Now that the doors to the Crescent City have swung wide open, singles are ready to mingle, couples are keen to canoodle and friend groups are hankering for hangout time.

Whether you’re feeling amorous or adventurous, are in stilettos or sneakers, have tickets to a Broadway performance or rezzies for a romantic nightcap, we scoured the city for hotspots and activities to suit the quintessential questions: where should we go and what should we do?


Date Night

The Elysian Bar

2317 Burgundy St., theelyisanbar.com. 

Stroll past the piazza at the Hotel Peter and Paul to this jewel box of a bar for snacks to the tune of marinated olives and brioche hone butter rolls served daily from 3–5 p.m., paired with European-style aperitivo, low ABV cocktails and all-American wines. 


The First Date Debate

After months of lockdown time spent dating through a laptop screen, the concept of the first date probably conjures up both anticipatory pleasure and mounting pressure. It always helps to be able to offer up suggestions so your DM momentum doesn’t stall before meeting up IRL. Instead of starting off with reservations about your dinner reservations, see if any sparks fly over appetizers and sips at a nerve-settling happy hour.


Chemin à La Mer

2 Canal St., cheminalamer.com

Aphrodisiacs, anyone? Taking place Monday – Friday from 3– 5 p.m. at the Oyster Bar, in the Purple Grackle Bar, and on the Terrace, all located on the 5th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, swing in for Oyster Hour comprised of $1 oysters paired with a sommelier-selected $10 glass of wine. 

Bar Marilou

544 Carondelet St., barmarilou.com 

Atmospheric to the nines, this luxe French-style sanctuary in the CBD whispers seduction from every corner. Pop in during the apéritif happy hour from 4–6 p.m. daily for light delights like glasses of chenin blanc and burrata and feel out the potential to cozy up for cocktails and caviar in the evening. 

Le Chat Noir

715 St. Charles Ave., lechatnoir.com. 

Have you found common ground over gluten-free and vegan edible interests? Make convo over the menu during a Wednesday – Friday happy hour from 3-5 p.m. featuring a shucker’s selection of oysters on the half shell and discounted daily punch, beer and wine. 

Bywater Brew Pub

3000 Royal St., bywaterbrewpub.com

Get casually acquainted over Cajun and Vietnamese inspired bites while noshing crawfish nachos and sipping 16 oz draft beers for $4 and cucumber margs for $7 during a regular 4–6 p.m. happy hour. 


Date Night

The Bower Bar

1320 Magazine St., thebowernola.com. 

The perfect perch for field-to-glass cocktails, conversation and bites, step into the lush space for a Monday – Saturday happy hour menu from 4–6 p.m. featuring a daily house punch, wine by the glass and beer along with charcuterie and cheese plates.


A bartender spills all 

We caught up with Denzel Brown, bartender at The Will and the Way, for his take on first dates witnessed from “behind the pine”. 

What’s a telltale sign that a pair is on their first date? The “Hi.” In my experience, the awkward, or perhaps embraceable, greeting is a complete tell-all. People who are very close with each other tend to have their own way of greeting one another, whereas the first date greeting is either an awkward kind of “do we hug, shake hands, etc…?” or an “I’m certain about this person” kind of feeling. 

Does compatibility of the drinks ordered by the couple tend to predict a successful date? In my time behind the pine, I’ve certainly noticed people turn their nose up at someone else’s drink order(s), but it’s truly the ones that don’t mind whatsoever that generally leave happy, and more often than not, I see back in the bar. 

Best seat in the house for a romantic date? Back left corner of the patio (stage view). It’s tucked away, quiet, and cozy.

Best kept secret at TWTW? The food. People stop in for incredible libations and expecting typical bar food, but instead are served carefully curated, and delicious, cuisine.

Best ice breaker cocktail: Taking the time to find out what the other likes to drink and following suit. Always.

Sip to save the date situation: Daiquiri (traditional, not that frozen stuff).

Libation for a love connection: Martini. 

The “don’t want the night to end” nightcap: Beer and shot. Shot to cheers, and the beer to take with them on their walk to the next spot to continue the evening. 

Late Night date night
Are busy schedules keeping you from meeting up before the streetlights come on? Here’s a hip tip: The Will and the Way has a new late-night happy hour with delicious craft drinks and Southern-leaning snack specials from midnight-2 a.m. 719 Toulouse St., thewillandtheway.com. 

