French Quarter Hotel in New Orleans
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August Events in New Orleans

Higher temperatures and longer days don’t discourage New Orleans from its usual fanfare and fun. August has four events worth attending, and we have all the details below!

White Linen Night

On Saturday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m., White Linen Night kicks off. This outdoor art event and block party encourages all guests to wear white. All-white outfits aren’t required, but try to join in on the theme if you can!  Food, drinks, and live music entertainment give the street a festive vibe while you browse beautiful works from local artists.

white linen night

White Linen Night. (Photo via Flickr user John W. Schulze)

Dirty Linen Night

On Saturday, Aug. 8 at  6 p.m., Dirty Linen Night takes place in the French Quarter. Though similar to White Linen Night (it’s an art event that also features food and entertainment), Dirty Linen Night encourages patrons to wear the same white linen from the previous weekend now that it’s dirty or even a dirty red dress (more on that bel0w). Themed food and drink like dirty rice and dirty martinis are all part of the fun.

Red Dress Run

Another NOLA tradition happens the same day as Dirty Linen Night (Aug. 8) starting at 12:30 p.m. The Red Dress Run is a friendly competitive race for men and women alike where all the runners dress up in, you guessed it, red dresses. Proceeds benefit dozens of charities in the city, so you can register for $70 online knowing it’s for a good cause.

COOLinary

Of all the New Orleans August events, COOLinary is definitely the most delicious. Running from Aug. 1 through Aug. 31, COOLinary allows guests to dine at more than 80 incredible restaurants around town for prix fixe meals. Choose from a three-course brunch ($39 or less), a two-course lunch ($20 or less), or a three-course dinner ($39) from a huge list of restaurants. We suggest the Criollo COOLinary menu for its seasonal ingredients and proximity to our hotel.

Satchmo SummerFest is Almost Here

New Orleans most famous son is Louis Armstrong, the iconic musician, actor, and lasting cultural icon who was born and raised in New Orleans. And in New Orleans, we celebrate Satchmo with his very own festival. Satchmo SummerFest runs from July 31- Aug. 2. Take a look at what’s happening during this fun, affordable ($5) festival located just blocks from our hotel.

louis_armstrong_photoThe Music

The fest features more than 100 artists on two stages, most of which are local brass bands as or jazz performers (both contemporary and traditional). And if music makes you want to dance? No problem. Take advantage of free swing dance lessons happening twice-daily at the Cornet Chop Suey Stage on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Start your Satchmo journey on Friday, July 31, with performers like Ellis Marsalis, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Preservation Hall Brass Band, Deacon John, and Donald Harrison’s All Star Louis Armstrong Tribute.

On Saturday, August 1, The Ella and Louis Tribute Band takes the stage, along with Treme Brass Band, Charmaine Neville, Bill Summers, and many others.

Sunday, August 2, is the last day of the festival, where you can hear singers like Robin Barnes. If you can’t make the festival, no worries!  Barnes often performs at the Carousel Bar & Lounge at our sister property, Hotel Monteleone.

What to Eat

New Orleans festival food is always a great excuse to chow down. Choose from classic dishes like red beans and rice, crawfish bread, fish beignets, po-boys and many other dishes to choose from. You can also wash it all down with a mango daiquiri (head over to Latitude 29 for even more tropical concoctions.

Other Happenings

In addition to exciting music programming, you can attend several special events going on during the festival. Head to the Old U.S. Mint (it’s right next to the music stages) for a new exhibit called “Satchmo: His Life in New Orleans” that explores Armstrong’s formative years in New Orleans and his lasting connection to the city. On Friday at noon on the third floor of the Mint, visitors can attend a lecture dedicated to “Musical First Responders,” the people who made sure New Orleans historic music scene stayed top of mind in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

How to Get There

All of Satchmo SummerFest (including two stages, food, exhibits, and more) happens in and around the Old U.S. Mint next to the French Market on Decatur Street. It’s a straight shot from our hotel and full of scenic sights, like Jackson Square, along the way.

