On assignment March 14: Celebrations and celebrations

Ivan Neville performs with Dumpstaphunk at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans on Thursday, May 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

> Shipping France

brooding, the chic French brasserie located in the Eliza Jane hotel reopens its doors this Thursday, March 17, with great pomp and celebration. The restaurant will offer breakfast and dinner, followed by lunch and brunch later this year. I, for one, can’t wait to sample Executive Chef Ryan Pearson’s French cuisine “with a southern soul”. Skip the crispy chickpea fries!

> Go green

March 17 is also, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve got my eye on a casual, Irish-inspired home menu with this recipe from Beer Cheese Dip. Pretzel bread and cheese? Yes please. Pair it with an authentic Irish stout or lager, slices of corned beef and sautéed cabbage (your loot from last weekend’s parades will come in handy) for a festive treat. The pros of 504 Craft Beer Reserve can help you choose the best beers according to your tastes. Slainte!

> Fish Fry day

Friday is for fry. Churches, schools and restaurants across the city will be offering some of the best fish fry platters and special dishes for anyone looking to get good food for good causes. For a great option, United Way of Southeast Louisiana has teamed up with some of the area’s best restaurants for “Fish Fry Fridays” to whip up plates of seasonal fish, with $1 from each meal donated to Hospitality Cares, a program that provides essential resources for hospitality workers. Find a list of locations and menu options here. It’s a win-win Lent.

> Italian influence

We plan to end our festive week with the annual citywide St. Joseph celebrations on March 19th. Delve into the history of this ancient celebration (Atlas Obscura has a deep dive here) and plan to visit one of the elaborate altar displays filled with baked goods, fruits, flowers, wine, and lucky beans. The Archdiocese of New Orleans has an updated list here altars across the region.

> Jazz Festival Celebration

Festival season is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for a taste of the festivals, check out the new trailer for the upcoming documentary, “Jazz Fest: A History of New Orleans.” If that doesn’t make you want to groove, I don’t know what will. The film is a celebration of 50 years of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and features music and interviews with Jazz Fest icons, from Jimmy Buffett to Bruce Springsteen, Al Green and Herbie Hancock, Aaron Neville, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Sequel. The film officially opens in theaters on May 13, so be sure to mark your calendars.

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