Here’s a lukewarm take that, even in these ultra-politicized times, I think most rational people can agree with: There is no better city in America in which to eat and drink than New Orleans. Don’t believe me? A visit to any of these six spots will change your mind.
This 20-year-old James Beard Award winner is everything you need for whiling away a lazy afternoon in the Big Easy: plenty of wine to choose from, a menu full of great food, live music and one of the best patios in all of the South. The only downside is that outdoor tables can be hard to come by. Too many patrons — myself included — know a good thing when they see it and are more than happy to spend all day sipping in the gentle breeze of a backyard fan. (bacchanalwine.com)
Is Cure the best cocktail bar in America? Some may say “no,” but they’re not the ones writing this column (probably because of their poor taste in cocktail bars…). Another James Beard Award winner, Cure offers a small wine list, but its cocktails — typically modern takes on age-old classics — are the real show. Reservations aren’t required, but they’re extremely helpful. (curenola.com)
I’ve always loved the Marigny, with its eclectic mix of galleries, restaurants and music venues. Even by New Orleans standards, it seems to have an extra dash of the “anything goes” attitude, especially at Faubourg Wines. Here at the wine bar cum bottle shop, a $2 corkage means you can pull up a table and enjoy your purchase while you take in the parade of people on St. Claude Avenue. (faubourgwines.com)
If my fiance and I were ever to have a restaurant that counts as “our place,” N7 is it. Located just down the street and around the corner from Faubourg Wines behind an all-but-unmarked gate, N7 serves a menu inspired by the regions along the highway that connects Paris to the Italian border. The wine list is similarly inspired, and my meals in its rustic garden are among my most precious. (n7nola.com)
PATRICK’S BAR VIN
I couldn’t talk about New Orleans without mentioning the French Quarter. You’ll commonly find Patrick’s on lists of best wine bars in America, and with a refined atmosphere and a wine list that reads like a who’s who of top European estates, it’s easy to see why. Though it’s just a stone’s throw from Bourbon Street, just a few steps into its courtyard, you’ll be transported back in time to the wine parlors of old. (patricksbarvin.com)
Whether you’re visiting for the wine bar or the separate, reservation-only, five-course tasting menu, you will have a great time. The dining room seats only 12 making it one of the city’s harder to get reservations. It has run the gamut of “best of” lists in recent years, and the wine bar offers a steady stream of great value bottles, good bites, and — if you’re ever feeling wine weary — solid takes on a range of classic cocktails. Finding it can be a might tricky — look for the neon sign that says “Sugar Park.” (saintgermainnola.com)
As always, you can see what I’m drinking on Instagram at @sethebarlow and send your wine questions and quibbles to [email protected]
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