Tag Archives: birthday

Random Acts of Kindness and 3 Birthday Meals

My birthday celebrating started early this year with a dinner at John Besh’s Domenica with old friend Richard Dreyfuss and his lovely and amazing wife, Svetlana. Over the 25 years we’ve known each other, Richard and I have worked on 3 movies together, collaborated on a Katrina relief project and he even wrote the foreword to my book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career. The menu from Executive Chef Alon Shaya, 2015’s  James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South award winner, provided a delicious take on some traditional Italian dishes as well as offering show-stoppers like the Squid Ink Tagliolini with blue crab & herbs. We finished the meal with 3 beautiful and decadent desserts selected by our charming server, Cristina. Each dessert was decorated with a chocolate birthday banner. We were there for hours enjoying fabulous food and great company with perfect service. I’m definitely going back for that squid ink pasta dish. Continue reading

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Mardi Gras Is Coming!

Every year, just as the rest of the nation is winding down after the 1-2-3 punch of Thanksgiving-Christmas/Hanukkah-New Year’s, we in New Orleans are just getting started. The festivities begin on Twelfth Night with the Phunny Phorty Phellows riding the streetcar down St. Charles, heralding the start of Carnival season. The night is also Joan of Arc’s birthday which is celebrated with a parade through the French Quarter. Though not everyone attends events that day, most offices (and many homes) commemorate the season with King Cake. In the last few years, King Cake has become the focus of parties with people bringing cakes from their favorite bakeries and sampling them all.

In our home, Twelfth Night’s passing means turning the Saints’ Who Dat wreath into a Mardi Gras wreath and switching the tree decorations from Christmas to Carnival. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2017, parade

Lunch at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant

Dooky Chase is one of the most beloved and respected restaurants in New Orleans and has served Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush as well as Hank Aaron, Ernest Gaines, Quincy Jones, Jesse Jackson, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles and more. Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday and supper Friday nights, the menu includes Creole favorites like Shrimp Clemenceau and Stuffed Shrimp but it was impossible to resist the allure of tasting as many things as possible with the buffet ($19.95) which started with a spicy vegetable soup and ended with a warm peach cobbler. I couldn’t get enough of the candied sweet potatoes, crispy fried chicken and like-my-daddy-makes green beans. Continue reading

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Birthday and Anniversary – NOLA Style

I’d been vacationing with family at Bethany Beach, Delaware for 4 days already when Mom called us up to her room. We walked in and found everyone out on the balcony with a surprise 1st anniversary party for us – NOLA style. They’d decorated with Mardi Gras beads, streamers and coffee-filter flowers. We were handed a bouquet, a black top hat and a tiara with a veil to wear with our beach clothes. Rebirth Brass Band‘s Do Watcha Wanna played and a cake was decorated with that same phrase.  We danced around waving Kleenex and my brother did his best imitation of DancingMan504 jumping at our wedding in the French Quarter. It was so wonderful bringing our beloved city to that balcony in Delaware. New Orleans’ soul travels well. Continue reading

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Big Easy Birthday 2014

New Orleanians know that there’s no possible way to attend even half of our city’s events and festivals – even just the free ones. Summer is the “off-season” and yet our city remains action-packed. On top of Beatles Fest and The Running of the Bulls – it was my birthday this past weekend! Normally, I throw myself a small gathering but since we’d just had a wedding, it seemed like a bit much. Instead, I practiced all my favorite birthday traditions. Continue reading

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Birthday at Commander’s Palace

It’s become a tradition to celebrate my birthday at the magnificent Commander’s Palace, one of the oldest and best restaurants in New Orleans. Don’t take my word for it being the best, Chef Tory McPhail just won the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: South. Not surprisingly, 4 of the 5 nominees were from NOLA. For the last couple of years, I’ve enjoyed showing off my favorite Trashy Diva dresses while dining. This time, I changed things up with a casual gown I found at Naaz on Magazine Street. Continue reading

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A Very Big Easy Birthday Party

New Orleans is known for being a good time and a great place to party. There may be no bigger party in the nation then the marathon of Mardi Gras – especially when we are taking a “break” from Carnival in the middle to have a week of Super Bowl festivities! That said, the only topper would be to celebrate your birthday during this party-palooza. A friend of mine did just that last weekend and it was as good as it gets. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, entertainment industry, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2013, parade