Jun 172017
 

The Victorian coffeehouse on Nashville and Magazine Street predates the nearby chains by over twenty-five years. Café Luna is more than a neighborhood hangout; it’s become an Uptown fixture. Well known for its hip vibe, superior coffee, and Eastlake corner porch, it’s also a restaurant.

Strawberry Peach Muffins (Kristine Froeba)

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Jun 092017
 

“Eating a good creole tomato is just like eating a strawberry.” – Uber Driver

(via Creole Tomato Festival)

They’re here: back-road vegetable stand tables and farmer’s markets laden with baskets of huge red homegrown tomatoes. Some might say that the Creole Tomato is a season unto itself in Louisiana. I guess we can add it to parade season, crawfish season, and football season. But, then again, New Orleans has always had its own way of telling time. Continue reading »

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Apr 072017
 

CrawFest 2011 at Tulane University (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Good Friday and Easter Sunday for some may involve church, bonnets, and chocolate bunnies, but in Louisiana it also usually includes a good old-fashioned Crawfish Boil.

Hams and pork loins will be studded, glazed, and stuffed, awaiting Uptown ovens. Bundt cakes baked, brownies cut, and eggs dyed. Someone’s great-aunt will lobby to bring the macaroni and cheese, while another tries to control the dinner menu (this is why they invented wine). Continue reading »

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Mar 032017
 

Twice-Baked French Toast with Berry Compote, Whipped Cream and Maple Syrup (Kristine Froeba)

Mid-City’s successful Gracious Bakery has opened a second full-service location, Gracious on the Avenue. Pastry Chef Megan Forman has brought her pastries, brunch, and luncheon selections Uptown—the Garden District to be exact.

Uptown is always ready for a new breakfast spot. Continue reading »

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Nov 112016
 
Avocado Toast on Grilled Bread with Watermelon Relish and Calabrian Chili Salt; Pan Seared Fish in Carrot-Ginger Emulsion with Watermelon Relish and Mustard greens (Kristine Froeba)

Avocado Toast on Grilled Bread with Watermelon Relish and Calabrian Chili Salt; Pan Seared Fish in Carrot-Ginger Emulsion with Watermelon Relish and Mustard Greens. (Kristine Froeba)

Bar Frances and its sleek, modern building has replaced what was once the location of Frank’s Steakhouse. The Freret of our parents’ day—Long’s Bakery, Israel Delicatessen, and Canal Villere—has given way to the new Freret Street Corridor. We have Stacy Head to thank for the Freret renaissance. What was once a dilapidated abandoned street is now a thriving neighborhood and an established restaurant row of sorts.

Bar Frances is the latest addition to the growing area. The New American-styled restaurant and wine bar arrived on Freret only six months ago yet has become a firm favorite, serving an elegant European-inspired menu featuring classically refined cocktails, craft beer, and a French wine list. Continue reading »

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Oct 142016
 
Matt Eckenhoff enjoying a German feast of Schnitzel, Bratwurst, German Pototo Salad, Braised Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut, and Lager. (Kristine Froeba)

Matt Eckenhoff enjoying a German feast of Schnitzel, Bratwurst, German Pototo Salad, Braised Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut, and Lager. (Kristine Froeba)

The Germans settled the German Coast of Louisiana or Bayou Des Allemands, as it became known in the 1730s. The majority of New Orleans’ German immigrants arrived en masse in the early to mid-1800s. Those Germans settled in the City of Lafayette, now part of the lower garden district. St. Mary’s Assumption Catholic Church, built right across the street from St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and around the corner from Catholic Notre Dame de Bon Secour Church tells the tale of a spirited New Orleans immigrant community that insisted on the continued worship in their native traditions and languages.

As we all know, New Orleans are indeed a spirited and spirit laden lot. We not only cherish and keep our traditions, we celebrate them like no other. Ergo, it’s October in New Orleans, and that means Oktoberfest. Continue reading »

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Oct 072016
 
Surrey's Costa Rican Breakfast (Kristine Froeba)

Surrey’s Costa Rican Breakfast (Kristine Froeba)

One of the go-to Magazine breakfast spots continues to serve fresh, unique, and healthy choices. Surrey’s is one of those rare places where the health-conscious can order vegan tofu, black beans, and fresh squeezed juices, while their other half enjoys a Montana breakfast platter of Eggs, Ham, Bacon, Sausage, Country Gravy, and butter-laden Biscuits. There is more than enough variety to indulge one’s sweet tooth while friends concentrate on the savory side of the menu. Sadly, the house juice-blend of grapefruit, orange with fresh ginger has been MIA from the menu for over six months. Continue reading »

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Sep 302016
 

The renewed post-Katrina CBD is a hotbed of new restaurant concepts. One of the most popular is Willa Jean, located in the heart of the new South Market area. If you haven’t been, it’s time. Frankly, if you haven’t ventured out of Uptown, it’s time to explore the CBD restaurant scene. The days of wandering Poydras in search of a meal, any meal, are long gone. The CBD is now host to dozens of new and upcoming chefs and menus. Open for just a little over a year, Willa Jean is the current star.

