Author: Jyl Benson

Disaster May Save Us

  Disaster can illuminate how we are connected and how we rely on one another. This is what is happening in my life, my relationships, and in my Uptown neighborhood near Magazine Street and Jefferson Avenue. By day the streets…

Rockrose

The menu at Rockrose, the contemporary Greek restaurant in the International House Hotel, recently unveiled a new spring menu to reflect the abundance of Gulf seafood and regional produce now coming into season while retaining the signature enhancements of bright…

Sur le menu: Spicy Adventure

Located 10 miles south of New Iberia, Avery Island is a 2,200-acre salt dome packed hundreds of feet thick with the mineral and mined since the 18th century. It is also home to Tabasco hot pepper sauce, founded by Edmund…

The Best Meatless Specials to Try for Lent

  For Catholics, the practice of forgoing the consumption of meat during Lent (Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday) has its roots in the early days of the church and the Black Fast, when the righteous were expected to partake of…

Raising a Glass to Alice Weiss

“Shower the people you love with love. Show them the way that you feel.” James Taylor, “Shower the People” We saw ourselves in one another. Alice Weiss, a fierce fighter, moved to New Orleans in the 1970s to work as…

Roadside Dining: River Life

Several factors make Roberto's River Road Restaurant in Sunshine memorable. For starters, the location — it is nearly impossible to find to the extent that it can start to feel like a prank as you drive and drive, seemingly going…

The Best Places to Find Real Crawfish Bisque

  In 1957 a feature in Holiday magazine described ladies dining on bowls of crawfish bisque Galatoire's. The article was already a relic by the time I read it years ago but it stuck for its description of the women…

The Best Places to Seek Shelter During Mardi Gras

  Few things are more valuable than a friend with a home and a working bathroom on a parade route. Hell, even a parade-side portable toilet with crowds bumping into its side and water sloshing about can be a blessing…

The Best Things to Do at The Higgins Hotel

My late father, Andrew Ernest Benson, Jr., was born in May of 1929. He was a war history buff, particularly when it came to WWII, which dominated his New Orleans childhood. For years I have gone to Parkway Bakery when…

The Best Fun Things Going on This Week

New Orleans became home to many thousands of Vietnamese people following the fall of Saigon in the early 1970s. This weekend, the Vietnamese community celebrates the annual free, family-friendly Tet Fest at Mary Queen of Vietnam Church (14001 Dwyer Blvd.)…

Out to Lunch

“Lunch like a queen, dine like a pauper”: that’s my motto. I relish meeting friends for a meal in the middle of the day to try new dishes and check out new places, because come evening I want to be…

Sur la menu: Culinary Celebration

With twenty-six years of hospitality experience between them, in the fall of 2018 Candace Cooper and Jacob Sonnier decided it was time to make the move and open their own restaurant. “The concept was a simple one,” Sonnier said. “Get…

The Best New Things to Try This Weekend

  A voyeur, I like to people watch. One of my top spots for doing so is the deep, gracious balcony off of the second floor of the triangular-shaped building that houses Gris Gris (1800 Magazine St., 272-024, grisgrisnola.com). Over…

The Best King Cake Creations to Try this Weekend

  We are most assuredly in the Season of the King Cake. They are seemingly everywhere. Throughout Carnival Season, both Cochon Butcher (930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588.7675, cochonbutcher.com) and La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine St, 269.3777, laboulangerienola.com) will offer King Cakes ranging…

The Best FREE Things to Do for the Next Week

I have known the fabulous and talented photographer Cheryl Gerber since we were both very green young journalists. We once joked that it must have been a kindergarten teacher who first pulled us together, pointed at me and commanded "You,…

Hitting Reset

I used to go on a clean eating binge at the start of every year, sickened from the excesses of the prior season while gearing up for the ultimate excess of Mardi Gras. I gave this up two years ago…

Roadside Dining: Touch of Brass

Justine, the sprawling 200-seat French Quarter restaurant is the third from spouses Mia Freiberger-Devillier and James Beard Award -winning Chef Justin Devillier, following the quietly elegant La Petite Grocery on Magazine Street and the now-shuttered downtown gastro pub, Balise. This…

The Best Places to Ring in the New Year in Style

  How fortuitous for me!  Cozy, super-chic Luvi (5236 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-605-3340, luvirestaurant.com)  is located right around the corner from my house. The diminutive Asian restaurant is offering early dinner seatings at 6 and 8 p.m., at either a table…

The Best Resources for Locally Made Holiday Gifts

  Every year I am faced with sending gifts to members of my extended family in Sweden. I makes no sense to me to buy mass produced items made in China then ship then to my relatives across the pond,…

Holiday Happenings

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is part of the Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration, although…

Sur la menu: Upscale Casual

Located on a tree-canopied block of historic, downtown Breaux Bridge that bustles with strollers perusing antique shops and local boutiques, in less than two years Café Sydney Mae has successfully risen to the challenge of replacing the iconic Café des…