As the weather warms up here in New Orleans, it feels like the city is starting to come back to life. We won’t experience that fully until more of us are vaccinated, but I do feel people are finding creative ways to do some live music and other small-scale events in safer ways.
Obviously everyone has their own comfort level, so maybe you’re not quite ready head out to all of these. I’ll try to add at least a couple of virtual events that can be enjoyed by those among us who are opting to keep things online, as well as those who are reading this but don’t live in New Orleans.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything going in the city — far from it! — it’s just one or two events each day that I think look like a lot of fun. If you know of others, leave them in the comments, or — if it’s for a future week — leave me a comment or send me an email at email@example.com
I’ll release one of these every Monday. Have a great week!
Monday, March 1
Free Red Beans Kits | 11 a.m. | NOCHI
Today officially marks one day until Mardi Gras 2022 — right around the corner! To commemorate the future occasion, the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) will be giving away the key ingredients you’ll need to make the best red beans and rice a Monday can imagine. Stop by NOCHI (745 Howard Avenue) at 11 a.m. to pick up your free kit. There’ll be there until supplies run out, and you can learn more here.
Fish Fry Battle | 5 – 8 p.m. | Zony Mash Beer Project
Southerns food pop-up makes — in my opinion — the best fried chicken sandwich in the city. But in their eyes, there’s no reason to stop at fried chicken. Every week or two, they challenge a different restaurant or pop-up to a cook-off. Tonight they’re entering the ring with Luncheon to see who can make the best fish fry. There’ll be live music by Charlie and the Tropicales, great beer by Zony Mash and — of course — lots of fried fish! I’ll also be judging — let’s see if I make the right call!
Tuesday, March 2
Big 6 Brass Band Live | 5 p.m. | Virtual (and New Orleans Jazz Museum)
The New Orleans Jazz Museum has been hosting weekly shows from their balcony and courtyard throughout the pandemic. This Tuesday they’re featuring the Big Six Brass Band, both, in person and on Facebook Live.
Near Dark Outdoor Horror Movie | 8:30 p.m. | Broadside NOLA
The Broad Theatre’s outdoor venue, Broadside, has been hosting live concerts and outdoor film screenings for months. If you’re looking for something to make your arm hairs stand up, then for only $9 you can buy a ticket to Near Dark — the 1987 film with 88% on Rotten Tomatoes that’s been classified as a new-Western horror. I don’t know what that means, but I know I want to find out. TheVampireMovies.com (which I know nothing about) calls this movie one of the best vampire movies ever made.
Wednesday, March 3
Lunchbox Lecture: The Development of Be-Bop | 11 a.m. | Virtual
The National WWII Museum has been hosting tons of great virtual content throughout the pandemic. This week in their lunchbox lecture, David Kunian of the New Orleans Jazz Museum will take the audience through the story of how dissatisfied swing musicians during the days of World War II devised a new jazz that was faster, angular, virtuosic and dissonant. You can tune in on Vimeo.
Steak & Bourbon Pairing | 7 p.m. | Doris Metropolitan
In my humble opinion, the best steakhouse in the city is Doris Metropolitan. I don’t often feel cool, but when I spend a couple of hours in Doris Metropolitan’s chic dining room, I think, “Hm. Maybe…I am?” This Wednesday, they’re hosting a four-course pairing dinner with longtime Texas distillery, Garrison Brothers. It’s a Bourbon lover’s dream, so if you consider yourself a fan, call 504-267-3500 to make a reservation before they fill up. The meal is $175 (plus tax and tip), so it’s not cheap. But I feel confident it will be memorable!
Thursday, March 4
Sweet Crude & the LPO Players | 6 p.m. | New Orleans Jazz Museum
I’m a huge fan of the Louisiana Philharmonic, and they’ve done a great job this year of bringing the community (and beyond!) genuinely fun performances during a time when their entire industry was turned on its head. A few of their top string musicians (and their charismatic conductor, Carlos Miguel Prieto) are performing with local favorite band Sweet Crude. The concert at the New Orleans Jazz Museum will start with a mashed up version of the two groups playing Haydn’s Lark String Quartet. In the second half, the two groups will play some more modern work! Tickets are $35.
