James Beard Best Chef South Nina Compton, Chef/Owner of award-winning restaurant Compère Lapin, is joining forces with her sister Fiona Compton, a celebrated Caribbean historian and founder of Know Your Caribbean, for a one-day-only four-course luncheon discussing the history of the Caribbean during Essence Fest.
Combining the art of storytelling and St.Lucian/New Orleans cuisine, the intimate 50-seat lunch will guide guests through a carefully curated journey into the rich and fascinating history of the Caribbean. Guests will enjoy a gastronomic adventure while immersing themselves in the stories and traditions that have shaped the Caribbean's vibrant culture. Priced at $75 per person (plus tax and gratuity), menu follows:
Accra/ tostones for the table
Cou Cou/ Creole Tomatoes
Curried chicken/ plantain dumplings/ Spicy Peanuts
Rum cake / roasted pineapple/ coconut sorbet
RESERVATIONS: Limited seating. Reservations can be made on Resy.
WHEN/WHERE: Caribbean Supper Club Luncheon takes place on Saturday, July 1st, at 12PM. Compere Lapin is located in the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery Hotel at 535 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.
Some exciting July (and ongoing) events at Saint John:
SUNDAY DRAG BRUNCH @ SAINT JOHN: After a successful NOLA Pride Drag brunch earlier this month, Saint John is excited to kick off weekly Sunday drag brunch starting on Sunday, July 9! Every Sunday, Saint John will host the best drag show in town from 11:30 am-2:30 pm with bottomless bubbles, the best brunch menu in the French Quarter and endless entertainment featuring Debbie with a D, Laveau Contraire and additional special guests each week. Reservations are open NOW so book your spot before the waitlist begins (guests can book anytime between 11:30 am – 2:30 pm).
NOTE: Saint John brunch runs daily from 11 am – 4 pm (closed Tuesdays). On Sundays, Saint John will hold regular Sunday brunch on its second floor and balcony for those not interested in participating in drag brunch.
SAINT JOHN x GRIS-GRIS SUMMER CHEF SERIES: Sister restaurants Gris-Gris and Saint John are partnering up to host the 2023 Summer Chef Series – a month-long celebration of weekly four-course curated dinners (every Thursday in July, 6-9 pm) hosted by the chefs at Gris-Gris and Saint John (plus, a special sneak peek dinner from Darren Chabert, Chef de Cuisine of Julia Brown, Eric Cook’s third restaurant opening later this year in the new ARRIVE HOTEL in the Bywater). The dinners will take place at The Loft at Saint John, the restaurant’s third floor private events space. Tickets ($120++) to these exclusive dinners are available now on Resy.
July 6, 6-9 pm: The Lost Supper: A Mystery Dinner (Executive Chef Eric Cook + Saint John’s Chef de Cuisine Daren Porretto).
July 13, 6-9 pm: Bubbles and Blooms (Executive Chef Eric Cook + Gris-Gris to Go Go’s Chairman of the Boards, Hayley Vanvleet).
July 20, 6-9 pm: Tropic Like It's Hot (Executive Chef Eric Cook + Gris-Gris' Chef de Cuisine Bradley Marshall).
July 27, 6-9 pm: Julia Brown – a Sneak Peek. (Executive Chef Eric Cook + Julia Brown’s Chef de Cuisine Darren Chabert).
