On November 6, 2022, celebrity + restaurant teams will go head to head in a competitive cook-off to raise money for Children’s Advocacy Center - Hope House at the 10th annual Men Who Cook, sponsored by the Brooke It Forward Foundation! The event will take place from 4-7PM on the rooftop of the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center Parking Garage in Downtown Covington.
Each participating team, comprised of a local government or business leader paired with a top local restaurant, will prepare tastings of a favorite dish for attendees to sample. Teams will compete for the title of Judges’ Choice, People’s Choice and Most Money Raised for Hope House.
The Men Who Cook gala on Nov. 6 will also include a silent auction, live music by Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee Gregg Martinez, live painting by local artist Scott Withington, and complimentary wine and beer. Event tickets are $70 (single) or $125 (couple) online in advance, or $80 at the door. Event tickets, raffle tickets and tip tickets are available here.
Acclaimed Ethiopian Restaurant Addis NOLA will soon be opening its doors at a new location at 2514 Bayou Road, NOLA’s oldest road. Ahead of the opening Addis NOLA is hosting a sneak peek
'Afreaux' weekend celebration of black businesses, cuisine, and culture. The two-day bacchanalia, taking place Halloween weekend, will be a fun-packed extravaganza.
The weekend will start with the AFREAUX Block Party, featuring live music, unique food experiences, local vendor pop-ups and special guests. The block party is free and open to the public. Also on Day One, an exclusive VIP sneak peek Preview Dinner of the new location. Seats are limited; tickets must be purchased in advance. On Day Two, Halloween Eve, a not-to-be-missed spooktacular Halloween party!
Saturday, October 29, 2022
AFREAUX Block Fest, 2-5pm. Free and open to the public but RSVPs are requested and can be made here.
Exclusive VIP Preview Dinner, 5pm. Tickets are limited and priced $60 per person (excluding tax and service). Tickets must be purchased in advance here.
Sunday, October 30, 2002
Afrobeat Halloween Block Party; 7-11pm. Free and open to the public with a donation.
When it comes to culinary trends, vegetarian and vegan cuisine are on the rise. Health-conscious consumers and animal rights supporters from around the world are dedicated to following vegan guidelines, cooking vegan food, and dining in vegan restaurants more than ever. Top New Orleans restaurants are embracing the vegan lifestyle with a variety of specials and menu staples.
Jack Rose is known for spontaneous celebration and an eclectic mix of cuisine created by Chef/Owner Brian Landry. Sous Chef Takara Hein, a vegan herself, creates a variety of vegan dishes and specials weekly. Guests can enjoy veggie-centric offerings including Vegan Pozole – a rich, brothy soup made with hominy, mushrooms, chili broth, cabbage, radish with a fresh Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette. Additional specials rotate.
Where: Jack Rose is located at the Pontchartrain Hotel, 2031 St Charles Avenue, New Orleans
Celebrating the culture of East Africa through authentic Ethiopian communal dining, Addis NOLA has earned praise for its traditional stews, stir-fry, and fresh vegetables. Each week, the restaurant pays tribute to all-things veggie with Vegan Monday. On National Vegan Day, guests are invited to enjoy dishes such as Misir Wot. This is a spicy, deeply rich and vibrant red lentil stew. Also on the vegan menu is the Veggie Combo - red lentils, yellow split peas, collard greens, cabbage, beets, and green lentils, as well as a traditional coffee roasting ceremony.
Where: Addis Nola is currently located at 422 S. Broad Street, New Orleans
The Roosevelt New Orleans is hosting a drag brunch, “Drag Me to The Roosevelt – Halloween Edition,” on Sunday, October 23. Guests will enjoy a three-course meal and lively entertainment from New Orleans’ own Kitten N’ Lou (pictured). Voted Best Duo by The Burlesque in the World Hall of Fame, Kitten N’ Lou have dazzled audiences across the globe with their signature brand of highly choreographed comedic camp extravaganzas.
Guests are encouraged to come dressed in their Halloween best and participate in a costume
contest. The event will be hosted in the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom (Mezzanine Level), the event promptly beginning at 11:00 a.m. General seating tickets are $99 plus tax, gratuity and service charge and include a three-course brunch and bottomless mimosas. Limited VIP seating tickets are available for $119 plus tax, gratuity and service charge. You can buy tickets HERE.
Some select events for the Halloween season!