Southern Hemisphere Wine & Cheese Pairings | 7 p.m. | Virtual
St. James Cheese Company is more than just a cheese shop. They also are determined to teach this city everything they can about everyone’s favorite dairy product. One way they do that is through these virtual classes. On Thursday, they’re focused on cheeses and wines south of the equator. For $52 (or $85 for two people) you’ll gain access to the live class, as well as three cheeses, three 3-oz pours of wine per person and a demi-baguette. It’s a lot of fun, always delicious, and more informative than you can imagine!
Friday, March 5
Fry-day Fish Fries | All Day | Locations Vary
Fridays in New Orleans during Lent are all about fish fries! I outlined my Top 5 Lenten fried fish options in New Orleans in an article that should be out sometime this Monday. In case you’re reading this before I have a chance to link to that, though, you have copious options. If this is your first time, I’d suggest checking out one of many local church fundraiser fish fries. My pick is the one at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church (4700 Pineda Street) from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. (though a lot of these sell-out early, so don’t dilly-dally). But there are lots of local restaurants with Fry-day Fish Fry specials to raise money for hospitality workers struggling due to the pandemic. Here’s a full list of those, as well (and if that’s your jam, I don’t think you can go wrong with the likes of Blue Oak BBQ or Peche).
Taking Flights | 4 – 11 p.m. | Bar Marilou
If you’ve not been to Bar Marilou yet, I’d highly recommend. The cocktails are top-notch, the food is really good and the setting is just beautiful. Whether you’ve never been or you’ve been 100 times, you’re going to want to get there for their Taking Flights series. Each month they will feature cocktails from their favorite bars in a new featured city around the world. In March, for example, they’re taking us to Paris with three drinks from renowned Parisian locales. You can learn more here, and don’t forget to make a reservation! Taking Flights is available every night they’re open. If you want to add music to your night, go on a Thursday from 6 – 9 p.m. for their Reverberant Sounds series.
Saturday, March 6
NOLA Crawfish King | 2 – 6 p.m. | Zony Mash Beer Project
The weather’s getting nicer, and that means it’s crawfish time! Swing by Zony Mash Beer Project for some drinks, and to get your mudbug fill. Zony Mash has an awesome new courtyard so you’ll be able to enjoy the weather while you eat. Three pounds of boiled crawfish is just $16 (while five pounds is $25 and ten pounds is $48). For an extra buck, you can get two potatoes, two pieces of corn or sausage. For an extra $3, you can get all three!
Cookie Gras | 7 – 9 p.m. | Virtual
You know what goes best with Girl Scout Cookies? Wine! You know what goes best with wine? Girl Scout Cookies! This is the pairing of your dreams. You can learn more about the event here, but the tricky part is that the deadline for ordering the cookies was February 20. You probably know someone who’s still selling Girl Scout Cookies, though, right? If so, sign up for this class, get the tasting notes and the supplies list and you can always hold the event on your own. I suspect if you ask, you’ll also be able to watch the video later once everything has arrived for you.
Sunday, March 7
Sunday Funday | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Nor-Joe Imports
This small Italian market in Old Metairie is a treasure I wish more people knew about. Walking around the shop, sampling their cannoli, wine, pesto, cheeses and gelato are an event in and of itself, but on Sundays, things get even better. Swing by for their famed weekly Cheese Wheel Pasta and what is arguably the best muffuletta in New Orleans.
Sunny Side Jazz Band in the Park | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Virtual (and Coliseum Square Park)
This group of talented local musicians has filled the live music void for many-a-New-Orleanian this pandemic. Watching them in the park is like being transported to an earlier decade. It’s also a joy to safely be among so many picnicking fellow residents as they spread out along the park’s large lawn. If you can’t catch them in person, the audio on their livestream is also really good.
Alright, that’s all for now! If you events you’re looking forward to this week — or if you know of some for future weeks I should consider — let me know in the comments. Plus give me a Follow or Like on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — and sign up for my newsletter. Thanks for reading!