Date Night

Virgin Hotel New Orleans Pool Club

550 Baronne St., virginhotels.com.

Bask in the flattering light of a golden hour rooftop happy hour, available Tuesday – Friday, from 4–6 p.m. The menu features $10 cocktails of Aperol spritz, Negroni, Campari and $8 glasses of house wines. 


Tujague’s

429 Decatur St., tujaguesrestaurant.com. 

Where to find a rarified weekend happy hour, tip back French 75s, seasonal frozens and glasses of private label wines over shared plates of truffle fries at the bar, parlor room, courtyard and balcony from 2:30 -5 p.m. every Friday – Sunday. 

The Country Club

634 Louisa St., thecountryclubneworleans.com. 

Swap life stories over sticky sesame cauliflower and indulge in weekday happy hour sips of $3 well drinks, $5 house wine, house margaritas and local draft beers from 4–7 p.m. in the picturesque Butterfly Lounge. 

The Vintage NOLA

3121 Magazine St., thevintagenola.com.

Make small talk near the pink “press for champagne” button, then pick a spot among the sidewalk bistro seats for let-the-conversation-flow lattes or getting-to-know-you booze and bites daily from 3–6 p.m.  

New Orleans Social House

752 Tchoupitoulas St., noshneworleans.com. 

See if you can get the streetcar on the love tracks while clinking St. Charles cocktails over “social bites” on Wednesday – Monday, from 5–8 p.m., or make it a Friday night plan with half off bottles of wine, sparkling and champagne from 5 p.m.–close. 


Date Night

Bijou Restaurant & Bar

1014 N. Rampart St., bijouneworleans.com. 

The tapas-style plates will remind you that sharing is caring at this hybrid neighborhood bar, restaurant and lounge. Take in the dreamy outdoor patio scene and toast craft cocktails or sips from the curated wine list while exploring the internationally-influenced menu, prepared with local ingredients. 


Shake Your Tail Feather

Whether you want to bob heads or bump hips, the rhythm is gonna get ya every night of the week in the Crescent City. 

Monday                                 

The iconic and historic Preservation Hall hosts Preservation Brass with pre-reserved tickets at 5 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. 726 Saint Peter St., preservationahall.com. 

Tuesday                                 

Let the sounds of New Orleans Jazz meets blues tickle your eardrums with Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns at The Spotted Cat Music Club from 6 – 9:15 p.m. 623 Frenchmen St., spottedcatmusicclub.com. 

Wednesday                                    

Sway in unison when resident jazz artist Jeremy Davenport and his band hit the Davenport Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., 921 Canal St., ritzcarlton.com. 

Thursday                                    

Delight in the soulful R&B duo, Da Lovebirds, made up of New Orleans Songbird, Robin Barnes, and husband Pat Casey, in the Peacock Room at the Kimpton Hotel Fontenot from 8 – 10 p.m. 501 Tchoupitoulas St., peacockroomnola.com. 

Friday                                              

Savor the beauty and romance of the New Orleans skyline aboard the dinner jazz cruise on the Riverboat City of New Orleans. The jazz dinner ticket includes a cruise, buffet dinner, and entertainment by the Dukes of Dixieland Jazz trio. Boarding begins at 6 p.m. and cruising is from 7 – 9 p.m. nightly. steamboatnatchez.com. 

Saturday                                   

Take a swoony spin with the sounds of Lena Prima & Band from 9 p.m. – midnight at The Carousel Bar & Lounge. 214 Royal St., hotelmonteleone.com.

Sunday                                         

Catch some ear candy during the Hot 8 Brass Band’s 10 p.m. set at the Howlin’ Wolf while grabbing some in-house late night bacon cheddar beignets at The Den. 907 S. Peters St., thehowlinwolf.com. 


Date Night

Vue Orleans 360°

2 Canal St., vueorleans.com. 

Gawk together over this one-of-a-kind indoor and outdoor observatory and cultural experience featuring a 360 degree panoramic riverfront view of the city that you’ll arrive to in an elevator that takes you up 34 floors in less than 60 seconds. In addition to a stunning exterior experience, highlights like state-of-the-art interactive technology, music exhibits and a digital experience where you can see how you’ll look in full festival regalia make this an interactive gem.


The Non-Date Date

If the idea of dinner and a movie seems feels too traditional, consider thinking outside the popcorn box and get creative with plans that are sure to make a lasting impression.

