LeBLANC + SMITH, the restaurant group behind popular spots such as Sylvain and Barrel Proof, recently opened The Will and The Way in the heart of the French Quarter as an act of social restoration. After an eerily quiet year in the French Quarter, the owners wanted a place where locals and travelers could enjoy the warmth and conviviality for which the Vieux Carré is known. Executive chef Josh Williams (who previously worked at Brennan’s, Restaurant August, Compère Lapin, The Chloe and others) has developed a menu that caters to impromptu dining. Southern-leaning small plates include charcuterie, salads and bar snacks that pair perfectly with cocktails developed by beverage director Tommy Linville. For something more substantial, try the burger with shoestring fries and aioli. 719 Toulouse St., thewillandtheway.com.
Hot in the City
Hot Tin, the rooftop bar at the Pontchartrain Hotel, has relaunched with a throwback cocktail program. Back on the menu are the famed Endless Summer (anejo and reposado tequilas, cucumber-lemon shrub and coconut, served in a coconut-flake rimmed rocks glass and garnished with a cucumber); the Skyliner (Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, grapefruit, lime, Campari and Hellfire bitters); the Sweater Weather (rye, apple brandy, herbsaint, cinnamon syrup and Angostura bitters); and the Wolf in Lamb’s Clothing (gin, lemon, basil, honey and Lambrusco). Also on the menu are specialty highballs, including the Fenneller on the Roof, the With Ease and the Japanese Highball Proper. Classic cocktails include the spicy Paloma, espresso martini, Old Fashioned and more. 2031 St. Charles Ave., 323-1500; hottinbar.com.
Just in time for the cooler weather, Chinola – an old-world artisanal-style liqueur – has been released in New Orleans, available at Total Wine & More. The passion fruit liqueur balances tart and sweet essences with tropical aromas from its native Dominican Republic. Handcrafted from distilled spirits and fresh passion fruit, Chinola is free of artificial additives and contains nearly six whole passion fruit per bottle, all of which are sustainably grown along the northern coast in the Samaná peninsula. Chinola can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with any other spirit, and it makes a thoughtful holiday gift. Try this Global Entry recipe and dream of an exotic escape. chinola.com.
0.75 oz. Chinola
0.75 oz. rye whisky
0.5 oz. Averna Amaro
0.5 oz. agave nectar
1 oz. lemon juice
1 orange slice for garnish
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake. Strain into a glass with fresh ice and garnish with an orange slice.
New Orleans cocktail guru Kimberly Patton-Bragg – who was previously behind the bar at Three Muses, Latitude 29, the Swizzle Stick Bar, Molly’s at the Market and, most recently, Justine – has joined the team at Palm&Pine. Named “Mixologist of the Year” by “New Orleans Magazine” and “Secret Order of the Sazerac” by Tales of the Cocktail, Patton-Bragg has a creative and deep passion for spirits. Try her Flight to Lima (made with Oro Pisco Totontel, lemongrass syrup, lime, egg whites and Thai spice bitters) for something truly unique or her Liquid Sol (made with Jarritos tamarind soda, hibiscus syrup and lime) for a tasty non-alcoholic option. Palm&Pine also is hosting its second annual Holiday Special: Three Course Lunch Extravaganza (a prix fixe menu for $40) on Dec. 17. Also, on Dec. 20, 22 and 23, the bar and restaurant will host its second annual Tamale Fest with two types of tamales available by the dozen or two dozen. And if you’re on your way to a Saints home game, stop by Palm&Pine for two breakfast tacos and a quart of Michelada to-go for $15. 308 N. Rampart St., 814-6200, palmandpinenola.com.