The holiday season is one of togetherness, and there are plenty of ways to spend your time with loved ones during these festive months. Whether you’re gathering for a Thanksgiving meal, a weekend brunch, or a special dinner before a theater performance, area dining options offer something for everyone, from exquisite French and Italian cuisine to Cajun and Creole favorites. A variety of Christmas-themed events are on tap, too, with restaurants and hotels offering opportunities to meet Santa, take photos, and enjoy special holiday menus. After fueling your body, feed your soul, too, with entertainment options like concerts, plays, operas, dance, and more. Find out what’s happening this season, and gather your friends and family to join in on the festive fun. 


 

Holiday Feasting

Justine

Justine is a brasserie in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. Opened by husband-and-wife team Justin and Mia Devillier, Justine combines the sophistication of Parisian brasseries with the playfulness of the South’s liveliest district. With dishes like Onion Soup Gratinée, Steak Frites, and Chicken Confit, the menu honors the technique and simplicity of French classics while evoking the senses with exciting, grand presentation. Prior to the pandemic, nightly entertainment added flare to Justine’s Parisian ambiance with a variety of entertainers from burlesque dancers to DJs—Justine plans to revive entertainment once mandates are lifted. 

True to French brasserie culture, the multi-roomed restaurant offers a versatile space to be enjoyed by all, whether it’s for a Friday lunch, weekend brunch, afternoon glass of wine or celebratory dinner. The café side opens to Chartres Street, emulating the quintessential Parisian-street experience. The kitchen room is anchored by two large communal tables overlooking the kitchen led by James Beard Award Winning-Chef Justin Devillier. In the smoked-mirror-embellished bar room, the bar program embraces French spirits, wine, and the drinking culture that surrounds them.

For reservations and information about private dining, visit justinenola.com.

Red Gravy

December is always a special time for Red Gravy, a traditional Italian, handmade pasta house on Magazine Street, and this year the restaurant offers multiple festive events. 

On December 18, Red Gravy welcomes guests for its 6th Annual Feast of the Seven Fishes, a tradition from Southern Italy. This holiday culinary extravaganza features multiple courses from Owner and Chef Roseann Melisi Rostoker, including pasta, vegetables, sauces, and seven different types of seafood. Each year the menu is different, but with the passing of Roe’s Dad this summer, you can be sure his stuffed peppers will be on the menu. For tickets/reservations, keep an eye on redgravycafe.com and on Red Gravy’s social media, or call the restaurant at 504-561-8844.

In addition to the Feast of the Seven Fishes, Red Gravy welcomes guests to brunch with Santa each Sunday in December. Tell him for yourself if you’ve been naughty or nice, share some Christmas cookies or gingerbread, and get some family pictures as well.

Briquette
Briquette

Briquette

Welcome the fall and holiday season with delicious food and wine shared together at Briquette, the celebrated seafood destination from restaurateur Anna Tusa, Owner of New Orleans Creole Cookery. With Briquette, Tusa puts seafood and contemporary coastal cuisine at the center of the dining experience. Briquette is also known locally for its enthusiasm for high quality, often hard-to-find wines and spirits and recently won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its discerning, expansive wine list.

This month, reserve your spot for Thanksgiving Day at Briquette. Offering both traditional Thanksgiving meals and Briquette’s regular menu, the restaurant is the perfect place to gather in gratitude with friends and family before the Saints game. Book your table today by calling the restaurant at 504-302-7496.

With onsite valet parking, space for hundreds of guests, Briquette is well suited to host your holiday event, whether a corporate dinner, reception, rehearsal dinner, or a cocktail party. Every menu is hand-crafted to suit your needs. Briquette is currently open for dinner Thursday-Sunday, 3 p.m. until close. Briquette is located at 701 S. Peters Street in the Warehouse District. 

New Orleans Creole Cookery

Celebrate the arrival of fall and the holiday season this year with a return to New Orleans’ favorite traditions: weekend brunch, oyster happy hours, and family gatherings. Join friends and family to celebrate in the heart of the French Quarter at New Orleans Creole Cookery, where you can enjoy the beautiful breezes from its charming courtyard or settle into its traditional dining room. 

Gather your family for Thanksgiving at New Orleans Creole Cookery and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal or offerings from the regular menu before an exciting holiday Saints game. On weekends, enjoy bottomless mimosas and rosé along with highlights such as excellent Bloody Mary selections, shrimp and grits, crispy chicken and waffles, and signature Gator Hash.           

New Orleans Creole Cookery is everything you love about New Orleans in a setting to fit every occasion. Famous for its authentic Creole fare and the time-honored classics such as Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Crawfish Etouffee, and Snapper Pontchartrain, the restaurant is also perfect for a quick snack or a leisurely weekend feast.

Learn more at NewOrleansCreoleCookery.com. Call 504-524-9632 for reservations.

 

Accommodations & Events

The Troubadour

A stay at the contemporary, boutique hotel known as The Troubadour offers visitors and staycationers a personal retreat within the lively, convenient New Orleans Central Business District. Located just blocks from the Warehouse District and charming French Quarter, The Troubadour Hotel is the ideal locale to take it all in as you get away from it all. Whether your plans entail dinner at a world-renowned restaurant and a show at an historic theater or a night wandering the blues and jazz clubs of Bourbon and Frenchmen Streets, The Troubadour Hotel provides a luxurious respite for all kinds of discerning culture-seekers.

