Sommelier Isaiah Estell
Estell is the bar director and sommelier at Cavan, a coastal American restaurant located in the Garden District of New Orleans. He calls his wine list approachable, focusing on smaller producers and large format wines.
"At Cavan, we really aim to offer a broad variety of cuisine-driven wines; we're always seeking those with a sense of place, made by real people. We try to reward adventurousness with selections that truly over-deliver. You can always expect a spotlight on island and coastal wines that make great companions to our seafood-centric plates."
3607 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
T: 504.509.7655 | www.cavannola.com
MY NEW ORLEANS DRINKING GUIDE
by Isaiah Estell
Where I Drink Wine
It's impossible to go out on the town without running into friends on both sides of the bar, so you really don't need to make plans. Just start somewhere and you'll probably end up taking shots with the chef.
Their wine list is fresh and inspired with really friendly prices. Usually a smaller list makes for an easier decision picking a bottle, but it's always a struggle to decide on just one bottle at Boucherie. It is an ideal excuse to bring a crew and try a few different wines and eat the entire menu.
1506 S Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118
T: 504.862.5514 | boucherie-nola.com
Doris is a great place to let the house pick your bottle of wine, especially since there are always some off-menu gems floating around. The food is rich and elegant, making it perfect for getting into old bottles.
620 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.267.3500 | www.dorismetropolitan.com
This is a wholly unique New Orleans destination and they deserve all of the attention they get. They do a lot to demystify wine culture without being afraid to stock some avant-garde selections.
600 Poland Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117
T: 504.948.9111 | www.bacchanalwine.com
This is one of my favorite spots... a Burgundy-lover's paradise. The atmosphere and service make it easy to get into some fine bottles and just enjoy them, without the vibe getting ponderous.
6100 Annunciation Street, New Orleans, LA 70118
T: 504.895.1111 | www.clancysneworleans.com
The Brennan's renaissance has been a lot of fun. They have one of the city's deepest cellars and a list easy to get lost in. The dining rooms have been beautifully restored and the indulgent cuisine encourages you to go for something serious.
417 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.525.9711 | www.brennansneworleans.com
Where I Drink Cocktails
There are too many drinks to list them all, but exploring neighborhood bars on the Westbank, Metarie and beyond is a hobby of mine. But, if I have to name specific drinks, here are some of my favorite spots.
This is New Orleans' Ground Zero for me -- the first bar I drank at in the city, and that first drink was a large frozen Irish. Every Mardi Gras day finds me here at some point, holed up next to the jukebox. I still love the frozen Irish coffee with Fernet.
11 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
T: 504.522.3573 | www.erinrosebar.com
Arnaud's French 75 Bar
Bartender Chris Hannah's work at French 75 is like an open kitchen for a great chef. You can order a straightforward classic, watch it be made, and gain some insight. This all happens in a timeless room, without preachiness or self importance.
813 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
T: 504.523.5433 | www.arnaudsrestaurant.com/bars/french-75
Houston's charm lies in their comforting reliability and the fact that, if you're not drinking your martini fast enough, they'll swap your glass with a freshly chilled one!
1755 St Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
Despite the obvious emphasis on whiskey, Barrel Proof offers a wide range of possibilities. Hence you'll always find a broad spectrum of folks here. Even after hundreds of visits, I always struggle to decide on a drink. I really do enjoy getting into way too much Old Granddad here.
1201 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
T: 504.299.1888 | www.barrelproofnola.com
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