Featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Rivershack Tavern's historic 100+ year-old edifice envelops daring pub dishes and cold drinks served within a dart's throw of the Mississippi River. Classically trained chef Mike Baskind executes a robust menu that jump-starts waning taste buds with its snack-a-tizers such as fried green tomatoes ($6.75) and fierce alligator sausage ($6) that isn't afraid to talk back to mouths. Heaping sandwiches have playful monikers to delight diners and to conceal the meaty operatives' real names, such as the pastrami-filled Ben D. Rules sandwich ($9.25). A seven-sandwich-deep po' boy lineup includes crunchy delights such as a fried oyster po' boy ($11.75). The historic, worn-in setting surrounds patrons in classic wood-paneled tavern décor and entertains with its rotating calendar of live music.
Bruno's Tavern occupies three corners of Maple and Hillary, just as it did when it opened in 1934. But thanks to a four-year-long rebuilding project, the pub's collection of Tulane and Saints memorabilia hangs on new walls alongside plasma TVs. While watching games, patrons can sip 20 types of draft beer and tuck into debris po’ boys, Crystal hot sauce burgers, and Boudreaux sweet-potato fries with blue cheese, pecans, and golden raisins.
Phillips Bar & Restaurant features an upscale, elegant party environment made palatable by a menu of savory, house-made appetizers and pizzas. Backed by the tasteful din of eclectic musical beats, customers can begin their night by decorating fresh bread sticks with roasted-garlic hummus ($7) or coating tortilla chips in a creamy spinach and artichoke dip ($7). Then, before the kitchen clock strikes 9 (or 10 on weekends) and turns everyone's glass slippers into pumpkins, score a 16-inch pizza ($12) with a choice of pesto, alfredo, vodka, or marinara sauce and a dream team of toppings ($0.50 each). Pepperoni pizza slices ($2) are available until the kitchen runs out of slice shapes. Clients interested in honing their drinking skills may opt for Phillips’s mixer- and glassware-inclusive bottle service, contenting themselves until closing time with a Mandolin reisling ($26), a Piper Sonoma Champagne ($35), or 375 milliliters of Maker's Mark ($40), served without superfluous mariners rambling on about dead seagulls.
To learn a new style, take in a performance, apply to a festival, or learn how to pitch one's work, a comic need only spend some time at La Nuit Comedy Theater. La Nuit not only houses a ComedySportz training center and troupe, but runs its own, unaffiliated conservatory, whose curriculum includes improv and writing. The laughter hub's blog tracks the shows that cycle past the stage's chalkboard wall, along with the workshops, open mic nights, and festivals that help launch NOLA comics toward their goals. Two full-service bars and private comedy shows help make events–from birthdays to bachelor parties to Flat Earth Society meetings–more memorable.
Operating out of New Orleans’s Arts and Warehouse District, Creole Pubcrawl orchestrates 2.5-hour jaunts that let guests mingle with fellow pub-crawlers and experience new restaurants and bars. Each excursion features three or four stops at local eateries, breweries, and pubs that welcome guests with a complimentary craft brew or specialty cocktail. The outings can be ideal for friends and coworkers or provide sightseers with a better way to get to know the city than sifting through its mail.
For more than 25 years, Melius Bar & Cafe has been dishing out comfort fare and boozy beverages in a casual sports-bar atmosphere with 10 flat-screen televisions for taking in local teams. With a straightforward menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, early birds can munch on traditional cuisine, including the Bucktown special made with two eggs any style, two sausages or three bacon slices, and two slice of texas toast ($3.50), and afternooners can dig into a specialty, such as a burger ($6.25), salad ($2.75+), or fries ($1.75+). Regular happy hours keep parched patrons hydrated with bubbly drinks, and weekly lunch specials remind palates why they choose to go into tasting instead of accounting. With pool tables, shuffleboard, darts, and video poker, bar-room game sharks can hone their sporting skills in a random game play or join a league to show off proper thumb-stretching techniques.