Are you in a New Orleans state of mind? I have always loved New Orleans but typically after 48 hours I’m done, I’ve even written those very words. But on a recent trip, I didn’t want to leave. Powder my beignet and call me Cajun, I wanted to stay longer.
The energy of the city was intoxicating and it had nothing to do with Bourbon street. The Crescent City is alive and not just surviving but thriving with a richness in diversity, a mindful curiosity, and a culinary learning experience that has moved far beyond beignets and Bearnaise.
If there is a Southern city that best captures the charm, the character, and the diversity of the South it is New Orleans. A city that throughout its history has maintained its multicultural flavor. A city that instead of conforming to convention embraces its unique vibrance. A city that truly represents what Southern hospitality is all about.
Where To Stay
The Windsor Court Hotel itself is reason enough to fall utterly and hopelessly in love with New Orleans upon first step. If you want to feel like a princess book one of The Windsor Court’s Club Level suites. These rooms have a foyer, bar room, living room, bedroom, vanity and closet room, bathroom, and 2 balconies boasting unrivaled views of New Orleans. The Club Level doesn’t just provide happy hour and pastries, it boasts a gourmet breakfast, afternoon tea, and cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Our nightly routine to begin the evening was happy hour and sunset in the Club Room before making our way to dinner. Sunrise began in the Club Room with panoramic views of the city while enjoying coffee and breakfast.
With impeccable service, a heated rooftop pool, plush linens, and the coziness of home, it was hard to even leave the Windsor Court to go explore the city.
On our first morning we paid a visit to friend, stationary designer, and true ambassador to New Orleans, Alexa Pulitizer. Taking in the view of citrus trees from the porch of her beautifully renovated historic home, Alexa ran out to pick fresh oranges for us to eat. Whether its coffee on the porch for 3 or an all out Gatsby style affair, Alexa is the epitome of a young Southern Auntie Mame. We immersed ourselves in unfiltered conversation and received a long list of recommendations on how to properly enjoy New Orleans, starting with where should we eat and what should we order.
Where To Eat
Doris Metropolitan – A restaurant that oozes sex appeal and boasts a culinary experience like no other. Yes it may be a meat lovers dream, but the menu is packed with creative delicious fare for palettes of all kinds. I highly recommend the Beetroot (one of the best dishes I have ever eaten), Artichoke Flower salad, and Baladi Eggplant. Also you must save room for dessert. The view is quite nice to if you get a window seat, you will see the wedding parties as they parade down Chartres.
Shaya – Named the best new restaurant in the United States by the James Beard Foundation in 2016 and rightly so. Who wants Israeli food in New Orleans you ask? You do and it will be one of the best meals of your life. Shaya is a culinary experience that will leave you in awe over the depth of flavors possible with fresh vegetables and simple seasonings. You will leave feeling refreshed from enjoying a meal rich in flavors but low in fat and grease.
Galatoire’s – For a taste of traditional New Orleans there is Galatoire’s. This iconic restaurant is one of those that should be on your bucket list. Reservations for Friday lunch is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. May I recommend the Oyster Rockefeller and escargot to start, Godchaux Salad,and for an entree the Stuffed Eggplant is the best thing I’ve had off their menu. And for quite the show order the Cafe Brulot for the table.
Cochon – Whether you choose the restaurant or the the butcher you will be in for a treat. Cochon delivers some of the best food you will ever put in your mouth with the key ingredient being ‘simplicity’. It is restaurants like this that are redefining the way people think if New Orleans cuisine.
Peche – Honored with two James Beard Awards it is easy to see why Peche has become a must eat in NOLA. Steak tartare with oyster aioli, marinated crab claws, crab and jalapeño capellini, Louisiana shrimp roll – are just a few choices you may want to try.
Cafe Du Monde – Whether it’s early morning or late night – you just have to dive into that powdered sugar sand castle.
French Truck Coffee – Located in walking distance from most hotels, French Truck has multiple locations and boasts a lively, fun atmosphere with delicious coffee.
What To Do
Preservation Hall – Open nightly and all ages are welcome. What a treasure Preservation Hall is to New Orleans, to the South, and to jazz music. This is a must whether you are traveling with friends, on a couples trip, or with the family. Every night, Preservation Hall presents intimate, acoustic concerts featuring bands made up from a current collective of 100+ local master Traditional New Orleans Jazz musicians. These masters have learned the traditional style from the greats that played before them at Preservation Hall. Click here for tickets.
NOMA – Impressive collections and unique exhibits await you at New Orleans Museum Of Art. But perhaps one of the most fun excursions to the NOMA is a morning walk through the Sculpture Garden.
Night Cap at The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt – The original ‘who dat’ drink , the Sazerac was created in New Orleans and The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt carries with it as much history and folklore as the famed cocktail.
So if you are looking for meaux culture, meaux music, and meaux flavor out of your travel, it’s time to plan a trip to New Orleans.