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New Orleans Restaurant bars 

Check out the bar menu before the dinner menu at these restaurant bars

click to enlarge Paul Gustings entertains guests at Broussard’s Empire Bar.

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Paul Gustings entertains guests at Broussard’s Empire Bar.

American Sector
@AmericanSector
National WWII Museum, 945 Magazine St., 504-528-1940; www.nationalww2museum.org/ american-sector
The vibe: At the National World War II Museum, the bar pays homage to the 1940s and America's war effort. There's also seating on a covered patio and picnic tables out front.
What you'll drink: Specialty cocktails such as the Midway Mule (vodka, ginger ale, ginger syrup, lime) served in a copper cup.

Balise
@BaliseNOLA
640 Carondelet St., 504-459-4449; www.balisenola.com
The vibe: A mix of neighborhood professionals and condo dwellers fills chef Justin Devillier's clubby, nautically themed bar and restaurant. There's also patio seating.
What you'll drink: Craft cocktails, wines from around the world.

Basin Seafood And Spirits

@BasinSeafood
3222 Magazine St., 504-302-7391; www.basinseafoodnola.com
The vibe: The casual seafood house has outdoor seating on Magazine Street and a back patio.
What you'll drink: Watermelon margarita or the Jackalberry, a whiskey cocktail with peach schnapps, mint, strawberries and lemon.

Belli Baci Lounge
Cafe Giovanni, 117 Decatur St., 504-529-2154; www.cafegiovanni.com
The vibe: The romantic lounge features lots of red and plush seating. There is also a food menu, and opera singers perform in the adjoining restaurant.
What you'll drink: Mixologist Scott Norris has concocted a long list of craft cocktails mixed with fresh juices and house-made syrups. Martinis are a specialty.

Brisbi's
7400 Lakeshore Drive, 504-304-4125; www.brisbisrestaurant.com
The vibe: A seafood restaurant and oyster bar with deck seating overlooking the marina.
What you'll drink: Craft beer on draft or one of the house specialty drinks, such as the Dark and Stormy.

Capri Blu
Andrea's Restaurant, 3100 19th St., Metairie, 504-834-8583; www.andreasrestaurant.com
The vibe: With bright blue and white walls painted with Italian scenes, Capri Blu has a lighthearted ambience, and Philip Melancon plays piano on weekends.
What you'll drink: The house specialties are Sun of the Beach (Midori, gin and orange juice), Electric Lemonade (citron vodka, blue curacao, sour mix and lemon-lime soda) and Harvey Wallbangers. There's a long list of wines and Champagnes by the glass.

Casa Borrega
@casaborrega
1719 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-427-0654; www.casaborrega.com
The vibe: Artist/owner Hugo Montero crafted the restaurant and bar out of reclaimed architectural pieces. There's music some nights in the main barroom and there's seating on the rear patio.
What you'll drink: There's a long list of tequilas and mescals, and the spirits are used in margaritas and palomas — and one highlight is the Diablo, with mezcal, cassis and ginger beer.

Del Fuego Taqueria

@delfuegotacos
4518 Magazine St., 504-309-5797; www.delfuegotaqueria.com
The vibe: The upscale taqueria is framed by pretty woodwork and features patio dining in front and back. There's an expansive selection of tequila and mezcal.
What you'll drink: Margaritas and specialty cocktails such as the Juan Daly, made with tequila, fresh lemonade and hibiscus tea; or the Ojos de Fuego with jalapeno-infused tequila, triple sec, cilantro, lime and jicama garnish.

Empire Bar
Broussard's, 819 Conti St., 504-581-3866; www.broussards.com
The vibe: The lovely old-fashioned bar opens onto a patio. The artistry of bartender Paul Gustings is a primary attraction, and there also is a menu of upscale bar snacks including deviled eggs and barbecue shrimp.
What you'll drink: Gustings mixes traditional cocktails (Sazeracs, pina coladas) but also concocts original drinks like The Egyptian Campaign (rum, Batavia arrack, lemon juice, simple syrup and acid phosphate) and the La Jalousie (gin, Chartreuse, Suze saveur d'autrefois, Swedish Punsch, rice wine vinegar, Champagne vinegar and black pepper).

