese cooking. It will be held from 2PM-7PM at the Mardi Gras Museum of Costume and Culture on Conti St. Come out and enjoy delicious food and beverages created by experts in their craft. Tickets range from $35-$90.

 

Essence Festival

Essence Festival

July 5-8

https://www.essence.com/festival/

This year’s Essence Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary in the Big Easy!  Throughout the 4-day weekend, events will include roundtable discussions, podcasts, live performances by the likes of Mary J. Blige and Missy Elliott.  Former First Lady, Michelle Obama, will be one of the featured speakers on Saturday evening, July 6, in the Mercedes Superdome. Check out their website for a full line-up of events, tickets, and additional information. The event will feature a Food and Wine Festival in the Ernest N Morial Convention Center from 10am-6pm Friday-Sunday.

Kolaj Fest New Orleans

kolaj-fest-2019

July 10-14

http://www.kolajmagazine.com/kolaj-fest-new-orleans.html

Calling all artists! This festival features a symposium on contemporary collage and its role in art, culture, and society.  Throughout the 5 days, speakers will be holding panel discussions, artists will provide demonstrations and exhibit their artwork and participants will hopefully come away with a deeper appreciation of the art of collage.  This event takes place in various areas of the city. Check out the website for details.

 

Running of the Bulls at San Fermin in Nueva Orleans

Running of the Bulls

July 12-14

http://nolabulls.com/

Come enjoy New Orleans’ version of the world famous Encierro of Pamplona, Spain (Running of the Bulls) at The Sugar Mill. The three-day long event kicks off with El Txupinazo on Thursday, July 12, a fundraiser benefitting the non-profit organization, Beth’s Friends Forever, whose mission it is to assist women battling cancer in the New Orleans area. El Encierro will begin promptly at 8am at The Sugar Mill on Saturday, July 13. “Rollerbulls” (roller derby girls) from derby leagues around the world will take the place of live bulls. Along with thousands of runners, the Rollerbulls will take to the streets of the city to celebrate this historical event, followed by what’s promised to be “one helluva show!” The party continues into the night with La Fiesta De Pantalones, hosted by and held at The Rusty Nail. Dress in white pants, shirts, skirts, shorts with accents of red around your neck or waist, Pamplonese style. The event culminates with El Pobre de Mi: Poor Me at Lula Restaurant Distillery from 10am-2pm on Sunday, July 14th. Celebrate with Nola Bulls and Roxie Le Rouge’s Bog Deal Burlesque, food, and drinks!

 

Bastille Day Fete

Bastille Day Fete

https://www.neworleans.com/event/bastille-day-f%C3%AAte/3299/

During this weekend-long celebration, New Orleans celebrates its French heritage with various events held throughout the city. Many of the activities (some free, some require a small fee) take place in City Park and NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Art). They include mimes, French food trucks, dancing, music, a French village set up in traditional fireman’s ball theme, balloon artists, cooking demonstrations and a French film festival, to name a few.

In other parts of the city, a block party will be held in the Faubourg St. John area where revelers will make a toast to the French. French-decorated boats take part in a regatta held at the New Orleans Yacht Club, followed by a celebration with food, French wines and cheeses. The annual French Market Bastille Day Bartender and Waiters Race takes place in the French Quarter and involves bartenders and waiters speed walking down French Market Place, holding trays of champagne, croissants and water. Whomever ends the race having spilled the least amount, wins. It’s a family friendly event, so grab the kids and enjoy celebrating everything French!!

Situated on the corner of Annunciation St and Webster St, in what was once a grocery store, Clancy’s is a local fan favorite for traditional creole cuisine. Chef Brian Larson serves up delicious culinary options guaranteed to satisfy your palate. The dining rooms are bustling with waiters dressed in tuxedos and patrons merrily winding down from a busy work week. The ambience of the interior of Clancy’s reminds us of a smaller version of Galatoire’s.

Our menu selections included Sweetbreads Facon du Chef (seriously one of the best preparations of sweetbreads we’ve experienced), a cup of the Soup du Jour (Cream of Garlic Bisque, topped with two perfectly crispy fried oysters), Kale/Shaved Brussel Sprout/ Roasted Beet/Candied Pecans Salad, Pannee Veal Annunciation (atop a bed of creamy pasta alfredo, accompanied by sautéed vegetables) and the evening’s special, which consisted of a filet of Pompano, prepared to perfection with skin on one side. Our meal was accompanied by the sinfully delicious, hard to reject, perfectly crispy loaves of traditional New Orleans French bread. One other side note: we’re told that the softshell crab preparation is a must. Unfortunately, it was not offered during our visit.