Take Part in Tales of the Cocktail Restaurant Week

Don’t let the name fool you: Tales of the Cocktail isn’t just about cocktails, although they are definitely in the spotlight. Other events happening during this festival include Tales Restaurant Week, an opportunity for visitors to test out prix fixe menus created especially to pair with specific spirits and liqueurs. Our own restaurant Latitude 29 isn’t participating in Tales Restaurant Week (though we still recommend stopping in for a drink!), but you can explore our top three picks, all of which are just a short walking distance from Bienville House. We’ve got all the details below.

Criollo

Choose from lunch for $35 or dinner for $65 with dishes that pair beautifully with the Bolivian liqueur Rujero Singani. View the full menu here, which includes pan-seared scallops,  corn salad, and caramel flan with macerated peaches.

blistered corn salad

The blistered corn salad at Criollo, part of Tales of the Cocktail Restaurant Week. (Photo courtesy Criollo on Facebook)

Doris Metropolitan

Known for its aged steaks and its cocktails, Doris Metropolitan is an upscale destination during Restaurant Week. The menu is $165 for dishes that all pair with Martin Miller’s Gin. Cured amberjack and Japanese wagyu tenderloin are two standout items; you’ll also enjoy fresh peach brulee with a Ramos Gin Fizz for dessert. Check out the full menu here.

Johnny Sanchez

What else but Cruz Tequila would pair with the modern Mexican offerings at Johnny Sanchez in the Central Business District? The menu relies on flavorful ingredients like jalapeno peppers and cilantro to add south-of-the-border flair to dishes like wood-grilled swordfish and local heirloom tomato salad. Wash it down with the Sol de la Playa (playfully translating to “Sun of the Beach”): a mix of Cruz reposado, agave nectar, hibiscus, and orange.

 

A Spirited Event: Tales of the Cocktail

Really good cocktails tell a story: a story of a reward at the end of a long day, a story of a perfect date night, a story of a long-overdue vacation. It’s this story in mind that created Tales of the Cocktail, a festival-meets-convention that celebrates those spirited drinks with appropriate pomp. Whether you participate in Tales firsthand or are simply using the dates (July 15-19) as a way to get your drink on, here’s what’s happening at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail:

cocktail

Photo courtesy Latitude 29 on Instagram.

Tales Restaurant Week

Tales of the Cocktail’s restaurant week happens all week leading up to and during the event. This means you can check out a host of restaurants around town for specific spirits: think El Dorado Rum at Cane and Table, Cruz Tequila at Johnny Sanchez, and many others. Our on-site bar, Latitude 29, is also a great place to indulge in a cocktail; the lead bartender and owner, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, is a star at Tales of the Cocktail.

Spirit-Focused Seminars

Tales has myriad speakers, panels, and seminars aimed at educating people about the cocktail. From the “Meet the Maker” series, where people can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it takes to make a specific spirit, to discussions on sustainable agave practices, providing stylish service, and an overview of indie spirits, Tales has a robust lineup of intriguing and educational panels. And… tasting is involved!

Taste of the Cocktail

Perhaps we’re a bit biased, but personally, we’re partial to Latitude 29 for unforgettable tiki-inspired cocktails. Jeff Berry’s celebrity status in the cocktail community is an added perk… and you’ll immediately know why he’s so lauded once you sip on one of his drinks. The bar is open every day except Wednesday, so plan to pop in during Tales!

 

Craving a Cocktail? Try Five Nearby Spots

Vacation and cocktails go hand in hand. The time of the year? The time of the day? It really doesn’t matter. We’ve rounded up five nearby spots worth checking out for a well-deserved libation.

Latitude 29

Distance from Bienville House: Not applicable. It’s right inside our hotel!

What You’ll Find: A tiki vibe and incredible cocktails from an internationally famous bartender, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. Paired with Asian-fusion cuisine, these bold and fruity cocktails are truly a vacation in a glass.

