Maddie Merriweather is all about trying new things, adding a little adventure to life and getting well, unstuck. So as luck would have it, we were invited for a weekend in New Orleans. Naturally, we said yes. We landed on a Friday night into the big, gorgeous new airport filled with lots of brand new bars and places you want to come back to test. We don't check bags so off we went straight to the Uber line where they're using a new tech upgrade. You get a pin code that you match with the first driver in line. Super fast. Loved it! In moments, we were off to the city.

First stop -- an old favorite, the Monteleone Hotel with the famous Carousel Bar. The carousel didn't seem to be working that night but no one seemed to care. The bar was packed and there was a great band playing. Try the skinny margarita. It's delicious and a great way to start off your evening.

Next up: a trip to the Warehouse District to try Cafe Carmo, a laid-back, inexpensive local restaurant with lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Try the Carmo salad and the Kottu Roti, a traditional Sri Lankan street dish. We tried some of the signature cocktails that were served in something that seemed like a clay pot. Not sure about that, but the drink itself was delicious!

Next we wandered right down the street to Emeril's and plunked down at the big bar. This is a gorgeous, lively restaurant with an amazing staff. We ordered a delicious glass of Chardonnay and then a big fat slice of the Banana Cream Pie with chocolate shavings. Totally worth every calorie. We loved the environment so much we booked a second visit for our second night in New Orleans within 10 minutes of arriving. Note: people online complain about the noise level. We loved it - it's New Orleans, it's supposed to be loud and fun.

The next morning we decided to check out breakfast at Brennans. The main dining area was packed so we were seated at the Roost Bar and of course that suited us just fine. The wait staff was phenomenal and we loved watching them make Sparkling Pear Prosecco drinks and beautiful Cajun Bloody Mary's. We both had the Eggs Benedict and oh my, what a fabulous choice. Great spot. Can't wait to go back.

We had a business lunch during the day with a crowd of 14, so we headed to Shaya, a James Beard award-winning Lebanese restaurant, one of our favorites of all time. On the way there, we stopped in Ashley's Longshore's gallery with her fab paintings and fell in love with the sassy artwork. Once we were all settled in the restaurant, we ordered family style and chose nearly everything on the menu, tasting piping hot pita bread, freshly-made hummus, roasted cauliflower, glazed carrots and so much more along with some Honey Do Better cocktails that you don't want to miss.

With too many Honey Do Betters, we headed back to rest up before our next adventure: a late dinner at Emeril's. As we were leaving our hotel a large tour group stopped in front to hear ghost stories about ghost kids that apparently inhabit the place. OMG! Time for a drink. Along the way we got to watch a 2nd line with a large wedding crowd cross our paths and a big film crew filming a fake Mardi Gras scene for a new TV show. Finally we made it to Emeril's where the staff seated us immediately (why yes we had a reservation and you need one, too). The dinner was out of this world and the staff - well, they are absolutely extraordinary. Yes, it was loud but so what. The Moscow Mules are divine and it feels like a party. Our kind of scene to be sure.


Hotel Monteleone
214 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Cafe Carmo
527 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

800 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Brennan's New Orleans
417 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

4213 Magazine St,
New Orleans, LA 70115




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