Today, we planned for the very best. The top of the top, creme de la creme. Etc etc. It was also our last full day in the city so we mixed in a bit of shopping. Jumping out of our AirBnb, we grabbed a bit more coffee and then headed on a streetcar to jazz brunch at the Court of the Two Sisters. As for what that is.. Read more below! Along the way we stopped in some antiques stores, full of novelty lamps and decommissioned dollar bills.
The brunch itself was in a courtyard out back, covered in a trellis of leaves and flowers. The food was quite tasty and the champagne surprisingly good. We got there right as the band was changing so we only got tidbits of jazz, but it accented the ambience in a very nice way.
From there we headed to Southern Candy Makers for our necessary souvenirs. (We hoped that visiting after eating would limit our impulse purchases.) This mostly succeeded, as Andy and I got a gift box each and we all split one seal salt dark chocolate tortue. I’m always a fan of sea salt and caramel together, and adding pecan to the mix only improves the sensation!
From there we had a bit more time to kill before our next scheduled event, so we ambled around, shopping a bit more and peeking into the St. Louis Cathedral we walked by two days ago. While imposing from a distance, the architecture is exceptionally impressive from the inside.
One more streetcar and we got to the main event: Live jazz at Preservation Hall! As the name implies, the hall is “a historic music venue in the French Quarter working to protect, preserve and perpetuate the spirit of traditional New Orleans jazz.” On these fronts it certainly delivered. As the music came and went I had a bunch of flashbacks to high school jazz band: The freewheeling solos, the foot-tapping refrains, and of course the frequent use of plunger mutes. No pictures were allowed during the show, so you’ll have to visit for yourself!
Before dinner we stopped at Antoine’s, an ancient restaurant that remains family-owned to this day. We stopped in for a specific reason: to see and try Café Brulot Diabolique, a flaming mix of coffee, brandy, triple sec, and spices. The staff were somewhat put off that we were only there for what is normally a after-dinner drink, but we made do and tipped highly before scooting to dinner.
For dinner we made it back to ACME, the oyster bar across the street from us on our first day. We’ve gotten pretty darn good at agreeing on a suite of dishes to try, so we piled up a mix of seafood and chowed down!
After dinner, we had a few final bars to hit. First up, the The Carousel Bar! The whole bar is a carousel and rotates about once every 15 minutes. It’s not so fast that it’s unpleasant but it’s definitely noticeable. If you ask a bartender for a drink, you’ve moved 5-10ft by the time they’re done with it. The drinks themselves were very tasty, though I’m slowly learning that I’d prefer an old fashioned to basically anything else.
And finally, we stopped by The Sazerac Bar. Located in a gorgeous, historic hotel, the bar itself is surprisingly intimate. The main attraction is the Gin Fizz, which we only catastrophically mispronounced once and thankfully not while ordering. I stuck with my bourbon-based drinks and was not at all disappointed with the honey-sweet Gold Rush.
Then, we decided to head home. The night was pleasant and the wait for a streetcar just about as long as a walk anyway, so we walked our way home. Tomorrow, our final hours in New Orleans!