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After a long weekend of culinary indulgence in the city, we were looking for something on the lighter side.  Café Degas delivered!!  No worries though. They serve a wide array of dishes to satisfy even the pickiest of palates and the hungriest of appetites. Overlooking Esplanade Avenue and Fortier Park, the restaurant is nestled around a beautiful live Oak Tree, in an open-air setting, surrounded by lush greenery. It gives you the feel of dining on a beautiful island or a café in the countryside of France as you sip on a Mimosa surrounded by an eclectic group of patrons and staff.  Named after the French Impressionist, Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas, Café Degas is the longest running French restaurant in the city. If I’m not mistaken, I do believe the owner, Jacques Soulas, was dining with a group of friends at the table next to us.  I have to say, being a native New Orleanian, I’m embarrassed to admit that this was my first visit to this wonderful bistro.  I guarantee, it will not be my last!

Serving traditional cheese and pate boards, their signature swiss cheese French onion soup, quiche, omelets, salads and an array of other menu options, your taste buds will think they’ve died and gone to heaven.  The Prince Edward Island mussels (LES MOULES AU FENOUIL), prepared in a white wine fennel broth, are the most plump, tender, and tasteful mussels I’ve ever consumed! I paired those with the jumbo lump crabmeat salad (LE SALADE AU CRABE) for the perfect light lunch. Others at our table thoroughly enjoyed seared hanger steak (L’ONGLET DE BOEUF), Niçoise Salad, and grillades and grits (with a hefty portion of tender grillades). Oh, and the bread, we can’t forget the bread!!  What would a French meal be without a basket full of yummy bread and creamy butter??!!  A wine and cocktail list is also available. The service was a bit spotty at first, but once our server took our drink order, the meal progressed without delay.  I’ll give them a pass on this!! It was extremely busy due to Jazz Fest weekend, especially being within close proximity to the Fair Grounds. Visit the website for hours of operation, additional menu items, reservations and to learn a bit about the history of the restaurant. Highly recommend you pay a visit to this Mid-City bistro!

Address 3127 Esplanade Ave New Orleans, LA 70119
Phone (504)945-5635
Website http://www.cafedegas.com

 

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OYSTER FESTIVAL

June 1-June 2

View Website http://nolaoysterfest.org/

The Oyster Festival takes place at Woldenberg Park, with proceeds benefitting coastal restoration organizations. The event will feature numerous preparations of one of New Orleans favorite delicacies, the oyster!!  Try them fried, chargrilled, raw, on a po-boy, in a soup, on a taco! In true New Orleans style, the event will also feature live music and several craft vendors. Check out the website for all the details!

JUNE UNDER THE MOON

June 7

Visit Website https://neworleanscitypark.com/events/june-under-the-moon

June Under the Moon takes place at the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park in City Park from 7:30pm-10:30pm. Open Beer Bars, unlimited amusement rides, food, Tito’s vodka snoballs, and a wine concierge (check out the website for details) will be available. 101 friendly leashed dogs will be admitted. Beer, a hot dog and a serving of jambalaya, and a vodka snoball are all included with your ticket purchase. Ticket prices are $30/person and $10/Dog. Must be at least 21 years old to attend. This sounds like a really fun event!!

NEW ORLEANS PRIDE

June 7-June 9

Visit Website https://togetherwenola.com/pride/events/new-orleans-pride-2019/

As stated on their website, “New Orleans Pride fully embraces the message of One CommUNITY!”  Their mission is to bring awareness and education about the LGBT+ community.  New Orleans is touted as one of the most welcoming cities for the LGBT+ community.  Proceeds are used to put on the festival and to fund anti-bullying campaigns. There are more than 30 events planned for the weekend. The New Orleans Pride Parade will make its way through the Marigny and French Quarter neighborhoods, starting at 7:30pm on June 8. Check out the website for a full line-up of activities.

FRENCH MARKET CREOLE TOMATO FESTIVAL

June 8-June 9

Visit Website https://www.frenchmarket.org/creoletomatofest/

If you’ve ever eaten a legit creole tomato, you’ll understand why New Orleans celebrates its existence. It has a melt-in-your-mouth flavor all its own!! The festival takes place primarily at the French Market, with activities also held in Dutch Alley and the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint. The event features live music, food booths, a Bloody Mary market, activities for the kids, cooking demos and lots of creole tomatoes!!

2019 FESTIGALS WOMEN’S WEEKEND EXPERIENCE

June 21-June 23

Visit Website www.festigals.org

This year’s FestiGals Weekend festivities will take place at the Jung Hotel & Residences. FestiGals is a non-profit organization whose mission statement reads, “inspires, connects, and celebrates women while supporting causes important to their well-being.” 2019’s focus will be on bringing attention to heart disease and its impact on women. The 2019 Step Up Second-line Parade will be held on Saturday, June 22 and will be raising funds for the New Orleans Area American Heart Association. The weekend is packed full of activities, including break-out sessions with many accomplished women from the area, Hat’s Off Luncheon, Shopping Showcase, 2019 Women’s professional Day and much more. See website for full details and ticket purchase.

