Criollo Restaurant, the contemporary New Orleans-inspired restaurant located in the historic Hotel Monteleone, is offering a new Taittinger Champagne Brunch. Offered only on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the brunch includes Taittinger Champagne for $39 per bottle. Meanwhile, the Creole-inspired brunch menu features dishes like blue crab and corn beignets; turtle soup; eggs Tchoupitoulas; shrimp and grits; and more. Guests who visit for brunch also can take advantage of $5 all day parking at the nearby Solaris Garage. 214 Royal St., 681-4444, criollonola.com.
During Mardi Gras, be sure to swing by Tujague’s for its specialty Carnival-inspired cocktails from beverage director Amber Harrington. Try the Mardi Gras Smash, which includes bourbon, housemade blackberry syrup, Giffard blackberry liqueur, fresh lemon and blueberry. And for Valentine’s Day, guests can enjoy Tujague’s a la carte Creole dishes from executive chef Gus Martin, along with specialty Valentine’s Day desserts from recently-appointed pastry chef Karen Anderson. 429 Decatur St., 525-8676, tujaguesrestaurant.com.
The owners of the 700 Club have opened a new LGBTQ+-friendly bar called American Townhouse, located on North Rampart Street across from Armstrong Park. The new inclusive neighborhood restaurant and bar is located within a beautifully renovated building and features a cool courtyard. The menu of elevated bar food includes snacks, salads, nachos, dips, sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas and more. There’s also a wide selection of beer, wine on tap, and craft cocktails and daiquiris. 1012 N. Rampart St., 354-8533, atnola.com.
Sip & Shop
Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts has opened a new wine bar and cafe, dubbed Vine & Tap, in Center Court at Lakeside Shopping Center across from the Apple Store. In addition to wines by the glass (everything from Prosecco and rosé to chardonnay, cabernet and pinot noir), Vine & Tap offers frozen cocktails (like frosé and seasonal margaritas), beer and seltzers, and a selection of bottled wines for purchase. Also be sure to check out the cafe food menu. Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie.
Hammond-based Gnarly Barley Brewing has added a fifth brew to its core beer lineup with the introduction of Skater Aid Pilsner. The new beer joins Radical Rye IPA, Catahoula Common Lager, Korova Milk Porter and Jucifer Hazy Juicy IPA. Based on an Italian-style Pilsner, Skater Aid features a foundation of pale Pilsner malt bolstered by a generous dry-hopping of Hallertau Blanc hops. As a result, the beer features a vibrant and verdant nose, and a crisp, dry finish. It is the second lager in the core lineup after Catahoula Common, a light American Lager. The name itself, Skater Aid, represents Gnarly Barley’s commitment to support the skate community, and a percentage of sales will be donated to skateboarding initiatives. Skater Aid is available in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. Also be sure to look for Gnarly Barley’s rotating lineup of four new seasonal beers, including HiFi Hefeweizen (spring), Planet Juice Hazy Juicy IPA (summer), Festbier (autumn) and Micro Giant Belgian Dubbel (winter). 1709 Corbin Road, Hammond, 985-318-0723, gnarlybeer.com.
Briquette, the Warehouse District restaurant and bar known for its open kitchen and 18-foot seafood display, is offering new craft cocktail classes this year. The private events can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner, which includes the cocktail class plus a three- or four-course meal, or without food. Choose from classes like the Historic New Orleans Prohibition Class or the Bad & Bougee Cocktail Class (aimed toward younger guests who want to try new takes on cocktails). The classes are available for six to 20 guests (ranging from $40-$100 per person), and classes can even be tailored for special requests such as all-bourbon or all-tequila cocktails. 701 S. Peters St., 302-7496, briquette-nola.com.