Exterior As with many buildings in the Central Business District, exteriors and interiors tell very different stories. In this case, both are intriguing: The facade is an ornate twelve floors of early 20th-century Beaux Arts finesse, while the lobby is a low-lit haven for guests enjoying some tranquility and the various contemporary artworks that decorate the space (a Banksy mural is on display), all high ceilings, huge portraits, and oversized ottomans. The arty interior touches of designer L.M.Pagano create an evocative public space. (more…)
Entrance of GW Fins Spacious dining room One of my favorite meals in New Orleans was dinner at GW Fins. It is a high-end seafood restaurant but runs like a high-end steakhouse. Tables draped in white tablecloth, dark wood accents, dim lighting and waiters in neat uniforms with professional yet no nonsense approach to get my order. The star ingredient – fish in this case, instead of steak – has to have the best quality and presentation, and service and ambiance should follow suit as well. Along the way, they have tapped the wealth of seafood from the Gulf and..
Interior Fresh oysters at the bar Having dinner at Luke feels like eating at an upscale pub that feels historic and modern at the same time. The service is friendly and swift and the waiters are in pristine white suits. The menu primarily focuses on the seafood with a touch of Creole flair. We couldn’t help but stare at the glorious looking oyster bar when we walked to our table. Unfortunately my companion and I weren’t able to have those beautiful mollusks served raw on the half shell for a few reasons but the other dishes we had were delicious...
Grand staircase from the lobby to lower level Part of Cachette 1907 looking toward the lobby and reception desk This Romanesque white stone building is one of the most architecturally dramatic hotels in the city. The lobby is no less elegant, with towering ceilings, marble columns, and large crystal chandeliers. Marble floors and gilded ceilings surround a lobby covered in art and sculptures. The hotel’s original owners had grand plans, and stated them clearly with the construction of the striking, 15-foot monumental limestone pillars that frame the entrance. A refurbishment in the 1960s had artifacts and interiors sourced from Europe,..
Entrance at Courtyard When I was in New Orleans, I stayed at The Windsor Court Hotel. It’s a very elegant hotel just a few blocks away from the French Quarter, making it accessible to the main touristy neighborhood. Interestingly enough, the overall stay didn’t make me think I’m that close to the boisterous crowds of Bourbon Street. The ornate decor (British 19th-century antiques, furniture, and artwork) is courtesy of the hotel’s original Anglophile owner, and would be over-the-top if it wasn’t so consistent. A full gym, heated outdoor pool, high tea service, and delicious food all add to a decadent..
I’ve made a trip down to the Big Easy, also known as New Orleans. This city captivated me for sometime for the many cultures that meld over the centuries (as complicated as it was and probably still is) that created an interesting food culture because of it—and it’s the supposed birthplace of several cocktails like the Sazerac, Brandy Milk Punch, Vieux Carré, and the Hurricane, to name a few. It will be a slightly random order of posts related to this city’s dining and stunning boutique hotels but I’m starting off with a very satisfying yet seemingly simple Mediterranean inspired..
Interior of dining room and open kitchen Pouring out of a magnum sized bottle of Sylvaner Restaurant Manitoba is a restaurant I’ve been meaning to go for a long time. I’ve first heard about this place when I was in Montreal four years ago. However, I didn’t have enough time to change plans and squeeze a stop by for a quick bite. Manitoba is located out in the industrial neighborhood of Mile-Ex (think of New York’s current equivalent of Bushwick, Brooklyn). (more…)
Interior of retail side of the bakery Boules of bread The final bakery I’ve visited in Montreal was Mamie Clafoutis. This bakery started in 2008, by Nicolas, a pastry chef and Joseph, a baker, originally from France. They moved to Montreal to build their dream, committed to find and share their fond childhood memories. The first bakery opened its doors in Outremont. They use traditional skills and using the best ingredients and organic if possible, like the Canadian flour from La Milanaise Mill. (more…)