Beginning Wednesday, June 28th, Osteria Lupo will offer a four-course family style tasting for $60 per person (excluding tax and gratuity; full table participation required). According to Chef Burns, “The dishes and quantities on the tasting menu will change based on what’s fresh, in season and the number of guests, but it will always highlight our favorite antipasti, pastas and desserts.” Sample tasting menu for four people (includes all dishes):
Burrata con Panna
Pistachio, Aged Balsamic, Grilled Focaccia
Red Snapper, Tomato-Walnut Pesto, Fried Capers
Black Truffle Arancini
Fresh Umbrian Truffle, Val D'Aosta Fonduta
Louisiana Blue Crab, Basil, Parmesan
Guanciale, Egg, Pecorino, Parmesan
Spicy Rigatoni alla Vodka
Crispy Garlic, Calabrian Chili
Grilled Lamb Rack
Wood-Fired Zucchini, Pistachio, Mint
Fennel, Charred Cipollini, Olive, Chilies
Lemon, Garlic, Parmesan
Charred Radicchio and Broccoli
Anglaise, Hazelnut Brittle
Orange and Cardamom Creme Fraiche, Rose Water-Macerated Berries
(full table participation required)
Beginning Friday, July 7th, Osteria Lupo will launch weekend lunch and dinner seven nights a week. Refreshing and cold antipasti, perfect for summer, include Spring Green Salad with gorgonzola, fennel, walnut and shallot vinaigrette; Burrata con Panna with pistachio, aged balsamic and grilled focaccia and Pesce Crudo – red snapper, tomato-walnut pesto and fried capers. Hot antipasti include Black Truffle Arancini with fresh Umbrian truffle and Val d’Aosta fonduta and Royal Red Shrimp with Calabrian chili, lemon and fresh herbs. A selection of pizze, pasta and secondi round out the menu with standouts like the wood-fired pizza Diavola with spicy ‘nduja, jalapeño and Fontina; Campanelle with Mushrooms – a ruffled, bell-shaped pasta with a rich porcini, shiitake, and oyster mushroom ragu; and Yellowfin Tuna with fennel, charred cipollini, olive and chiles. A rotating selection of lunch specials will also be on offer and guests can wind down the weekend early sipping on a Negroni Bianco – Citadelle Gin, Suze d’Autrefois, Alpe Amaro, Rothman and apricot and grapefruit; a glass of wine from the 100 percent Italian wine list; or a classic cocktail.
Osteria Lupo is located at 4609 Magazine Street. Beginning July 7th, restaurant hours will be Monday – Thursday, 4PM – 9PM; Friday through Sunday, 11AM – 9PM. The family style tasting is available during all open hours. For additional information, please visit www.osterialupo.com. To reserve a table, please book on Resy.
Stay up to date on Instagram and Facebook: @osterialupo
GET YOUR ROCKS OFF: ASTEROID CITY
Every time a new Wes Anderson movie comes out, I take to Twitter and say, “I see Wes Anderson has made his film again.” It’s very funny every single time, and the post often gets up to three likes.
Anyway, Wes Anderson has made his film again, and if you like Wes Anderson films, boy are you in for a treat. If you don’t, then boy are you in for a bad time. But cool your jets - perhaps you’re like me, someone who kind of likes Wes Anderson films, but thought that his last one, The French Dispatch, had jumped the whimsical shark and had taken Mr Anderson’s film making to its logical, pastel-drenched conclusion.
You might, if this is you, like Asteroid City; Mr Anderson seems to be pulling back from the brink of his own stylization.
All the tropes are there: the comforting color palate, the endless list of A-list stars (notably Bill Murray-free this time), the love of analogue artifacts and affectation and steampunk-adjacent exploration, the snippy dialogue, etc. However, whereas in The French Dispatch it felt at times that the style was leading the substance, here the story takes to the foreground, and it’s all the more enjoyable for it. There’s an implied sense of artifice in most Wes Anderson films, but here the whole movie is presented as a staged production, making the artifice overt from the start.
Brian Cranston plays ‘the announcer’ and leads us through the post-modern scenes of the writer (Ed Norton) not only creating the play that is 'Asteroid City', but also conversing with the cast (mainly Jason Schwarzman, Scarlet Johanson and Tom Hanks) as they prepare scenes. The world of ‘Asteroid City’ is self contained and coherent, but the leads walk backstage and peel back the layers, and we’re invited to look into the play’s innards.
The plot of the play - delivered in typical Andersonian fashion - is that a group of young science geniuses have gathered in a small desert town to receive awards for innovation. While there, the assembled crowds witness an extraterrestrial event and are subsequently held captive by the military. In a charming, whimsical way, of course. Jason Schwarzman’s character also has to tell his kids that their mother (also the daughter of Tom Hanks’s character) has died.
