Libations for Locals: Springtime Spirits
Enjoy the springtime weather in lush, outdoor spaces with cooling springtime spirits — and taste new possibilities in every sumptuous sip.
Located inside the lovingly restored, historic Swoop-Duggins House originally built almost two centuries ago, CellarDoor offers downtown denizens a surprisingly modern gastro-lounge in a classic New Orleans environment. Exposed brick walls and high ceilings are par for the course in many local establishments, plus a lush little courtyard with gas lighting and a view of the stars. The cocktail menu is small but eclectic, featuring drinks like Rosemary’s Baby made with bourbon, agave and Hellfire bitters or The Green Light Districts created with gin, fresh lime, basil and cucumber soda. On the gastro side, CellarDoor offers both small and big bites like fried chicken skin cracklins and a Swoop Duggins burger made with Two Run Farms beef on toasted brioche. 916 Lafayette St., (504) 265-8392, cellardoornola.com
Root Squared is a swanky, modern bar located above Chef Philip Lopez’s prix fixe, chef’s table-type restaurant Square Root on Magazine Street. With a huge, wraparound balcony, guests can take in the spring air while sipping on a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon or a Milk and Honey cocktail with pecan vodka, chicory liqueur and chocolate-infused honey. Additionally, for those financially unable to enjoy a 12-course prix fixe dinner downstairs, Root Squared offers tastes large and small that showcase Lopez’s incredible talent without the staggering price tag. Try the marinated octopus with an avocado-jalapeño puree or duck confit with smoked pomme salardaise, fava greens and sour cherry mostarda. 1800 Magazine St., (504) 309-7800, rootsquarednola.com
Ahead of the game, Treo is an elegant, modern cocktail lounge located on Tulane Avenue, a promising corridor in Mid-City that is changing rapidly day by day. Owners Pauline and Stephen Patterson (who also own the popular Irish pub Finn McCool’s), purchased the downtrodden building and renovated it in the hopes of offering a refined libation-oriented hang out in the neighborhood — all while joining the area’s renaissance. Featuring a huge outdoor area, patrons are invited to relax on well-cushioned patio furniture, while enjoying handcrafted cocktails curated by Tyler Chauvin, Treo’s remarkable bar manager. Get the Remedy, made with Blackwoods Gin, sake and ginger-green tea syrup or the Chill, made with Bluecoat Gin, maple syrup and Angostura Bitters. Recently, the folks at Treo also teamed up with Chef Micheal Gulotta of MoPho fame to offer Tana, a kitchen installation featuring Italian cuisine like corn flour garganelli pasta with charred octopus and warm Thomasville Tomme Fonduta served with Bellegarde Bakery sourdough.
3835 Tulane Ave., (504) 304-4878, http://treonola.com/
Cane & Table
Located on Decatur Street in the historic French Quarter, Cane & Table offers a Caribbean vibe and a long back patio where you can relax with well-crafted prototiki cocktails and nibble on some serious gastropub fare. Nurse a Sloppy Jane Special, made with Dulce de Monastrell, Paul Beau VS and fresh pineapple or a “Cane Street Swizzle, made with Diplomatico rum and Falernum in a hollowed out pineapple, while watching the stars whirl overhead. You might also want to try a few bites like the poblano and crab fritters, crispy rare yellowfin tuna or five spice short rib with cocoa spaetzle and cotija. 1113 Decatur St., (504) 581-1112, caneandtablenola.com