If you’re looking to experience what we as locals label a true New Orleans culinary experience, this is your place! Reservations are a must (call at least a few weeks in advance for prime-time seating) unless you’re able to grab a couple of first come-first serve spots at the bar.

Address 6100 Annunciation St New Orleans, LA 70118
Phone (504) 895-1111
Website https://www.clancysneworleans.com/

 

I’m going to be honest with you, as I write this post, that unfortunately I did not inherit the “love of reading” gene my father possesses. With that being said, many of you requested information regarding the many bookstores in New Orleans and I’m bound and determined to deliver on that request!  I thought to myself, you don’t need to have a love of reading to scavenger around the city finding cool and unusual spots for you guys to visit on your next adventure in the city.  My husband, who is an avid reader, joined me on this field trip. Here’s a bit of info on 8 bookstores we encountered on our jaunt around the city. Each one has a different feel and uniqueness to it, but with the same goal in mind of offering its customers a variety of escapable page turners!! Since our focus is always on food, we’ll pair your experience with the closest “our favorite” eating establishment(s).

Name Octavia Books
Address 513 Octavia St New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone (504) 899-7323
Website https://www.octaviabooks.com

One of our favorites, Octavia Books offers a wide variety of titles in a clean and organized environment.  The staff is friendly and well-versed in all genres of literature and willing to answer any of your questions. This bookstore offers frequent author signings and various readings/talks, providing you the opportunity to meet the authors and other patrons with similar interests. It spoke to my happy place with the coffee station set up atop a bookshelf in the center of the store! After you’ve found that perfect book, head on over to Toast (5433 Laurel St) for a delicious breakfast/lunch from 6:30am-2pm Monday through Friday or 8am-2pm Saturday and Sunday!

 

Name Faulkner House Books
Address 624 Pirate Alley New Orleans, LA 70116
Phone (504) 524-2940
Website https://faulknerhousebooks.com/

Adjacent to the back gardens of St. Louis Cathedral, in the alley left of the Cathedral known as Pirate’s Alley, sits this quaint and well-adored bookstore.  It is located on the bottom floor of Faulkner House, the former home of the American writer, William Faulkner, who is known for both his poetry and his American South based novels (The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, to name a couple).  The interior of the bookstore is beautiful, with a well-organized inventory of books, including the works of its namesake. Browse around this beautiful place then walk about a block down Chartres St. to enjoy a meal, while sitting in the courtyard of Sylvain (625 Chartres St).

 

Name Crescent City Books
Address 124 Baronne St New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone (504) 524-4997
Website http://www.crescentcitybooks.com/

Located directly across the street from The Waldorf Astoria Roosevelt Hotel, Crescent City Books boasts a huge space, which is quite deceiving from the street. This is such a cool place with an extremely knowledgeable staff and a resident cat, named Isabella! It is the only ABAA (Antiquated Booksellers of America) bookstore in Louisiana and has two of their own publishing companies, Second Line Press and Crescent City Books Press. It’s known for its large selection of new and used books, prints and antique maps. A must see for the die-hard reader! Walk across the street to Domenica’s (123 Baronne St) to fill your tummy with roasted cauliflower, pasta, pizza, lasagna!!

 

Name Frenchman Art and Books
Address 600 Frenchman St New Orleans, LA 70116
Phone (504) 302-1772
Website https://www.frenchmenartandbooks.com/

Formerly known as Faubourg Marigny Art and Books, this bookstore was completely remodeled and reopened under new owners (David and Gretchen) in March of 2019.  Specializing in all genres of new and used books, including LGBTQ and BDSM (I’ll let you look this one up). A trade credit program is available where reimbursement is provided for gently used books to be used solely in the form of a store credit. You can find details of this program on their website. Other items available for purchase include unique candles, earrings, art, posters and other novelties. Open 12pm-12am. Grab yourself a good book and stroll down Frenchman St to find the perfect spot to begin your new literary adventure! Walk a block to Mona’s Café (504 Frenchman St), where they’re serving up delicious Middle Eastern fare.