Annnnnd…that’s about it, with some very funny supporting roles from Steve Carell, Hope Davis and Tilda Swinton. The future-retro aesthetics of a post-war jet age are employed with humor and much less worthiness than The French Dispatch, and it’s a return to the more innocent, playful vibes of Moonrise Kingdom.
Make no mistake, I was prepared to be annoyed by this film, but the deceit is just charming enough for it to work, and its compact running time and budget make for welcome creative restraints. I feel like Wes Anderson decided to dial things back, and Asteroid City is all the better for it.
In the meantime, I see I’ve made the tweet about Wes Anderson making his film again again. Only this time, I’m not mad about it. (PO)
Wonderland & Sea, a restaurant that aims to be sustainable, use local products, and provide employees with a living wage, opened this May at 4842 Tchoupitoulas Street. Serving ‘elevated fast-casual’ food, the restaurant celebrates with a Grand Opening Party this weekend. From 5pm-9pm, guests can enjoy an extended Happy Hour, raffles, giveaways and live music. We'll be running a full review soon, but in the meantime, you can check out their website: www.eatatwonderland.com
Lots of events and specials coming up at The Chloe Hotel...
Summer 2023 happenings:
In celebration of Caribbean Heritage Month, Compère Lapin will team up with Ten To One Rum for a one-night-only pairing dinner showcasing the culinary and cocktail talent that comes out of the Caribbean diaspora. Guests can enjoy a four-course dinner prepared by Chef/Owner Nina Compton, who hails from St. Lucia, along with creative cocktail and spirit pairings from Ten To One, a Trinidad-founded company known for its award-winning elevated rum blends, as well as its commitment to champion a more authentic view of Caribbean heritage and culture priced at $90 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Nina will be cooking alongside New Orleans' own, Chef Queen Trini Lisa, who hails from Trinidad, creating a nice synergy with Ten To One's founder, Marc Farrell, also from Trinidad. The menu will include Pholourie 'Doubles' with tamarind chutney, Corn soup and spinner dumplings, Dahl with buss up shut, Pelau, and ending with roasted peach rum cake and guava sorbet.
RESERVATIONS: Can be made on Resy.
The Caribbean rum dinner takes place on Tuesday, June 27th, at 5:30 pm (reservations are available from 5.30pm to 9pm, and guests can book any time slots that they prefer).
The New Orleans Psychic Fair takes place on June 24-25. Friend of OAD Denise Hancock will have a table for walk-in astrology consultations. She's also delivering free lectures on Saturday and Sunday.
NOPF website: https://nopf.weebly.com/
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/690612195871828
Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 10am-4pm
Location: New Orleans Marriott Metairie at Lakeway , 3838 N Causeway Blvd, Metairie, LA 70002
Astrology with Denise lectures:
Saturday, June 24, 2pm – The Astrology of 2023 and Beyond
Sunday, June 25, 11am – Your Guiding Lights: Understanding the Sun and Moon
Denise's website: www.astrologywithdenise.com
Joycelyn Owens goes by the professional name 'Joy' - not just a simplification, but a pure distillation of the effect her voice has on an audience. She's backed up funk legend Dr. John and toured as the featured backup vocalist with Walter 'Wolfman' Washington. Stages she's graced include the New Orleans House of Blues and the Maple Leaf Bar. In 2016, she released her debut EP, 'Just Like That', and having tested the waters, is in the process of launching her solo career in earnest. She's a proud native of New Orleans.
Her new single, 'Don't Wanna Lose Your Love', is a sultry slice of New Orleans soul. You can listen to it here:
Tell us about your new record, what's it all about?
My new single is titled 'Don't Wanna Lose Your Love' and as the name implies, it's about not wanting to lose someone you love. Don't Wanna Lose Your Love goes into a very open, very vulnerable place of letting someone know what they mean to you and how much you care about them.
So you're New Orleans born and bred?
I'm a born, bred and cornbread fed, New Orleanian! I love my city so much, the culture, the atmosphere, and especially the music. I'm a very creative person and I really thrive in a lively atmosphere, that's what keeps me connected to NOLA. It's in the air, it's in the water, in the streets. I'm quite well traveled, and the whole vibe is so unlike anywhere I've ever been.
