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In New Orleans, Time-Tested Charms And Some Bright New Baubles

In New Orleans, Time-Tested Charms And Some Bright New Baubles

Even for a city like New Orleans, which has been bouncing back from calamities viral, meteorological and otherwise for three centuries, the last couple of years have been rough. But today, the most freewheeling city in the nation is strutting forward with a sense of relief and renewed confidence, seducing visitors with time-tested charms and a few bright new baubles.

Notably, a spirit of studied elegance and experimentation has made a mark on the hospitality scene, with bespoke boutique hotels popping up in neighborhoods beyond the French Quarter, and major international players, including Virgin Hotels and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, opening outposts near the heart of the old city.

A place that runs on tourism dollars and conviviality was bound to suffer some notable losses in the pandemic, particularly in the dining world. Among them were K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, the French Quarter fixture that closed in 2020 after decades of spreading the gospel of Creole and Cajun cooking. More dialed-in gourmands are mourning the loss of Upperline, JoAnn Clevenger’s casually elegant Uptown dining room, which fit the neighborhood like the best kind of rumpled button-down shirt.

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But fear not: Nobody’s going home hungry. New restaurants and old are thrumming again as tourists flock back to town and locals get back to their love affair with their city.

On the cultural front, returning visitors will be impressed by a new museum dedicated to Southern Jewish history, while a couple of art and technology-driven attractions offer immersive and virtual takes on what it means to be in New Orleans.

Though the French tend to get top billing, the Spanish-speaking world has also had an outsize impact on New Orleans culture, from the Spanish…

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