Tujague’s restaurant is the birthplace of brunch and the Grasshopper cocktail. In celebration of Halloween, Tujague’s is hosting several spooky happenings in October.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22: KREWE OF BOO PARADE WATCHING PARTY, 6pm-10pm
Enjoy an open call-brand bar along with specialty cocktails, beer & wine and an extravagant buffet. Guests will have access to the private balcony, use of indoor seating and access to private bathrooms throughout the evening. Tickets are $150 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Tickets are available HERE or by calling the restaurant at 504-525-8676.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28: WITCHES LUNCHEON, 11am-2.30pm
Executive Chef Gus Martin has created a three-course menu for the occasion. Priced at $45 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), options include Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, BBQ Shrimp, Gulf Fish Almandine, Grilled Petite Filet Mignon and more. Cocktails will include Bottomless Mimosas ($18) and other spooky specialty cocktails. Reservations can be made through OpenTable or by calling 504-525-8676.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23: DRAG BRUNCH- Poppy’s Pop-Up Drag Queen Bunch, 11.30am
Poppy and her fabulous entertainers will perform a show filled with singing and dancing while you enjoy a three-course brunch and bottomless mimosas for $70 per person plus tax and gratuity. The menu will feature Turtle Soup, a choice of Gulf Fish Almandine - haricot vert, toasted almonds, citrus beurre blanc or Duck Hash - poached eggs, sauce choron, and for dessert enjoy Creme Brulee. For reservations click HERE (once on OpenTable please select “Experiences” to reserve) or call 504-525-8676.
VIRGIN HOTELS NEW ORLEANS
The Warehouse District Hotel will have plenty of programming throughout Halloween weekend for guests and locals to enjoy. The festivities will kick off a week early with Krewe of Boo weekend and continue the following weekend through Halloween.
Krewe of Boo Weekend Happenings Include:
Friday, October 21: Sorellas’ Boutique Hat Bar & Vintage Halloween Pop-up (3pm-7pm)
Sorellas’ Boutique will be popping up at the hotel’s first floor Funny Library Coffee Shop to host a build-your-own hat bar and vintage Halloween costume shop. Guests will be able to create personalized, show-stopping hats with a variety of accessories from ribbon, feathers, trim, buttons, and more, as well as shop for one-of-a-kind costumes.
Saturday, October 22: Kendra Scott Pop-Up (11am-1pm)
In celebration of Tulane Homecoming Weekend, fashion brand Kendra Scott will be hosting a pop- up at the Funny Library Coffee Shop for guests to shop and enjoy.
Saturday, October 22: BOO Bash (2pm-6pm)
The hotel’s 13th floor pool and bar, The Pool Club, will host BOO Bash with palm and tarot card readings, caricaturists, costume contests, a live DJ entertainment and a cash bar. This event is free and open to the public.
Halloween Weekend Events Include:
Friday, October 28: Brunch & BOOs (9am-2pm)
Virgin Hotels New Orleans first floor restaurant, Commons Club, will host a Halloween Bottomless Brunch to kick off the holiday weekend. The brunch will feature free-flowing drinks and a DJ spinning everyone’s favorite Halloween tunes. Reservations are encouraged and can be made on OpenTable.
Saturday, October 29: BOOlesque Brunch with Trixie Minx (10:30am & 1pm)
Brunch festivities will continue on Saturday at Commons Club with Trixie Minx. The burlesque-style brunch will include a two-course menu priced at $45 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Reservations are encouraged and can be made on OpenTable.
Saturday, October 29: BOO Bash (3pm-7pm)
The second installment of BOO Bash at The Pool Club. From 3pm until 7pm, attendees will be able to enjoy palm and tarot card readings, caricaturists, costume contests, a live DJ entertainment and a cash bar. This event is free and open to the public.
Elijah Craig Bourbon is pleased to announce its third annual Old Fashioned Week, a ten-day celebration taking place from October 14-23 that invites discerning imbibers to raise a glass to a New Era of the classic cocktail, while also raising money for an invaluable cause. This year, Elijah Craig has pledged to donate $100,000 to the Southern Smoke Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to providing emergency support and relief to those in the hospitality industry. Additionally, Elijah Craig’s parent company, Heaven Hill Brands, has committed an added $15,000 to Southern Smoke that will directly assist Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
Elijah Craig first launched Old Fashioned Week in 2020 as a means to uplift the hospitality community during a time of need. Now in its third year, Elijah Craig is proud to continue hosting Old Fashioned Week, donating a lifetime total of $315,000 to nonprofits which directly impact individuals in the food and beverage community.
