Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JAN-FEB 2018

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As a native of New Orleans, I enjoy returning to my old stomping grounds at least once a year with my wife, Jen, to catch up with family and friends. The home of Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint and the Neville Brothers (not to mention "my" Saints), the Big Easy owns a unique place in the pantheon of American cities. Its culture is long and deep, steeped in colonial history, voodoo and ancient traditions. e setting for myriad movies, the French Quarter is the epicenter of the party. While we usually visit NOLA strictly for pleasure, on our most recent trip we had some business to attend to, which included a luxurious stay at the Royal Sonesta, in the heart of the Quarter on Bourbon Street. We reveled in our club-level room, enjoying all the extra amenities we had hoped for: a designated concierge, complimentary breakfast, and an evening spread that comprised wine, Champagne and appetizers. e hotel and its staff were absolutely delightful, attending to all our needs in their distinctive Big Easy fashion. On our first night in town, we caught up with my cousin Arie and his girlfriend, Cameron, at Le Booze, the aptly named whiskey bar in the hotel's courtyard. Open to Bourbon Street and perfect for people watching, Le Booze is a classy addition to that crazy street. Earlier in the day we had joined in the funeral celebration (or second line, as it's known) for Fats Domino, who had recently passed away. He was a favorite son, so there was an especially festive mood in town. From Le Booze, we moved on to Pascal's Manale, the "original home of B-B-Q shrimp." A comfortable New Orleans classic, it's been in my friend Bob's family for four generations, and much of the dedicated staff seems to have been with them as long. It was a perfect spot to unwind with a dozen oysters, washed down with traditional Sazeracs. A shared bread pudding rounded off our meal (and the evening) perfectly. Written by Jeffrey Cohen LETTING THE GOOD TIMES ROLL IN NEW ORLEANS 88 slmag.net

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