La Nouvelle Louisiane

The Best of What's New Around the State

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While it may also be known as Sportsman’s Paradise, Louisiana is home to more than just natural beauty. From top restaurants and breweries to music venues, museums and dance halls, the state is brimming with individuals keen to make Louisiana an even better place to live and visit. Here, we’ve rounded up the best of what’s new in a multitude of categories.




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The Gloriette

Led by Chef Steven Marsella, The Gloriette opened within the Southern Hotel in downtown Covington in the spring of 2022. Serving breakfast, brunch (on Saturday and Sunday), lunch and dinner, the restaurant features regional and French-inspired cuisine — all in a gorgeously designed space. The menu includes items like blue crab gumbo; New Bedford sea scallops; crab tagliatelle; and pan-roasted pork chop. The Cypress Bar, located adjacent to the dining room, serves drinks and small plates throughout the day.
428 E. Boston St., Covington // 985-202-8090 //



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The Bekery
Lake Charles

Resembling a Parisian paradise, this 2,500-square-foot café and confectionery was recently redesigned in a modern reinterpretation of classic French design. Lake Charles-based interior design firm Thomas Guy Interiors incorporated green- and cream-colored penny tiles; Baroque-style globe pendants, crystal chandeliers and bell-shaped fixtures; custom bistro tables; and brass shelving and accents. The French menu features items like croissants, omelettes, quiches, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, plus desserts and loaves of freshly baked bread.
2040 E. Walnut St., Lake Charles // 337-761-4777 //


Swamp Monster Restaurant

This casual seafood restaurant in Franklinton features quirky décor and a menu with appetizers like Cajun tamales and alligator bites, plus seafood gumbo, po’ boys, burgers, seafood plates and signature dishes. There’s also a kid’s menu and desserts (try the bread pudding).
913 Washington St., Franklinton // 985-322-2121 //


Jay Pappa’s

Located on the Ouachita River in Monroe, Jay Pappa’s specializes in steaks, seafood and specialty pizzas. For starters, try the duck wraps, Jay Pappa’s wings or the fried green tomatoes with lump crabmeat, and for mains, try the oyster po’ boy, an eight-ounce filet or the seafood platter.
2538 River Landing, Monroe // 318-582-5333 //


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Serigne Mbaye
Dakar Nola, New Orleans

Chef Serigne Mbaye, who was born in New York and raised in Dakar, Senegal, studied culinary arts at New England Culinary Institute. Over the years, he honed his cooking style and techniques working at various Japanese, Cuban, French and Creole restaurants. However, his love of Senegalese cuisine is the spotlight of the pescatarian tasting menu at Dakar NOLA, with a focus on local produce and seafood.
3814 Magazine St., New Orleans // 504-493-9396 //



Ana Castro
Lengua Madre, New Orleans

Lengua Madre is a New Orleans restaurant known for Chef Ana Castro’s five-course tasting menu rooted in traditional Mexican cuisine. It has become so well known that Bon Appétit recently named it as a Best New Restaurant in America. Additionally, Food & Wine also named Castro as one of its Best New Chefs of 2022. Expect to be surprised, as the menu constantly evolves.
1245 Constance St., New Orleans // 655-1338 //


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Ross Dover
Palmettos on the Bayou, Slidell

Open since 2002, Palmettos on the Bayou is an Acadian-style restaurant located on the tranquil Bayou Bonfouca near Old Towne Slidell. Open for brunch and dinner, the restaurant highlights Creole dishes using fresh Louisiana ingredients. Chef Ross Dover joined Palmettos in 2022, and he previously served as executive chef for three years and executive sous chef for two years at Restaurant August in New Orleans.
1901 Bayou Lane, Slidell // 985-643-0050 //


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Put on your fancy pants and head to Odelia in Mandeville. This sophisticated café and wine bistro comes to life with elevated décor and a cultured aesthetic. The drinks menu features specialty cocktails, martinis, spritzes and zero-proof mocktails. Odelia also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
3529 U.S. Hwy. 190, Mandeville // 985-778-0034 //


