Cane and Table (Photo: Joshua Brasted)
The perfect intersection of the city’s famously incomparable food and enchanting ambiance, great courtyard dining gives you the keys to unlocking the secrets of New Orleans. Enjoy a delicious retreat from the Big Easy bustle when you sit down to eat at these enclosed al fresco beauties.
Infuse your next date night with the undeniable charm of the Vieux Carré when you dine outside Café Amelie. If you’re passing by on Royal Street, one peek at their leafy courtyard will draw you in, and the elegant Louisiana-style fare will seal the deal. To take full advantage of the romantic atmosphere, show up in time to drink in the sunset, then stay for the bewitching flicker of fire sconces that light the outdoor area in the evening. Or, instead, bask in the true Southern delight of a sunny Sunday brunch, complete with a sumptuous plate of shrimp and grits.
If there’s such a thing as old-world tiki, Cane and Table is where you’ll find it. In their back courtyard, the warm breeze of a NOLA evening is an ideal complement to their expertly crafted “prototiki” cocktail selection. Invite your friends to share good times and a sampling of small plates from the locally sourced menu of unique Caribbean-inspired dishes. With must-try choices like the delectable crispy rum ribs, you can make sure your taste buds are having as much fun as you are.
The French Quarter doesn’t have a monopoly on beautiful New Orleans courtyards. This Uptown garden oasis is well worth a streetcar ride out to the Riverbend area. Settle into the beautiful bloom of their flower-lined outdoor seating and prepare to dig into upscale contemporary cuisine beloved by local chefs, foodies and bon vivants. In addition to appreciating the decorative greenery, plant lovers can savor the rotating vegetable plate, picked from area farms for your seasonal delight. Those who prefer a more meaty entree can expect their mouth to water at the first sight (and scent) of the Chicken Under a Brick.
Get your French pastry fix at Croissant d’Or, where freshly made baked goods and treats of all sorts let you sate your appetite with a rich béchamel sandwich or indulge your sweet tooth with an adorable marzipan “mouse.” The endearingly quirky decor of the building is worth a look, but in nice weather be sure to grab your croissants and quiches and head to their inviting stone courtyard tucked away behind the building. Here you can watch the morning light glint off the fountain and listen to the muted murmur of the French Quarter as you linger for a bit to plan the rest of your day.