Cloud Nine

See if you can make a love connection in the clouds during a post-sunset helicopter ride over the city. Opt for the 15 mile ride with views of the French Quarter, Jackson Square, Bourbon and Canal Street or the 30 mile city lights night flight. 8221 Lloyd Stearman Drive, heli-co.com. 

Make Like a Safari

Pop over to Picnic Provisions & Whiskey (741 State St., nolapicnic.com) to put together some sustenance to enjoy al fresco at the 350 acres that is Audubon Park. Settle in near the Tree of Life and the labyrinth and, over bites of muffaletta pasta salad, keep an eye out for the back of the giraffe enclosure where the majestic animals occasionally peep their heads over the trees. 6500 Magazine St., audubonnatureinstitute.org. 

Sober Picnic Sip Tip

Want to stay booze-free but refreshed while getting outdoorsy? Pick up a four-pack of locally-founded, Mockly. Carried at Breaux Mart, Robért Fresh Market, Canseco’s and Rouses, the canned beverages consist of fun, spirit-free flavors with a spirited vibe. drinkmockly.com

Strike Up a Vibe

Let the good times roll at Fulton Alley, a gaming parlor and Prohibition-style cocktail lounge. Get playfully competitive over strikes, boozy sips and a menu of shareable plates. 600 Fulton St., fultonalley.com. 

Rock Out

Bond over your extrovert nature at Vintage Rock Club, a throwback club and video music experience that brings your old school faves to the big screen. With a cocktail in hand, dance to celebrated songs from decades past while watching throwback music videos, concert footage and memorable movie clips on a 185” video wall. 1007 Poydras St., vintagerockclub.com.

Your Local-Motive

Did you know there’s a locally-owned rideshare service in town? KreweCar, owned and operated by Beth Nettles, is an elevated, white glove service that offers rides on a singular and monthly basis, with the bonus of parsed out rate options for membership purchasers. A team of professional, vetted drivers will get you safely to your destination of choice, including the airport, without surge pricing. They’ll even provide car seats should you be on the go with the kiddos in tow. Krewecar.com.


Date Night

Namaste For a While

1772 Prytania St., spyrecenter.com.

For wellness-minded singles looking to make it a moment on the yoga mat, this hidden oasis tucked right into the Garden District is the serene scene for an evening vinyasa class and even the occasional revelatory sound bath session. 


Zip A Dee Doo Dah

301 Peavine Rd., zipnola.com. 

Take your connection to new heights at Zip NOLA, a state-of-the-art facility in LaPlace that’s equipped with two suspension bridges, a spiral tree staircase, and over 20,000 linear feet of advanced zipline technology spanning nearly a half-mile long with views of both the swamp and the New Orleans skyline.  

Lovin in the Oven

725 Howard Ave., nochi.org. 

Who doesn’t appreciate an interactive date idea where leaving with a useful skill isn’t just whisk-ful thinking? Inquire about private, hands-on cooking classes at the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), a surefire recipe for a perfectly balanced mix of fun and fare. 


Date Night

Art In Motion

2832 Royal St., jamnola.com

Looking for a fun artsy date served up with a side of NOLA culture? JAMNOLA, an experiential pop-up, takes you through an immersive 12 room exhibit of pure joy featuring one-of-a-kind artworks from 20+ local artists. Leave with a new appreciation for the Crescent City’s art community and a few selfies along the way.


Culture Connection

Lights, camera, action…attraction. If the feeling of a playbill in hand or a ticket stub in your jacket pocket equals a date night on the town, you’ll want to explore these ideas for an evening that’s staged for success. 

Broadway at Saenger Theatre

1111 Canal St., neworleans.broadway.com/shows 

If live musicals tickle your fancy, you’ll want to be elbow to elbow for showstoppers throughout the end of the year like Pretty Woman (October 4 – 9), Disney’s The Lion King (October 27 – November 13), Six (November 29 – December 4) and Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical (December 13 – 18). 

The Fillmore New Orleans

6 Canal St. livenation.com

Feeling lucky in love? Lean in for some live music at this music venue situated on the 2nd floor of Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino. While catching big acts like Jack White (September 23) and The Flaming Lips (September 27), pop into BG’s Lounge, an exclusive VIP space in-house complete with a private bar and private restroom.

