Author: Jyl Benson

Best Bets for the Weekend and Beyond

  We were giddy over an excuse to dress in something other than yoga pants and shorts, so my sister Beth and I donned dresses for an evening in the Lower Garden District at The Bower. We live within blocks…

The Best Way to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

  Through Oct. 15, our nation is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced our nation and our society. In the New Orleans area, we owe a particular debt of gratitude to the…

How to Host: Unexpected Outdoor Entertaining

Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you do not. This time we were in the target range when the rude lady with the old-fashioned name came calling, leaving behind shorn roofs, crippled foliage and moldy refrigerators that could take months to…

How to Host: Last Bite

To celebrate New Orleans’ grand brunch tradition, SoFAB (1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-569-0405, SouthernFood.org) will take the month of October to celebrate “Birthplace of Brunch Month” with four pop-up brunches: Drag Brunch (featuring Poppy Tooker and Chef Jason Goodenough,…

Comfort Food

Years ago, my friend Jennie Merrill shared a version of this easy, Keto-friendly make-ahead crowd pleaser would be an excellent choice if you dare to entertain for Halloween. It makes for flavorful use of use of the abundant butternut squash…

The Best Pie, Coffee, and an Attitude of Gratitude

  I am a big fan of Nicole Eiden and Marielle Dupre, the ladies behind Windowsill Pies. The business partners met while working in a restaurant before Hurricane Katrina. The storm/flood sent Dupre, a Mandeville native and Tulane grad, running…

The Best for the Weekend, Treat Yourself

  We have been through the wringer. And COVID-19 still threatens, and disturbances are swirling off the coast of Africa like a swarm of cockroaches. We deserve a break, a little R & R, a least some relief. Here are…

The Best Blessings of a Hurricane

  I was born into a household of chaos and disharmony. By the time I made my appearance, my sister was already 13 years old and my brother a month shy of 17. Our mother suffered from a collection of…

How to Host: The Pre-Party

Welcome to How to Host, a new monthly feature where we will address various aspects of hosting stylish, memorable and, hopefully, low-stress gatherings. To kick things off we’re tackling the pre-party, the pre-event gathering that kicks things off before a…

Chill Out

  This silky, decadent bisque is just the thing for special summer entertaining. It is best made a day in advance so the flavors can marry. The colors and flavors are vibrant, and nothing is lost to serving the soup…

Extra Bite: Pre-Party

If the event for which you are pre-partying is at the Saenger Theater consider Palm&Pine (308 N. Rampart St., 504-814-6200, PalmAndPineNola.com), located just a block away for an after-event stop. A Late Nite menu is available on Fridays and Saturdays…

The Best Bets for a Hot, Rainy Weekend

  Sounds like gardening, sailing, sunbathing and long walks are not on the agenda this weekend, so I offer the following for your relaxation pleasure. “Top Chef Amateurs” gives talented home cooks the opportunity of a lifetime to test their…

The Best Way to Avoid COVID this Weekend

  Like so many in New Orleans, my income is largely tied to the hospitality industry, which is tied to tourism. Like so many New Orleanians, the foundation of my security has been rocked yet anew by another spate of…

Tarte Temptation

  Succulent, sweet and enticing, figs are ripening on trees all over Louisiana. In spring and summer, the distinctive lush green leaves and orbs of rosy fruit are as pleasing to the eye as the barren, skeletal branches of the…

The Best of All Things Brennan

  Commander’s Palace recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of offering 25 cent martinis at lunch. Ti Martin and her cousin Lally Brennan own and manage the fabled Garden District restaurant their family started generations ago. Ti generously shared the story…

The Best Happy Birthday to Me

  As a lifelong plant and flower enthusiast I am excited about the return of floral design workshops at Mitch’s Flower’s, a beautifully appointed horticultural oasis on a shaded block of Magazine Street. While they were once common, today shops…

The Best Foods to Try This Weekend

  Seemingly forever, brothers John and Moe Thabata have run Rainbow Grocery (4837 Magazine St., 504-875-3635), the popular Uptown corner store best known for its extensive selection of everything from very cheap beers sold as singles to fine wines and…

The Best Frozen Drinks to Keep You Cool this Weekend

  Both beloved and reviled, the frozen daiquiri in a Styrofoam cup from a drive-through has some solid upscale competition around town and wise restaurateurs are rolling out a plethora of options for those seeking to stay cool while imbibing…

Blackberry Bushels

  Days after New Orleans post-Katrina flooding, a friend put Chef Scot “Scottie” Craig in touch with a group of CNN journalists seeking someone who could feed them something other than military-issued, vacuum sealed M.R.E.s. With his home and restaurant—the…

The Best New Sushi Experience

  It is too hot to hang in the kitchen, so I have been on a sushi kick of late. At the suggestion of a friend my daughter, Cecilia, and I hit up Yakuza House in Metairie for a late…

Sharing The Best of New Orleans Culture with the World

  Yesterday the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council (NOCDC) invited me to address an international group of NGO (a nonprofit organization that operates independently of any government, typically to address a social or political issue) managers interested in learning more…

Fire up the Grill

  Chef Daniel Esses shared a version of this recipe with me years ago when he was the man behind the menu at Three Muses on Frenchmen Street. Today he mans the kitchen at Rimon in Tulane University’s Hillel Center,…

The Dish | A Happy Place

  Last August, the culmination of a long held dream, Chef Suda Ounin and Jeerasak Boonlert opened their restaurant and bakery. Housed in a cottage the color of strawberry buttercream frosting and fronted by a lush garden, Thai DJing beckons…