Cocktails & Wine

Monday, August 29, 2016

Culture Collision is Wednesday

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 6:05 PM

Culture Collision is at the National World War II Museum's U.S. Freedom Pavilion
  • Culture Collision is at the National World War II Museum's U.S. Freedom Pavilion

Culture Collision, a happy hour hosted by local arts and cultural organizations to share info about their programs and upcoming seasons, is 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31 at the National World War II Museum's U.S. Freedom Pavilion. There are more than 50 arts organizations, short performances by some participating groups, a cash bar, raffles and more.

Participating groups range from museums and theater companies to film groups and festivals. They include Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Shotgun Cinema, The NOLA Project, New Orleans Ballet Association, Marigny Opera House, OperaCreole, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans Film Society, French Quarter Festivals, WWNO 89.9 and others. There's an updated list here.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

More love for Shaya and Cane & Table from national magazines

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2016 at 5:56 PM

Chef Alon Shaya. - COURTESY BESH RESTAURANT GROUP
  • COURTESY BESH RESTAURANT GROUP
  • Chef Alon Shaya.
Chef Alon Shaya's namesake restaurant is on a roll. The restaurant was named Best New Restaurant in America at the James Beard Foundation awards in May, and Shaya was named Best Chef: South by the group in 2015. Esquire's Tom Junod named Shaya the magazine's restaurant of the year in March. And Shaya (4213 Magazine St., 504-891-4213) also drew recent accolades from Saveur and Garden & Gun, among others.

This week, GQ included Shaya among its top restaurants in America. Written by New Orleanian Brett Martin, the survey explores dining trends from New York to Los Angeles, as well as cities less well known for dining, such as Atlanta. Martin reflects on everything from yacht club restaurants to more casual concepts, such as David Chang's chicken sandwich concept Fuku, and Shake Shack creator Danny Meyer's Chick'n Shack. 

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Derby Day roundup: Six ways to celebrate the Kentucky Derby Saturday

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 11:14 AM

Horses thunder out of the gate at the 2012 Thanksgiving Handicap. - PHOTO COURTESY FAIR GROUNDS RACE COURSE AND SLOTS
  • Photo courtesy Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots
  • Horses thunder out of the gate at the 2012 Thanksgiving Handicap.


Though the horse racing season at the Fair Grounds has ended, New Orleans has a larger-than-usual stake in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Local sports mogul Tom Benson’s racing stable GMB Racing owns two Derby contenders (Mo Tom and Tom’s Ready), while other horses have Louisiana connections. Locally, several restaurants and bars will celebrate with Derby parties. Another reason for day-drinking in a fun outfit? Well, twist my arm. 

The functions listed below will help you toast the Derby in style. For novices, post time is 5:34 p.m. (CST) and the race lasts about two minutes, so resist the temptation to arrive fashionably late. Instead, get there early and settle into a cocktail or three.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bartenders mix holiday spirits at Tales of the Toddy Dec. 17

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 12:05 PM

Cane & Table's Nick Detrich and Chris Hannah of French 75 at Arnaud's competed at Tales of the Toddy in 2014. - CHRIS MAC
  • CHRIS MAC
  • Cane & Table's Nick Detrich and Chris Hannah of French 75 at Arnaud's competed at Tales of the Toddy in 2014.

There will be an excess of holiday spirits at Tales of the Toddy Thursday, Dec. 17, as 52 local bartenders compete in the holiday drink competition sponsored by Tales of the Cocktail. The 10th annual holiday event features special drinks from 26 teams, food from area restaurants and more.

The mixologist roster includes Kimberly Patton-Bragg of Three Muses, Paul Gustings of Broussard's Empire Bar, Mark Schettler of Bar Tonique, Nick Detrich of Cane & Table, Braden LaGrone of Cure, Abigail Gullo of Compere Lapin, Chris Hannah of Arnaud's French 75, Steve Yamada of Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29, Nathan Dalton of The Catahoula and many others. Bartenders work in pairs and made a drink using spirits they were assigned in a random drawing. They don't have to make hot drinks or nogs, but there are some of those styles of drinks. Matt Lofink and Michale Yusko of Bellocq created No Woman, No Nog using Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey, Madeira, banana cinnamon syrup, heavy cream and an egg yolk. Gusting's Making Southern Punch combines Maker's 46 bourbon, Praline Pecan liqueur, El Guapo Sweet Potato Spiced Syrup, heavy cream and cinnamon. Quetzalcoatl's Curse is Mexican hot chocolate spiked with Milagro Reposado tequila.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Y@ Speak: famous friends

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 11:05 AM

Louisiana political leaders love a good photo op with the stars: last week, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne spent some time with the Chris Gaines and Billy Nungesser palled around with Boone from Lost. Also: the U.S. House supports Team Gleason, Anderson Cooper ate a snoball, and Wendell Pierce issued a couple sick burns. Meanwhile, New Orleans avoided at all costs or was gleefully swimming in the dunk tank of Tales of the Cocktail. 

