satsuma

Satsuma Cafe is quickly becoming my favorite NOLA spot for amazingly fresh breakfast and lunch.  Even though it’s out in the Bywater, the numerous vegetarian (and even vegan!) options and local fresh squeezed juices make the drive worthwhile every time.  They also make delicious coffee drinks all day.  The funky, eclectic interior of the cafe make it a fun place to go sit and eat or take advantage of the free wifi!

For those fo you from New Orleans, this little place used to be Coffea.  The menu and decor has changed slightly since then, but the hipster, alternative feel is still there (it is the Bywater, after all).  The owners of Satsuma are not new to the NOLA restaurant business. The husband and wife team were previously managed Lilette and worked at Surrey’s.

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cure

Located in the up-and-coming Freret Street neighborhood, this bar’s combination of delicious small plates, innovative cocktails, knowledgeable bartenders, and cozy, modern interior is sure to impress. 

As a Friday treat we checked out happy hour at Cure, which was recently voted as one of the “Best Bars in America” by Esquire Magazine [see the full list here: http://www.esquire.com/features/best-bars-in-america/best-bars-2011/].  When compared to its competitors in cities such as L.A., New York, San Fran, and Las Vegas, even the regular priced cocktails seemed like a steal.  During happy hour, classic cocktails such as a Sazerac, Pimm’s Cup, Dark & Stormy, and rum-based Old Fashioned are only $5.

Unsure of what you want?  I know always am…especially when I’ve never even heard of half the liqueurs in their signature drinks!  Not to worry, the mixologists at Cure can easily point you in the right direction.  With clever names such as The Drink of Laughter & Forgetting  [Cynar . Green Chartreuse . Lime . Demerara . Angostura Bitters] and the Double Helix [Smith & Cross Rum . El Dorado 5yr Rum . Lime . Strawberry . Ginger Beer] their menu seems like it would much more unreasonable than $9 a drink.

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grilled panzanella salad with grilled peppers, squash, and tomatoes

Creole tomatoes are one of the many reasons that I love summer.  They are so vibrant and fresh that I find myself trying to work them into every meal that I eat! Toast, eggs, and tomatoes for breakfast, Caprese sandwiches for lunch, pasta with fresh tomato sauce for dinner – I think you get the picture.  For everyone not fortunate to enough to live in Louisiana, any tomatoes can easily take the place of these (I just find myself to be a little bit partial…).  I’ve somewhat lost interest in leafy green salads after it became a go-to meal at the beginning of summer, so that was definitely out.   While rummaging around trying to think of something, I found a loaf of rejected, slightly stale French bread and knew it was time to make a panzanella.  This salad is perfect for so many reasons.  Really, anything goes here.  Leftover asparagus?  Toss it in.  Can’t find squash?  Substitute a cucumber.  Also, the grilled French bread makes this salad a little heartier than your typical lettuce-tomatoes-light vinaigrette combo .  With the  fresh grilled veggies and lemony dressing, this panzanella is sure to be a hit regardless of what you throw into it.
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