Small Town Stories: An Afternoon of Glamour at The Roosevelt Hotel
I’m a well-known lover of all things glamorous and, here in New Orleans, it doesn’t get more glamorous than The Roosevelt Hotel. Since 1923, this beautiful hotel has glittered and welcomed some of the most notable names in the world and when you set foot inside, you feel as if you’re stepping back in time. Although the hotel has modern amenities, the décor is as beautiful and intact as it was when the hotel was first built and visitors first walked though those famed doors. Most people know that during Christmas The Roosevelt is the place to see and be seen- the hotel offers a beautiful Christmas display in their lobby complete with lights, Christmas trees and gingerbread houses. They even offer a special Teddy Bear tea for children, to celebrate the holiday. However, The Roosevelt kicks up the special treatment year ‘round and prides themselves on locals and visitors alike feeling special and welcome.
Although I had been here many times before, I decided that I was going to spend a day at The Roosevelt and have an old-fashioned “glamour” type of day. I was going to dress the part and experience some of what this gorgeous hotel has to offer. I showed up on a Friday dressed to the nines and feeling like a 40’s movie star. My first stop was The Fountain Lounge, a gorgeous bar and restaurant that first opened its doors in 1938. Walking in feels as if you’re walking into the past as you are greeted by gorgeous décor and a live band. I sat at the bar taking in the vibe and enjoyed a cocktail. Although they have a delicious menu, I didn’t eat anything here because I had different plans for lunch. Instead, I sat back and listened to the beautiful live piano music in the room was full of people enjoying a lovely afternoon- one thing I absolutely love about this spot is the live music. The Fountain Lounge is also famous for their delicious fried chicken on Mondays which is rumored to be the best in town.
Next, it was off to lunch and I was fortunate that one of the tastiest restaurants around, Domenica, is located here at the hotel. Since 2009, Domenica has been serving up amazing food and I couldn’t wait to stop in and get my favorite- Squid Ink Tagliolini, which is squid ink pasta served with crab meat and herbs. It sounds a little questionable if you have never had it before, but trust me, it is one of the most fantastic dishes you will ever taste! I love that they offer smaller portions of a lot of their menu items as well as an extensive soup and salad menu and a nice selection of pizzas. The vibe of this place transitions nicely between cool and casual and “fancy, if you’re celebrating”, so everyone feels at home when they’re dining here. For dessert I decided on a affogato, which is vanilla gelato served in espresso with a biscotti. Although the dessert is small, it feels like a celebration. To top it all off, a couple of sweet, chocolatey cookies come out with your bill, just in case you weren’t able to get your fill of sugar.
Finally, I headed to The Sazerac Bar and basked in the cozy atmosphere therein. I love the classic feel of the place, the retro décor, the lovely tables throughout and the sofas, just in case you want to kick back and relax while enjoying a cocktail. Of course, I couldn’t spend time here without enjoying the “official cocktail of New Orleans”, and the drink for which this bar is named- The Sazerac. Now, I’m not normally a liquor drinker, but this famed cognac cocktail is deceptively smooth and I do like to enjoy one on special occasions. There’s just something about sitting in a beautiful bar drinking what has been deemed “the world’s first cocktail” that feels almost magical. It was, indeed, the perfect end to my afternoon of glamour and sophistication.
There always seems to be something happening at The Roosevelt Hotel, and whether you are relaxing at The Fountain Lounge, enjoying a delicious dinner at Domenica, a cocktail at The Sazerac Bar or browsing the famed Roosevelt gift shop, you’re sure to find a piece of the past that speaks to you.