Taking time from learning about the history and craft of making cocktails at the recent 10th annual Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, I checked out two new French Quarter restaurants.
SoBou, which describes itself as a “contemporary Creole saloon and spirited restaurant,” has opened in the old Bacco restaurant location at 310 Rue Chartres at the W New Orleans. Part of the Commander’s Family of Restaurants under Ti Martin, the destination is south of Bourbon Street — actually southeast — and has a fun and lively atmosphere.
The decor takes its cue from an old apothecary, and back-lit white and clear apothecary bottles line the restaurant’s walls. Tables in the bar feature a tap, and there’s also a self-serve wine station on one wall. Martin said SoBou’s concept is a classic, yet current and casual saloon environment with a street food-inspired menu that includes lots of small plates.
The next day, after spending hours in the noisy atmosphere at the Hotel Monteleone, which hosted the Tales of the Cocktail, I was ready for a more restful atmosphere. I headed to Restaurant R’Evolution, at 777 Bienville St. in the Royal Sonesta Hotel. A joint venture of chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto, the restaurant reflects Louisiana’s historic and cultural heritage in both its food and decor.
Too early for dinner, I settled at a small table in the bar and ordered from the bar menu. I’ll definitely get the beer-battered crab beignets with four rémoulades and a mustard coleslaw again. The restaurant had been open only for dinner, but last week began lunch hours from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (504) 553-2277.
Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s Food editor. Her email address is email@example.com.
Serves 1. Recipe is from SoBou at the W French Quarter, New Orleans.
2 ozs. Earl Grey tea-infused gin
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. Crème de Cassis
Cava, Prosecco or a dry sparkling French wine
Lemon wheel, for garnish
1. Infuse gin by soaking 4 tea bags per quart of gin.
2. Shake the gin, simple syrup, juice and Crème de Cassis over ice and strain into a chilled wine glass over fresh ice.
3. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with lemon wheel.