Cocktails & Wine

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Watch: Esquire's Best Bars in America does Bourbon Street

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:13 PM

New Orleans comic Sean Patton, right, co-hosts Best Bars in America with Jay Larson. - ESQUIRE
  • New Orleans comic Sean Patton, right, co-hosts Best Bars in America with Jay Larson.

Comedians Sean Patton and Jay Larson — co-hosts of Esquire's bar-hopping travel program Best Bars in America — stop in New Orleans for its latest episode airing this week. Hometown hero Patton escorts Larson to Bacchanal, Parasol's, the Mother-in-Law Lounge, Cane & Table, Broussard's, Erin Rose, Arnaud's French 75 and Snake & Jake's. In this Gambit exclusive clip, watch them tour Bourbon Street (with local comic Andrew Polk). "Bourbon Street done, mistakes relived, fun had," Patton declares, hand grenade in tow.

The full episode airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday on the Esquire Network. 

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Y@ Speak: @BeingYONCE

Posted By on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Before Beyonce and Jay-Z unhinged their jaws and ate the City of New Orleans, we got maybe a little too drunk, bought a llama, ordered Uber ice cream, and went to Shamrock, and somebody (cough Wendell Pierce cough) passed out at our house. Also, Rob Ryan ate three airport pizzas, and Scott Walker mesmerized audiences by... cleaning his closet.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Max Messier unveils the cocktail program at Root Squared

Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Max Messier flames a cocktail at Root Squared upstairs from Square Root. - ANNE BERRY
  • Max Messier flames a cocktail at Root Squared upstairs from Square Root.

Flamed berries, a switchel-soaked snowball and a stack of Fernet Branca challenge coins marked Monday’s soft launch of Max Messier’s cocktail menu at Root Squared.

Chef Phillip Lopez’s Square Root (1800 Magazine Street, 504-309-7800) and its upstairs lounge, Root Squared, open Wednesday. The new restaurant is an offshoot of Lopez's Root (200 Julia St., 504-252-9480).

For the preview, Messier rolled out seven smart cocktails that hint at what’s to come. Aromatized wines, vermouth, shrubs, cordials and tea concentrates get lots of play, and his variations on classics — a smoky Cuba libre smudged with mezcal, Mexican Coke and a lime-jalapeno cordial; a bourbon-based Manhattan made edgy with bitter liqueur and green peppercorn — are confident and experimental. He also mixed a gin sour sweetened with jasmine tea concentrate.

Messier gained experience opening five restaurants, mostly in New York City, where he also catered private pop-ups where he showed up with whatever he’d found at the farmers market and improvised cocktails on the spot.

Square Root is similarly high-concept. “I’m bringing out all of my favorite tools of the trade — flowers, teas, exotic spices and farmers’ market discoveries — to complement Chef Lopez’s culinary vision,” Messier says. “It’s fantastic to go to the owners with what I want to do, and they say, ‘Go to it.’”

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Y@ Speak: high holy days

Posted By on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM

As Louisiana's state book inches closer to being the Bible — or rather, "the Holy Bible" — and the fogs of Easter 4/20 lift to reveal the harsh sunlight of Jazz Fest, Y@ Speak looks back at a week of hipsters, gutterpunks and fancy private streets, as well as the end of the inaugural season of New Orleans Pelicans basketball.

Also: mark your calendars for #twitterprom. The second-ever Y@ Speak Awards are coming at you Monday, June 2. Stay tuned for nomination information.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

No wine ice cream for you, Louisiana House committee says

Posted By on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 2:06 PM


The Louisiana House Judiciary Committee deferred for the second time a vote on a bill that would allow wine ice cream in the state. House Bill 471 from Rep. Marcus Hunter, D-Monroe, would exempt ice cream from "adulterated food" prohibited by state law.

Wine ice cream — available from Mercer's in New York, offering flavors like Cherry Merlot, Peach White Zinfandel and Red Raspberry Chardonnay, with 5 percent alcohol by volume — was turned down by Louisiana attorney general Buddy Caldwell last year in a letter to Troy Hebert, commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control (ATC), which helped draft Hunter's legislation.

At today's meeting, Rep. Ray Garofalo Jr., R-Chalmette, said he feared wine ice cream would be attractive to children, and that there are no ways for law enforcement to prevent children and people under 21 from buying it. Hunter said, "There’s no way we can legislate the provision for a child or adult from getting alcoholic beverages."

Rep. Edward James, D-Baton Rouge, said the committee was "creating more problems than it needs" adding that it already delayed a vote in March. "We beat it up then and we're beating it up now."

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Y@ Speak: Give it up for Lent

Posted By on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Here it is: let's give a great big Y@ Speak welcome to our friend Lent. Give it up, people.

