Meet: Congreso Cubano. We have pop-up pizza, tacos, burgers, and, finally, tostones. The recently opened Bywater pop-up, which serves Latin American staples for breakfast at Solo Espresso and, starting next Friday, Casa Borrega for dinner. In addition to providing authentic Latin American street food, Congreso Cunbano cultivates an animated Latino dining scene with live music and drink specials -- which often includes a mojito and caipirinha bar. You can read more about Congreso Cubano here and keep track of their whereabouts by follwing them on Facebook.
Eat: Crawfish empanadas at Treo. A moth since their official opening, Mid City craft cocktail bar Treo (3835 Tulane Ave.) has finally issued their much anticipated menu of tapas. Joining the ranks of the crawfish novelty club including crawfish Monica, crawfish bread, crawfish strudel, and so on, is Treo's crawfish empanadas. The traditional savory Spanish pastries are served as a pair of pocket-sized pies consisting of perfectly golden, flakey crusts generously stuffed with a creamy crawfish filling that'll leave you wishing you'd doubled your order.
Drink: At Apres Lounge. New Orleans has its share of watering holes: gastropubs for date nights; beer gardens for summer evenings when the whole troop is out; dives for the latter part of sunrise kind of nights. Newly opened swanky Warehouse District bar, Apres fills an untapped city niche for celebrations that call for an arsenal of bubbly.
Apres Lounge (608 Fulton St.) is New Orleans first "champagne bar," offering a wide selection of champagne and -- in case you get catastrophic champagne headaches -- sparkling wine, as well. You can drink by the glass or bottle, and, on Friday, the lounge runs a Dom Perignon happy hour, offering glasses for $25.
Wear: Ugly-chic sandals. New Orleans is known as an authoritative cultural hub for Jazz; Creole food; a nice, strong sazerac... and footwear, well, not so much.
NOLA’s wonderfully lackadaisical morale; its unpredictable, yet torrential, rain storms; and rugged sidewalks has subsequently rendered our shoe scene less than desirable. Fortunately we can now wear comfortable and, might I add: heinously ugly, couture shoes. Many high-end designers -- including the likes of: Marni, Helmut Lang, Givenchy, and MSGM -- have taken the basic Birkenstock structures and upgraded them with couture textiles. Ugly camping footwear has never been so fashionable.
Laugh: New Orleans attracts an artsy crowd...
Just, apparently, to some, not a pretty one.
Chelsea Lee is managing editor at NolaVie. Email comments to her at [email protected]