The Wine Enthusiast Guide to New Orleans

The Big Easy isn't all beads and booze: the combo of food, wine and fun-loving folks ensure a good time. Here’s where to eat, drink and doze in NoLa.


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Spring marks the best time to travel to The Crescent City. It’s warm, yet summer’s sweltering heat has yet to arrive and the city as a whole has released its proverbial exhale after Mardi Gras. While best known for its pre-Lenten bacchanalia, The Big Easy isn’t all beads and booze. No, it’s mostly booze—and wine, and envelope-pushing food and a whole mess of charming, fun-loving folks who know how to appreciate the decadent bounties of life. 

Wine & Dine

Stop for briny Gulf oysters on the half shell and 24 wines by the glass at John Besh’s brasserie, Lüke, where the beloved bivalves are just fifty cents from 3–6 pm daily. You’ll want to save space for haute newcomer Restaurant R’evolution, with its iPad wine lists, 36 wines by the glass and a 10,000-bottle-capacity wine cellar. The upscale Southern fare, like beer-battered crab beignets, is not to be missed. At inventive, eclectic Serendipity, be sure to try the hypercreative, grilled “spooky” mushrooms with huitlacoche-Brandy butter and “tumblin’ dice” skewers of watermelon and fennel-pollen-crusted tuna.

Brunch

If you wake here on a Sunday, there’s no better place to soften the blow of your Saturday than with the famous jazz brunch at Commander’s Palace, located in an iconic, circa-1880 Victorian mansion. The order: A classic ice block-Vodka Bloody Mary, Turtle Soup, and Eggs Cochon de Lait—a hearty plate with eggs, slow-smoked pork shoulder, buttermilk biscuits, smothered in a mushroom fricassee and a spicy tasso Hollandaise sauce. 

Stay

Located just blocks from the French Quarter, The Hotel Modern, with its high-design digs, also boasts cocktail mecca Bellocq, where locals flock and drink down the bar’s signature crushed ice-filled cobblers. Et toi!

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