With Christmas approaching, there are fewer tourists and conventions, New Orleans is quieter. I thought I’d take advantage of being able to get a seat at a new popular bar/restaurant, Three Muses.
We had to slide in past the piano bench of the 3 piece band that provided smooth jazz for tips. The walls are covered in black and white photos of local musicians with discrete price tags next to them. The tapas menu changes seasonally, but get there while it’s still chilly out to try the extraordinary braised pork belly with apple chutney and scallion pancakes. It’s days later and my mind keeps returning to it like food afterglow.
Also amazing was the jumbo lump crab cannelloni with lobster sauce. I also enjoyed the local butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter and the seasoned popcorn that started off our meal.
I returned to the new Camellia Grill in the French Quarter. No music this time but the same sunny-side-up service and fabulous cheap eats. I’m in love with their grits but you have to order them by 11 am.
Last night, I joined the 64 year old tradition of caroling in front of St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. The crowd was mostly local and wearing red (though I had on my newly completed Saints fleur de lis knit hat). 8,500 people showed up and though there were families of up to 4 generations there, the crowd was uncharacteristically lacking in ethnic diversity. The singing was very pretty, but I’ll admit it lacked a bit of the soul our local music usually has.
The Square was beautiful with a decorated stage holding, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City Councilwoman (and mother of actress Patricia Clarkson), Jackie Clarkson. They, along with other local luminaries, led us through 17 songs. Make it 18 – we did Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer twice because it was the archbishop’s favorite.
The event was sponsored by the Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré, a beautification organization.
Patio Planters hosts a holiday home tour to pay for the Caroling event. For $20, you can take a self-guided walking tour of the French Quarter’s best decorated homes and see beautiful furnishings and architecture as well as amazing ornament collections. Alas, it always occurs during the Saints game, so I’ll never go.
Luckily, I took a camera with me on a walk the other day so here are some decorated homes nearby.