 

Name Garden District Book Shop
Address 2727 Prytania StNew Orleans, LA 70130
Phone (504) 895-2266
Website https://www.gardendistrictbookshop.com/

This is an awesome bookstore, located in the Rink Shopping Center on the corner of Washington Ave. and Prytania St. It’s packed full of locally themed books, a large assortment of fiction and non-fiction titles, numerous kids’ books, a nice selection of signed books and other novelties. Their website is chocked full of information, including hours of operation, upcoming events, author discussion/signing dates and more. Check it out the next time you’re wandering around the Garden District, then head over to Magazine St for lunch—Joey K’s, La Petite Grocery, Baru, Mayas, Saba, Coquette (open for brunch/lunch Saturday and Sunday only) are just a few of our favorites!

 

Name Beckham’s Bookshop
Address 228 Decatur St New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone (504) 522-9875
Website http://www.beckhamsbookshop.com/

Located in the French Quarter, not far from Jackson Square, Beckham’s has been in operation since 1967.  It’s two stories are filled with approximately 60,000 used books, covering a large variety of topics including history, law, medicine, gardening, cooking, parenting, sports, poetry and just about any other topic you’d be interested in. They also specialize in a vast collection of used classical CDs and LPs and new books with an emphasis on history, cooking, architecture, music and literature from the South. Same owners as the Librairie Book Shop located at 823 Chartres St. Make your way down Decatur St. and try the infamously delicious brisket at Tujague’s (823 Decatur St) or the “original” muffuletta sandwich at Central Grocery (923 Decatur St).

 

Name Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop
Address 631 N Carrollton Ave New Orleans, LA 70119
Phone (504) 598-5536
Website http://tubbyandcoos.com/

This is a progressive and everything nerdy bookshop!  Tubby and Coo’s is named after the owner’s grandparents.  They specialize in new and used science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, and children’s books. Board games are a big deal at this establishment. They offer 24/7 gaming tables, where patrons can choose a game from the gaming library and play to their hearts desire. Their motto is “it’s all geek to me!” They’ve recently established their own publishing company, which assists independent authors in getting their works published in a more lucrative environment. Sounds pretty cool and a win-win situation for all involved! Grab yourself a quirky book and head down the street to The Bean Gallery, a popular Mid-City coffee shop, serving delicious coffee and various yummies!!

Name Blue Cypress Books
Address 8126 Oak St New Orleans, LA 70118
Phone (504) 352-0096
Website https://bluecypressbooks.com/

Blue Cypress is locally owned and operated, showcasing a large selection of fiction, non-fiction, children, new and used books. If you’re wanting to learn a bit about Louisiana history, stop by this quaint little bookstore.  They buy, sell and trade so you can’t go wrong!  The staff is friendly and engaging, with extensive knowledge to assist you in your hunt for the prefect read. Book Club meetings are hosted every third Wednesday of the month at 6pm. What a great way to meet others with the same interests. Once again, the resident cat will greet you at the door. While you’re in the area, visit one of the following to satisfy your taste buds:  Jacques-Imo’s (8324 Oak St), DTB (8201 Oak St), Cowbell (8801 Oak St), or Breads on Oak (8640 Oak St).

Put this French brasserie, in the heart of the CBD (Central Business District), on your bucket list of restaurants to visit! Located in the stunning Hyatt Brand boutique hotel, The Eliza Jane Hotel, it boasts a gorgeous interior, attentive staff, and fabulous food. You enter through a curtain-adorned entrance to a French-inspired culinary extravaganza. Although the restaurant is currently seeking a new executive chef (Chef Brad McDonald left to pursue an opportunity with the Ace Hotel), the kitchen hasn’t skipped a beat. The restaurant has been open since August 2018, serving breakfast (7am-11am), lunch (11:30am-3pm), and dinner (6pm-close).

We went all out, ordered WAY too much food, but managed to finish every last morsel!! Post round of cocktails, we began our meal with a dozen oysters from the raw bar, the Verrine of Chicken Liver Mousse and the Grand Aioli, all beautifully presented and flavorful. Moving on to the First Course options, we dined on the Burgundy Escargot and Steak Tartare. The escargot was prepared in a classic six portion Staub escargot dish with individual snails immersed in a delicious parsley-garlic butter sauce—perfect for soaking up all those scrumptious calories with slices of crispy French baguettes. The Steak Tartare was simply presented but flavorful, topped with a raw egg yolk and served with a side of Pommes Gaufrettes (lattice-shaped potato chips).