During the holiday season, Monkey Board, The Troubadour’s rooftop bar, will be aglow with festive lights and decor while the first floor lounge, The Troubadour Lounge & Listening Room, provides another relaxing space for cocktails and entertainment. Rooms are outfitted with authentic original artwork and modern amenities such as Keurig coffeemakers, Igloo fridges, 42” flat screen televisions with premium channels, and Bluetooth-ready alarm clocks.

Visit thetroubadour.com to view specials and book your exceptional downtown New Orleans stay.

Royal Sonesta New Orleans

Royal Sonesta New Orleans is celebrating the holidays with Santa’s Pajama Party at Restaurant R’evolution, a 2021 Royal Snownesta holiday event. Held on select weekends throughout December, Santa’s Pajama Party will create lasting holiday memories for the entire family.

Children are invited to wear their favorite holiday pajamas and can visit with Santa safely while decorating holiday cookies and sipping on hot chocolate or fresh apple cider. Meanwhile, parents can take in the festive atmosphere with bottomless mimosas or mocktails while enjoying decadent delights from Restaurant R’evolution’s chef-inspired menu.

After the event, simply take the elevator home to your elegantly appointed room when you reserve with Sonesta’s Papa Noel package. Rates start at $159 per night and include complimentary overnight parking, so you and your family can enjoy new holiday traditions in Sonesta style.

Purchase tickets for Santa’s Pajama Party online at bit.ly/SantasPJPartyNOmag and visit Sonesta.com to book your room today.

Lumina Apartments

Set in vibrant and stylish Mid-City and just steps away from the Lafitte Greenway, Lumina Apartments offers luxurious and spacious living spaces with sleek, modern amenities. Both one- and two-bedroom floor plans feature high ceilings and contemporary finishes, with designer touches including vinyl plank floors, spacious walk-in closets, pendant lighting and granite countertops.

Got a roommate? The Lumina offers the space you need—huge bedrooms with walk-in closets and double-hung shelves and a chef-inspired kitchen with a custom-designed table make Lumina your best choice for sharing costs without sacrificing space or style. Spread out even more by grabbing your laptop and heading to the posh clubroom, or work in the lounge with free Starbucks coffee. A resort-inspired pool and onsite 24-hour gym add to the luxury apartment allure.

With popular restaurants and shops just a short walk away, Lumina is nestled in the heart of a thriving and active community. For more information and to set up an in-person or virtual tour, visit LuminaMidCity.com or call 504-608-5778.

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort continues to redefine the VIP experience. In addition to over 800 slots and 36 table games, enjoy the Orchid Room where the property has redefined the high-limit gaming experience. The space features private gaming, personal televisions, top of the line slot machines and amenities that you cannot find anywhere else on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 

Scarlet and E.I.P. members of the Pearl Rewards loyalty program have access to the VIP Lounge, which offers three unique upscale experiences. Sip a deliciously curated cocktail at the gravity-defying, full-service bar and tantalize your taste buds with delectable light fare cuisine and scrumptious desserts in the dining area. E.I.P. guests can take a break from the action in the plush Parlor.

Gulf Coast players can book the ultimate staycation at the Scarlet Pearl’s 300-room modern hotel. With breathtaking design, superior service, and bathrooms that feel more like a spa, they have taken the definition of luxury into the clouds.

Book your next stay at ScarletPearlCasino.com or call 888-BOOK-SPC.

Ace Hotel New Orleans

Holiday spirit has arrived at the Ace Hotel New Orleans and its restaurants and lounges—Josephine Estelle, Seaworthy, and Alto—where fun and decadence combine for locals and visitors looking to celebrate the season in style. Outdoor seating is available at all outlets, and gift cards are available for purchase both in person and online.

At Southern- and Italian-inspired Josephine Estelle and seafood-centric Seaworthy, Reveillon Holiday Prix Fixe menus will be offered December 1- 24. Both restaurants will be open and accepting reservations on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. To reserve your holiday gathering, email enquire@josephineestelle.com and enquire@seaworthy.com. At Alto, Ace’s rooftop poolside hangout, new fire pits invite cozy moments by the fire, while holiday-inspired cocktails keep you in the spirit of the season.

Meanwhile, Ace Hotel’s private event space is available for private parties. Book your event by emailing sales.nola@acehotel.com. For more information on Ace Hotel or to book a room for a holiday vacation or staycation, visit acehotel.com/neworleans/.

New Orleans Opera

It’s a year of partnerships, collaboration, and community connections—New Orleans Opera (NOOA) will feature four productions this season, including Act One of Wagner’s Die Walküre with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, An Homage to Josephine Baker with the Marigny Opera House, a Gala Concert featuring the New Orleans Opera Chorus, and Puccini’s La bohème. 

NOOA will also surprise guests of area events with pop-up opera performances and will present new programs through its well-received Opera on Tap – In Our Yard series. Upcoming dates include The French Connection on October 24 on the lawn of the Opera Guild Home, a special tribute to former General and Artistic Director Maestro Robert Lyall on November 6, as well as A Holly-Jolly Opera on Tap at the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Lapis Center on December 12. 

For tickets or any additional information about these and other programs, please visit the New Orleans Opera website at neworleansopera.org

Laquita Mitchell Photo Credit Opera Colorado Kelly Maxwell1
Photo Opera Colorado Kelly Maxwell