Tops of the Town 2013

Our Readers’ Picks in a Range of Categories

(page 3 of 5)






Watch out New Orleans, the Krewe of Muses is celebrating becoming a teenager this Carnival season. First parading in 2001, the Muses organization is comprised of more than 1,700 members (more than 1,000 of whom will be riding this year) who strive to “tap into and recognize the local artistic and cultural resources of the community and incorporate them into a Muses Mardi Gras tradition.”  

When it rolled for the first time with 610 members, this all-female organization was the first of its kind to show this kind of enthusiasm, and that visual phenomenon has become one of Mardi Gras’ darlings, in part due to its humorous, though sometimes biting, parade themes.

While satirical themes can take a parade far, it’s their yearlong philanthropic efforts that set the Muses apart. The krewe organizes shoe drives and “Thirsty Thursday” fundraisers; even the cups that they throw from their floats are designed by a student in a New Orleans public school art program.

Speaking of throws, these ladies are known for the inventiveness of their throws, from terrycloth headbands sporting the Muses logo to miniature versions of the huge “moon” light that helps start the parade.

This year on Thurs., Feb. 7, at about 6:30 p.m. (if all goes according to plan), the Muses will start at Magazine and Jefferson streets, proceeding down Magazine Street to Napoleon Avenue, where they fall in behind the Knights of Babylon and Krewe of Chaos, and then follow the St. Charles Avenue parade route. Get your hands up and open your eyes, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a shoe.

– Morgan Packard
(Full disclosure: happily a member of Muses)


Galatoire’s prides itself in tradition. It is perhaps the only fine-dining restaurant left that still requires jackets for dinner. For more than 100 years Galatoire’s has been serving impeccable French Creole cuisine with an ambience that encourages table-hopping, conversation and some of the best people-watching.

Founded in 1905 by Jean Galatoire, who brought with him recipes and traditions inspired by the dining styles of the small village of Pardies, France, where he grew up. The restaurant is in its fourth generation of family guidance. Today, Galatoire’s is overseen by chief operating officer Melvin Rodrigue, who works in close conjunction with David Gooch (Galatoire’s grandson), Billy Clark and executive chef Michael Sichel.

Though customs still hold strong (for instance, every woman who celebrates her birthday at the restaurant is either “18” or “21,” and many regulars request their favorite waiter) changes are slowly coming, including the restaurant’s plans to expand with the purchase of 215 Bourbon St. next door.

You can now make reservations to dine on the second floor and pay with a credit card; your waiter doesn’t hand-chip the ice for your drinks, but Galatoire’s seems destined to remain much the same for the next 100 years of its lauded and favored existence.

Galatoire’s, 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021,
– M.P.

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