Our main course consisted of the classic French preparation of Skate Wing (Ail de Rai ‘a la Grenobloise), Mussels and Fries (Moules Frites), and the roasted bone-in veal chop (Cote de Veau Roit). Have you ever tried Skate?? Skate is a cartilaginous fish in the shark family. It looks very similar to a stingray. When cooked properly, the meat is buttery, flaky and delicious. Some people compare the flavor to that of a fresh scallop. It’s a must try when available at Couvant. The mussels were plentiful, tender and soaked in a delicious butter garlic broth. Last but not least, the bone in veal chop, topped with a rich and creamy bone marrow bordelaise, was cooked to perfection. The veal chop is a large portion fit for a king!

On your next visit to the city, seriously consider booking a room at The Eliza Jane Hotel, with dinner reservations at Couvant. Have a pre-dinner drink at the beautiful bar in the lobby of the hotel. I’m loving this wonderful addition to the Central Business District!

Address 317 Magazine St New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone (504) 324-5400
Website https://www.couvant.com

 

Cannelloni

Cannelloni Crepes

Ingredients
  

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • Parchment paper (to place in-between individually cooked crepes)

Instructions
 

  • Blend all ingredients with a hand mixer until the texture of the batter is smooth. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Prepare 10-12 approximately 8x8 inch square sheets of wax paper. Lightly grease an 8 inch (preferably copper) frying pan. Over medium heat, place 3 Tablespoons of batter into the pan then quickly rotate the pan until the batter has thinly covered the bottom of the pan (see video). As the edges begin to curl, flip the crepe to cook for several seconds on the other side, then promptly remove from pan (crepe will usually slide right out of the pan). Place crepes on a plate, separating with individual sheets of parchment paper.
    This process is extremely quick; therefore, you want to have parchment paper ready prior to cooking the crepes.
    Repeat this process until all batter is used. Yields 10-12 crepes.
  • *Don't give up after 1 or 2 attempts at cooking the perfect crepe. It's a work of art and takes practice. Once you master it, it's a piece of cake (or crepe)!! Helpful hint: use a plastic condiment squeeze bottle to dispense perfect amount (3 Tablespoons) of batter into the pan.

Cannelloni Crepe Meat Filling

Ingredients
  

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 lb. Ground Park
  • 1 Cup Onion Finely Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
  • 1 tsp Oregano dried or finely chopped fresh
  • 1 tsp Basil dried or finely chopped fresh
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 cups Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 2 cups Red Gravy

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large frying pan (preferably cast iron), on medium heat. Add ground beef and pork to pan, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked. Remove meat from pan and drain the grease. Add the remaining 1 T of olive oil to the pan, saute onions and garlic until onions are clear. Add cooked ground meat, oregano, basil and cumin to pan and thoroughly mix with sauted onions and garlic. Turn off the heat. Add 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, mix well. Add eggs, mix well. Place 2 Tablespoons of meat mixture in center of the crepe. Fold the bottom portion of the crepe over the meat mixture followed by the right side, then left side, ending the process by folding that piece over the top portion of the crepe (see video). Place folded crepes in a lightly greased 13x9 inch glass baking dish. Repeat until all crepes have been filled. ?Ladle red gravy over cannelloni crepes to cover. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup (or more, if desired) parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. This recipe makes enough filling for 20-24 crepes. Freezes well!

Cannelloni Crepe Spinach and Cheese Filling

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Eggs slightly beaten
  • 4 Cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese shredded
  • 1 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 3-10 oz Boxes of frozen spinach or 3 pounds of fresh
    spinach
    cooked
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups Red Gravy or Bechamel Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spinach according to directions on box. If using fresh spinach, sauté spinach in a large pan until thoroughly wilted (no need to use oil in the pan due to the high water content of spinach as it cooks). Using a colander, thoroughly drain all excess fluid from the cooked spinach. Place cooked spinach into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs; stir. Mix in ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan (1 Cup) cheeses, and ground nutmeg; mix until thoroughly blended. Place 2 Tablespoons of spinach and cheese mixture to the center of the crepe and fold (see video). Place crepes in a 13x9 inch glass baking dish. Ladle either red gravy (see recipe) or a bechamel sauce over the crepes to cover. Sprinkle with additional 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. This recipe makes enough filling for 20-24 crepes. Freezes well!
    *Don't hesitate to freeze additional meat or spinach and cheese filling. You'll have it ready for a later date, then all you'll need to do is cook the crepes!!