Best Bets: Our vote is for the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver, a frothy, passionfruit-laced drink that comes in a cup modeled after a vintage design. The cups were especially made for Latitude 29 (although now you can buy them online in an exclusive collection from Jeff Berry).

paniolo

The Paniolo from Latitude 29. (Photo courtesy Latitude 29 on Facebook)

Napoleon House

Distance from Bienville House: 0.2 miles. Make a right onto Chartres Street from Bienville Street, and you’ll see it on the right. Check out the map!

What You’ll Find: A major dose of history and charm all in one space. The building dates from the 1700s, and Napoleon would’ve stayed there (it’s how the space got its name) if he weren’t, um, busy in France.

Best Bets: The Sazerac comes in a souvenir cup, but our vote is for the Pimm’s Cup, a refreshing choice any time of year. Drink it in the courtyard outside.

napoleon house

Napoleon House. (Photo via Flickr user jshyun)

Carousel Bar & Lounge

Distance from Bienville House: 0.2 miles. Take Bienville Street, make a right on Royal Street, make another right on Iberville Street, and you’ll see it on the right. Here’s the map.

What You’ll Find: An iconic spinning carousel is at the center of this bar, lushly appointed with elegant decor, live jazz, and an impressive list of cocktails, beers, wine, and small plates.

Best Bets: The French 007. It’s a uniquely Carousel Bar take on the French 75 and includes delicate pear and pomegranate liqueurs… plus sparkling wine.

carousel bar detail

A detail of the real carousel at the Carousel Bar. (Photo via Flickr user dutchbaby)

Cane and Table

Distance from Bienville House: 0.5 miles. Just head straight down Decatur Street away from downtown, and you’ll see it on the left. We’ve also got a map…

What You’ll Find: The bar focuses on “proto Tiki,” the era just before Tiki drinks became wildly popular in the United States. There’s a distinctly Hemingway vibe here, and plenty of worthy cocktails.

Best Bets: The Royal Fizz. Stemming from a 1935 recipe, this spin on the gin fizz is silky and light.

cane and table

A proto-tiki drink from Cane and Table. (Photo via Flickr user Kevin O’Mara)

Bar Tonique

Distance from Bienville House: 0.8 miles. Best to just check out the map on this one.

What You’ll Find: A gorgeous, U-shaped bar that offers cocktails of the classic and modern varieties.

Best Bets: A Moscow Mule. Theirs are tart and sweet… and generous on the vodka.

bar tonique

Bar Tonique. (Photo via Flickr user Kevin Tao)

 

Happy Fourth! And Third! Celebrate America’s Birthday in NOLA

Celebrating comes easy in New Orleans, so perhaps it’s no surprise that our Fourth of July parties start early. Take a look at how to celebrate the Fourth of July AND the Third of July in New Orleans:

Third of July

City Park gets the party started early with its annual “Happy 3rd of July” event. The Marine Corps Band plays on the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn at 7:15 with fireworks following at the Peristyle. Don’t forget to wear your red, white, and blue, and bring cash – concessions like wine, beer, and New Orleans’ summertime favorite, snowballs, are all available for purchase. You can take the streetcar all the way down Canal Street and toward City Park for a scenic ride to the location.

Fourth of July

We’re partial to the Fourth of July celebrations rather than the third for one reason: proximity. The New Orleans riverfront is central to Fourth of July activities, which means all the action is just a short distance from our hotel.

fireworks2

Fireworks over New Orleans. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Praline3001)

The not-to-be-missed event of the holiday is the “dueling barges” fireworks spectacular, wherein two barges will try to out-do each other by shooting off incredible, colorful fireworks over the Mississippi River. The best views of this gorgeous event are from Woldenberg Park in between Spanish Plaza and the Governor Nicholls Street Wharf – but we’ve got a suggestion on how to really get up close and personal:

Make reservations on either the Natchez or Creole Queen steamboats, both of which are offering cruises that evening. You’ll be on the river as the fireworks are going off! What a way to celebrate the country’s birthday.

