A lot of folks ask, “If you had one night in New Orleans what would you do?” A loaded question because one of the reasons to live here is the abundance of socializing; eating, drinking, music, art, fashion, this city has so many options it can make your head spin. However, there is a night that if you really want a taste and feel immersed in the spirit of New Orleans you can: Tuesday night, Uptown at Jacques Imo’s restaurant and the Maple Leaf bar. Jacques Imo’s and Maple Leaf are just a few doors down from one another, and every Tuesday at the Maple Leaf, the grammy award winning Rebirth Brass Band throws down brass band style. Start with dinner at Jacques Imo’s which has been around since 1996. Started by Jacques and Chef Austin Leslie (his fried chicken recipe is one of the best,) Jacques Imo’s serves New Orleans food in a fun, super upbeat atmosphere where everyone is in on the party. Reservations are recommended for parties of 5 up to 22 and expect a little bit of a wait, because it is busy there every night. The menu features many New Orleans staples, but taken to the next level. Fried Roast Beef po-boy, Shrimp and Alligator Cheesecake, and those are just the appetizers. The entrees may blow your mind. Carpetbagger steak, Grilled Duck Breast, or the rack of lamb, and all the seafood dishes are sourced locally so you are getting really fresh seafood that is flavorful and soul satisfying.
After a satisfying meal, stroll on over to the Maple Leaf Bar, just a few doors down, where every Tuesday the Grammy Award winning Rebirth Brass Band do their thing, starting at 11pm(ish, sometimes New Orleans time is flexible) The Maple has been around since 1974 and so many New Orleans musicians have called that stage home. (James Booker was a regular.) Rebirth has been holding court at the Maple Leaf since before Katrina, and their music is an explosion of drums and horns with rhythms from all around the world. First started in 1983 The Rebirth Brass Band is a New Orleans musical institution. You can do no wrong heading over to Jacques Imo’s and the Maple Leaf on a Tuesday night and indulge in all the wondrous flavors and rhythms of New Orleans.
Maple Leaf Bar: 8316 Oak Street opens everyday at 3pm www.mapleleafbar.com
Jacques Imo’s 8324 Oak Street Mon-Thurs 5-10pm, Fri and Sat 5-10:30, closed Sundays www.jacques-imos.com
Rebirth Brass Band: www.rebirthbrassband.com https://youtu.be/fhwoGVbY9xU