The team behind craft cocktail lounges Cure and Bellocq plan to open their latest venture early next week in the French Quarter. Cane & Table (1113 Decatur St., 504-581-1112) will be a rum bar and island-themed restaurant, with a tropical theme running through the bar, the menu and the large courtyard out back. Just don’t expect a standard-issue tiki bar experience.
“We took the umbrella of tropical drinks and worked under that,” says managing partner Nick Detrich. “The drinks are all tropically-inspired but classically-minded.”
Neal Bodenheimer, another partner in Cane & Table, describes the approach as “proto-tiki.”
“We started with the idea of rum culture and punch culture from the colonial era onwards,” Bodenheimer says. “It’s all the stuff that later built into tiki.”
For instance, a drink called the Last Stand is based on the classic Last Word, here done with yellow Chartreuse, lime, gin and a house-made pineapple syrup. Another cocktail involves aquavit and French banana liqueur.
The Spirited Dinner Series has been part of the annual drinks extravaganza Tales of the Cocktail from its first edition in 2002. These events are modeled after wine dinners, but at the start the idea of pairing multiple cocktails and courses was fairly novel and sometimes a hard sell.
“I’d approach people about it and they just thought I was crazy,” says Tales of the Cocktail founder Ann Tuennerman. “That first year we had 10 of them. I was able to go around and visit all of them in one night.”
Times have changed, of course. This year the dinners will be held July 18 with greater numbers and diversity than ever. Many of the dinners will sell out well ahead of time, and in fact some are already booked up. That means if you want to attend one you’d better start looking over the options.
New Orleans Pride Festival 2013 events range from fun dance parties and karaoke nights to solemn relationship blessings and memorial services. Select events are listed below, in chronological order. For even more events and full information on several of the events listed below, please check out the AmbushMag.com calendar, as AmbushMag.com has been designated the official pride guide.
• Upstairs premiere — 8 p.m., Cafe Istanbul Theatre. The dramatic musical about the fire 40 years ago at the Up Stairs Lounge makes its debut.
• All Hands on Deck open turntable night — 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., Ninth Circle and Voodoo Bar.
• Video request night — 9 p.m., Bourbon Pub & Parade.
• BINGA — 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Michael's on the Park. Princesse Stephaney hosts the event where prizes will be won and where proceeds will benefit gay Mardi Gras krewes.
• Love Free or Die screening — 6 p.m., Ashe Cultural Arts Center. The film is a documentary on the first openly gay bishop.
• “True Colors” art exhibit opening reception — 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., UNO St. Claude Gallery. The mixed media exhibit features pieces which communicate the values represented by each color in the Pride flag.
• Esoterotica's Queer Hearts Pride benefit and open-mic — 7 p.m., Allways Lounge. To participate in the open-mic session, send a Facebook message (link here will take you to the event page), email firstname.lastname@example.org or arrive 20 minutes early and ask for Aime' SansSavant.
• Pride kick-off party — 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Boomtown Casino. With a $20 cover, guests get $20 in casino play, food and the chance to meet the stars of Pride Fest 2013.
• Beer Bust — 7 p.m., Rawhide 2010.
• Queerlesque! Pride benefit for Women With a Vision — 9 p.m., AllWays Lounge. Tickets for the "Social Shakedown" are $10 and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Women With a Vision.
• Dance, Bitches, Dance — 7 p.m., Oz. DJs JRB and Tim Pflueger will provide the soundtrack and the Hot Men of Oz will offer the bar dancing.
• New Meat amateur dance contest — 10 p.m.. The Corner Pocket. The winner of this contest, hosted by Lisa Beaumann, will receive a $100 cash prize.
• All Hands on Deck open turntable night — 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., Ninth Circle and Voodoo Bar.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday events are below the jump.
The drinks have been flowing for about a week now at Brisbi’s Lakefront Restaurant & Bar, and from its elevated, westerly-facing deck people have been toasting boaters as they return to port after day on Lake Pontchartrain. On Wednesday evening, the kitchen at this new waterfront restaurant will get rolling with regular service.
Brisbi’s is one of two new restaurants along Lakeshore Drive. Finishing touches are underway at the second, Blue Crab Restaurant and Oyster Bar, which is just a short walk up the canal. Blue Crab manager Kent Burgess expects his restaurant to open within the next few weeks.
Both restaurants are elevated on piers, with steps leading to the docks and plenty of windows to take in the lakefront views. At Brisbi’s, there’s a stand-up oyster bar overlooking the harbor and garage doors that can open to connect the dining room to the covered deck outside.