All Weekend

In the CBD at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome ESSENCE Festival brings the best of live music and entertainment from July 2-5. The ‘Dome is just a short walk from our hotel, and if summer storms crop up – no worries! It’s just a quick cab ride, and the Superdome is fully enclosed.

Summer Hours at Latitude 29

The only thing that says “summer” more than a delicious tiki cocktail? Summer hours! Latitude 29 is embracing the season with adjusted hours. From now until Tales of the Cocktail, which starts July 15, Latitude 29 will have the following hours:

But adjusted hours aren’t all the Polynesian restaurant has been up to lately. Take a look at just a few of the exciting developments surrounding this buzzed-about bar right in our hotel:

Beachbum Berry Barware

Like so many of Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s drinks, the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver, a creamy, delectable cocktail, comes with a story. Berry modeled the glass it’s served in after a vintage design in his personal collection, and he created a slew of these cylindrical glasses especially for Latitude 29 at Bienville House. And now, they’re available en masse. Berry developed his own line of tiki serve ware for Cocktail Kingdom, which includes the Pearl Diver glass in addition to skull bar spoons, boi lele swizzle sticks, and more.

aquadesiac

The Aquedesiac. (Photo courtesy Latitude 29 on Facebook)

One of the Best Bars in America

In May, Esquire magazine released its “Hall of Fame of bars” divvied up by geographical region. Guess who made the list in the south? Latitude 29 boasts tiki drinks that are “the best of their kind,” in Esquire’s words. We might be biased, but we can’t help but agree.

A Tales of the Cocktail Nomination

The premier convention for cocktail professionals, Tales of the Cocktail features an awards ceremony with categories like “Best New Bar.” Within that category, Latitude 29 is nominated, putting it within the company of bars across the country in areas like New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Stay tuned to see who wins!

 

 

Explore Creole Tomato Fest This Weekend

Juicy, bright red Creole tomatoes are one of New Orleans’ favorite harvests. The tomatoes come to super-sweet fruition in late spring after growing in Louisiana’s nutrient-rich, alluvial soil (soil that is deposited by running water like the Mississippi River). And because we love ’em so much, we host a festival in their honor! Creole Tomato Festival takes place this weekend at French Market, practically across the street from our French Quarter hotel.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Melanie Innis.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Melanie Innis.

Eat Up

Almost every dish gets the tomato treatment at Creole Tomato Festival. Crabcakes with Creole tomatoes? Yes, please. How about crawfish Monica with the added sweetness of vine-ripened tomatoes? We’ll order that too. We can’t wait to try the Creole tomato shrimp ceviche from Superior Seafood, plus an order of the rice and andouille fritters with Creole tomato aioli from Purloo. Sometimes, you need something sweet… and Creole Tomato Fest has you covered. Try the  Quintin’s Natural Creole tomato sorbet for dessert. We always like to plan ahead, so if you’re like us, you can check out the full menu (complete with pricing) here.

Boogie Down

Plenty of music and entertainment like cooking demonstrations and kids activities give Creole Tomato Fest all the quintessential components of a New Orleans celebration. Musicians like Flow Tribe, Jon Cleary, and Honey Island Swamp Band will all perform, and you can catch live cooking demonstrations from local and up-and-coming chefs. On Saturday at 12:30 p.m., chef Emily Vanlandingham of Locally Preserved uses the Creole tomato in a unique way as part of her cocktail demonstration. You can also pick up a jar of her homemade Creole tomato and basil jelly while you’re there. On Sunday, Ryan Haigler at Grand Isle will present a cooking demonstration at 2:30, directly following the Creole tomato eating contest at 1:30 p.m.

