I live Uptown and have passed the Park View Guest House hundreds, if not thousands of times, though I have never been in. The stately building at the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Walnut Street overlooking Audubon Park was erected in 1884 as an exclusive guest house to serve those visiting New Orleans’ newly subdivided plantation lands to the west of the French Quarter.
Over the years it fell not to squalor, but the bloom had left the rose. In 2009, Liz and Terry Creel purchased the old guest house and restored it over four years. The grand spaces now bear the couple’s collections of 40 working antique clocks in the common rooms, period sofas and chairs, pedestal tables, chandeliers, and artwork, such as antique Mardi Gras parade bulletins, all hailing from nineteenth century New Orleans. Upstairs, the inn’s 21 guest rooms feature antique beds, headboards, and armoires that reflect the couple’s passion for antiques of local provenance, including an ornate tester bed and armoire made by nineteenth-century New Orleans furniture maker William McCracken as well as a tester bed by Prudent Mallard.
A few days ago, I was tooling down St. Charles when I spied a chalkboard sign outside The Parkview announcing cocktails would be served from 5 – 10 p.m. This was new. I had never known The Parkview to the open to the public. So, I called to inquire. William King, The Parkview’s newly minted bar manager, informed that the Creels had converted one of the building’s old libraries/parlors into The Gilded Perch, a diminutive, jewel box of a space that is loaded with wonderful details (a stunning mural) and overseen by a grand peacock on a gilded perch.
“We saw a distinct lack of an adult friendly, cocktail bar in the area and decided to fill the gap,” said King. The gorgeous little speakeasy serves wine and craft cocktails as well as interpretations on the classics
“One thing that is super important to us here is focusing on fresh ingredients," said King. “The Creels own a farm in Mississippi where they raise all sorts of animals: peacocks, bees… They recently harvested the honey there, so we created a limited Honey Harvest Celebration menu. Using their delicious honey, we have created some cocktails including the Witt’s End Rye Old Fashioned featuring Willett Rye, honey, and aromatic and orange bitters.”
Very excited to perch myself at The Gilded Perch, ASAP.
Stumped for what to serve for your Fourth of July barbecue ‘cause it’s just too hot to light the grill or looking to send a little NOLA flare to someone far-flung? Commander’s Palace has added a new seasonal item to their popular Goldbelly page – where famed signature dishes are available to ship nationally. The Sazeric BBQ’d Pork Shank Dinner for 2 or 4 is still available for a limited time. The 14-ounce “fall off the bone” bone-in pork shank is simmered in rich trotter stock and flambéed with bourbon, Peychaud’s bitters, and a dash of absinthe to be reminiscent of the Sazerac cocktail. Sides of fresh spring field peas and charred collard greens topped with local peaches and Ponchatoula blackberries are dressed in a light, bright absinthe pickle.
On July 7, NOMA will host An Evening with Nefertari at Café NOMA, an evening of experiences based around the current exhibit Queen Nefertari's Egypt. The evening will start with a private, docent-led tour of the exhibition, followed by a four-course dinner at Café NOMA created by Egyptian-born chef Khaled Hegazzi of Sittoo’s Kitchen paired with non-alcoholic beverages. Wine and beer will be available for purchase. Tour starts at 6 p.m. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. $80, inclusive. NOMA.org
That’s it from me. I think you know where to find me—at least for a few minutes—this weekend. Tensions are running high. Be nice to your neighbor. We are all entitled to our opinions.