Le Petit Theatre

616 St. Peter St., lepetittheatre.com.

The French Quarter theatre will be kicking off their 106th season with their annual Curtain Call Ball on September 9 at 6:30 p.m. Upcoming performances include Emily Skinner (September 10), The Play That Goes Wrong (October 20 – November 6). 

New Orleans Ballet Theatre

129 Roosevelt Way, neworelansballettheatre.com. 

Laissez les bons temps grand plie when the ballet returns to live performances at the Orpheum Theater this year for a production of The Nutcracker (Dec 11 – 19). With six performances over a two-weekend engagement, this beloved two-act ballet will be performed by the professional company with the charming addition of over 120 local children. 

The Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

325 Minor St., rivertowntheaters.com. 

Two words: Kinky. Boots. The show hits the stage (Sept 9 – 25) in all its glitter and glam glory at this Kenner located performance locale. To follow comes The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Oct 21 – Nov 6) and Disney’s Frozen, Jr (Dec 2 – 20). 

New Orleans Opera

Neworleansopera.org. 

Hit a high note for the evening with a new production of The Barber of Seville (September 30 and October 2) or take in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (November 18 and 20), both at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. 

The Broad Theater

636 N. Broad St., thebroadtheater.com.

Make it a low-key eve at this indie theater which features a mix of independent films and pop culture flicks along with an in-house bar for happy hour drinks from 4 – 6 p.m.  

Salon D’Whatever

2601 Royal St., Salondwhatever.com. 

A pop-up art gallery nestled in the upstairs of Anna’s in the Marigny, swing by for monthly shows featuring work from artists in the service industry and beyond.  

Pre-Playbill Provisions

In search of a pre-performance bite so your growling tummy doesn’t interrupt the show? Pop by Palm & Pine on Rampart where, on show nights only, $34 will fetch you one small and one seasonally rotating large plate of from their ‘South and South of that’ inspired cuisine from their pre-theater menu if you show your Saenger Theatre ticket. 308 N. Rampart St., palmandpinenola.com. 


Date Night

Burlesque Ballroom at The Jazz Playhouse at The Royal Sonesta

300 Bourbon St., sonesta.com; trixieminx.com. 

Trixie Minx presents a modern spin on a classic 1960’s Bourbon Street Burlesque Show every Friday from 11 p.m.–1 a.m., with a rotating cast of soloists, all performing classic strip tease to live music. 


10 Rooftops for a Sunset Kiss

How about a kiss in the clouds? These ten rooftop bars offer city views and a picturesque backdrop for a sun-setting smooch. 

The Pool Club New Orleans at Virgin Hotel New Orleans: 550 Baronne St., virginhotels.com. 

Alto at The Ace Hotel: 600 Carondelet St., acehotel.com. 

Capulet: 3014 Dauphine St., capuletbywater.com. 

Hot Tin at The Pontchartrain Hotel: 2031 St. Charles Ave., hottinbar.com. 

Midnight Revival at The Frenchmen Hotel: 417 Frenchmen St., midnightrevival.com.

Monkey Board at The Troubadour Hotel: 1111 Gravier St., monkeyboardnola.com. 

Rosie’s on the Roof at The Higgins Hotel1000 Magazine St., higginshotelnola.com. 

Rooftop Bar at The Roosevelt New Orleans: 130 Roosevelt Way, therooseveltneworleans.com. 

Selina Catahoula New Orleans: 914 Union St., catahoulahotel.com. 

Above the Grid at NOPSI Hotel: 317 Baronne St., abovethegridnola.com. 


The Hopeful Romantic

As your watch history would reveal, you spent much of the lockdown at home watching Rom-Coms. Set the scene for your heart to flutter without a Netflix login with these inspired date ideas. 

Dinner Beneath the Big Dipper

1 Palm Dr., neworleanscitypark.com.

Partake in a stroll amongst the beautiful art at the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden (noma.org) and then bliss out over a romantic dinner for two under the stars during Wednesdays in the Garden at New Orleans City Park. Beginning in October, The Helis Foundation will offer free admission to the Botanical Garden on Wednesdays from 5-8 p.m. Reserve your spot, bring chairs or blankets and settle in for magic hour while Chef Pat White prepares delectable creations with fresh local ingredients, many pulled directly from the garden.  

Private Movie Screening

333 Canal St., prytaniacanalplace.com. 

Movie buffs will appreciate having the theatre all to themselves for a private VIP screening and the option to watch a currently playing flick or bring your own DVD/BluRay. Share in-house popcorn and drinks, but no outside food or bevs allowed. 