LOUISIANA CAJUN ZYDECO FESTIVAL

June 22-June 23

Visit Website https://www.jazzandheritage.org/cajun-zydeco

Held in Louis Armstrong Park each day from 11am-7:30pm. Admission is free. The festival will feature Cajun and Zydeco music, exclusively. Delicious New Orleans seafood, arts market and kids’ activities will be available.

NOLA CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL

June 22-June 23

Visit Website https://www.nolacaribbeanfestival.com

Celebrating New Orleans’ deep roots with the Caribbean culture, the NOLA Caribbean Festival will be held from 5pm-10pm each evening at Central City BBQ. Ticket price is $10/day. The event will feature an indoor and outdoor entertainment area, live music, food, bars, salsa tent, kids’ corner and vendors village. The NOLA Colour Me Krazy Paint vs. Power Parade will take place on June 22 from 5pm-7pm. All Inclusive packages are available. See website for details.

NOLA Crawfish Festival 2019

May 1

View Website      http://www.nolacrawfishfest.com/

NOLA Crawfish Festival will be held April 29, 30 and May 1 at The Smokeyard @ Central City BBQ, located at 1201 S. Rampart St. Enjoy sucking heads and pinching tails of tasty crawfish, cooked to perfection by NOLA Crawfish King, while drinking a cold beer and listening to cool vibes of local New Orleans musicians. Featuring an Ultimate Crawfish Cookoff and a Crawfish Eating Contest!

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

May 2-May 5

View Website      http://www.nojazzfest.com/

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, otherwise known as Jazz Fest! Held at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course, located at 1751 Gentilly Blvd, Jazz Fest is the premier music festival of the south, maybe even the entire country. Over the years, Jazz Fest has featured many dynamic and influential local New Orleans and Louisiana musicians, as well as, artists from all over the country/world!!

The festival offers a wide variety of delicious local and international cuisine.  Here’s a snippet of this year’s vendors: The Praline Connection Warehouse, Taqueria corona, Bennachin Restaurant, Ba Mien Vietnamese Cuisine, Angelo’s Bakery, Plum St. Sno-Balls, Lucky Dog, Inc, Carmo, Café du  Monde, Prejean’s, and a slew of catering companies!!

The Congo Square African Marketplace, Contemporary Crafts, and Louisiana Marketplace are  scattered throughout the grounds, where artisans will be displaying and selling handmade works of art. Check out the music lineup, food vendors and other pertinent information, including links to purchase tickets at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage website.

Crawfish Mambo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 11

View Website  https://crawfishmambo.com/

Enjoy a Saturday afternoon on the campus of the University of New Orleans, located at 2000 Lakeshore Dr., sampling crawfish from various crawfish boils. Teams compete for cash prizes and trophies. Consume all-you-can-eat crawfish while listening to music from Cumulus DJ, the Bucktown All-Stars, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, Young Pin Stripe Brass Band and J & the Causeways. The event also features a crawfish eating competition, Mambo Shopping Village and an area for the kids.  Hosted by the University of New Orleans International Alumni Association. Proceeds support professional development programs for UNO students.

Top Taco fest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 16

View Website  https://www.toptaconola.com/

Head out to Woldenburg Park, located at 1 Canal Place, for live music and samplings of unlimited gourmet tacos and cocktails concocted by various New Orleans restaurants including Balise, Aranya, Juan’s Flying Burrito, Oak Wine Bar, Flamingo A Go Go, Velvet Cactus.  Check out the website for the full line-up of competing restaurants. VIP chefs will also be in attendance!!  Proceeds benefit the organization, Foster NOLA! Enjoy delicious food, cocktails and live music while benefitting children who are currently in or have aged out of the foster system!

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo

May 17-May 19

View Website    https://thebayouboogaloo.com/

Bayou Boogaloo takes place along Bayou St. John in the Mid-City section of New Orleans. It’s a free, family-friendly, cultural event put on by Friends of Bayou St. John, offering local music, food and arts and crafts. Locals and visitors enjoy the event either by boat, while floating on inflatables or walking along the shore.  Take the family out for a fun day to support Friends of Bayou St. John, who’s primary goal is to maintain a clean, healthy Bayou St. John for all to enjoy for many years to come!

