The Best: Take in Some House Floats Then Show Palm & Pine Some Love This Weekend
Last Saturday night I was caught in a traffic jam on St. Charles Avenue. People were gawking from their car windows at the stunning house floats that crop up in greater numbers all over town each day and masked family groups walked the street with children pointing and gawking at the sites. I shivered with joy and started speaking in an excited whisper. Sometimes I feel so proud of my hometown and the spirit of our people I could just burst.
Thank you to the Krewe of House Floats as well as random home and business owners who have assumed the cost of bringing us this visual spectacle this year. I suggest to anyone feeling lonely, crummy, or down to either take a walk or take a drive and take in the sites. It is wonderful, joyous, and free. If you need an adult beverage for your adventure allow me to suggest a daiquiri in a Styrofoam cup from a drive-up window in Jefferson Parish.
Elegant and exceptional, Palm & Pine opened on Rampart Street at the edge of the French Quarter in in June 2019 only to be crushed months later by the hard Rock Hotel collapse that limited access to the restaurant. They survived only to be hit by the pandemic. Co-chefs/owners Amarys and Jordan Herndon have pivoted again and again to keep their business alive with creative and daring collaborations while building community in their neighborhood and within the hospitality industry. They had big plans for this Valentine’s Day/Mardi Gras mash-up weekend. Instead, they have had to pivot yet again as all the rules for alcohol sales were upended in the French Quarter tomorrow through Mardi Gras Day. After a year that has been a nightmare for our hospitality industry this weekend is the Mother of All Nightmares. Let those of us with the means show them a little love do so—not a difficult concept to embrace considering the amazing nature of everything they do.
Pre-orders go live today on the Palm & Pine website for their super cool new Valentine’s Day Viet-Style Crawfish Boil for pick up on Sunday from 3:30-6 p.m. takeout. This is the kind of romance even my very unromantic husband can get excited about. Twenty-six bucks will score you two pounds of crawfish cooked with plenty of sweet Vietnamese sausage and all the trimmings then tossed in lemongrass butter and P&P’s special house spices, Dong Phuong bread for sopping up all the goodness, and choice of two cold, non-alcoholic beverages (including Jarritos, Topo Chico, Squirt, and Big Shot Pineapple). An additional one pound of crawfish can be added to any order for $8. Champagne, batched cocktails, to-go cocktails, beer, and bottles of wine were supposed to be a part of the deal but that is a no go on this Weird Weekend. So, you can spike your soft drink. Just don’t plan to buy your hootch at a package store in the French Quarter because that’s not an option either.
Pre-orders are being accepted now on the Palm & Pine website for their signature Foie Gras King Cake, which takes the prize in my world for Most Opulent Cultural Mash Up Ever: foie gras and cream cheese filling, strawberry-rose jam and pistachios. I think this would be amazing with a nice bottle of Champagne, but it also has me remembering the cheeseburgers on king cake buns some dude was pushing (to great fanfare) a few years ago. The cakes will be available for pickup tomorrow, Saturday, and Monday.
On Monday Palm &Pine will host an in-restaurant Lundi Gras brunch with seatings at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Seating will be limited based on city restrictions for dining (which as probably subject to change in the next few minutes so beware). Reservations can be made via RESY and will require a $25 deposit, which will be deducted from the guest’s final bill. The theme for the brunch will be “Palm Fiction” and costuming is highly encouraged.
Have a safe weekend, a romantic Valentine’s Day, and a Happy Mardi Gras. Do something nice for someone and catch some good vibes.