Spending time in New Orleans basically consists of eating, drinking, dancing, and listening to music - the latter being just about the best thing to do. Music is everywhere. When you get off the plane at Louis Armstrong Int'l Airport, the first thing you hear is good New Orleans Jazz. And from then on all you have to do is turn the dial to the best radio station in the world - 90.7 WWOZ; Listener supported radio that plays an amazing array of music from traditional New Orleans Jazz to new and local New Orleans musicians, R&B, Cajun, standard jazz, blues...all from the DJs' own record collections. It is quite eclectic.
I'm here in New Orleans with Joe, Erika & Meghan.
|The Spotted Cat music club on Frenchman St.|
So that puts us right in the heart of carnival season. March 5.........we decide on a late lunch (Erika & Meghan are here from NYC). Andouille sausage, fresh pork & chive sausage (with cinnamon) from Butcher, New Zealand cheddar cheese, applewood smoked ham, cajun mustard, fresh baguette from Whole Foods. I just happen to have some FLX wines saved for their visit. Now - my friends have had plenty of Fox Run wines, which they love, so I opened a 2008 Heron Hill Chardonnay Unoaked "Ingle Vineyard" and a 2009 Billsboro Riesling. Wooaah! This food with these wines = fabulous. Both of these wines paired perfectly with the heat of the andouille and the peculiar sweet spice of the fresh sausage. They both seemed to become more round and flowery with each taste.
|A delicious lunch|
The celebration goes on into Sunday...one of the greatest shows ever at Snug Harbor, a Blues Review with Johnny Sansone. Amazing harmonica, accordion!, piano, guitar. Then down Frenchman Street to check out some other clubs. Monday, of course, is Lundi Gras, the day before Fat Tuesday. We had to get our dress rehearsal on and wander around the Riverside Park for yet another festival, lunch, drinks, music. The Hot 8 Brass Band was the hit of the day. Luckily we made it to a wonderful restaurant in the newly renovated Roosevelt Hotel - Domenica - one of my favorite restaurants in New Orleans.Wild mushroom pizza with fontina, bacon & yard egg, delicious romaine with mortadella and the creamiest anchovy dressing, and a heaping pile of fresh ricotta with grilled country bread and date & pecan pesto...to die for!
|Erika & Meghan at Jean-Paul's|
Mardi Gras is here!! The circus begins for us at 9:30am with a delicious homemade Bloody Mary. We march out to meet the St. Anthony Ramblers who begin with a blessing of the precious earth that is New Orleans and the Faubourg Marigny. The Panorama Jazz Band leads with a somber funeral song...but that doesn't last long. I felt lucky at that point to have great love in my life plus good friends, great food & wine, great music, a good Bloody Mary and no shortage of fabulous wigs.
|The fun begins.......|
|Various stages of Mardi Gras day|