While in Mid-City, take advantage of the area’s palate-pleasing food scene:

Parkway Bakery & Tavern    Katie’s Restaurant & Bar   Lola’s   G’s Pizza   Marjie’s Grill   Liuzza’s By the Track   Café Degas     1000 Figs    Toups Meatery   Piece of Meat   MoPho   Brown Butter   Neyow’s   Angelo Brocato

NOLA Soul and Art Festival

May 18

View Website   https://allevents.in/louisiana/nola-soul-and-art-festival/200016719872815

Music and art are vital to the heart and soul of New Orleans.  This festival showcases both from 10am-7pm at Louis Armstrong Park, located at 701 Rampart St.  Other activities include live painting, wine tasting, silent disco, food vendors, and a photo booth.

Restaurants nearby: Meauxbar, Mister Gregory’s, Eat, Effervescence, Marti’s

New Orleans Greek Festival

May 23-May 26

View Website   http://www.gfno.com/

Hosted by Holy Trinity Cathedral, located at 1200 Robert E Lee Blvd, the 46th Annual New Orleans Greek Festival offers homemade, traditional Greek food, wine and desserts, live Greek music and dancing, and a Greek grocery store selling cheeses, dips, spices and more. This year’s theme is Mastika, celebrating a liqueur seasoned with mastic, native to Greece and the Chios Island. Tours of the Cathedral, Greek merchandise and an area for the kids will also be available. Thursday evening is a “soft opening.” See website for details and ticket sales.

Treme/7th Ward Arts and Cultural Festival


May 25-May 26

View Website  http://treme7thwardcd.org/

Celebrating one of New Orleans most historical neighborhoods, the Treme/7th Ward Arts and Cultural Festival will take place “under the N. Claiborne bridges.” Live performances by Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers, Treme Brass Band, Shannon Powell and more will be sure to delight music lovers! Explore the Treme and 7th Ward neighborhoods by participating in the Babydoll Bar Crawl and Treme and 7th Ward Historic Tours. Food and arts & crafts booths will also be available. Free and open to the public.

Restaurants in the area: Dooky Chase’s, Willie Mae’s Scotch House, Lil’ Dizzy’s Café, Tiger’s Creole Cuisine

Upon a recommendation from a friend in Mobile, Al, we made reservations at this quaint little cottage on the corner of Dryades and General Taylor, in the Uptown area of the city. The concept was developed to offer patrons a place to enjoy a truly authentic Cajun meal not often found within the New Orleans restaurant scene. The owner and chef, Melissa Martin, grew up on Bayou Petit Caillou in Chauvin, LA. What better than a true Cajun girl cooking you up some awesome Cajun dishes while you’re sitting family-style, enjoying the company of complete strangers!  Melissa uses locally-sourced, extremely fresh ingredients in all her dishes, which shine through in the incredible flavors presented throughout the meal.  So many great memories of my Mother’s Cajun cooking were brought back to life while enjoying fried oysters topped with caviar, seafood gumbo (with crab claws/bodies included), stuffed crab in authentic crab shells (not those shiny silver things), farmer’s market salad, followed by a scrumptious slice of queen’s cake with fresh Louisiana strawberries! Menu changes frequently based on availability of local ingredients. The restaurant also features a small bar, offering classic New Orleans cocktails, wines and local Louisiana beers. You may also choose to arrive early and enjoy freshly shucked Louisiana raw oysters while sipping on a glass of wine or “bubbles.” Paid reservations must be made in advance.  If you’re looking for a unique, “something different” kind of dining experience, we highly recommend giving this Cajun gem a try!

Address 3824 Dryades St New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone 504-517-0374
Website www.mosquitosupperclub.com

 

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As the name indicates, Mid-City is located in the middle of the crescent of New Orleans. It’s a very laid-back, “neighborhoody” kind of place, with a good bit of southern charm.

Known for its beauty and southern charm, this neighborhood is home to gorgeous mansions and streets lined with canopies of magnificent southern live oak trees.

  • Take a streetcar ride on the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world, the St Charles Streetcar Line
  • Marvel at the beauty of St. Charles Ave
  • Visit the many restaurants and bars
  • Drink 25 cent martinis at Commander’s Palace (offered at lunch M-F with an entrée purchase-limit 3)
  • Take a free, self-guided tour of Lafayette Cemetery (we bury our loved ones above ground to prevent them from floating away)
  • Learn the history of Mardi Gras by taking a tour of Mardi Gras World (free shuttle with purchase of a ticket)
  • Try out local craft beers on a tour of the city’s breweries
  • Purchase a book at The Garden District Book Shop (located in The Rink shopping mall)
  • Sip on a craft cocktail amongst ghosts at The Columns (hotel on St. Charles Ave)
  • Roam the grounds of Audubon Zoo (ranked among the country’s most educational and entertaining zoos)
  • Stroll along Magazine Street with its numerous boutiques, art galleries, and fabulous restaurants/bars
  • Hang out at Hot Tin, which boasts one of the most breathtaking views of the city (rooftop bar located in the Ponchartrain Hotel)
  • Chug a beer from one of the 84 taps at Cooter Brown’s
  • Refresh with a sno-ball at Hansen’s Sno-Blitz (been around since the 1930s)
  • Chow down on a sloppy roast beef po-boy at Domilise’s
  • Enjoy the majestic feel of this area of the city!!

