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HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (long)

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We came back home for the holidays and had an absolutely fabulous time. We arrived at around lunchtime on Monday, and headed straight to Parkway. I have never seen that place as crowded as it was on this particular day. We had the oyster, RB, and the kids split a turkey po boy. Barqs rootbeer and sweet potato fries all around, and was all as good as always. We had to sit outside and it was quite chilly, so we scarfed down our food and headed to the Roosevelt to check in. The lobby was absolutely beautiful, although more asthetically pleasing and not as whimsical as I remembered as a child. We had some hot chocolate at Teddy's Cafe, and went to our room to relax. For dinner, we headed to Madina's, where again, there was a serious wait. Luckily we ran into some old friends, and that, paired with sazeracs for us, and shirley temples for the kids (sugar placated them for the hour wait) The veal parm and red beans and rice were simple but as good as always. I can also never say no to the onion rings and that crispy french bread. The dining room was absolutely bustling, so my children who were now on a sugar high, were not out of place with everyone very jovial, relaxed, in a celebratory mood, and most importantly LOUD. After dinner, we enjoyed cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe Du Monde, (more sugar was probably not necessary) and then returned to the hotel to collapse for the evening. On Tuesday, we went to Louisana Pizza Kitchen on Carrolton for lunch. The portabella pizza and fettiucine alfredo with chicken were good. Thus far on the trip, we were keeping it simple, kid-friendly, and close to my parents house. We headed over to the zoo and had Roman Candy for dessert. My 2 year old did not really get the concept of the Roman Candy and tried to bite if off in hunks, but the other kids absolutely love it. I always am taken back to childhood when I see that cart! Later in the evening we headed to Celebration In The Oaks at City Park, and it was FREEZING!! We rode the train, played in Storyland, saw Mr. Bingle, rode a few rides and headed out to dinner at 5 Happiness. The Kung Pao chicken was great and my children managed to deplete their supply of "pin wheel" straws from the bar. All-in all, another simple, but wonderful day in NOLA. We did not eat breakfast, but left the hotel early to get to Port of Call to avoid the wait. Lucky for us, we were the first wave in and managed to get our food within 15 minutes or so. Those burgers were the stuff of dreams that day, as it had been a long while since I have been there. I ordered a monsoon, but after two sips, realized that I was somewhat buzzed and their was NO WAY I could attempt to finish it. We went to the WWII Museum (the 4-D movie was wonderful) The Art Museum to see the Disney Exhibit, and to Audubon Park to let off steam and allow the kids to run around. We brought our sitter with us, so we had a reservation at Brigtsens for a group of friends. We all shared the Shrimp Remoulade, and both my husband and I had the duck. Hands down, I have never had a better duck dish in my life. The duck itself was moist and flavorful and paired with the cornbread stuffing it was heavenly. We headed to the Library Lounge at the Ritz for cocktails and cigars for the gentlemen. We have a membership but were informed that after the first of the year, it will no longer be a private club, but open to the public. Not sure if anyone else remembers, but that place used to pack them in when Chris McMillian was at the helm. I hope they can do it again, because everytime we visited the Lounge, it was damn near deserted. The drinks are always well crafted and strong, and the bartenders very friendly. We ended the night with a nightcap at the Sazerac Bar, which suprisingly was not terribly crowded.
NEW YEARS EVE!!! We rested all day and husband and I had a couples massage at the Guerlin Spa at the Roosevelt. That was an absolutely first class experience with champagne, strawberries, and a decadent room with a rainforrest shower. This was all to prep for the night that I knew was to come. I would highly recommend this spa to absolutely everyone. One of the best Spa experience I have had. After getting room service for the kids (not the best at the Roosevelt unfortunately)and met our friends at the Sazerac Bar. The hotel was absolutely glistening on this night. Everyone looked so stunning in black tie and ball gowns and I was transported back to another time and another place. We headed to a private party where it all became VERY blurry.
On Friday, we had Domenica delivered to our room for lunch. The wood-fired pizza was wonderful, but I was not a huge fan of the pasta. No fault of the restaurant, but to-go is never the same as the dining experience. We will most definetly try Domenica when back in town again. Did more fun child friendly activities all day, and had a dinner reservation at Dante's Kitchen. Was so excited, and have heard so many wonderful things. The food at DK was ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!!! From the maple and butter drizzled spoon bread, to the beet salad and our entrees of mussel and clam panzetta, and the roasted brick chicken (glazed with a maple sauce that made my mouth tingle) Unfortunately, we had an awkward experience when we requested a dressing change on the wedge salad. (I posted this experience on the NOT ABOUT FOOD BOARD) But the food was one of the best meals of my life, and was dissapointed that the experience not exactly what I had hoped. The Pumpin Spice Cake was a wonderful dessert as well. We went to CURE NOLA for a few cocktails and finished our night off at The Club aka Miss Mae's. On Saturday, we had Guy's Po Boys, which while not as good as PArkway IMO were still good. I was dissapointed that they did not have oyster, but the shrimp was pretty good. The place was packed so we ate in the park and had even more Roman Candy. That night we ate at Grand Isle, which was much improved since my last visit. They have improved their menu and the staff was very friendly. The kids enjoyed the Saints Pep Rally on Fulton Street, as well as Harrahs Gingerbread display and snow covered trees. Overall, a wonderful ,wonderful trip, chock full of friends, family, and fantastic food. Everytime I come home I beg my husband to move back. Posting on this board always keeps me close to home and close to my heart. HappY New Year to all!!

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  1. Looking at my review I transposed a few of the days, but our time was so full of activity, it was hard to review to get it all in and to remember in which order it was done!

    1. Thanks for the write up! It sounds like you had an incredible time.

      I am glad to hear that the Ritz is abandoning that ridiculous private club business with the Library Lounge. It used to be such fun and a great treat to go there, and I look forward to going back soon. They'll have to have some skillful folks behind the bar to compare to McMillian though!

      1 Reply
      1. re: uptownlibrarian

        Agreed. We had reciprocal benefits from another club, but I never saw more than a handful of people there when it was private. It was always a lot of fun and hopefully they will bring that back.