Preferred picks for the perfect weekend in New Orleans
Lunch at – Located at the smack-end of Oak Street, right before the tracks, Cowbell offers so much more than juicy, grass-fed beef burgers. Chef Brack May’s creativity sparkles with daily specials like a Two Run Farms All-Natural Santa Maria Style BBQ Tri Tip Sandwich with white cheddar on artisanal brioche or an Herb Roasted Portobello & “Bleu de Bocage” Grilled Cheese Sandwich. You can’t escape a Friday lunch in New Orleans without having dessert, and though the special could very well be special, we can’t help fawning over the hand-made apple pie. Couldn’t we all use a little more Cowbell?
Imbibe at – Escape for a sip at Oak Wine Bar and you won’t even have to leave this burgeoning Carrollton neighborhood’s main street. Oak’s cellar houses a dramatic selection of varietals and a wine list grouped by palate with dozens of wines by the glass and nearly a hundred hand-selected bottles. Although their focus is on exceptional wines, Oak also offers creative cocktails and tapas-style bites, a food menu crafted by local chef Aaron Burgau. Sip on their “8118” with Russian Standard Vodka, fresh basil and lemon & lime juice and crunch into Crispy Duck Rillette “Tostones” with twice fried plantains, avocado and a tamarind-orange glaze. You can also catch some great local music. Oak’s Thursday through Saturday music calendar includes musicians like Billy Iuso and Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes.
Get funky at – Home to Rebirth Brass Band and Papa Grows Funk, The Maple Leaf is one of the premier venues in New Orleans for local music. Opened in 1974, The Maple Leaf is one of the longest continuously operating music clubs featuring amazing local musicians like Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, The Radiators and James Booker. The hall, with its high, painted tin ceiling, long bar and backyard patio has also often played host to unannounced celebrity sit-ins from performers like Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt and Robert Plant, and is also home to many community events; the most popular is Mid-Summer Mardi Gras.
Brunch at – Enjoy a leisurely, al fresco brunch in the courtyard of Martinique Bistro. Located on the corner of Magazine and Eleonore Streets, this quaint Uptown restaurant features French-inspired cuisine from Chef Eric Labouchere and Sous Chef Nat Carrier, who both value the “farm-to-table” concept and the availability of fresh local produce. Sip a Cerise Latte “eye-opener” with espresso, cherry brandy and frangelico and devour French Toast & Duck Confit with pecan-sugar cane butter and roasted apples.
Recharge at – Across from Whole Foods Market on Magazine Street, there is a tiny coffee shop called Velvet Espresso Bar that brews aromatic, rich coffee you can smell on the street, sourced from roasters like Intelligentsia, Stumptown and George Howell. Velvet of course makes creamy cappuccinos, lattes and espresso, but we encourage you to try a cup of syphon-brewed java made in a Japanese coffee pot reminiscent of a chemistry set. Velvet also offers wonderful baked goods like scones, tea cakes, pies and its ever-popular, hand-made “Pop Tarts.”
Imbibe at – Chef John Harris of Lilette recently opened Bouligny Tavern right next door, a wine bar with premium cocktails and tapas-style, fine-dining quality dishes. Guests can lounge on diamond tufted banquettes and Ol Waschner armchairs in a space with inset walnut paneling and coffered ceilings while tasting from all menus. Enjoy a “Teaticket Fizz” with Oolong Tea-infused Vodka, cranberry liqueur and lemon juice while snacking on dishes of Tempura Green Beans or Gouda Beignets.
Brunch at – One of the Riverbend’s most popular restaurants, Dante’s Kitchen has been awing locals and visitors since its inception over 12 years ago. Chef Emmanuel Loubier takes pride in sourcing fresh, local ingredients, as well as crafting his own, such as hot sauce, pickles, jams and infused liquors. Indulge in Bacon Praline Cinnamon Sticky Buns or Dante’s own version of the classic Eggs Benedict with roasted rosemary-rubbed pork loin and perfectly poached eggs served atop buttermilk biscuits and drizzled with honey and lots of creamy hollandaise.
Recharge at – Although the bright, welcoming eatery also serves breakfast (and lunch), Satsuma Cafe is the perfect place for a great “cuppa joe.” Gaze out onto the bustling, one-way, neighborhood street while sipping on a sweet, iced latte brewed using the delicious GTO Espresso blend created by Coffee Roasters of New Orleans. Satsuma also offers special, healthful juices like the “ABC” with apple, carrot, beet and lemon or a “Sweet Tart” featuring apple, lemon, cucumber, orange and fennel.
Get comfy at – Wind down the weekend at Ciro’s Cote Sud on Maple Street, the only French-style bistro in town that features…you’ll never guess…specialty pizza. Yes, you can have your Moules Gratinees or Escargot and eat your pizza, too! Try the “L’Ollivier” with mozzarella cheese, house-made persillade sauce, Greek olives, pesto, artichoke hearts and goat cheese. Finish off a fabulous Sunday with their rich crème brûlée.