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May 17, 2013 05:48 PM

Suggestions for cocktail bars please! Bar Uncommon, Carousal Bar, Arnaud's French 75 and more....

Hi, I'm looking for some feedback regarding my choice of bars and the best drinks to have there. Based on my research, here are my top choices,

1. Bar Uncommon: From what I've read, even though Chris Mcmillan no longer works there, his wife Laura is supposed to be very good as well! Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, Grasshopper.

2. Carousal Bar: Does anyone know when does Marvin Allen tend bar? Thinking about the Ramos Gin Fizz, French 75 and Vieux Carre

3. Arnaud's French 75: Similar question as above, when does Chris Hannah work? Bywater cocktail.

4. Napoleon House: Pimms Cup

5. Cure: Blanche Du Bois

6. Tonique: I read somewhere that I should go here when Lisa was working. Does anyone know when is that? Frenchmen's Dark & Stormy.

Any others that I should check out?

Thank you very much!

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  1. the truly cool thing about the Carousel Bar in the Monteleone, assuming there are no mechanical glitches, is that if you're having a lazy mid-afternoon libation (and face it, any rational person does not chug in NOLA) by the time you're ready for a re-fill, you have gone the full circle and your stool has returned to the bartender, must be great on his/her feet!

    1. My take on the well regarded mixologists is to not get them to make a standard but to tell them the ingredients you favor and let them suggest a few drinks that you have probably never heard of. This works better when they aren't slammed.

      I've had some wonders of chemistry. It is like having a good Chef custom make a dish just for your tastes.

      2 Replies
      1. re: collardman

        Thank you! That's what I usually do when I go to a good cocktail bar in NYC (where I live) but since there are some drinks that New Orleans and these bars/bartenders are know for, I thought that I should give those a shot at the very least. I'm wondering if I should just call the bars and ask them the schedule of the specific mixologists that I'm looking for....

        1. re: indiefoodie

          "The Carousel Piano Bar and Lounge
          Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, La.
          Signature Drink: The Carousel Bar insists that they have two signature drinks, the Vieux Carre (a mix of Benedictine, Peychaud, Angostura, rye whiskey, cognac, and dry vermouth) and the Goody Cocktail (a mix of dark rum, light rum, Orgeat, pineapple juice, and orange juice).

          Ernest Hemingway wrote about it, and the locals love it, that's why The Carousel Piano Bar and Lounge has always been an important part of New Orleans' history. Designed with a festive circus theme in mind, the bar is made to look—and work—like a merry-go-round. The bar, along with the chairs, makes a slow full circle spin every 15 minutes."

      2. Re # 1...Chris McMillan is working now at Kingfish:

        7 Replies
        1. re: Gizmo56

          Thank you Gizmo! Just called Kingfish. They said that Chris is usually there Thu through Sat, 5PM-12PM. I'll try my best to go! In case I do, should I skip Bar UnCommon? Only so many place that I can go to :)

          1. re: indiefoodie

            I found the decor and overall vibe of Bar Uncommon to be less than inviting. That's one I would not make a special effort to go back to.

            Another thought, Napolean House is a wonderful old space and a great FQ stop, but don't expect to be bowled over by the Pimm's Cup. They make a entirely rudimentary version (see their recipe here: ). Refreshing on a hot day, but not exactly masterful mixology.

            Last thought: I would definitely try to work in the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel. Go during mid-afternoon when it is quiet and you can chat with the bartenders and soak in the decor. Order a Ramos Gin Fizz (skip their Sazerac). It is very well made, and seeing the ritual of how they prepare the drink is worth the stop all by itself. You will be just steps away from John Besh's Domenica, in case you get hungry, and Domenica's half price pizzas and wines by the glass from 3 to 6 pm is one the best deals in the city.

            1. re: Gizmo56

              Thank you! In your opinion, what is the best place for a Pimm's Cup? I get what you're saying about Napoleon House. Even though, I'd like to go there for the history, my first preference would be to try a perfectly made Pimm's Cup.

              1. re: indiefoodie

                I favor Pimm's Cups where the citrus is balanced with berry, and where the drink does not have cloying sweetness from the lemonade and 7 Up used in the standard recipe. I haven't tried the one at Kingfish, but it looks promising.

                If you find yourself on Frenchmen Street (and if you like great music, you certainly should), stop in to The Three Muses. They have some very nice signature craft cocktails from mixologist Christopher Starnes, and great small plates too. See: There is excellent live music during their weekday Happy Hours and no cover charge.

                1. re: indiefoodie

                  I had a great Pimm's Cup at Bar Tonique. Also had good drinks at Cure, both traditional like a Ramos or creative ones.

                  1. re: indiefoodie

                    indiefoodie, you might find this article to be of some interest in connection with your planning:


                    1. re: Gizmo56

                      Welp, we just about have em covered. Good article.

            2. Bellocq, Bouligny Tavern, Twelve Mile Limit, Sylvain, the bar at Maurepas Foods, and the bar at Tivoli & Lee all have great cocktails. Of those I'd say Bouligny, Sylvain, and Maurepas are my favorites. You can stop in Erin Rose off Bourbon for a frozen irish coffee.

              1. I am VERY "old school," and also more of a "wino," BUT the Carousal Bar has always been a draw for me. Going back, and over many years, we had our "board meetings" there, and each was great fun, with enjoyable drinks.

                Now, others will have to bring you up to speed on today, and will also have to comment on the gamut of drinks. OTOH, we did spend a few afternoons at Hurlingham Club London, UK), which claims to have invented both croquet and Pimm's Cup. Not sure that I believe the hype, but who am I to argue?