Author: Jyl Benson

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…

Something Special

Whether you’re seeking time out in a festive holiday atmosphere or a means of entertaining guests without bringing the fa-la-la to your own kitchen, a bevy of New Orleans restaurants have you covered for the season. With a lush hanging…

Pit Perfect

Though largely unheralded outside of their respective neighborhoods, New Orleans has long had a smattering of barbecue restaurants that are respected and sought after for cooking low-and-slow over wood-fueled rigs. “The purveyors and the customers were mostly black and the…

Stopping to Savor

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving I try to spend one-on-one time with each of the women who have served as mentors to me throughout my life. My mother died when I was a teenager, and I doubt I’ll…

The Best Things to do for Halloween and the Weekend

For Halloween fun, this evening guests are invited to Nolé Cuisine de las Americas (2001 St. Charles Ave., 593-9955, nolerestaurant.com) in costume for a trick or treat experience – a surprise from the kitchen…

Roadside Dining: Easy Does It

A gardener, I came a across Southern Gateway garden center a couple of years ago. A sign reading “90,000 square feet of greenhouses” caused me to slam on the brakes and make a sharp turn off of Belle Chase Highway…

Four Best Places to Eat and Drink This Weekend

  Have you ever wanted to know how to make the best tortilla? Tonight Chef Will Alevar will reveal his family tradition. You’ve probably eaten his family’s tortillas at several restaurants around town, but now is your chance to learn…

The BEST Places to Celebrate with ME This Weekend

A dream of five years comes true for me this evening. For the past five years I have served as the Director of Culinary Programming for the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFab) in Central City. In this capacity I…

Sur le menu: Cook and Camp

We can assume the Acadians took their durable cast iron cookware with them (most families would have only had one cooking vessel that they used for all meals) when they were driven by the British from Nova Scotia to resettle…

Autumnal Aspects

After spending a sweltering summer snuggled up next to the air conditioner, as a gardening enthusiast I’m beyond eager to spend as much time taking in the beauty that befalls New Orleans with the first hint of autumn. I was…

The Best Reasons to Visit Historic Gretna

  I recently spent some time exploring historic Gretna, a fascinating, somewhat mysterious city on the West Bank (technically east of New Orleans but that's another story).  Like Uptown New Orleans, where I live, Old Gretna is loaded with historic…

The Best Freebies and Fun On-the-Cheap

  It's still hot outside. Take shelter on Saturday in one of our city's many fantastic, often world-class museums when you and a guest can get in for free compliments of Smithsonian magazine and its annual Museum Day. Participating museums…

Saturday In The Quarter

  The seventh annual Downriver Festival kicks off at 10 a.m. at the New Orleans Jazz Museum (400 Esplanade Ave., 568.2564, nolajazzmuseum.org). Celebrating the cultural, economic, environmental and inspirational impacts and contributions of the Mississippi River to our fair city…

Magazine Tour de Force

What change three decades can bring. As a college student I was the assistant manager of La Casa & The Garden Pottery, a funky, upscale home furnishings store at Magazine Street and Louisiana Avenue. La Casa was a rarity. Pretty…

Roadside Dining: Luck of the Draw

I was traveling through north Louisiana with a worldly friend skilled in cooking many cuisines with a concentration in the foods of Asia. I had long heard rumors of a sensational Chinese restaurant in Bossier City with a voluminous wine…

Of Drag Queens and the New Orleans Saints

  Remember the drag queen moment I mentioned last week? Well, that moment is definitely continuing as we close in on Labor Day and Southern Decadence weekend in our fair city. On Saturday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. the…

Something For Everyone

  On Friday the NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival kicks off its end-of-summer treat that will run through Saturday. The FREE event features pop-up shops, food trucks, musicals performances and more. Head to Duncan Plaza, 343 Loyola Ave., to…

A Few Hot Dining Deals to Beat The Damned Heat

  An enthusiastic cook at heart, as August rolls around I want nothing to do with the heat boiling in my kitchen. These days I am prone to skipping meals altogether or I might just pick them up at Made…

Get 'Cool' This Month with Coolinary

  Today kicks off the doldrums of August, the heat sucks and, yes, we are collectively sick to death of it. That said, a slew of dining and cultural deals also kick off today and run through the rest of…

Cool, Satisfying Summertime Bites

Though I’m an enthusiastic cook, by the time August rolls around I want nothing to do with a heat belching oven, roiling liquid in a hot pot or even hot food. I am in the mood for cool, refreshing soups,…

Sur la menu: Meal and Deal

EatLafayette, the annual celebration of Lafayette’s local restaurants, from humble to haute, continues through Sept. 15. Created by Lafayette Travel in 2005 to boost things a bit during the sultry summer months with cool-on-the-wallet offerings, to qualify as a local…