Wow, just Wow!! This is one of those places where you’re planning your next visit before you’ve completed your entrée!  Owned by James Beard Award winning chef, Sue Zemanick, Zasu opened on New Year’s Eve 2018 in a quaint little cottage, decorated in art deco fashion with a comforting hue of green lining the walls. As you enter the restaurant, you come upon a tiny bar, manned by an extremely talented mixologist creating craft cocktails in his own unique fashion. The restaurant was bustling with patrons, seemingly happy with their current situation—couples enjoying each other’s company, girlfriends laughing hysterically, and groups of friends celebrating the end of a busy work week. Upon first glance at the menu, I knew we were in for a flavorful treat!

Our meal began with Grilled Baby Octopus and Artichoke/Goat Cheese Agnolotti.  If you’ve experienced eating octopus, you’ll know that it can be quite rich in flavor.  This dish had a perfect portion of baby octopus, grilled to perfection, balanced with the delicate flavors of the baby potatoes, fennel, roasted peppers and salsa verde.  The agnolotti (flattened pasta folded over a filling of vegetables/cheese/meat) was wonderfully crafted with a hint of lemony deliciousness, topped with morsels of crispy sunchokes. Both portions were perfect for sharing. We also shared a cup of the Soup du Jour, Lobster Bisque, which consisted of small chunks of sweet lobster meat in a beautifully rich, perfectly seasoned creamy broth.  Our entrees consisted of the Sautéed Halibut (white, flaky, mild) and Roasted Chicken Breast, which were both spot on! We completed our meal with the Warm Olive Oil and Cornmeal Cake topped with satsumas and almonds, iced with mascarpone—the perfect amount of sweetness!  Call a couple of weeks in advance for reservations. If you’re a party of two, you may get lucky, like we did, with a last minute call.

Address 127 N. Carrollton Ave New Orleans, LA 70119
Phone (504) 267-3233
Website http://www.zasunola.com

 

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We’d been hearing about this place for a while and decided to give it a try.  So glad we did! The physical space is amazing—a renovated warehouse with high ceilings, painted brick walls, huge windows, exposed beams and exquisite lighting fixtures! Tasty Italian dishes are served from the bustling, exposed kitchen—brick oven pizzas, small plates, and impressive entrees.  Featuring a perfectly-placed full service bar in the center of the restaurant. The atmosphere is spirited and fun, frequented by quite a hipster, young crowd. Can get a bit loud at peak times. The tables are in fairly close proximity; hence, we became part of the most hysterical conversation with the three guys sitting next to us. Two of them were gay and the other straight. The straight guy had just returned from a blind date and was giving the other two guys a play by play as they were providing him with some extremely helpful, albeit, hilarious advice!!  Throughout our “foodie” adventures, we have met some of the coolest people, most often the result of tight seating arrangements.  I know this would drive some people crazy, but we’ve always embraced the experience!

Address 511 Marigny St New Orleans, LA 70117
Phone (504) 509-6782
Website http://www.paladar511.com

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This family-owned eatery serves delicious home-cooked plates of traditional New Orleans dishes, daily specials, yummy appetizers, po boys, soups, salads, desserts and a kid’s menu.  There’s truly something for everyone!  Recommended dishes include the Roast Beef Debris Po Boy, Eggplant Napoleon, Crab and Corn Beignets (topped with spicy powdered sugar), Red Beans and Rice and Breaded Veal Cutlet. Casual atmosphere with a full-service bar (serving 18 oz. schooners of beer). Gets crowded around lunch hour, but we’ve always been able to easily get a table.

Address 3001 Magazine St New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone (504) 891-0997
Website http://joeyksrestaurant.com/

 

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In my humble opinion, Mayas is one of the best Latin American restaurants in the city! The exquisite flavors and food presentation are second to none! Serving Plantains, Ceviches, Empanadas, Curries, Steaks and Small Plates! Personal favorites include Crab Avocado Mango Stack, Tuna Tartar, Ceviche Dorado, Crab Caprichosa, Seafood Tostones, Mayas Curry and the Guacamole. Take a break while strolling along Magazine St to enjoy a wonderfully delicious meal at this unique restaurant. We’ve always been able to get a table for lunch without a reservation, not certain about dinner.

Address 2027 Magazine St New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone (504) 309-3401
Website http://mayasonmagazine.com

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