Felipe's Taqueria
@felipesnola
301 N. Peters St., 411-1 N. Carrolton Ave., 6215 S. Miro St., 504-288-8226; 176 Town Center Parkway, Slidell, 985-288-1210; www.felipestaqueria.com
The vibe: These casual taquerias have bars featuring Peruvian-inspired cocktails.
What you'll drink: Key lime margaritas and specialty cocktails such as the Chilcano Passion, made with pisco, passion fruit and pomegranate juice.

Herbsaint
@herbsaintdining
701 St. Charles Ave., 504-524-4114; www.herbsaint.com
The vibe: Chef Donald Link's elegant bistro overlooks St. Charles Avenue and draws locals as well as tourists.
What you'll drink: Top choices include the Kentucky Cat-5 (Buffalo Trace bourbon, passion fruit syrup, lemon and Angostura bitters), the house gin and tonic with grapefruit and the rum old fashioned made with Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva rum, Angostura and orange bitters.

Hermes Bar

@AntoinesNOLA
Antoine's Restaurant, 725 St. Louis St., 504-581-4422; www.antoines.com/ hermes-bar.html
The vibe: Once a dining room dedicated to the Krewe of Hermes, the space is now an elegant bar. There are 25-cent cocktails at lunch (with a food purchase) and live music on the weekends.
What you'll drink: Try one of the classics: Ramos gin fizz, Sazerac or Pimm's Cup.

La Casita
634 Julia St., 504-218-8043; www.eatlacasita.com
The vibe: This cozy Warehouse District nook serves margaritas and creative tacos and Mexican food.
What you'll drink: Margaritas, bloody Marias, the Jalisco mule (tequila, ginger beer and lime), a small selection of Mexican beers and sangria.

Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant
@LucysNewOrleans
701 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-523-8995; www.lucysretiredsurfers.com/ new-orleans
The vibe: A bright Southern California surf shack with photos of famous surfers on the walls. There's also seating outside and happy hours can spill over the sidewalks into the streets.
What you'll drink: Tropical house cocktails such as the Shark Attack, margaritas and Mexican beers.

Marti's
@Martisnola
1041 Dumaine St., 504-522-5478; www.martisnola.com
The vibe: The front bar is the entrance to the brasserie, and it's also a destination (with limited seating at the bar) for its elegance and mural of the Peristyle in New Orleans City Park.
What you'll drink: Champagne cocktails such as the Stratosphere (cava, Creme Yvette, lemon, clove), classic cocktails including Pimm's Cups and Sazeracs. There's a well-curated selection of wines as well as apertifs and after dinner drinks.

Purloo
@PurlooNola
1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-324-6020; www.nola- purloo.com
The vibe: Located inside the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, the bar itself is a piece of history: a refurbished 140-year-old wooden bar from the Lakefront restaurant Bruning's.
What you'll drink: An eclectic selection of wines by the glass and craft cocktails such as the Southern Hospitality, with rum, pineapple syrup, lemon and bitters.

The Steak Knife
888 Harrison Ave., 504-488-8981; www.steakkniferestaurant.com
The vibe: The Steak Knife has been a favorite dining spot for people in the Lakeview neighborhood for 40 years, and the bar offers live music and a comfortable atmosphere.
What you'll drink: There's a respectable wine list, or try the restaurant's signature drink, the Brandy Freeze.

Swizzle Stick

@CafeAdelaide
Loews Hotel, Cafe Adelaide, 300 Poydras St., 504-595-3305; www.cafeadelaide.com
The vibe: The upscale bar adjoining Cafe Adelaide is a good place to conduct business or take a date for a round of craft cocktails.
What you'll drink: Classic and craft cocktails and wine populate the menu, and prices drop to $3 to $6 for happy hour every day. The house specialty is the Adelaide Swizzle, which combines Rougaroux rum, bitters, lime, soda and a secret ingredient.

Tableau
@TableauNOLA
616 St. Peter St., 504-934-3463; www.tableaufrenchquarter.com
The vibe: Dickie Brennan's restaurant shares a courtyard with Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. It offers live jazz (and half-off on bottles of wine) on Thursdays. Balcony seating offers views of Jackson Square.
What you'll drink: There is a long and well-curated wine list, and classic cocktails such as the Sazerac and Pimm's Cup are $5 during a daily happy hour. Specialty cocktails include Red Lights, a mix of pomegranate liqueur, vodka, cranberry juice, lime and simple syrup, and the Avery Island, made with Alipus mescal, Ancho Reyes, pineapple and lime juices and bitters.




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