Preferred picks for the perfect fall weekend in New Orleans
Lunch at: Chef Michael Stoltzfus‘ culinary expertise will hold your taste buds in awe while you enjoy a delectable lunch at his popular Garden District restaurant, Coquette. Located on the corner of Magazine and Washington, this delightful eatery offers a constantly changing menu, with dishes like Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with cantaloupe and country ham, a juicy Coquette Burger with thick-cut bacon and Hook’s Cheddar or a Market Vegetable Salad with local citrus, cashew puree and olive praline. Don’t neglect to indulge in the warm loaf of sliced ciabatta placed oh-so-innocently on your table; it’s made in-house and will knock your socks off.
Get hoppy at: Featuring over 50 beers on tap and 100 more in bottles, The Bulldog is a haven for beer amateurs and enthusiasts alike. This particular location on Magazine Street, only a hop away from Louisiana Avenue, is considered “Uptown’s International Beer Tavern” and often holds events to aid non-profit organizations in the New Orleans community. Soak up the suds and explore The Bulldog’s ever-expanding beer list, featuring brews from Evil Twin and New Belgium to Woodchuck and Bayou Teche.
Get funky at: Established in 1977 and dedicated to talented composer and pianist Professor Longhair (a.k.a. Henry Roeland Byrd), Tipitina’s has become known worldwide as “the venue to visit” when traveling to New Orleans. This venerable music establishment located on the corner of Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas has played host to musicians across all genres, like Dr. John, the Neville Brothers, Lenny Kravitz, Bonnie Raitt, Nine Inch Nails and Widespread Panic. Tipitina’s also plays a huge role in keeping the music alive and well in the Crescent City by offering internship programs, youth workshops, rehearsal facilities, instrument repair and an annual benefit concert, “Instruments A Comin,’” which provides instruments to school music programs.
Revive at: Sip on a rich, creamy mocha and watch the traffic amble by at Mojo Coffee House on the corner of Magazine and Race in the Garden District. Located in the building that housed the original Rue de la Course (among a few other coffee shops), Mojo has held strong, offering locally roasted java from Orleans Coffee Exchange, pastries from La Louisiane and Laurel Street Bakery and the mandatory free WiFi. Mojo also has plenty of mugs, makers and other coffee paraphernalia, and is conveniently open daily until midnight.
Dine at: If you thought it simply couldn’t get any better, the Link Restaurant Group has exceeded expectations yet again with Pêche Seafood Grill. Donald Link, Stephen Stryjewski and Ryan Prewitt have joined forces to create a delicious homage to Louisiana seafood at their brand-new Warehouse District eatery. Located in a restored 19th-century building on the corner of Magazine and Julia, Pêche offers simple, yet elegant dishes, like fresh-shucked oysters on the half-shell, royal red shrimp in garlic butter, crispy fish sticks fried in an LA-31 beer batter and whole grilled fish like striped bass or redfish caught fresh from the Gulf.
Rejoice at: Designed by Emile Weil, built in 1927 for $2.5 million and hailed as “an acre of seats in a garden of Florentine splendor,” the Saenger Theatre has long been one of the most prized and cherished movie palaces in the city of New Orleans. When the theater was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many despaired. But this month, the hall will re-open after an extensive restoration and transformation into a state-of-the-art performing arts theater. Attend the Grand Opening Gala Concert with Kristin Chenoweth and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, or hold out for Tony Award-winning musical “The Book of Mormon.”
Brunch at: Located in a renovated double shotgun cottage on Magazine Street just a hop away from Le Bon Temps Roulé, Apolline Restaurant offers a delightful brunch with seating both inside and out. Chef Matt Farmer, locally born and raised, offers a wonderful menu with dishes like Buttermilk Biscuits smothered in sausage gravy, Crispy Confit Chicken & French Toast or Eggs Apolline with Jacob’s Andouille, crawfish tails and rich Hollandaise. Don’t forget to indulge in Bottomless Mimosas or a Deluxe Bloody Mary made with boiled shrimp, cherry tomatoes, celery, two shots of vodka and a house-made mix.
Embrace nature at: Spend an educational and fun afternoon exploring the wilds of Audubon Zoo. In 1916, a flight cage was added to Audubon Park. It was so popular, the community clamored for a full-scale zoo. Funds raised by the New Orleans Zoological Society and private donations soon funded a monkey cage, mammal cage and deer paddock, and in 1924, the very first elephant arrived. Today, the zoo covers 58 acres and is home to more than 2,000 animals, including rare white tigers and white alligators.
Relax at: Unassuming and somewhat hidden behind Madigan’s Bar, GB’s Patio Bar & Grill boasts what some believe are the best burgers in the city. Located on the river side of Maple Street, just off South Carrollton Avenue, this tiny restaurant/bar with a large outdoor patio is a great place to take your ease, enjoy a beer and dig into some delicious, yet inexpensive grub. Sink your teeth into a juicy House-Ground Angus Beef Burger with freshly shredded cheddar, Chili-Cheese Fries or a 12-ounce Char-Grilled Ribeye while watching the game projected onto the wall. Don’t forget to try dessert! One of the owners enjoys baking cakes like Red Velvet or Pecan Praline.