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 named to Esquire's list of top bars

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 12:27 PM

Jeff "Beachbum" Berry at his tiki bar Latitude 29. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Jeff "Beachbum" Berry at his tiki bar Latitude 29.


Esquire issues a couple of annual lists naming the nation's top bars and new restaurants. Drinks expert David Wondrich compiled the magazine's "2015 Best Bars in America" list, and it features Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29, (321 N. Peters St., 504-609-3811), the French Quarter lounge and restaurant featuring tiki drinks Jeff Berry has spent his career collecting and refining, including relics from tiki founders Trader Vic and Donn the Beachcomber. 

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Monday, April 13, 2015

NOLA Brewing's Kirk Coco announces plans to open a distillery

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Kirk Coco, Andy Kutcher and David Bock of NOLA Distilling.
  • Kirk Coco, Andy Kutcher and David Bock of NOLA Distilling.

NOLA Brewing president Kirk Coco announced he is starting up a new boozy business venture: New Orleans Libations and Alcohol (NOLA) Distilling Company. Along with COO Andy Kutcher and Head Distiller David Bock (formerly of Celebration Distillation, which produces Old New Orleans Rum), Coco plans to distill and distribute vodka, gin and white whiskey. He expects to produce spirits in October 2015.

Coco will continue at NOLA Brewing as CEO and take on the leadership role at NOLA Distilling.

Coco says the success of NOLA Brewing and the support of the New Orleans community encouraged him to expand in this new direction.

After six years in business, Coco says, “We’re already past my 10-year goals. The fact that I’m looking at a distillery? That’s like a 20 year goal. We’re already rolling into the 20-year projection plan we had when we started the company.”

Bock says the team is still developing recipes for the three flagship products. “We don’t want to release something that isn’t the absolute best.” 

NOLA Brewing is in the early stages of acquiring a license to brew mead, a kind of beer-wine hybrid which uses honey, and Coco says it may turn into a more significant wine-making endeavor in the future. “We’re not going to grow grapes here; we won’t be a vineyard. But the beauty of a winery is, I can import grapes and still create some wonderful wine here.”

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Edible Schoolyard holds Edible Evening fundraiser

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 11:25 AM

Students work in the garden at Arthur Ashe Charter School. - COURTESY EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD
  • COURTESY EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD
  • Students work in the garden at Arthur Ashe Charter School.

Edible Schoolyard New Orleans holds its annual fundraiser An Edible Evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Dreamkeeper Garden at Langston Hughes Academy (3519 Trafalgar St.), one of five open-enrollment charter schools run by FirstLine Schools. The event features music by Tuba Skinny, Seguenon Kone and Social Set, wines from Presqu'ile Winery and food from local restaurants including Atchafalaya, Carmo, Commander's Palace, Cowbell, Dooky Chase, La Petite Grocery, Latitude 29, Link Restaurant Group, Mondo, MoPho, Ralph's on the Park, Shaya, Twelve Mile Limit and many others. Dickie Brennan and Company sponsors the patron party at 6 p.m.

More than 3,100 students participate in garden and/or cooking classes through Edible Schoolyard. Two schools have kitchen classrooms and five have some sort of garden space. Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School students grow produce in aeroponic towers, and there are after-school culinary classes. Arthur Ashe Charter School is expanding its garden to nearly an acre and will have an outdoor teaching space and a greenhouse. Programs address gardening skills, nutrition, healthy eating, shopping and planning menus.

"In one of my favorite lessons, we have kids make two different kinds of pizza," says Edible Schools New Orleans Executive Director Claudia Barker. "One of them we make with grocery store ingredients and one comes from farmers market ingredients. We calculate how much each pizza actually costs and we compare taste."

Programming also engages students' parents and families. Some schools have family food nights, in which parents can learn about nutrition, shopping and more. Schools also give produce from the gardens to students' families.

FirstLine Schools also includes Dibert Community School at Phillis Wheatley.

Edible Evening tickets are $45 through Tuesday, March 24, or $60 at the door.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Y@ Speak: the end of #FalconsHateWeek

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Happy holidays! The New Orleans Saints gave us heartburn and rage, and Gov. Bobby Jindal gave us the gift of his thoughts on Cuba and North Korea. Let us all warm our mittens around the dumpster fire and never speak of this season again.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Kebab now serving wine, beer and cocktails

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 9:29 AM

St. Claude Avenue sandwich-and-art hot spot Kebab has added yet another feather to its cap: a liquor license.

The restaurant now offers a fully stocked collection of (largely local) beers, wine and a DIY cocktail system that plays to the strength of their already-robust selection of juices and sodas. Cocktail menu standards like the Moscow Mule and Dark and Stormy are crafted on-demand for the bargain price of $6.50, but the real stars are the more creative concoctions. Adding gin to the soda of the day (which was a tart lemon, beet, ginger concoction on Saturday night) or a splash of rum to the restaurant's young coconut juice served in-husk elevates an already stellar, wallet-friendly dining experience to the next level.

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