Wanderlust

Ritzy Weekend in NOLA

Before spending Thanksgiving in Florida, we veered out of our way to spend a ritzy weekend in NOLA. We enjoyed everything the French Quarter has to offer and in style. It was fun to have a fancy lunch out and hear some great jazz. It was great to leisurely stroll around looking at antiques and art and have an afternoon cocktail. What made this particularly great is that we enjoyed a chic little weekend before a kid-centric trip to the beach. Balance is key!!

Stay

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The Ritz Carlton / 921 Canal Street / www.ritzcarlton.com / This ritz is good. The staff is polite, polished, and personable. The location is great. I have mentioned it before, but the jazz on weekends in the bar is really great. When all else fails, the Ritz never disappoints. From cocktails in the bar to room service, to a cup of earl gray lavender tea with the cutest Bonne Maman honey. I love the Ritz and this one especially.

Eat

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Paladar 511 / 511 Marigny Street / www.paladar511.com / This restaurant is a quick cab ride from the Quarter and worth it. The interior was industrial chic with lovely Restoration Hardware furnishings and chandeliers. We began with some malbec and the House Riviolo, which was stuffed with lemony ricotta and was topped with a maitake mushroom and pecorino sauce. Heavenly. We then split a cheese plate with our kiddos. They were drinking bottled Cokes and they enjoyed the creamy brie and quince paste and candied pecans. Our entree was the Grilled Eggplant Pizza topped with cheese and herbed breadcrumbs. They finished with a chocolate mousse that was so yummy! All in all, the evening was divine!!

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Galatoire’s / 209 Bourbon Street / www.galatoires.com /  The bright and bustling dining room is a fabulous place for a leisurely afternoon lunch. The establishment dates back to 1905 and Tennessee Williams once had a standing reservation here. We began with the Pimm’s Cup, a lemony gin concoction that was light and refreshing and garnished with cucumber. Our first course was the Asparagus and Hearts of Palm Salad with a creole vinaigrette. It was delicious with tomato, avocado, bibb lettuce, hearts of palm, and asparagus and the dressing had the perfect zip! For my entree, I had the Shrimp Creole and my husband had the Étouffée. Our meals were so lovely and delicious. We also tried the Creamed Spinach which was decadent and amazing. Our kiddos had omelets and potatoes that made them happy. They finished the meal with coffee ice cream that my son described as “amazingly tasty.” This was a meal to be remembered.

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Arnaud’s / 813 Rue Bienville / www.arnaudsrestaurant.com / Since we were totally stuffed from lunch we waited until late and had an appetizer and a cocktail at the Richelieu Bar. I had a French 75 and we shared some Jalapeño and Brie Stuffed Shrimp. It was tasty and the bar was really interesting. The building dates back to late 1700. Don’t leave without picking up a bottle of Arnaud’s Creole Sauce. It really is phenomenal.

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St. Roch Market / 2381 St Claude Avenue / www.strochmarket.com / This is a hipster food hall with unique local vendors. It’s cool to see what local ingredients are available and what is up and coming in the local food scene. We stopped in for breakfast as we were leaving and my husband and I had Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos from La Mezcla Mexicana. These were really tasty and flavorful! I was impressed! My kids had cinnamon rolls from the Sweet Spot. Yummy!

Drink

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The Desire Oyster Bar / 300 Bourbon Street / www.sonesta.com/royalneworleans / This iconic restaurant and bar is a great place to catch a drink and enjoy some people watching as the Bourbon Street crowds stroll by. I had a French 75 which is Bombay London Dry Gin, lemon juice, and Montmartre Sparkling Brut.

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The Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone / 214 Royal Street / www.hotelmonteleon.com / This was voted by Vogue Living as one of the Top 20 Bars in the World. Grab a seat on the revolving circus-themed carousel and enjoy a refreshing cocktail. I had the Fleur de Lis, it’s Hendricks Gin, St. Germaine, lemon juice, cucumber, ginger ale, and soda water. This is the perfect spot to relax after some shopping!!

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Brennan’s / 417 Royal Street / www.brennansneworleans.com / Brennan’s is beautiful. The interior is really lovely and lush. I can only imagine that the food is just as lovely as the environment, the staff, and the cocktails. Alas, maybe next time! I had the French 417, which is Bombay Gin, Aperol, pomegranate liqueur, lemon juice, and sparkling wine. It was perfection!

Shop

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Sucre / 622 Conti / www.sucre.com / Heavenly and chic are the two best words to describe the Sucre location in the French Quarter. When we first came across Sucre, we fell for the macarons, but now there is so much more to love. On this trip, in addition to our macarons, we picked up some artisan chocolate sprinkled with Sicilian pistachios and rose petals and hot cocoa, as well. The packaging is elegant and makes gifting super posh. You can order online and this would make a lovely Valentine! I will also be ordering the King Cake for my kiddos for Mardi Gras!

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Bevolo / 318 Royal Street / www.bevolo.com / These gas lamps are quintessential New Orleans! I love to go to this store and ogle these lanterns. I daydream of replacing all my exterior fixtures with Bevolo French Quarter style lanterns with a yolk. Hopefully some day soon! The shop has expanded to carry furnishings and decor that are just as lovely as the lanterns!

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Fleur de Paris / 523 Royal Street / www.fleurdeparis.net / This is a custom millinery and couture boutique. These hats are really lovely. I plan to order a custom fascinator for the Derby this year. They can match it to your dress and send it to you. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome! I also can’t lie, their hatboxes are the icing on the cake!

Harris Antiques / 233 Royal Street / www.harrisantiques.com / This is a fine antique dealer in the heart of the French Quarter. I have several pieces on my list here. I cannot tell a lie, part of having your kiddos get bigger is sad and bittersweet. Other parts are not! I can recall standing at the window here, longingly dreaming of going in, but having a stroller with me. Not welcomed then, but now, my kids are good as gold! There are the most lovely trays that I plan to swing back and get over spring break. The items here are so lovely and they ship directly to you!

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Goorin Bros / 709 Royal Street / www.goorin.com / If you are going to invest in a quality hat, I suggest you try this shop. They have all the latest looks you are craving and the hats are really high quality. You can have a really great shopping experience because they have every latest style and have experts who can guide you in the best direction.

Ogle

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Martin Lawrence Gallery / 433 Royal Street / www.martinlawrence.com / This gallery is great for looking at wonderful hand signed lithographs and screenprints by artists such as Picasso, Warhol, Miro, and Chagall. Occasionally there are some original works, which is such a fantastic encounter. The staff is really knowledgeable and friendly too!

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Before we hopped in our car and headed out of town, we dashed into a souvenir shop for feather masks for Harper to celebrate Mardi Gras. The guys waited in line to grab a few hot beignets at Café du Monde! Delish!

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