This week we indulge in Mardi Gras leftovers, sacrifice the New Orleans Saints, free Lil Boosie and letters from Loyola, and find and eat kale.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Baie Rouge now serving cocktails

Posted By on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Baie Rouge (4128 Magazine St., 504-304-3667; now serves cocktails, beer and wine, after being BYOB for just under a year. The growing cocktail list currently features Kir royales, mimosa and Tanqueray French 75s with Aria Estate cava, Maker’s Mark mint juleps, Hornitos Reposado margaritas with Brazilian triple sec and fresh squeezed sour, Gosling’s Rum swizzles and mojitos with seasonal fruit. Happy Hour is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring $5 wine and $6 cocktails Monday-Saturday. Mimosas are $4 during Sunday brunch.

The French- and Spanish-inspired restaurant also has a new Carnival menu with shrimp and grits, a veggie burger and chicken-andouille gumbo. Signature dishes, such as brie fries, seared gulf fish sandwiches with remoulade and Pig Dip pork sandwiches remain.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Santo Tequila Co. serves Mexican food from scratch in Kenner

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Santo Tequila Co. (16 W. Airline Highway, Kenner, 504-305-2762; serves Mexican food from scratch daily, just past the airport in Kenner.

"You'll find tacos like at any other Mexican restaurant. Or enchiladas, or guacamole, but what we do different here is that everything we do is fresh," founder Christian Amaya says. "We cook all our salsas in the morning and make guacamole in small batches throughout the day. The sauces for the enchiladas, the green sauce and the red sauce, we make it from scratch." Amaya's brother Erick, a pastry chef in Mexico, helped craft the recipes and menu.

Aside from the chips, nothing at the restaurant is deep-fried. Amaya's hope for Santo Tequila Co. is that it will help him "bring tequila and Mexican food to the next step."
Santo Tequila Co.'s carne asada taco is served with lime, lettuce and homemade salsa. - MEGAN BRADEN-PERRY
  • Santo Tequila Co.'s carne asada taco is served with lime, lettuce and homemade salsa.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Roman Candy Rum available in groceries now

Posted By on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Roman Candy Rum, a liquid tribute to Sam Cortese's nearly century-old molasses taffy treat, is now available at Rouses, Dorignac's and Acquistapace's in the candy's three traditional flavors: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Roman Candy Rum recipes are also featured on the company's Facebook page.

As you may recall, this isn't the first time a traditional New Orleans sweet got a high-proof makeover. King cake vodka, now produced by three distillers (Lucky Player, Taaka and Pinnacle), was pretty popular during Carnival 2012, even though many folks likened it to almond flavoring. Select New Orleans Original Daiquiris locations even sell king cake daiquiris made from Taaka's version.

Gambiteers prepare for the tasting. - JEANIE RIESS
  • Gambiteers prepare for the tasting.

(Drinking suggestions and tasting remarks below the jump.)

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

King cake-flavored treats in New Orleans for the king cake obsessed

Posted By on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

King cake in New Orleans, like a colleague joked last year, has become a vehicle for unique flavor combinations and extravagance. Cochon Butcher's Elvis king cake (filled with bananas, peanut butter and bacon, topped with toasted marshmallow and impregnated with a plastic piglet) and Domenica's king cake (filled with salted caramel, bananas, roasted pecans and mascarpone, topped with praline glaze and gold leaf) come to mind. Also, Creole Creamery has an ice cream king cake, Dorignac's has a sugar-free version and The PeaceBaker makes a gluten-free one.

Those wanting to stretch the boundaries of what's considered traditional king cake certainly have several ways to do so. (According to, there are roughly 58.) Luckily, folks who prefer traditional king cake flavor but want to try it in non-king cake items have quite a few choices as well. I've counted at least 10 with two more for lagniappe.

Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro serves Mardi Gras king cake cheesecake, cheesecake with a thick king cake crust topped with cinnamon, whipped cream and purple, green and gold sugar crystals. Popeyes also serves a fast food version of the treat, a cheesecake topped with Mardi Gras-colored sprinkles.

Creole Creamery mixes cinnamon danish ice cream with stretchy king cake dough and purple, green and gold sprinkles.
Creole Creamery's king cake dough ice cream. - MEGAN BRADEN-PERRY
  • Creole Creamery's king cake dough ice cream.

Krewe Du Brew serves king cake lattes topped with whipped cream streaked with Mardi Gras colors.

La Divina Gelateria's king cake gelato combines sweet cream gelato with king cake crumbles, and whoever finds the gummi bear "baby" inside gets a free gelato.
La Divina Gelateria's king cake gelato. - MEGAN BRADEN-PERRY
  • La Divina Gelateria's king cake gelato.

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