While researching story ideas for Swizzle, Gambit Weekly's
nightlife guide (Nov. 25), I phoned a dozen bars in an attempt to assess the
hot toddy situation in New Orleans. I learned, basically, that there's little-to-no
hot toddy situation in New Orleans. Bartenders at d.b.a. , Carousel
Bar, Oz, Dos Jefes and R Bar all reported that sales
of brown liquors and red wines rise in the colder months; a new bartender at
Molly's at the Market has been told to strengthen her brewing arm on
account of increased Irish coffee orders. For the most part, though, hot drinks
seem to be casualties of New Orleans' fortunate winters. I rebel. Wherever it
gets cold enough to pull out the wool even once, it's cold enough for a little
rush on the hot booze drinks -- whipped cream, melting butter and all. Readers
who agree might consider one of Funky Butt's (714 N. Rampart St., 558-0872)
newest beverages, the Hot Little Ho, made with rum, butterscotch Schnapps, hot
water, whipped cream and a whisper of nutmeg. "She's big and tall even though
she's little," owner Richard Rochester says of his Ho. Napoleon House
(500 Chartres St., 524-9752) serves a civilized spiced wassail during the holiday
season with or without rum; wassail's primary ingredients include apple cider,
cranberry juice, cinnamon and cloves.
On Monday, Dec. 22, the Commander's Palace branch of the Brennan
family is opening Cafe Adelaide and The Swizzle Stick Bar,
in the brand new Loews New Orleans Hotel (300 Poydras St., 595-3300).
The late Adelaide Brennan inspired the restaurant's name, its exotic
furnishings and, according to a press release, its food: "Aunt Adelaide would
have said, 'From high-falutin' to low-down great New Orleans food,'"
says Ti Martin. Chef Kevin Vizard comes from Restaurant Indigo
to head Cafe Adelaide's kitchen. His name should be familiar to local diners:
during the past 20 years, Vizard has cooked all over New Orleans, including
at two of his own restaurants.
From 8 a.m. to noon during the upcoming two Saturdays (Dec. 13 and 20),
Festivus: A Holiday Market for the Rest of Us will set up adjacent to
the Crescent City Farmers Market (700 Magazine St.). Fifty local vendors
selling giftables from cigar purses to jewelry will join live musicians, glassblowing
demonstrations and Greg Surrey of Surrey's Juice Bar and Cafe,
who will cook breakfast.