Summer in the City

Spring in New Orleans is always a busy time, but this spring the city has been particularly inundated with folks from around the world. Local innkeepers are calling it “the Super Bowl effect.”

“The narrative for the city has been re-written again,” I overheard someone say at a cocktail party. This time from “that city struggling to recover from Katrina” to “the city of champions.” And so it is that we, and seemingly everybody else, have been extraordinarily busy.

But come June that changes, the city lapses into its more languid summer mode. This is when we really take the time to explore our city anew, catching up on the countless gallery openings, concerts, and museum exhibits we haven’t had a chance to visit yet…all of them in air-conditioned comfort. Last weekend we heard a great blues band at the Shadowbox Theatre that just opened around the corner from us. It’s in an historic old drugstore building that’s been converted into an intimate black box theatre space (with superb air conditioning). In addition to music, the lineup for the summer includes weekly improv comedy, fringe theatre and poetry slams. The other day we had an amazing muffuletta bread pudding at the recently opened Desperado’s Restaurant a few blocks from us. And a terrific Eggs Benedict at Marigny Brasserie across the square. It has new owners, and a more reasonably priced menu than before, but still in classy contemporary surroundings.

While our summer days are often hot, the mornings are still very nice…like this one during which I’m writing this out on the porch. And there’s often an afternoon shower that makes the evenings pleasant as well. So we just change our patterns a bit. Up early for coffee on the porch and a stroll, by midday we’re off to a museum, then home for a nap, then back out in the evening for music.

Our summer rates are the lowest of the year, starting at $65 in July and August. And our special where you get one night free when you stay four continues through summer. In August and September, COOLinary New Orleans is back with cheap eats at the city’s great restaurants. If you can’t wait that long and still want a great deal, we’ll point you to some places to save money on haute cuisine with a coupon.

There is a whole cluster of dining options not far from us on a pretty stretch of Esplanade Avenue near where Jazz Fest is held. They all take coupons from which you can buy for $2 if you watch for one of their frequent sales, and then will save $25 on your meal. Choose from classic French fare at Café Degas, or light Italian cuisine at Nonna Mia, which has a very nice outdoor dining area, and charmingly decorated dining rooms inside the old house that the main restaurant resides in. Just down the block is local favorite Lola’s for Spanish cuisine, including their acclaimed paella, and my personal favorite, the calamari, which here comes out as wonderfully tender hearty little steaks of calamari rather than rings.

Or ask us about the coupon that scores you a free bottle of wine while dining at one of several Brennan family restaurants—Bacco, Redfish Grill, and Ralph’s on the Park—when you purchase two entrees.

So if you’re up to a visit at a leisurely pace, don’t mind “glistening” on occasion, and want to get a lot of vacation for a little money…come see us this summer!

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