Paying homage to Sophia Loren, the space is filled with artwork and TV screens with projectors depicting various black and whites of the iconic Italian film actress. The décor is clean and crisp with hues of white, black and red, amid tall ceilings with several seating options—standard table, counter and high-top (you can’t go wrong with any of these choices) and hip-hop music playing in the background.  At the entrance of the kitchen, sits a massive concrete pizza oven where pizza dough is being tossed for your viewing pleasure. Serving Italian-inspired dishes cooked to perfection under the direction of Executive Chef Talia Diele and Chef Max MacKissock, who were both previously working their culinary magic in Colorado. Proprietor, Billy Blatty (of Barcadia), has partnered with Culinary Creative Group to bring us this fresh, new, magnificent Sicilian concept. You will witness teamwork at its best with this fun-loving, engaging staff.

During our first visit, we began our meal with an order of the Brassica and Carne Crudo, both were delicious and provided a light start to our meal. Our main course consisted of Osso Bocu, Pollo al Limone, and a side of the eggplant. The Osso Buco was fall-off-the-bone tender, served in a delicious brown sauce atop a creamy polenta, completely different than my mother’s red gravy preparation, but just as flavorful. The Pollo la Limone was perfectly cooked, juicy and lightly seasoned, sitting atop a lemony chicken butter sauce. We were provided with a complimentary digestif of house made orangecello, the perfect after dinner treat.

We were so impressed that we decided to grace them with our presence (just kidding!!!) once again to kick off my birthday celebration weekend. Our friends, Tami and Rob, joined us, which gave us an opportunity to try more dishes. We had such a great time, especially after a round of cocktails, wine, more wine and (knock your socks off) lime limoncello! We dined on Crispy Potatoes, Meatballs, Gulf Squid, Insalata, Risotto (full of sweet gulf blue crab), Gulf Shrimp Scampi, Gulf Snapper (very fresh), Pollo al Limone, and a one-candle birthday dessert of sugar-coated donut holes (not sure of the exact name).  We just love the relaxed, playful feel of this restaurant. I see a promising future for this new venture in the heart of the Warehouse District! Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Address 516 Julia St New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone (504) 322-3216
Website https://sofianola.com/

 

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Located in a 19th century Garden District mansion, Cavan possesses the warmth and feel of a partially refurbished old home with the preservation of the tarnishing (otherwise known as patina) that occurred on the crown molding near the ceilings. As you enter through the front door, a gorgeous staircase greets you, surrounded by a beautiful parlor filled with 19th century seating, gorgeous chandeliers and a downstairs bar. If you listen closely, you can still hear the conversations that took place years ago in those very rooms, adorned with various pieces of artwork and 19th century furnishings.

Executive chef, Nathan Richard, a native of Thibodeaux, LA, and former chef at Kingfish does a superb job executing dishes that are flavorful, properly portioned and beautifully presented. While enjoying a “Corn” Old Fashioned and a Gin Martini, we began our meal with two appetizers: the Lima Bean Risotto (creamy, full-bodied deliciousness) and Salmon Poke Tacos (perfectly crispy wontons filled with buttery poke salmon/seaweed salad atop an avocado puree). We then shared a Sweet Pea Salad (one of the specials for the evening), which tasted as if the chef had gone out back and picked the ingredients right out of the garden.  Our main course consisted of the Creole Spiced Shrimp (atop creamy sweet corn grits accompanied by roasted poblano peppers, onions and a spiced rum butter), the special of the evening, Fried Rabbit and a side of the Crab Fat Fried Rice (heaven in a ramekin!!) To add just a few more calories, we couldn’t resist finishing up our meal with the Strawberry Tres Leches (perfect portion for sharing, delightfully creamy, topped with roasted coconut).

Kudos to the waitstaff for their attentiveness during our entire meal and the kitchen for the perfect timing of the food preparation. Patio seating available, with a lovely view of Magazine St. Happy Hour 4-7pm daily. Brunch served Friday-Sunday 10:30a-3:30p.

If you look closely at the pics, you just might see a local celebrity!

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