“Old Fashioned Week was created in 2020 with two goals: support the hospitality industry at a critical moment of need and create ways for our community to remain connected at a time when we simply couldn’t meet for a drink,” said Max Stefka, Group Product Director at Heaven Hill. “Old Fashioned Week has truly become a nationwide movement with over three-thousand participating bars from every pocket of the country and every facet of the industry. We are grateful to everyone who has supported it and every patron who has raised an Old Fashioned to a great cause.”
From October 14-23, participants are invited to join in the celebration and toast to Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week. As a commitment to partnering with the Southern Smoke Foundation, Elijah Craig pledges to:
- Donate $5 for each photo of an Elijah Craig Old Fashioned that’s uploaded to Instagram using the hashtag #oldfashionedweek and tagging @elijahcraig.
- Donate $1 for every online sweepstakes registration for the Elijah Craig Cocktail Courier Bar Kit, which features Elijah Craig Old Fashioned syrup and a premium stir set. The Old Fashioned Week Sweepstakes photo contest and online registration can be accessed via social media and www.old fashioned week.com.
Additionally, during Old Fashioned Week, more than 3,000 bars across the country will be offering a riff (or two or three…) of the Elijah Craig Old Fashioned, showing their support for the celebration. Guests are invited to use Old Fashioned Week’s “Find A Bar” tool [www.oldfashionedweek.com/find-bars] to locate participating bars in their neck of the woods and partake in the festivities. FIND NEW ORLEANS BARS HERE!
Mister Mao’s Chef/Owner Sophina Uong will once again open her doors for a charitable dinner. Uong and other local Chefs will team up for a Sunday Supper to benefit Fill the Needs, a NOLA-based non-profit organization dedicated to assessing, evaluating and implementing a coordinated network of resources following a disaster. Currently, Fill the Needs is working diligently to help victims of Hurricane Ian.
That evening, guests can help those who’ve been hit hard by Ian, while enjoying a five-course dinner featuring creative dishes prepared by talented chef from Piece of Meat, kin, Palm & Pine, and Plume Algiers. Priced at $85.00 per person (excluding alcoholic beverages, tax and gratuity), two seatings are available promptly at 5:45PM and 8:15PM. 25% of ticket sales will go directly to Fill the Needs.
Tickets to the Hurricane Ian Relief charitable dinner on Sunday, October 23, 2022 are limited (60 seats available per seating) and are available on RESY.
There’s certainly no lack of ambition behind writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour’s third feature. A young woman, Mona Lisa Lee (Jun Jong-seo) escapes a secure facility and has to survive in the neon-drenched fleshpots of the French Quarter. She has telekinetic powers but limited street smarts, having been imprisoned for many years. Caustic 'tart with a heart' Bonnie Belle (Kate Hudson) takes Mona Lisa under her wing and a local cop (Craig Robinson) is on her tail.
That’s pretty much the entire plot, save a friendship that Lee develops with Belle’s eleven year-old son, Charlie (Evan Whitten), both of them frustrated with their respective stations in life. One immediate question as Lee escapes in the opening scenes is why she didn’t use her powers to break free years earlier? There’s also the mystery of where her powers came from, and more generally, what her backstory is. We never really find out.
Mona Lisa Lee is drawn in the vein of an X-Men mutant, or Eleven from Stranger Things. She's a detached, quasi-alien being, though without any biographical insights, it’s hard to root for her beyond just wanting an underdog/outsider to win. We know even less about Robinson’s Officer Harold, save that he’s back on the job the day after getting shot in the leg. Is that a fair representation of NOPD’s work ethic? I’ll diplomatically defer judgment there. Also, he begins the movie as a uniformed beat cop, but spends the rest of his time on screen as a plain-clothes detective, so it’s unclear what his actual job is.
Parts of New Orleans are evocatively and atmospherically rendered, such as the drunken chaos of Bourbon Street and the sulphur-washed corners of Esplanade Avenue, lit by buzzing streetlamps, where Lee finds her main ally (a likable hoodlum called ‘Fuzz’. Played by Ed Skrein). Locals might feel a little disoriented as characters walk down one street only to emerge elsewhere, but that’s nit-picking.