Bear Claw Pastries (Kristine Froeba)

Bear Claw Pastries (Kristine Froeba)

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Sep 092016
 

Italian cuisine has arrived in the Lower Garden District, albeit tucked beneath an unlikely package. The Italian-American Trattoria is housed on the first floor of the historic Harris-Maginnis House, the antebellum boutique hotel currently known as the Magnolia Mansion. The location is an irresistible combination of soaring Corinthian columns, ancient oaks towering over equally ancient iron gates, craft cocktails, a piano bar, “Mack the Knife” wafting through the air, and the perfect Osso Bucco.

Spiedini Mozzarella, pan-fried thick house bread topped with Mozzarella with an Anchovy-Lemon Caper Sauce, the way Frank Sinatra ordered it (Kristine Froeba)

Spiedini Mozzarella, pan-fried thick house bread topped with Mozzarella with an Anchovy-Lemon Caper Sauce, the way Frank Sinatra ordered it (Kristine Froeba)

The signature appetizer is Spiedini Mozzarella, served with authentic Rat Pack origins. Chef Sonny DeCrescenzi or “Sonny D”, as he was known, was the originator of the dish. Continue reading »

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Aug 262016
 
petrossi

The Petrossi family behind the bar at Charlie’s Steak House, later 1940s (via Charlie’s Steak House)

Charlie’s Steak House is many things. There’s the menu, or lack thereof, the history, and then, there’re the anecdotes. It’s an old school New Orleans restaurant of the neighborhood variety. It’s a tad “Goodfellas”, in the best way; its Italian origins are everywhere. It’s a place where local’s grandparents drank highballs and chain smoked between courses. Of course, it’s not an Italian restaurant; it’s a Steak House. The Original New Orleans Steak House.

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Aug 122016
 
El Fuego Brisket and Flame Torched Jack and Catfish and Chipotle tacos (Kristine Froeba)

El Fuego Brisket and Flame Torched Jack and Catfish and Chipotle tacos (Kristine Froeba)

There’s a new Mexican joint in the historic Town of Carrollton. The Oak Street shopping district of yore continues its gentrification, with an influx of small businesses as the result. The street where we all bought our first pair of shoes at Haase’s has come a long way. What was once then, a main shopping corridor, fell onto hard times, then a few shabby decades, followed by a post-Katrina renaissance.

Not far from the railroad tracks, replacing Squeal BBQ, is a new hipster restaurant, surely to be popular with locals and students alike. Continue reading »

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Jul 292016
 
Jamaican Scalllops in pineapple juice, jalapeños, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and piri piri sauce (Kristine Froeba)

Jamaican Scalllops in pineapple juice, jalapeños, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and piri piri sauce (Kristine Froeba)

Mayas Nuevo Latina will soon be celebrating its tenth year, offering Zagat-rated Central American Caribbean fusion in New Orleans. The restaurant is a frontrunner for those seeking a casual, but elegant, gourmand Latin American experience Uptown.

Chef Edgar Irias and co-owner, Trinity Cazzola, founded the restaurant in 2007 and are about to expand their reach with a second restaurant further upriver. The concept will be an authentic Mexican menu, with zero Tex-Mex influence. Expect goat meat and imported local cheeses.

For now, you can enjoy brunch, lunch, and dinner at their flagship restaurant in the LGD. Continue reading »

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Jul 082016
 
Summer Ramen (Kristine Froeba)

Summer Ramen (Kristine Froeba)

There are so many restaurants to frequent in our little hamlets of Uptown; we sometimes forget the one’s right around the corner. A walk to the neighborhood hardware store led me to stumble into Noodle and Pie. I’d been there before and enjoyed it, but now found a delightful Summer Menu with a few new additions. Continue reading »

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Jul 012016
 
First Banana Split for Miss Olivia Witte, Ice Cream Expert, aged five (Kristine Froeba)

First Banana Split for Miss Olivia Witte, ice cream expert, aged five (Kristine Froeba)

The main ice cream parlor of any small southern town is a summer staple. It’s usually on Main Street. Ours, in our little town of “Uptown”, is on Prytania. The Creole Creamery sits snugly in the middle of the block in the most nostalgic of locations, the old Mckenzie’s Bakery.

It is exactly as an ice cream parlor should be. There’s a long counter where you can pull up a stool and order a malted, bright red vinyl booths that invite sharing a banana split, and glass cases to peer in to oogle the flavors. Oddly enough, we seem to have only one ice cream parlor Uptown, but the quaint charm of this one is all we need. Continue reading »

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Jun 242016
 
Isabel Mendez’s Tamales, Salsa, and Burritos (Kristine Froeba)

Isabel Mendez’s Tamales, Salsa, and Burritos (Kristine Froeba)

Every Tuesday, Uptowners clamor for Homemade Tamales, Artisan Cheeses, Fresh Diary, and Spices. They’re not at Whole Foods or St. James Cheese Company.

Instead, they crowd a tented open-air area of the old Uptown Square where Free Range Eggs, Watermelon Frescas, and Organic Honey are among other homemade, freshly harvested, and artisan produced items. You can start with an Iced Coffee and an Authentic Breakfast Burrito before filling carrier bags with fresh picked blueberries, okra, and butter beans. And there is usually live music playing.

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