This year Coolinary is hot, with more than 100 restaurants taking part in the biggest edition of the citywide summer dining promotion to date. But Coolinary menus aren’t the only angle New Orleans restaurants are working to lure the locals during the summer slump.
August brings a sheen of sweat to New Orleans, but it comes with some silver linings too.
Here's a harvest of dining deals, one-off parties and ongoing events to get your fill and get you through August:
Supper series at
Coquette, 2800 Magazine St., 504-265-0421
The highly contemporary Coquette has brought back a summer dining series that resembles a culinary trust fall. The “No Menu Tuesday” concept brings a five-course tasting menu for $45, but co-chefs Michael Stoltzfus and Kristen Essig keep the meal specifics secret until the dinner begins. Coquette does reveal menu themes beforehand. The Aug. 8 edition, for instance, has tribute dishes inspired by the mothers of the kitchen staff; sweet corn will be the theme on Aug. 15; and Aug. 22 brings guest chef Ryan Prewitt, of Peche Seafood Grill.
Meauxbar, 942 N. Rampart St., 504-569-9979
Local ingredients and changing themes guide a playful new summer dining series at this intimate bistro on the edge of the Quarter. Held biweekly, each edition is a multi-course meal for either $50 or $60, with the dishes from chef John Bel playing with ideas like a birthday tribute to Julia Child (on Aug. 15) and even a “Muppet-inspired evening” on Aug. 30. The Sept. 13 dinner is a tribute to lost New Orleans restaurants.
Bar Frances, 4525 Freret St., 504-371-5043
Freret Street’s casual bistro has its own style — a lighter take on a modern French approach. For its ongoing dinner series, Dinner with Friends, it also invites chefs and other food pros from around the city to collaborate on special meals with chef Mimi Assad. The next edition is Aug. 23 when St. James Cheese Co. will be in the house for a four-course meal with wine pairings for $60. Alex Harrell of the modern Southern restaurant Angeline is on deck for the Sept. 12 dinner.
Pick your day at
Kenton’s, 5757 Magazine St., 504-891-1177
The underlying influences at this handsome Uptown bistro are bourbon, smoke, char and more bourbon. But four days a week during the summer, Kenton’s kitchen also rolls out a variety of special deals. On Mondays it’s a burger with a beer and a bourbon for $19; on Tuesday there’s a lobster roll (market price) for a taste of New England; on Wednesday the smoker gets a workout for a changing barbecue special, served with sides and a drink from the bar for $21; and on Thursday there’s a three-course dinner for $29.
Spain games at
SoBou, 310 Chartres St., 504-552-4095
This casual Commander’s Palace offshoot is named for its coordinates “south of Bourbon” (street), but on Aug. 9 it adds a different compass point for its Spanish Quarter Dinner. It’s a collaboration of chef Juan Carlos Gonzales in the kitchen and Laura Bellucci at the bar and pairs four courses with four cocktails, all inspired by modern Spanish cuisine. The one-night-only dinner costs $72.05, all inclusive.
Brunch with bubbly at
Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak, 215 Bourbon St., 504-335-3932
The modern bar and steakhouse attached to the French Quarter landmark is throwing a fried chicken and champagne brunch on Sunday, Aug. 6. There’s all-you-can-eat chicken and bottomless glasses of champagne (Galatoire’s own private label California sparkling wine), plus country-style sides. The event is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and costs $65.
Hot dates at
Palace Café, 605 Canal St., 504-523-1661
The “temperature lunch” is a long-running special at Dickie Brennan’s downtown Creole brasserie and a bit of a send-up to the summer heat. Available on weekdays, it’s a two-course lunch with a price synced to the previous day’s high temperature, so a 92-degree Monday, for instance, would bring a $9.20 lunch special on Tuesday.
Bourbon House, 144 Bourbon St., 504-522-0111
The seafood-focused sibling to Palace Café has a similar lunch deal this summer, served Monday through Friday, with two courses for $9.95. Never mind the temperature for this offer, it’s always hot anyway.
Tableau, 616 St. Peter St., 504-934-3463
Tuesday is date night at this modern Creole restaurant by Jackson Square. The summertime deal is dinner for two with a shared appetizer, two entrees and a shared dessert for $60, and bottles of house wine for $10. You don’t have to be on an official date to take up this offer, just be willing to share.
If you’re looking for a really cheap date, mark Aug. 9. That’s when Tableau hosts its Cocktails in the Courtyard party (from 6-8 p.m.) with a complimentary selection of cool hors d'oeuvres and tasting-size Hendrick’s gin cocktails (and a cash bar for more).
Taste of Summer at
Emeril’s Restaurant, 800 Tchoupitoulas St. 504-528-9393
Emeril’s Delmonico, 1300 St. Charles Ave., 504-525-4937
You get the same bam for fewer bucks when Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants serve their annual Taste of Summer menus. The three-course meals differ by location but always focus on lighter, seasonal flavors. They’re served at Emeril’s Restaurant for $40 and Emeril’s Delmonico for $45. Note that Emeril’s NOLA is closed during August as it undergoes a renovation.
By the numbers at
Ralph’s on the Park, 900 City Park Ave., 504-488-1000
The annual summer special at Ralph’s on the Park is simple math. Pick three appetizers, add a glass of wine and the price is $33. Chef Chip Flanagan’s menus run long on appetizers, so it’s easy to assemble a full meal of small dishes following this special.
Restaurant R’Evolution, 777 Bienville St., 504-553-2277
This showcase from chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto is normally a spot for lux meals and big occasions. Through the end of August, though, one iteration of that experience also has a special price. To mark its five-year anniversary, there's a a five-course tasting menu for $55.
Broussard’s, 819 Conti St. 504-581-3866
Kingfish, 337 Chartres St., 504-598-5005
Broussard’s and Kingfish are two very different French Quarter restaurants from the same company – Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts. The first has a long history and a modern Creole menu; the other is a much newer addition for contemporary Cajun fare. Through Sept. 17, though, both offer three-course meals at a special price. At Broussard’s, the dinner is $19.20, after the year the first incarnation of the restaurant debuted. At Kingfish, the offer applies at lunch and dinner for $18.93, after the birth year of Huey P. Long, the kingfish of Louisiana politics in his era.
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