On Saturday mornings, farmers, food producers, chefs and home shoppers turn a downtown parking lot into a hands-on showcase of regional food culture at the Crescent City Farmers Market. This Saturday, many of them will also return in the evening for a party conceived in the same spirit just across the street.
The event, called Moonlight Market, is a fundraiser that debuted last year as a casually festive night of robustly fresh food and creative drinks, served by chefs who are farmers market regulars and often inspired by that morning’s haul from the market stands.
The event this year is also a celebration of the market’s 20th anniversary and a tribute to the late Boatner Reily III, who gave the Crescent City Farmers Market access to its first space in 1995, opening the mural-lined parking lot of his family’s downtown business, Reily Foods, to the then-fledgling market concept.
Moonlight Market is held indoors across the street from the market lot, at 725 Magazine St., in a garage that does start to resemble a food market once it fills with chefs’ tables, bars and the noshing crowd. More than 20 well-known restaurants, wine shops, brewers and local food producers participate, and R&B wailers King James and the Special Men perform.
The event begins at 7 p.m. The all-inclusive tickets are $45 until Oct. 8 ($60 afterward). Get them at crescentcityfarmersmarket.org or at the markets.
A new Paradigm
The name Paradigm Gardens has been making more appearances on New Orleans restaurant menus. It’s also turning up on social calendars, too, thanks to a new concert series at this verdant urban patch.
Paradigm Gardens, 1131 S. Rampart St., was developed in a quiet corner of Central City and supplies a tight-knit circuit of restaurants, including Meauxbar, Coquette and Patois, with an arms-length source for produce, honey and other raw materials.
The one-block garden plot was also designed as an events space, with a rustic outdoor kitchen, wood-burning oven and a small stage.
The concert series adds live music and drinks, including draft beer from the nearby Courtyard Brewery. It continues every other Tuesday through Dec. 1, with a changing mix of bands and participating restaurants. The next is Oct. 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. For schedules and tickets, see paradigmgardensnola.com.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.