Seas the Day

neworleansyacht.com. 

Discover love on the lake with two magical hours of a private sunset sail on a 47 ft Beneteau Oceanis sailing yacht. See the New Orleans downtown skyline from Lake Pontchartrain while listening to moment-making music and enjoying complimentary craft local beer, white wine, non-alcoholic bevs and snacks like Zapp’s. BYOB optional – no red wine or punch on deck. 

Gondola Tour of City Park

nolagondola.com.

Experience a magical trip aboard an authentic, hand-crafted Venetian gondola with the assistance of a gondolier guiding you through a tour of the park’s rustic lagoons. Located on Big Lake Trail in New Orleans City Park, along with the soft splash of oars on the water, you’ll be soundtracked by Italian music.  

Make Corks Fly

600 Poland Ave., bacchanalwine.com. 

A quintessential Crescent City experience, many a glass has clinked from this dreamy merlot-minded milieu. Bond over a bottle of vino selected from the cellar or the well-appointed upstairs bar, then make your way out to a first-come-first-seat courtyard table to enjoy live music paired with a cheese plate or savory eats from the in-house menu. Love what you hear? Harken back to the moment of your date with music they play on site via their Bacchanal Spotify playlists. 

Date Night

Illuminated Swan Boat Ride

wheelrunrentals.com

Find out if birds of a feather flock together during this one-hour pedal boat rental experience on swan boats brightened by LED lights that add a little after-dark sparkle in New Orleans City Park. No reservations required, last rental swan goes out at 10 p.m.


Group Date

Flight Delight: Is getting your friend group to decide on a date night outing a tall order? For the crew with a proclivity for pickiness, an interactive flight night will tickle everyone’s tipple.

Grape Escape

722 Girod St., pluckwines.com. 

Pop by Pluck, a modern wine bar with weekly pre-ticketed “flight school” tastings on Thursdays that explore everything from zingy orange cuvée wines to crush-worthy cab francs. Can’t make the flight? The in-house team will happily wing it and curate one to your liking from the of-the-moment menu. 

Tiny Tequilas

800 S. Peters St., rockntaconola.com. 

One tequila, two tequila – how about five? Colorful French Quarter spot Rock ‘N’ Taco features a flight of five mini 5.5 oz frozen margaritas for $38. Make your way from a traditional house lime version, then keep the salted rims rolling with offbeat flavors made from in-house fruit purées, set off with Tajín seasoning. 

For Sake’s Sake

634 Orange St., wetlandssake.com

Wetlands Sake, a Lower Garden District taproom, features eight rotating taps of small-batch, limited edition sakes brewed with Louisiana rice for you to sample. From traditional to sparkling, select any four on the menu for $25. 

High and Rye

1906 Magazine St., ttrneworleans.com.

Sniff as you make small talk over the bountiful world of bourbon at The Tasting Room New Orleans with seven flight options of small batch and private select at varying price points. 

Brew Krewe

405 Sixth St., mielbrewery.com.

Make it a moment at Miel Brewery & Taproom, a neighborhood microbrewery that boasts a revolving menu of small batch brews, plus a fun atmosphere to boot. Select any four six oz. beers on the extensive menu to taste for $15 plus tax.


Date Night

Flute Practice

1036 N. Rampart St., Nolabubbles.com

Get flirty and fizzy over four regularly rotating half or full glass flights built around a theme at Effervescence. Choose from a celebratory Grand Marque, artisanal and grower champagne house selects ranging from $29-$150. 


All Hail the Food Hall

If your friend krewe is equally as finicky when selecting a dining spot, The Hall on Mag will fit the bill to suit multiple munchies. Opening fall of 2022, this upscale food hall concept will host a line-up of tenants showcasing cuisine from across the world. In addition to the six culinary offerings, belly up to “The Library” which includes its own cocktail bar, as well as an oversized central cocktail bar and pop-up champagne bar. 801 Magazine St., explorethehall.com. 


The Hopeful Romantic

As your watch history would reveal, you spent much of the lockdown at home watching Rom-Coms. Set the scene for your heart to flutter without a Netflix login with these inspired date ideas. 