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Hideaway on Lee

Located in a recently remodeled historic building (formerly occupied by the Schilling Shack), Hideaway on Lee is a bar, restaurant and live music venue. The menu features seasonally driven classic and original cocktails, plus a variety of burgers.
407 Lee Ave., Lafayette // 337-484-1141 //


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Agile Brewing
Baton Rouge

This new brewery in Baton Rouge features not only a plethora of craft brews but also a tasty food menu. Beers include Overclocked India red ale, Witty Core sour wheat ale and Back Space Blond ale, among others. Meanwhile, the food menu features Bavarian pretzel sticks, fried pickles and pulled-pork nachos, plus burgers, sliders, tacos and wraps.
14141 Airline Hwy., Ste. 4J, Baton Rouge // 225-427-0630 //



Adopted Dog Brewery

Adopted Dog Brewing offers craft beer brewed in-house, plus a food menu that complements the suds. In addition to popular beer styles, the pet-friendly brewery also offers small-batched brews. Options include 337 Blueberry Blonde, Hazy Times hazy IPA and Fleur de Lis golden lager. Meanwhile, the food menu includes salads, flatbreads, sandwiches, and Southern-fried fish and chips.
329 Dulles Drive, Lafayette // 337-504-5400 //




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Margaritaville RV Resort Breaux Bridge
Breaux Bridge

The Cajun Palms RV Resort has undergone a rebranding and is now named Margaritaville RV Resort Breaux Bridge. The beach-style campground now features 91 luxury cabins and 452 upgraded RV sites complete with full utility connections, Wi-Fi, picnic tables and fire pits. Top-notch amenities include three updated resort-style pools with water slides and a hot tub, brand-new cabanas, on-site restaurants and bars (including a swim-up bar), mini golf, a pickleball court and a Barkaritaville Dog Park. 1055 N.
Barn Road, Breaux Bridge // 337-667-7772 //



Chelsea’s Live
Baton Rouge

A new music venue in Baton Rouge, Chelsea’s Live, hosts live music and events, dance-party nights, karaoke competitions and more. In September, catch Magic City Hippies with Kainalu (Sept. 15) and Enter Shikari (Sept. 24). In October, catch Beast in Black Back in North America Tour with Dance with The Dead (Oct. 9) and Durand Jones North American Tour (Oct. 25).
1010 Nicholson Drive, Baton Rouge //


Lafayette Parish Bicentennial Celebration

Lafayette Parish, which was chartered by the Louisiana Legislature in 1823, is celebrating its bicentennial this year with a series of monthly events. In September, the Downtown Alive! Bicentennial Celebration features free family-friendly outdoor concerts on Friday nights from 5:30-9 p.m. Also, Nov. 27-28 , be sure to check out the Localpalooza Bicentennial Celebration in downtown Lafayette, which will be tied into three different music events that happen around the parish: the Mercredi Show (Carencro); Rhythms on the River (River Ranch area); and Downtown Alive! — but with bigger, better shows at each. Meanwhile, the special edition of Festivals Acadiens et Creoles Bicentennial Celebration at Girard Park Oct. 13-15 will feature added entertainment.
Multiple locations, Lafayette //


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Railroad Park

The Hammond Downtown Development District has opened Railroad Park in Hammond. The newly renovated public space — designed by Roy Dufreche and Associates — boasts improved sidewalks, revived oak trees, the restored Stewart Memorial, a performance stage, a large-scale outdoor mural titled “Hammond Daydream” by Britt Flood, Instagram-worthy metal “Hammond” letters, a clock donated by Hammond Rotary, seating, lighting and public restrooms.
106 N.W. Railroad Ave., Hammond



Houma Courthouse Bandstand

Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government partnered with the Hache Grant Association and Houma Downtown Development Corporation to build the Houma Courthouse Bandstand. The replica of an historic, early-1900s downtown bandstand features an etched copper roof and an iron rail with musical-note motif. Built in 2022, the bandstand commemorated the bicentennial celebration of Terrebonne Parish.
7856 W. Main St., Houma


