Remember when the pace of events around town slowed to a crawl in summer? No more. Now, the local calendar fills with festivals and parties, heedless of the heat. Here are a few examples from the food and drink realm in the days ahead that stand out.
San Fermin in Nueva Orleans is best known for filling the downtown streets with its rendition of the running of the bulls (sans actual bulls, of course). That’s on Saturday morning. But the celebration extends over multiple days, including El Txupinazo on Friday night. It’s essentially a four-hour cocktail party, from 5-9 p.m. at Publiq House (4528 Freret St.), with music from the Ven Pa’Ca Flamenco Ensemble and food from Bayona, Little Gem Saloon, Mondo, Pizza Domenica, Purloo and Three Muses. Tickets, which include open bar, are $50. Get details at nolabulls.com/events.
Bastille Day celebrations get an early start this weekend with a double-header on Saturday, July 11. First up is the Bastille Day Fête, held by the riverfront at Spanish Plaza from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The free event has local bands, a French-themed dog costume contest and Gallic flavors from Antoine’s, Crêpes à la Cart, Café Degas, Breads on Oak and St. James Cheese Co., along with Petite Rouge Coffee Truck and Plum Street Sno-balls.
Later that day, a tight-knit cluster of businesses in Faubourg St. John host their annual Bastille Day block party. They shut down the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon Street, string lights overhead and fill the street with food, music, dancing and drinks.
Be there at 5:30 p.m. for Cynthia Scott’s performance of “La Marseillaise,” or swing by anytime between 5-9 p.m. for tastes from 1000 Figs, Café Degas, Fair Grinds Coffeehouse, Half Shell Oyster Bar & Grill, Liuzza’s by the Track, Nonna Mia, Pal’s Lounge, Santa Fe and Swirl Wine Bar & Market. See bastilledaynola.com for more related events.
Shakers by the dozen
New Orleans will be the center of the cocktail universe for the Tales of the Cocktail next week, and this year the newly reopened Museum of the American Cocktail (1504 O.C. Haley Blvd.) starts things off with its “State of the Art” cocktail party on Monday, July 13, from 6-8 p.m.
Some 18 bartenders will serve classic and modern drinks, and attendees will pick a winner. You can also sample a Ramos gin fizz mixed up in memorable fashion by the museum’s new acquisition - the Tanquery No. Ten Imperial Shaker, a hand-cranked, cast-iron contraption from Australian bartender Jason Crawley that can shake up to 40 cocktails simultaneously. Tickets ($50 advance/$60 at the door) include drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Get them online at sofabinstitute.org.
Fish Tales & Cocktails
Also on Monday, Carmo (527 Julia St.) and Slow Food New Orleans host Fish Tails & Cocktails, a tasting event featuring underutilized Gulf seafood. Carmo chefs will be joined by chefs Alex Harrell of Angeline and Michael Doyle of Maurepas Foods to prepare samples of the locally-caught exotica in a happy hour setting, from 6-7:30 p.m. Free admission, cash bar, donations for dishes encouraged.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.