> French Dispatch
Couvant, the chic French brasserie located in the Eliza Jane hotel re-opens this Thursday, March 17, to much fanfare and celebration. The restaurant will offer breakfast and dinner, with lunch and brunch to follow later this year. I, for one, can’t wait to sample Executive Chef Ryan Pearson’s take on French cuisine “with Southern soul.” Pass the crispy chickpea fries!
> Go Green
March 17 is also, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve got my eye on a casual, Irish-inspired at home menu featuring this recipe for beer cheese dip. Pretzel bread and cheese? Yes, please. Pair with an authentic Irish stout or lager, and some sliced corned beef and sauteed cabbage (your booty from last weekend’s parades will come in handy) for a festive feast. The pros at 504 Craft Beer Reserve can help you pick the best brews for your tastes. Slainte!
> Fish Fry-day
Friday is for fish fry. Churches, schools and restaurants around town will have some of the best fish fry plates and specials for anyone looking to get some great food for great causes. For one great option, the United Way of Southeast Louisiana has teamed up with some of the area’s top restaurants for “Fish Fry Fridays” to cook up seasonal fish plates, with $1 from each meal donated to Hospitality Cares, a program that provides essential resources to hospitality workers. Find a list of places and menu options here. It’s a Lenten win-win.
> Italian Influence
We plan on rounding out our feast week with the annual St. Joseph’s Day celebrations across the city on March 19. Dig into the history of this ancient celebration (Atlas Obscura has a deep dive here) and make plans to visit one of the elaborate altar presentations filled with baked goods, fruit, flowers, wine and lucky fava beans. The Archdiocese of New Orleans has an updated list here of altars across the area.
> Jazz Fest Celebration
Festival season is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for a taste of the fests, check out the rocking new trailer for the upcoming documentary, “Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story.” If this doesn’t get you in the mood to groove, I’m not sure what will. The film is a celebration of 50 years of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and features music and interviews with Jazz Fest icons, from Jimmy Buffett to Bruce Springsteen, Al Green and Herbie Hancock, Aaron Neville, Earth, Wind & Fire, and more. The film officially opens in theaters May 13, so be sure to mark your calendars.