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The Helis Foundation John Scott Center
New Orleans

The Helis Foundation John Scott Center is a new interactive gathering space in Turners’ Hall. The center presents heritage and symbolism interpreted through the lens of artist, educator and humanist John T. Scott’s life, art and legacy. Visitors will find works of art in the 6,000-square-foot gallery that spark conversation about present-day issues from education and the environment to the movement for social justice.
938 Lafayette St., New Orleans // 504-523-4352 //



Finding Our Roots African American Museum

After Hurricane Ida damaged the building housing Finding Our Roots African American Museum in August 2021, the museum put its exhibits (focusing on rich African American history and culture) in storage. However, the museum has gone mobile with a 34-foot RV that is now doing pop-ups around Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.


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City Park Tennis Center
New Orleans

City Park Tennis Center repurposed its center court for pickleball with four dedicated courts (and another practice-court renovation bringing the total to five). Courts are available by the hour on a first-come, first-serve basis for $10.
5900 Marconi Drive, New Orleans // 504-483-9422 //



Comeaux Recreation Center

The Comeaux Recreation Center in Lafayette’s Beaullieu Park offers new pickleball courts with matches held on Wednesdays (May through August) from 6-9 p.m.
411 W. Bluebird Drive, Lafayette // 337-291-8875 //


225 Fest
Baton Rouge

Created by entrepreneur Myra Richardson, the first 225 Fest took place in downtown Baton Rouge on Feb. 25, 2023. It combined the history and culture of Baton Rouge with the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. Attendees enjoyed food trucks, live performances, an art walk, panel discussions and children’s activities. Mark your calendar for Feb. 25, 2024 from 12-5 p.m., when the event will once again celebrate #225day.



Rum Revival
Lake Charles

The inaugural Rum Revival rum tasting event launched in 2022, and it returned in 2023 to celebrate the Gulf Coast’s colorful history and ties to the Caribbean. In addition to rum tastings, the event also included tequila tastings, Caribbean cuisine and live music and entertainment.


Live After 5

Live After 5 is a free, family-friendly concert series in downtown Ponchatoula. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and food and beverages from their favorite downtown restaurants.
110 W. Hickory St., Ponchatoula //


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Bee Alive Beekeeping Conference and Expo

The Bee Alive Honeybee Beekeeping Conference & Expo is a two-day event celebrating all things honeybees, Sept. 23-24, 2023 at The Harbor Center. Visitors can expect beekeeping talks and vendors, Q&A round-table discussions and a honey show held by the American Honey Show Judges.
100 Harbor Center Blvd., Slidell //



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Willie Fritz
Tulane University Head Football Coach, New Orleans

The 2022 season marked Tulane University Head Football Coach Willie Fritz’s 30th year as a collegiate head coach and 26th year leading an NCAA program at the Division I or Division II level. He led Tulane to the American Athletic Conference championship last season, and the Green Wave also went on to win the title game last year before beating USC in the Cotton Bowl. All in all, 2022 was the best football season for Tulane in more than 50 years.



Dr. Marcus Jones
Northwestern State University President, Natchitoches

Dr. Marcus Jones was named president of Northwestern State University in November 2021, after having served as interim president since the retirement of Dr. Chris Maggio in July 2021. Dr. Jones, Northwestern State’s first Black president, was formally invested to the office Sept. 9, 2022. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Northwestern State, his master’s degree at Grambling State University and his law degree at Southern University Law Center.


Hunter Lee Mannies
Chef, Shreveport-Bossier

Hunter Lee Mannies is a retired chef who recently introduced a new seasoning brand called Benwood’s Surely Southern. Originally created by his father in the 1980s, Mannies added his own special touch to the recipe. In addition to the original flavor, there’s also a low-sodium and spicier version. Mannies also is in the process of releasing three cookbooks in the Benwood’s series, and he has a cooking show on KSLA TV, Shreveport that airs every Monday morning at 9:30 a.m.



Categories: Around The State, Features, Food+Drink, Things To Do, Travel