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late night drinks.

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deb and i will be guests in your city for a week in late october. i think we have a handle on food but need suggestions for late-night drinks. i can talk my wife's ear off so maybe it's a good idea to hit some spots where i clam up and we can listen to music.

thanks in advance for your recommendations.

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  1. i personally feel that you can't go wrong with d.b.a or the spotted cat if you want a casual evening; both offer good music on most nights of the week. (try to catch linnzi zaorski at d.b.a.; she sings jazz/swing...real nice voice. google her myspace page; she has music samples) i also like pravda which is on lower decatur; they have some of the best absinthe in nola (if that's your thing), but they don't have music. for something a bit more high end, swizzle stick in the loews hotel has always fixed a good drink (even when lu isn't there). there are so many great choices. perhaps you should give us a bit more direction (price points, location, ambience)

    4 Replies
    1. re: lachat_noire

      price is not an issue. our base will be in the french quarter (mass transit is good). ambience is a relative term.

      1. re: steve h.

        alright then...i would still stick with d.b.a and spotted cat...maybe even head over to snug harbor as you'll find music at these locations. tomatillo's on esplanade is also in the marigny area; they make a really tasty classic shaken margarita and sometimes have a live band playing salsa music on the patio. when i have free time, i like to head to hookah cafe which is near tomatillo's; if you like hookah, they sell nice blends (try the nirvana) and aren't too expensive. their wine/alcohol list is decent, and they, too, will sometimes have live music (very mellow though). depending on where you are in the quarter, you might want to walk--especially if it's a nice night; conversely, you can take a cab if you're not familiar with the area.

        as for the quarter, there are a few decent places. the carousel bar is a novelty...where else can you say you had a drink in a bar that spins *before* you imbibe? i would avoid lafitte's because the drinks aren't that good; some people swear by their hurricane (more so than pat o's), but there are bars that sell better versions. while on the subject, also avoid pat o's; it's way too expensive for the quality of the drinks. instead, head down the street to old absinthe house. it's a fun, relatively chill bar that sells some classic drinks associated with new orleans; i'm fond of their ramos gin fizz.

        since ambience is relative to you, stop by pravda or any of the bars on lower decatur (it would be on the walk to frenchman/marigny). it has a nice mix of gutter punks, hipsters, young professionals, and goths. molly's is close and sells a sickeningly sweet (but none-the-less delicious) frozen irish coffee. aunt tiki's has it's own vibe...goth surfer bar, anyone? at least the music on the juke box is good.

        for something more high end, i'll re-emphasize swizzle stick in the loew's hotel (in the central business district). try to go when lu brow is bartending; she has a sure hand when it comes to pouring amazing cocktails; her vodka tonic and brandy milk punch are always solid. there is also a wine bar on (i believe) tchoupitoulas called w.i.n.o; i haven't been but i've heard they sometimes have tastings/events. you might want to check out what they've got planned the week you come in.

        the delachaise and the columns hotel are both a street car ride down st. charles. i don't know the stop numbers but you should be able to ask your concierge before you go. the delachaise is a wine bar but also serves food. the columns hotel has a nice verranda, but i haven't found their drinks to be anything special.

        i'm pretty sure i've left out some places but these are the first that came to mind when i typed the message. you can do a google search for all these bars to get addresses and maybe even peruse their websites.

        hope you enjoy your stay in new orleans!

        1. re: lachat_noire

          thanks for the advice. we're looking forward to our stay.

          1. re: steve h.

            For some live jazz, you can also try Dos Jefes on Tchoupitoulas. Nice place, nice patio, nice bartenders.

    2. Everything above is a terrific suggestion. I'll put in another vote for Pravda; it's a lovely atmosphere.

      If you want a down and dirty dive, Monaghans' Erin Rose (on Conti, just off Bourbon) is renowned for their hospitality and conversations between visitor and locals. You'll have no problem talking someone else's ear off! Miss Natasha is a lovely bartender and she'll take good care of you.