Local blues band Major Bacon is hosting a bacon-themed bash Wednesday, June 19 at Banks Street Bar to celebrate the release of its CD, Live at Banks Street Bar. Snacks and drinks made with Cleaver & Co. bacon and swine-related items will be available.
Pro bono piggy: BLTs, praline bacon and bacon-themed door prizes
Priced piggy: bacon ice cream made by Amee Palazzolo, bacon cocktails and bacon shots
A video of Major Bacon performing "Who's Been Talkin'" is below the jump.
Coquette launches a new series of private dinners later this month with an unconventional but highly appetizing combination: fried chicken and Champagne.
This is an upgrade from a fried chicken and beer dinner chef/owner Michael Stoltzfus hosted at Coquette last year, and it will feature not just fried chicken but also a smoked fried chicken the chef has been working on.
“We have this huge smoker for our Hogs for the Cause team and we’ve been putting it to more use,” he says, referring to the March cook-off and benefit.
Comedian and actress Wanda Sykes will tend bar at the annual Girls Night Out fundraiser for Girls First, a nonprofit that supports sports and recreational opportunities for girls in underserved communities. The event is from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, June 6 at Cafe Adelaide's Swizzle Stick Bar. Swizzle Stick's resident craft cocktail expert Lu Brow will also mix drinks at the event. Tickets are $20 and up.
Sykes is a fan of New Orleans, as she discussed in this interview with Gambit.
Girls First focuses on improving the lives of girls through participation in sports. Its mission sites numerous studies linking participation in sports to higher self-esteem, improved health, lower risk for some cancers and other diseases, increased likelihood to graduate high school and lower rates of unwanted pregnancy. Local programming includes sports camps at Tulane University and other meetings throughout the year.
The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience's wine tasting events start tonight with the Royal Street Stroll and Vinola premium wine tasting and continue with Grand Tastings Friday and Saturday at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. More on NOWFE highlights here.
One of the food events is the Big Gateaux Show Friday, which is hosted by Keegan Gerhard and Tariq Hannah. Gerhard is a regular host on Food Network and is a former competitor in cake and pastry competitions. He also used to be the pastry chef at the Windsor Court. He currently has a dessert bar in Denver called D Bar. He also serves as emcee for the national and world Team Pastry Championships. Hannah runs Sucre and is a veteran of TLC's Ultimate Cake Off and Food Network Challenge. The judging panel for the NOWFE competition is led by Johnny Iuzzini of Top Chef Just Desserts.
Contestants include pastry chefs Jacqueline Lopez from New Orleans' Hyatt Regency, Shun Li from the Windsor Court Hotel and Ravindra Verma from the Ritz-Carlton and Gonzalo Jimenez represents New York City's Grand Hyatt. In the event, each will have to prepare 1,000 petit fours and bonbons as well as small cake showpieces inspired by a local burlesque dancer paired with the chef. Attendees can watch the competition, sample the sweets and drink Champagne and Hendrick's Gin cocktails.The event is 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Royal Sonesta.
Known for its fast-casual Mexican format and self-serve salsa bar, Felipe’s Taqueria has been upping its game lately at the bar, which serves Mexican-inspired craft cocktails and even "flights" of mezcal, the earthier, smokier relative to tequila.
Next up for taqueria outfit is a much bigger and ambitious undertaking. Tonight, at 5 p.m., Felipe’s plans to open Tiki Tolteca, a separate tiki bar and tapas-style restaurant above its French Quarter location.
Felipe’s bar manager Nathan Dalton explains that both the tiki drinks and the food will have a “Latin fusion” theme. Tiki drinks made with regional liquors like tequilas, mescal, pisco and cachaca will join the more traditional rum recipes while in the kitchen chef Marcus Graham will serve a menu of small plates blending Peruvian, Polynesian, Mexican, and Central American flavors. See the full menu below.
There’s a certain intrigue in the long history and the labyrinthine warren of dining rooms, service bars and corridors at Arnaud’s Restaurant.
The French Quarter grande dame has been stoking that vibe lately with a series of periodic “Speakeasy Dinners,” which evoke the dark days of Prohibition when, according to restaurant lore, Arnaud’s served bootleg liquor to guests in the know.
The next dinner is coming up May 16, beginning at 7 p.m. The evening includes a four-course meal of Prohibition-era dishes with wine pairings and it costs $100. Guests are encouraged to dress in appropriate period style. Get the "secret knock" for entrance (and a reservation) at (504) 523-5433.
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