The city is teased as a character, and so there’s scenes like the obligatory consultation with a voodoo priestess, Robinson getting mad that all she can offer is spells and potions, although I’m not really sure what he was expecting by going to her. You came to a voodoo practitioner for help and...she suggests voodoo. Kind of with the priestess on this one.
There are some script elements that feel like they were filler at the time of writing and then just never got replaced. The hospital is just called the ‘Home for Mentally Insane Adolescents’, the strip club is called ‘The Panty Drop’, both of which seem like top-of-the-head ideas that were just not rewritten.
It’s a very stylized and color-saturated movie, and there are some fun set pieces, but I feel like it should have leaned into the humor more. As much as I love Craig Robinson as a comedic talent, I’m not sure he has the gravitas for a grizzled cop, but then we find out so little about these characters that maybe it doesn't matter. IMHO, a bit more schlock and self-aware goofiness might have made for a fun ride.
It’s a cinematic curiosity that locals might like as they recognize the real-life locations (including a tense denouement at the old airport, RIP), and the leads are charismatic, if doggedly one-dimensional. A few more wry smiles and a little more color to the character’s lives might have elevated this Mona Lisa more towards a masterpiece, but if a low-stakes portrait against a familiar backdrop works for you, then you might still like this New Orleans caper. (PO)
Next week, the Shaya Barnett Foundation and the New Orleans Career Center (NOCC) will be joined by award-winning chefs Alon Shaya and Zach Engel for an intimate dinner benefiting the New Orleans Career Center’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality trainees. Funds raised will support the opening of an all-new culinary lab with state-of-the-art kitchen tools and appliances.
The party will take place on October 10 at Saba, with a lavish four-course menu curated by the chefs to showcase the far-reaching influences, from Israel to the American South, that first united them in the kitchen years ago. Now, as the two join forces again, Chef Zach will bring inspiration from Galit, his Michelin star restaurant in Chicago, with dishes like Chicago Foie Gras Blintzes and Zach’s Brisket hummus. The family-style dinner will showcase the best of what fall in Louisiana has to offer, with Grape Leaf Wrapped Lemonfish, Wood Fired Pita served alongside Blue Crab Hummus with fall squash, and Galit carrots with hazelnut duqqa. The meal has a sweet ending with cookies designed by NOCC trainees. Beverages will include signature cocktails and wine paired to enjoy while supporting local educational initiatives.
NOCC is especially near and dear to Chef Alon since at age 16 career and technical education forever changed his life and helped him find his career path. Those interested in bidding can peruse the offerings and find additional information on the auction page starting October 3.
Click here to buy tickets to this amazing dinner and support a great cause.
Two triumphant events rolled out last week in New Orleans. The first was a real-life breaking of a world record as Ribbons Rock the Runway saw some 430 models take to the stage in a single fashion show. The cancer fundraiser beat the previous record, set in Madrid, of 421 people, and an official from the Guiness Book of World Records was there to adjudicate and certify the achievement. All of the money raised went to the WE LIFT YOU UP fund, helping women find a path forward after a cancer diagnosis by offering a sisterhood of support and year-round empowering activities. Artwork from the night (pictured above, left) by the artist Frenchy is still available to be bid on - his works go for thousands in galleries, so click here if you’re interested in snapping it up.
Meanwhile, The Blue Room and Sazerac bar of the historic Roosevelt Hotel welcomed back its renowned “Stormin’ of the Sazerac” celebration. “Stormin’ of the Sazerac” raises a glass to the fearless group of women who stormed the hotel’s Sazerac Bar in 1949 demanding equality, and a drink, during a time when women were only allowed to be served on Mardi Gras at the bar. At the glamorous, sold-out event, almost 200 guests, dressed in stunning 1940s fashions, gathered in the Blue Room to enjoy lunch, a fashion show designed by New Orleans’ Yvonne LaFleur, and the induction of this year’s Reigning Spirit of the Sazerac, Ti Martin, of legendary restaurant Commander’s Palace.“The Storming of the Sazerac symbolizes some of the things I love most about this town. People, a bunch of strong dames in this case, banding together to force important changes, like the right for women to drink in any establishment they damn well please,” said Martin. “A perfect reminder of the zest for life and tenacity of the women of New Orleans. Whether storming the halls of Congress demanding help after Katrina or barreling through the door of the Sazerac Bar, make way for the women of New Orleans. “ Following lunch, guests gathered in the lobby to reenact the historic 1949 moment of those courageous ladies “Stormin’” the Sazerac Bar.
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