BRENNAN’S NEW ORLEANS

Every Friday champagne sabering in the courtyard

Brennan’s is a venerable New Orleans restaurant. Since 1946, visitors to the city have made a pilgrimage to its famed doors to partake in traditional brunch dishes like Eggs Sardou and Eggs Hussarde. Unfortunately, over the last few years, the quality of the meals there declined, and the restaurant’s reputation deteriorated. Visitors still made the trek, but many left, disappointed. In 2015, a different member of the Brennan’s family tree, Ralph Brennan, acquired the property and gave it a multimillion-dollar renovation. Not only did he spruce up the space and (more importantly) improve the food, he also created a bar whose elegance matches the restaurant’s storied past.

Brennan’s original bar, located at the entrance to the restaurant, was more of a stand-up bar, with no room for stools or comfortable drinking. The new bar is a lovely space further into the restaurant, with a view of the building’s courtyard. Visitors can luxuriate in cushy seats at the bar, surrounded by a gorgeous, kaleidoscopic-colored bird mural. Or, when the weather is nice, they can take their drinks into the lush and well-appointed courtyard.

Ralph grew up working in the restaurant and told me how happy he is to be back here, not only running it but doing so with his children. His affection for the place is evident in the effort put into the renovation.

Tuesdays through Fridays they have champagne happy hours, and Friday afternoons, you can see them saber the champagne to remove the corks. What to drink? This is a historic, old-line Creole restaurant. Order a favorite classic. NB: The Old Fashioned is the muddled-fruit kind, not the âœmixologist kind❠with only one perfect Luxardo cherry. My mother would approve.

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