Date Night

Private Eyes

921 Canal St., ritzcarlton.com/neworleans.

In case you want a little more privacy on your staycation situation, M Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton has three plush booths – Stella, Desire and Blanche – that are cheekily dubbed “the cheater’s booths” due to their curtain-drawing confidentiality. Reservations are highly recommended. 


Date Night
Sip: Bar Marilou
Date Night
Supper: The Chloe  /  Brittany Conerly photo
Date Night
Slumber: Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans  /  Christian Horan photo / four seasons

Sip: Chapel Club
Supper: San Lorenzo & Paradise Lounge
Slumber: Hotel Saint Vincent,1507 Magazine St., saintvincentnola.com

Sip: Chandelier Bar
Supper: Miss River
Slumber: Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, 2 Canal St., fourseasons.com/neworleans 

Sip: Bayou Bar
Supper: Jack Rose
Slumber: Pontchartrain Hotel, 2031 St Charles Ave., thepontchartrainhotel.com 

Sip: The Press Room
Supper: Couvant
Slumber: The Eliza Jane, 315 Magazine St., theelizajane.com 

Sip: Bar Marilou
Supper: Josephine Estelle or Seaworthy – propriety reservations are made available at  sister property, Ace Hotel
Slumber: Maison de la Luz, 546 Carondelet St., maisondelaluz.com. 

Sip: Davenport Lounge
Supper: M Bistro
Slumber: The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans 921 Canal St., ritzcarlton.com/neworleans.

Sip: Carousel Bar & Lounge
Supper: Criollo NOLA
Slumber: The Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., hotelmonteleone.com. 

Sip: Pool Bar
Supper: The Chloe
Slumber: The Chloe, 4125 St. Charles Ave., thecholenola.co


Parent’s Night Out

The babysitter has been scheduled and you’re ready for a night out to dinner without looking at the kid’s menu. Make it a meal to remember at these new dining locales. 

Date NightSan Lorenzo & Paradise Lounge

1507 Magazine St., saintvincentnola.com. 

Whether you’re in a white tablecloth kind of mood and want to gush over the stunning interior design or prefer to sit outside with a view of the lush courtyard, the all-day restaurant will hit both notes perfectly. Named for the patron saint of cooks, expect an ode to coastal Italian cooking with regional New Orleans influences. 


Date Night

Saint John

117 Decatur St., Saintjohnnola.com.

The newest venture from NOLA native executive chef and owner, Eric Cook, step inside the white and gray marble accented space, or snag a seat on the balcony patio, to enjoy his take on “haute creole cuisine”, which showcases the evolution of true Creole cuisine that is elevated in execution for the modern diner.


Mister Mao

4501 Tchoupitoulas St., mistermaonola.com.

Spice things up and step into the Uptown “tropical roadhouse” to enjoy shared plates from Chef Sophina Uong’s “inauthentic” global menu. With whimsical menu categories like “Foods We Love to Share”, couples can enjoy a delightfully quirky dining experience, along with playful cocktails that complement the menu.  

Bisutoro on Magazine

1581 Magazine St. 

In an intimate scene set by candlelight, chopstick your way through a menu of delectable sushi and unique specialty fish dishes at this Lower Garden District sushi bistro. Get flirtatious over bites of bluefin and toast libations from the Japanese-inspired cocktail menu.

Margot’s

1243 Frenchmen St., margotsnola.com.

Quaint and spunky, snag an intimate table or a conversational seat at the bar and start with an Italian cocktail. Chat varietals of natural wine with the knowledgeable in-house crew, then split a pair of gourmet wood-fired sourdough pizzas to please both palates. 


Do’s and Don’ts for Conversations on Kid-Free Date Nights

The kids are happy at home with the babysitter, and you are out on the town with your significant other. How to get the most out of your one-on-one time? We sat down with Matt Morris, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT-S, relationship expert and professor of family therapy at the University of Holy Cross, for his dos and don’ts words of wisdom on the topic. drmattmorris.com, building-us.com

Do be prepared. Make a plan, dress up, and remind yourself that the goal is to connect.  That’s it. Everything else is lagniappe.

Don’t expect perfection.  A good time with good conversation is good enough.  Now put away your phones and dial into each other. You deserve it.

Do laugh together. It reduces stress and builds connection. Prepare some new material. Share funny stories. And by all means laugh about the challenges of parenting, and feel free to poke fun at the kids (wink).

Don’t spend your date planning carpool, balancing the budget, or debating upcoming decisions. It’s a kid-free date, not a business meeting. It’s OK to take a break from the tough parts of life and enjoy an evening of lighter and brighter.

