Home FOOD & DINING Weekend Cheat Sheet: December 2014

Weekend Cheat Sheet: December 2014

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Let the spirit of the Crescent City warm you from the inside out over a weekend of festive, holiday fun!

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Lunch at: Sink your teeth into what has been nationally recognized at the best fried chicken around! For over 60 years, Willie Mae’s Scotch House has been treating the denizens of Treme, and the rest of the city for that matter, to good ol’, down-home soul food. Located on the corner of St. Ann and Tonti streets, this neighborhood eatery has both locals and tourists coming back for more. That’s especially true, considering that you can get a basket of America’s Best Fried Chicken with one side, like mac ’n’ cheese or sweet-potato fries, for $10. 2401 Saint Anne St.,(504) 822-9503, facebook.com/WillieMaesScotchHouse

Sip at: Inside the Hyatt French Quarter Hotel lies Batch, a hip, upscale bar that offers a way to imbibe that’s just a little bit different. Although you’re free to order a cocktail for yourself, like a Bacon Bourbon Manhattan or a Midnight in Russia, the idea is to drink collectively. Order barrel service, which features batch cocktails for the whole table (four to six people), sharing Sazeracs, rum Manhattans, Old Fashioneds or margaritas. Batch also offers mouth-watering nibbles to share, including blue crab cakes and curried Cracker Jacks, or something from the Fry Bar, like Alley Potatoes (tater tots, tasso gravy, rotisserie beef and Irish cheddar). 800 Iberville St., (504) 586-0800, facebook.com/BatchNewOrleans

Play at: Enjoy a stroll through the Miracle on Fulton Street, with all of its elaborate Christmas decorations and twinkling lights, before heading in for a night of bowling at Fulton Alley. Featuring 12 lanes, craft cocktails curated by Cure’s own Neal Bodenheimer and Kirk Estopinal, cuisine crafted by chef Mike Nirenberg, Fulton Alley is the end-all, be-all of bowling entertainment. Sip on a 3rd Strike, made with Macchu Pisco (a Peruvian spirit), Cabeza Blanco tequila and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, while mastering your game in one of the coolest bowling alleys in the GNO. 600 Fulton St., (504) 208-5569, fultonalley.com

Saturday

Revive at: Located on the edge of the historic French Quarter, Arrow Cafe is an eclectic coffeehouse that offers rich coffees from Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco. Arrow Cafe is part and parcel of NOLA Drift (a vintage wares shop) and Dashing Bicycles & Accessories — three disparate businesses jiving together in one, brick and mortar storefront. So whether you’re opting for espresso, pour-over or cold brew, you can sip your way to java heaven while perusing vintage house wares and pondering a leisurely bike ride. 628 N. Rampart St., (504) 410-5647, facebook.com/arrowcafenola

Shop at: Get in some last minute Christmas shopping at The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk. Find everything your family and friends could ever want from St. Nick at shops like Aeropostale, Fossil, Gap, Kenneth Cole, Wilsons Leather, Local Charm, Perfumania and more! Keep up your strength with lunch at MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes or at Izzo’s Illegal Burrito, and cap it off with some cafe au lait and beignets from Cafe du Monde. Don’t forget to stop at Pa Pa Pralines and Lindt Chocolate for some sinfully sweet stocking stuffers that the whole family will love. 500 Port of New Orleans Place, (504) 522-1555, riverwalkneworleans.com

Dine at: Named after Louisiana’s infamous Governor Huey P. Long, Kingfish is a French Quarter gem with a menu crafted and executed by beloved local chef Greg Sonnier and a cocktail program designed by Chris McMillan, a local who is an internationally recognized, fourth-generation bartender. Dine with indulgence and enjoy dishes like a rich, smoked rabbit gumbo; grilled and smothered okra with Gulf shrimp; seafood cassoulet; or “Every Man a King” fish, featuring Himalayan-salt, brick-seared Gulf fish topped with roasted-pecan butter and red-onion marmalade. Don’t forget to end the evening with a fat slice of sweet potato bourbon pecan pie. 337 Chartres St., (504) 598-5005, cocktailbarneworleans.com

Sunday

Brunch at: Self-dubbed as New Orleans’ “only five-A restaurant,” Atchafalaya is likely one of the most popular spots to have brunch in the city, right up there with Elizabeth’s Restaurant, Arnaud’s Restaurant and Commander’s Palace. Executive Chef Chris Lynch is in the kitchen, serving up NOLA-inspired fare like Cochon Du L’Eggs with pulled pork and blackberry cane syrup, savory bread pudding, and the classic shrimp and grits. Although we’re used to the traditionally held brunch on Sundays, Atchafalaya is now offering this unique meal five days a week, from Thursday through Monday, so you’ll have plenty of time to come back and explore the Bloody Mary bar — in case you missed it the first time. 901 Louisiana Ave., (504) 891-9626, atchafalayarestaurant.com

Celebrate at: It’s that time again to enjoy the magical wonderland that is Celebration in the Oaks. This singular exhibition draws over 100,000 visitors every year to gaze in awe at the multitudes of twinkling lights strewn across 24 acres of moss-laden oak trees in New Orleans City Park. Kids can take a ride on the park’s train and carousel, gawk at the Cajun Night Before Christmas display and wave to the Crescent City’s own holiday icon, Mr. Bingle. 1 Palm Drive, (504) 482-4888, neworleanscitypark.com

Dine at: Bring the whole family to the newly opened Araña Taqueria y Cantina, located Uptown on Magazine Street. Araña offers a comfortable and casual atmosphere where you can enjoy delicious Mexican cuisine created by Executive Chef Richard Papier. Dive right in to the oyster campechano or guacamole with hot, crispy tortilla chips, while sipping on a house margarita. Treat yourself to Borrego en Mole Rojo (featuring braised lamb chops, red mole sauce and warm, chipotle tomatillos), or order a variety of tacos that the whole family can share, like al pastor (with shaved pork and grilled pineapple), carne asada (with marinated and grilled beef) or pato (featuring acho-marinated duck with pickled cumin and poblano peppers). 3242 Magazine St., (504) 894-1233, facebook.com/AranaNola