Barrel Aged Cocktails at Sobou. Live Music at Three Muses, Alex Harrell 10 Do's and Don'ts of New Orleans

10 Do's and Don'ts return with 10 Do's and Don'ts of New Orleans by Chef Alex Harrell of  Sylvain in New Orleans. He spent childhood summers on the Gulf Coast learning how to cook seafood with his family . He's been at Sylvain since opening day in 2010.

- Spend a Sunday night in the courtyard at Bacchanal with wine and music. Bacchanal has mostly gypsy jazz from a varied line up on Sundays, favorites: the Courtyard Kings.

- Take a walk down Magazine street and explore all of the independent shops and restaurants. 

Magazine street restaurants picks are Lilly’s Vietnamese for spring rolls and grilled pork vermicelli, McClure’s BBQ for his smoked meats and selection of sauces. Make sure that you get some mac and cheese and stewed collards. Stein’s Deli, just ask for a SAM on seeded rye, grilled, you can thank me later. Martinique Bistro, Bistro Daisy, and Square Root. Bakeries include La Boulangerie and Rivista for a quick breakfast, breads and pastries to go or lunch.

Martinique bistro

Go to  magazine shops Billy Reid and Perlis for men’s fashion, Dirty Coast for New Orleans inspired clothing, Hands in Clay for locally crafted ceramics and pottery classes, Wirthmore Antiques.

Last I will mention Sucre and La Divina for gelato and sweets.

- Rebirth Brass Band on Tuesday nights at the Maple Leaf.

-Get a half and half shrimp and oyster po boy from Domilise’s, just make sure that you come hungry.

-Check out the art galleries on Royal Street. Angela King gallery offers a good mix of contemporary art, Alex Beard Gallery has bold graphics based art, and my daughters love his animal prints, also Sutton Galleries.

- Beat the New Orleans heat with a stop at Hanson’s Sno-Bliz. My favorite is Satsuma with condensed milk.

Hansen sno bliz

- Spend a part of Tuesday or Saturday morning at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market checking out what is fresh and local. You get the best buys when produce is in mid-season and farmers have a lot of it. I love all of our local producers because of their passion for what they do. Some of these farmers and producers include Accardo’s Gourmet produce for heirloom tomatoes and peppers, Bellegarde Bakery for ciabatta and country breads, Cajun Grain for their brown jasmine rice and rice products, and our local dairies Ryal’s and Progress Milk Barn.

- Come to New Orleans at least once for Jazzfest, it’s an amazing time of the year in the city.

- Angelo Brocato’s for spumoni in Mid City.

- For a quick lunch, grab a muffuletta at Central Grocery and head down to Riverfront Park.


- Wake up without a cappuccino or cortado from Spitfire coffee on St.Peter street.

Spitfire coffee

- Don't leave local butcher shop, Cleaver and Company, without getting a bag of their hot cracklins.

- Don’t you dare miss a Friday lunch at Galatoire’s.

- Don't hesitate to spend an entire day exploring the National WW2 Museum. It is an amazing experience.

- Miss any opportunity to see live music on Frenchman Street. Venues like d.b.a., The Spotted Cat, or Three Muses.

Three muses

- After a night of music, get your strength back with tacos from food truck Taceaux Loceaux. My personal favorite is "Messin with Texas".

- As any New Orleanian will tell you, don’t waste your time on Bourbon Street. There are too many great neighborhoods in the city to explore.

- Don't think that you can come to New Orleans and not explore the city’s cocktail culture. French 75 bar, anything that Chris Hannah is pouring including their namesake cocktail and Ellipses and Dash,  Sylvain for Sazerac and cocktails using the house made cola, Cure favorite is Mexican Bus Ride, but really anything they suggest based on your preferences., also Sobou with Barrel aged cocktails, and the Big Chief,  these are all great places to do your research.


- Forget about tourist bus tours. Take in history of the city on foot, there are a number of great walking tours and museums that will offer information on the city’s past.

- Let's not forget City Park. With New Orleans Museum of Art and its Sculpture Garden, walking trails, and sporting opportunities there is plenty to do and see. 


(* Photos of  Martinique Bar and Three Muses from their websites, all others from their respective Facebook pages)

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