Home FOOD & DINING Weekend Cheat Sheet: Outdoor Dining

Weekend Cheat Sheet: Outdoor Dining

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After slogging through a hot New Orleans summer, it’s refreshing to get outside and enjoy autumn’s cool breezes under a far less oppressive sun.

 

Friday

Lunch at: Though there’s a lot to choose from at St. Roch Market, you have to narrow it down sometime! Might we suggest the literal seafood bounty to be had at Elysian Seafood? Try the fresh oysters, seafood gumbo, shrimp remoulade sandwich, Louisiana crabcakes or coconut curry Gulf shrimp with roasted sweet potatoes and jalapeño jasmine rice. Whatever you choose, it’s bound to be delicious! 2381 St. Claude Ave., (504) 609-3813, elysianseafood.com

Stroll through: Recently reopened and updated, Crescent Park is a gorgeous 20-acre urban linear park located in the French Market District. With beautiful native landscaping, bike paths and a dog run, Crescent Park is a wonderful place to while away a leisurely afternoon. Stroll, jog, run or bike along the Mississippi River with views of downtown New Orleans in all its glory. Mandeville Street Wharf, crescentparknola.org

Sip at: Unwind from a long week with a glass of wine (or three) at The Vintage. An interesting combination coffee shop and bar, this casual spot offers specialty coffee drinks, cocktails, a decent selection of wines and a small food menu to keep you sated for the next round. Try alligator poppers with pepper jelly dipping sauce, boudin balls, pretzel bites, cheese fries, meatballs and (of course) some beignets. 3121 Magazine St., (504) 324-7144, thevintagenola.com

Saturday

Revive at: Get your morning caffeine fix at Mammoth Espresso in the Central Business District. Mammoth is dedicated to serving meticulously crafted espresso brewed by experienced barista Jonathan Riethmaier using beans from Madcap Coffee in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The coffee shop also offers a selection of loose leaf teas and tasty treats like quick breads, bundt cake, scones and more. Now this is how to wake up! 821 Baronne St., (504) 475-4344, mammothespresso.com

Appreciate art at: When the weather cools and the live oaks shed their leaves, few things are more enjoyable than a walk through the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans City Park. Located in a five-acre space outside the New Orleans Museum of Art, the lush garden includes works like “Hercules the Archer” sculpted by Antoine Bourdelle, “Monkeys” by Rona Pondick, and “Rain Mountain” by Isamu Noguchi. One Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park, (504) 658-4100, noma.org/sculpture-garden

Dine at: Delight in a repast made with quality ingredients and lots of love at Gris-Gris on Magazine Street. Opened about two months ago, this Lower Garden District gem is the creation of esteemed local chef Eric Cook who has worked in kitchens at Commander’s Palace, Bourbon House and Tommy’s Cuisine … just to name a few. Grab a table outside on the patio or upstairs on the balcony and enjoy dishes like the Oyster BLT with fried Gulf oysters and smoked pork belly; shrimp and fried green tomatoes; Creole redfish court-bouillon; and sugarcane-seared duck breast with a roasted sweet potato and pecan casserole. 1800 Magazine St., (504) 272-0241, grisgrisnola.com

Sunday

Brunch at: Go all out with an al fresco brunch at La Petite Grocery. Located Uptown on Magazine Street near Napoleon Avenue, this elegant neighborhood restaurant owned and operated by the James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Devillier offers exquisitely prepared brunch items like buttermilk fried quail with fennel remoulade; blue crab beignets; cured pork loin and eggs atop a homemade biscuit and drizzled with smoked tomato hollandaise; and a roasted beef tenderloin with fried eggs, new potatoes and sauce bordelaise. 4238 Magazine St., (504) 891-3377, lapetitegrocery.com

Explore nature at: Discover a natural escape in the heart of the city at Couturie Forest. With 60 acres of trees and waterways, it’s a wondrous place to spend the day hiking the trails and spotting wildlife with the whole family. Plus, if you happen to be an amateur ornithologist, Couturie Forest is New Orleans’ top bird-watching destination with enthusiasts encountering more than 40 different species in one visit. neworleanscitypark.com

Relax at: Because everybody loves a glass of wine with their burger, the new Lakeview bar and restaurant Three B’s is there to deliver. Family team Brandon, Blake and Kevin Bennett have elevated the average burger joint offering so much more than the perfect hamburger. Aside from using quality and house-made ingredients, Three B’s features a good selection of wine and beer, plus dishes like braised pork belly, baked oysters, poke and charcuterie. Devour your P.I.G — a burger with house bacon, Creole tomatoes, mozzarella and basil mayonnaise — with a glass of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon out on the patio under the stars. 911 Harrison Ave., (504) 249-8025, threebs.com