ask Matt about
museums • fine dining • comfort food • bistro • gourmet • hole in the wall • music venues
What are the New Orleans spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Of course you can't come to New Orleans and not visit the French Quarter. It's a big area, but worth taking some time to explore the art galleries and antique shops, and appreciate the architecture. In the Quarter be sure to grab a cafe au lait and beignets from Cafe du Mond. If I only had one day to visit, I would hop on the St. Charles Streetcar and ride up the avenue to see all of the mansions in the Garden District and Uptown. If you have more time, hop off and walk down to Magazine street and check out the shopping. Try to see a show at Tipitina's, House of Blues, or Preservation Hall.
Do’s and don’ts in New Orleans: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):
Take Uber or cabs at night, especially if you are alone. You can never be too careful. If you do walk, walk in groups. Definitely eat as much food as you can, it's hard to go wrong. This is one of the best culinary cities in the country! The streetcar is notoriously slow... It's fun to ride on, but if you are in a hurry, take another mode of transport.
What do you do and why do you do it?
My partner and I love food. In a city that is always opening new restaurants, and great ones at that, we love going and checking out new places to eat.
How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?
Which New Orleans shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?
Perlis is a preppy New Orleans staple. I love their Crawfish polo shirts. When I want to go more trendy, I love Billy Reid on Magazine. The staff there are really nice and helpful, and always offer drinks! Grab a new pair of sunglasses at KREWE.
Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?
It depends what you are looking to do... for nightlife/fun check out the Quarter, and Marigny for a host of bars. For architectural touring and shopping I would go to the Garden District and Uptown during the day.
Drunk and hungry - where do you go in New Orleans?
I usually order from Kebob on St. Claude. They're open late, and the french fries and carbs will sober you right up!
It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?
Check out some museums - the D-Day museum is constantly expanding. You could spend all day there. Definitely check out the interactive movie. The Ogden and New Orleans Museum of Art also have extensive and interesting collections of art from here and abroad. If you don't feel like a museum, the Davenport Lounge at the Ritz is a fun place to pass the time. There's usually someone playing music, they have good drinks, and their homemade potato chips are delicious
Your go-to brunch spots:
Paladar 511 - casual and crowded, make sure to get a reservation. Everything on the menu is amazing. Bywater American Bistro - Nina Compton and Levi Raines do flavor like no one else. Brennan's is a little fancier, but a New Orleans classic. The restaurant was recently renovated, and I love sitting in the garden room. Cavan is located in an old mansion and has a great atmosphere. Sometimes the service is hit or miss, but the drinks and food are great. Willa Jean is in a new building in the CBD, the atmosphere is a little "any city" but the food is delicious. Be sure to wrap up with an oatmeal raisin cookie. They're my favorite in NOLA.
Your perfect night out in New Orleans includes:
A purple drink from Lafittes Blacksmith shop to get you on your way to debauchery as fast as possible, if that's what you are going for. Or on a nice night when it isn't too hot (which doesn't happen much here) grab a six pack, sit on the river, and watch the people and boats go by.
You’re meeting the mayor of New Orleans - what constructive criticism would you give them?
Roads!! Pave them. They're a mess.