Even More Tomatoes…

Our sister hotel’s restaurant, Criollo, has plenty of  tomato-laced dishes like a shrimp, blue crab, and avocado appetizer with spicy tomato coulis and a stuffed Creole redfish with green tomato crust and Creole tomato jam. Does all this tomato talk have you craving a Bloody Mary? Our restaurant Latitude 29 serves up fanciful, tropical cocktails, but they have a full bar stocked to sate your tomato craving.

Summer Rates at Bienville House

Summer vacation on a budget? Easy. Bienville House’s reduced summer rates mean you can enjoy the best of New Orleans’ French Quarter at an unbeatable price. Just like summer, though, the rates won’t last forever. Book now! Just think of what you’ll enjoy when you stay at our hotel…

Relax by the pool during summer, when Bienville House offers special rates.

Relax by the pool during summer, when Bienville House offers special rates.

A Courtyard Pool

The pool at Bienville House is as refreshing as it is picturesque. Many rooms overlook the pool, but we always think it’s best to dive right in. Swim a couple laps or simply enjoy your favorite book or magazine from one of the provided lounge chairs.

Vacation-Worthy Cocktails

Famed bartender Jeff “Beachbum” Berry created Latitude 29 to much buzz and acclaim. Even better? It’s located right inside our hotel. Choose from exotic, tiki-inspired cocktails or order your favorite standby from the fully stocked bar. 

An Exotic Meal

Latitude 29 also boasts a full menu with Polynesian and Asian-inspired fare (in fact, they refer to it as “PolynAsian cuisine). Try clever innovations on American classics, like the Caesar salad served up with squid instead of chicken. The Mahi Mahi banh mi is a nod to the robust Vietnamese culture in New Orleans, and the crispy duck with miso cheese grits is bridges the gap between Southern cuisine and Asian flavors.

 

 

Plan Your Oyster Fest Itinerary

New Orleans Oyster Festival takes place on Saturday, May 30, through Sunday, May 31 at Woldenberg Park at the Mississippi Riverfront. Since our hotel is a quick walk from the park, you can get to the festival with ease and enjoy the tastes of one of New Orleans’ favorite foods: the oyster. Here’s what you’ll find at the fest!

 

The fried oyster po-boy is a crowd favorite at Oyster Fest. (Photo courtesy New Orleans Oyster Festival on Facebook)

The fried oyster po-boy is a crowd favorite at Oyster Fest. (Photo courtesy New Orleans Oyster Festival on Facebook)

Music and Contests
In addition to a vast array of oyster-centric foods (more on that below!), Oyster Fest has selected some of the city’s favorite musicians to play at the riverfront during the festival. Our picks? Get there early on Saturday morning to hear the Treme Brass Band, who takes the stage at 10:30 a.m. Other noteworthy acts include the Bucktown All-Stars (playing at 2:15 on Saturday) and Marcia Ball, who closes out the fest starting at 5 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to music, the fest features several oyster-related competitions. The oyster-shucking contest pits top shuckers against one another on Saturday, while the oyster-eating contest on Sunday sees just how many oysters you can eat in one sitting. 

Plenty of Food
Take your pick from oysters raw on the half-shell, charbroiled, or fried at the festival, plus other inventive (and delicious) preparations. Try oyster pasta as a main or, for an easier-to-carry option, order a fried oyster po-boy. Oyster dishes from French Quarter restaurants like Acme Oyster House, Antoine’s, and Royal House are all on hand plus iconic restaurants from all over the city, including Jacque Imo’s Cafe in Uptown, Katie’s Restaurant in Mid-City and Borgne in the nearby Central Business District. Craving dessert? NOLA Snow has you covered with a variety of snowball options.

Even More to Do

The fest ends relatively early both nights, but your evening doesn’t have to end there. Head to our hotel’s restaurant, Latitude 29, and try other seafood dishes paired with gorgeous, tiki-style cocktails. Afterward, walk to Hotel Monteleone for live jazz music at the whimsical and elegant Carousel Bar & Lounge.