Tell us a little bit about your experience of the music scene here. Which local musicians or artists have been your inspirations or mentors?
I've had a lot of amazing experiences in the music scene in NOLA. One of my most cherished experiences is when I performed at the B.B. King tribute at Jazz Fest. As for inspiration, Irma Thomas inspired me as she has five children just like I do and she has been able to soar and really thrive in music. I've also had the good fortune of being taken under the wings of Dr. John and Walter 'Wolfman' Washington. They were the best mentors I could have asked for and I miss them dearly.
Which local venues do you most like to perform at? And where do you like to go and see live music?
I love performing at Tipitina's, The House of Blues Gospel Brunch, and I really enjoyed my musical residency at B.B. Kings Blues club. I like going to the Orpheum and the Joy theater to see live music as well as the New Orleans Jazz Museum.
Where do you like to hang out/see friends/eat/drink in NOLA?
I like eating at Commander's Palace, Galatoire's and Brennan's. I also like walking with friends in Audubon park.
Where can we see you next or find out more about you?
You can find me on all social media platforms @Iamjoyorleans, and see all my upcoming tour dates, events and releases on my website Joyorleans.com
Chekov's Fun: Vanya & Sonia & Masha and Spike
Review by Ameila Parenteau
Rounding out its first season, new-to-the-scene Crescent City Stage presents Vanya & Sonia & Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, a belly-laugh comedy that centers on the narcissistic despair of its three titular siblings: Vanya (Doug Spearman), Sonia (Jana Mestecky), and Masha (Lorene Chesley). Yes, they’re named after Chekhov characters, and the script is littered with easter eggs for theater buffs, but even those with no knowledge of Chekhov’s oeuvre will find this 2.5-hour escapade wildly entertaining.
Michael A. Newcomer’s scenic design furnishes a sumptuous bohemian-meets-mid-century-modern living room in the siblings’ family home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where the entirety of the action takes place. Vanya and Sonia live listlessly in this house they inherited after their parents died, while Masha foots the bill for their languorous lifestyle as a world-famous movie star.
The play begins with 'Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf'-level bickering between Vanya and Sonia, revealing Sonia pines for Vanya, and she was adopted. The pair have spent the past 15 years taking care of their aging parents and find themselves purposeless without them. The tone veers from heightened poetic realism as Vanya and Sonia retread the tedium of their matinal rituals, to theatrically absurd with the entrance of their housekeeper Cassandra (Donyae Asante) and her daily prophecy of doom.
The comedy ramps up as Masha breezes in with her significantly younger boytoy, Spike (Cody Evans), who can’t keep his shirt on for the life of him. Speaking of shirts, Tiffani Sheriff’s costume design adeptly emphasizes each character’s idiosyncrasy, from glamorous Masha to fastidious Vanya. Act one builds to a costume party at the neighbor’s house, with the threat of Chekhovian tragedy descending on the farcical fun, as Masha is threatening to sell the family home, thereby evicting Vanya and Sonia (as Cassandra had warned).
Act two showcases the cast’s comedic and dramatic chops, including Sonia and Masha’s pity party dressed as princesses on the couch, competing for Vanya’s sympathy, and fawning neighbor Nina (Yvette Bourgeois) trawling her depths to embody a molecule in the performance of Vanya’s climate apocalypse play-within-a-play. Liam Gardner’s lighting design provides the perfect backdrop to brilliant, wild Cassandra’s prophetic outbursts, and Amara Skinner’s sound design supplies a fun soundtrack to accompany the characters’ mood swings.
An unusual climax comes in the form of a Boomer humor nostalgia tour monologue from Vanya, berating Spike for his lack of appreciation for how things were: “The past was idiotic, but I miss parts of it. […] Though it was extremely boring, it was something we shared.” Durang can’t help but deliver a happy ending, and Vanya & Sonia & Masha give Spike the boot and accept a new appreciation of their uncertain middle age. Neither idiotic nor boring, this Chekhov in the twenty-first century spin-off is an American response to Russian existentialism, full of hubris and humor.
Vanya & Sonia & Masha and Spike runs through June 30. Tickets and more information available here.
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