When was the last time you traveled to the Big Easy?
Whether you’ve sauntered down Bourbon street 100 times, or—gasp!—never tasted the sugary goodness of a beignet from Café Du Monde, get to the city now and check out these new spots we love:
1. Spend the day at the National World War II Museum.
History buff or not, you won’t want to miss this.
Thanks to a recent $300 million expansion, the WWII Museum now has a new Solomon Victory Theater, special exhibits, and is in the process of completing the U.S. Freedom Pavilion which will display a Boeing B-17.
Right now, the special exhibit is Loyal Forces: The Animals of WWII. The display offers video, letters, photos, and documentation of the dogs, horses, carrier pigeons, and other animals that played a surprisingly crucial role in the war.
At the Solomon Victory Theater across from the museum, purchase tickets ($18) for the 4-D “Beyond All Boundaries” movie narrated by Tom Hanks. Note: Bring tissues! This is a very real and moving account of WWII.
2. Dinner at Le Foret
On the corner of Camp and Common Street, Le Foret restaurant is an excursion for the senses.
On the plate, certified Master Chef Jimmy Corwell creates a new menu daily blending local and seasonal fare. Try the sautéed Louisiana soft shell crabs with summer zucchini, leeks, corn custard, roasted red pepper butter and bacon lardons or let Chef prepare you his seven course tasting menu.
Paired with a great wine list, your only problem will be what to order.
3. Chocolate Nightcap at Sucre
Few things are better than wine and chocolate. At Sucre on Magazine Street, you can have a glass of vino—or a bottle—while enjoying creamy, cold cups of Coconut Basil Sorbet or Key Lime pie gelato. All the treats in Sucre (which is French for sugared) are made in house and approved by Executive Pastry Chef Tariq Hanna (who you may have seen on the Food Network).
Bring some NOLA love home with a gift box of New Orleans inspired artisanal chocolates, or one of Chef Hanna’s personal favorites: dark chocolate caramel cookies. His advice? Pop in the microwave until warm and finish with a scoop of vanilla gelato.
As one of the newer bars on Bourbon Street, stop in at theJazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel for some groovy white couches and a good mix of local and national talent.
Snug Harbor, tucked away on Frenchmen Street, is the best place to catch local jazz and big band, stunning horns, and an appreciative crowd.
*Snug Harbor photo by Richard Thompson