For me, exploring cities involves the food factor. Here are some of the highlights--starting with oysters at Mariza. This place was highly recommended by a friend of a friend. She insisted on checking out this spot in the Marigny. I made reservations for our first night in the city. The oysters were the highlight and the amaro flight for after dinner drinks. Recently, I found a fondness for amaro and wanted to share my love of this Italian spirit with my friends. They range in smoothness to bitter which I am not a huge fan of. Regardless, Mariza had an industrial feel and was very welcoming. And the best oysters we found while dining in NOLA.
Of course, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a coffee at Café Du Monde. Iconic and always busy. We walked from our rental in the Bywater and arrived ready for some coffee and beignets. We waited in line for 15 minutes and listened to the saxophone player that has been playing that spot for years. He now offers cd's in addition to listening to the music. Every trip to the city (five times for me) and I have purchased at least one beignet. Since the Goddess had not yet arrived I knew that we would be venturing back to this must do so that she would also experience the beignets.
In an effort to be healthy, we rented bikes and rode through the central business district and Magazine St. The place we selected was referred to us by local residents. However, I think I would have put more thought into selecting a bike in the future. We were greeted and paid and that was about it. They didn't offer to help us select bikes, make sure there was air in the tires of give us any tools that would help us. In their defense, there was a protest about to happen and people were on edge. Regardless, we pumped up the tires and rode away. It was a nice ride and I knew that eventually, I wanted to make a stop at the Bull Dog. We parked the bikes and had a few beers before heading back to the Bywater. Almost immediately one of the bikes lost brakes. We would stop and Shari would be at risk of crashing. She kept trying to fix the screw on the chain and finally we called the bike shop to have them come and get us since it was becoming more and more frequent and dangerous. They refused to grab us due to the pending protest and possible riot. They told us to get back on our own. That was unimpressive! We rode back to the shop and dropped off one of the bikes and explained why we were unhappy with them--no customer service, fitting of bikes, etc. and they told us they would handle it tomorrow. I would still definitely recommend exploring the city on bike. Just check out your options!
I watch Top Chef--always have. I knew that one of the finalists had a restaurant in New Orleans and made reservations to dine there. Compere Lapin did not disappoint. Amazing! I am very thankful to have found this spot and dined here. Innovative drinks, wine list and incredible food. And, we saw a wedding party arrive at the hotel where the restaurant is located and watched a Second Line descend. It was awesome! The Goddess chose to join the celebration by dancing on our table. The owner came by and insisted on meeting our group since we were having fun and celebrating life. I had a fantastic piece of carrot cake here, too. My favorite dessert!
Til next time, enjoy! I do love revisiting beautiful cities that I have visited in the past. Maybe next week it will be International.