Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Orleans



Back in early June I ventured to one of my favorite cities in the south for a dear friends bachelorette party  - which we named the Summit of Free Spirits. I hadn't been to New Orleans since a girls trip in 2011 (!!), so it was really nice to return and soak it all in again. 

How badly do you want to dive headfirst into that plate of Beignets / that Sazerac / those broiled oysters topped with crab right now? The food in this city is something special.We had a lot of NOLA first timers and I was excited to re-visit some of the French Quarter musts with them like Hotel Monteleone's Carousel Bar, Pat O'Brien's courtyard, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar and Cafe Du Monde. We hit up terrific restaurants as to be expected and visited some new neighborhoods that I hadn't been to. Here's the rundown: 

Brunch at The Ruby Slipper | Creative southern breakfast fare served in a lively cafe. My dish pictured is The Costa Rican - gallo pinto (slow cooked black beans and rice) over a warm tomato salsa, two fried eggs, spicy chorizo sausage, avocado + crispy plantains.

Dinner at Bourne | Coastal Louisiana Seafood from renowned Chef John Besh. My entree pictured is the Angel Hair Pontchartrain - creamy shellfish broth, oysters, shrimp, garlic + bottarga. Other girls loved the Crispy Frog Legs over rice vermicelli and herb nuoc cham.

Drinks in The Warehouse District @ Lucy's Retired Surfer Bar and @ the brand spanking new Ace Hotel's rooftop pool bar Alto (the drink that came in a pineapple, so fun). I loved wandering the Warehouse District! It's refreshing to get out of the touristy French Quarter for bit and explore a low key but hip residential neighborhood.

Dinner at Bourbon House | Andd back to the heart of the French Quarter for some proper Creole fine dining on Bourbon Street. My incredible meal pictured: Charbroiled Oysters in a creole bordelaise butter with jumbo lump crab meat and Gulf Redfish on the half shell with new potatoes, balsamic glazed red onion + lemon beurre blanc topped with crawfish. 

Ghost Walking Tour in the French Q | On what was my second night and some others third night, this was the perfect low key group activity. It was easy for us to join a tour on a whim. Our guide was animated and knowledgeable; you learn a lot about the cities history and the ghost stories are legit! Highly recommend.

Confederacy of Cruisers 9th Ward Bike Tour | I recommend this experience even higher than the Ghost Tour. After cruising through the neighborhoods that were flooded under 10 feet of water during Hurricane Katrina, I am a changed person. Too see it all up close - the devastation and loss, the spirit and the rebuilding, and the adorable shotgun houses that still remain really made an impression. (These photos to come in another post.)

Be sure to check out my US Travel Page where you can find more NOLA Recommendations!