New Orleans’ Restaurant Week has only two days and nights left to enjoy. September is one of the slowest months of the year for restaurateurs, but it’s an excellent opportunity for locals to experience new chefs and new menus from old favorites. Celebrating its eighth year, Restaurant Week New Orleans offers a line-up of restaurants with innovative menus at discounted prices. The week, a brainchild of the Louisiana Restaurant Association in partnership with New Orleans & Company, runs through Sunday, September 16. “In New Orleans, dining out is many things—a celebration, a sport, an adventure and above all else, a necessity.
France’s La Fête Nationale, or national celebration, commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. La Crêpe Nanou, our resident French bistro, has been an Uptown touchstone since 1983. At 35 years of age, it hasn’t a long history, but in restaurant years, remarkable nonetheless. In a city where things are changing more often than not, the familiar is appreciated. A plate of steaming Moules et Frites bathed in a garlicky white wine sauce and a crusty baguette at La Crêpe Nanou’s qualifies.
The Sassy Private Chef’s Shrimp n’ Grit’s Recipe as featured on Bravo
Each series has one breakout character, and while the Bravo Southern Charm New Orleans series offered little to locals other than indigestion, it did present us with the sass of New Orleans’ private cook, Mr. Benny Poppins. Poppins, aka Benjamin Levasseur, originally from Algiers, plies his trade amongst New Orleans’ families as a personal cook. “The name ‘Benny Poppins’ came from working closely with families and their children as a personal chef, and it stuck,” said Levasseur. In the Bravo series, Benny Poppins, of the bow tie, eye-roll and discreet side-eye proved popular amongst the audience who enjoyed the series. Levasseur portrays the cook and private assistant to New York documentary film producer Nicelle Herrington – also a real-life gig.
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum holds a yearly “Made in Louisiana” festival. The fest features merchants, chefs, distillers and all-around interesting people with locally made products available in New Orleans. I was lucky enough to be invited, and I plan to introduce you to some of those people and their products. Part One
Bulldog Pepper Jelly: Jelly with a Bite
Everyone should have the pleasure of meeting the Bulldog Farm Pepper Jelly sisters, Kim Johnson White and Cindy Johnson Anders. These ladies are contagiously happy, high energy, hard-working and Louisiana to the core.
My commentary is usually filtered through nostalgia—in this case, my fond memories of Mardi Gras. Two words sum that up: McKenzie’s and Doubloons. Mardi Gras was fun, easy, laissez-faire, with no tattletales, no politics, no bead safe-spaces, and no King Cake scalping—yes, this is really a thing in 2018. Why can’t we just enjoy the greatest free show on earth without government intervention, irate commentary, division, and scary cakes? City government confiscated many toddlers’ personalized Mardi Gras ladders this year.
Saints Feasts, Playoffs, and homemade King Cake! Can we get a #WhoDat? The Black and Gold are back in the playoffs, and locals are talking about more than just Kamara’s yardage. What’s cooking this Sunday is a hot topic as New Orleanians plan to watch the game from home. Viking’s fans can have their frozen chicken wings, brat dogs, and bagged chips, but the Ain’ts aren’t having it.
Creole Dressing, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Rice, or Macaroni? The countdown to a New Orleans Thanksgiving dinner has begun. The old guard, as we know, still serves Oyster Dressing along with their roast turkey. However, an influx of newcomers might be changing the local menu. [poll id=”2″]
Oktoberfest and the Oompa band have finally returned to New Orleans proper. What could be more fitting for a New Orleanian than Bratwurst and beer on the bayou? New Orleans Deutsches Haus, founded in 1848, the keeper of all that is German regarding New Orlean’s heritage, is back. And New Orleans is happy. The Haus, originally named Deutsche Gesellschaft von New Orleans, has evolved with the times and is also hosting an Oktoberfest 5k this Friday.
Magazine Street winds itself along the river down the center of old New Orleans from the French Quarter to Audubon Park. It’s our Main Street. It is also our restaurant row. Along its corridor, diners can explore our unique local culinary styles and culture, and experience both regional and international food. What makes this plethora of restaurants unique is their individuality.
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. Laidback owner Greg Hill, resident coffee connoisseur and barista, took over the business in 2013. Hill’s changes include breakfast and lunch menus offered daily.