Do reminisce together. Remind each other of a great night, or a great vacation, or “that time when we…” Remember and talk about the good times you’ve had together.  Then look at each other, smile, compliment one another, and enjoy this moment together.

Don’t bring up controversial or painful memories. Be mindful of each other’s sensitivities and buttons. Avoid the topics that lead to disconnection.

Do discuss aspirations. Ask questions like – What excites you these days? What big things are you planning to do next? What’s inspiring you? If you could plan a big trip for us anywhere together, where would you take us? If you had $1,000,000 to use to relieve suffering in the world, how would you spend it?”  You fell in love with each other, in part because of your big ideas. Share those again.


Gimme Some Sugar

When date night is winding down, set the tone for sweet dreams with a little something saccharin to cap off the connection. 

Sucré

3025 Magazine St., 217 Royal St., shopsucre.com

You’ll eat first with your eyes through the delicious looking glass of both Uptown and in French Quarter locations. Whisper sweet somethings over sundaes with café au laits or make eyes at one another over macarons and matcha. 

Briquette

701 S. Peters St., briquette-nola.com 

Need a conversation starter? Wax poetic about which three things you’d take to a deserted island while indulging in a “floating island”. Officially called Ile Flottante, this traditional French dessert consists of fresh meringue on a bed of crème anglaise. 

Bakery Bar

1179 Annunciation St., bakerybar.com

Because sometimes you want to have your cake and drink it, too. Select a delectable seven-layered slice and make it twice as nice with a toast. Sip tip: on Wednesdays all wine is $7 a glass and $28 a bottle. 

Drip Affogato Bar NOLA

703 Carondelet St., dripaffogato.com 

Spooning leads to swooning. Indulge in small batch house made gelato ice cream drowned in hot espresso which gives affogato its signature style. Select a flight of desserts then kick things up a notch with a shot of booze. 

Date Night

Brennan’s

417 Royal St., brennansneworleans.com 

The signature pink façade of the Royal Street restaurant beckons for a romantic rendezvous. Rekindle a relationship over the Bananas Foster, flambéed tableside, or delight in the decadent, classic cocktail-inspired Grasshopper dessert. 

Cafe Du Monde – City Park

56 Dreyfus Drive, cafedumonde.com

Flirt over fried dough and embrace the classic ambience while making it a powdered sugar photo-opp over traditional beignets and petite mugs of cafe au lait.  

Galatoire’s

209 Bourbon St., galatoires.com 

Did you have your first meet-cute at this locale’s classically buzzy Friday lunch? Return to get cozy over shared bites of caramel cup custard and reminisce with the mocha panna cotta. 

Meril

424 Girod St., emerilsrestaurants.com/meril

If date night falls on your birthday, watch sparks fly (literally) with the glow of a pretty pink cotton candy and sparkler celebration dessert that’s sure to turn heads as it’s escorted to the table. 

Angelo Brocato

214 N. Carrollton Ave., angelobrocatoicecream.com 

Canoodle over a late-night cannoli and a coffee, or get passionate over a pint of Italian Ice selected from the dipping case of this charmingly old school Mid-City spot. 

Ralph’s on the Park

900 City Park Ave., ralphsonthepark.com 

Nestled elegantly amongst the live oaks of Mid-City and City Park, the farm-to-table destination sets a romantic scene for an end-of-evening mocktail and milk chocolate mousse moment. 

Arnaud’s

813 Bienville St., arnaudsrestaurant.com 

After clinking forks in one of the classically restored turn-of-the-century dining rooms, stick around to indulge in a bite-sized baked Alaska and famous Café Brûlot flamed with brandy. 

Date Night

Parish Parlor

1912 Magazine St., parishparlor.com 

Make a cone connection over from-scratch ice cream served in this Lower Garden District parlor. Specializing in classic French-style ice cream, anticipate heart healthy seasonal sorbets as well as vegan and alternative milk-based options. 


Date Night

Jack Rose

2031 St. Charles Ave., jackroserestaurant.com.

Ideal for a date that doubles as a celebration occasion, head to the Pontchartrain Hotel to sip from a Chambong (champagne bong) and take in the colorful scene until the Mile High Pie – a three-tiered creation made with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry ice cream, coated with merengue, and topped with chocolate drizzle – is served in style.