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GoNOLA Top 5: Spring Holiday Brunching in New Orleans

For weeks now, devout Catholics and resolution bandwagon hoppers in New Orleans have commendably restrained themselves from succumbing to their carnivorous instincts, at least on Fridays. Those observers of Lent and lovers of any holiday associated with eating out before or after due worship will rejoice at the chance to feast for Easter or Passover. Classic New Orleans brunch favorites like Commander’s Palace, Café Adelaide and Arnaud’s cannot be touched at this point with a 50 foot pole for non-reservation holders, so we kept those last minute planners in mind when compiling this list. Religious or not, these five New Orleans restaurants will fulfill your weekend brunch cravings.

1. Domenica – From Friday, April 6 to Saturday, April 14, the New Orleans Jewish community can begin their observance of Passover with a complete seder lunch or dinner at Chef John Besh’s Domenica. Domenica’s Executive Chef Alon Shaya is a double threat in the culinary world, not only serving up some of the best pizza and Italian food in the city, but also brings food influences from his native Israel to the table. Domenica’s Passover menu boasts a twist on the traditional matzo ball soup, fish and lamb entrees and a hazelnut cake. The four course meal is priced at $55 per guest.

2. CalcasieuFor a special Easter treat, James Beard Award-winning chef Stephen Stryjewski is throwing a traditional Polish Easter dinner at the Link Restaurant Group’s private dining restaurant, Calcasieu on Wednesday, April 4. The Cochon chef and owner will showcase an array of specialties from his Polish heritage, like kielbasa, pierogi, vodka flights and more. The all-inclusive feast is $75 per guest, some of which will go to the Chefs Collaborative nonprofit organization. Calcasieu opens to guests at 6:30 p.m.

Green Goddess New Orleans

Green Goddess in the lovely Exchange Alley hidden in the French Quarter (Photo courtesy of gourmet.com)

3. Green Goddess – One could walk past the little Exchange Alley in the French Quarter and never know that nestled along its stone path is a darling yet aggressively flavorful restaurant. Green Goddess combines New Orleans favorites like seafood and sausage with international ingredients and influences. The Green Goddess is a lovely option to bring the family for Easter brunch, either to sit in the sequestered back courtyard or al fresco in the alley way. Besides their menu of fresh, robust cuisine, their specialty cocktails are deliciously inspired and inventive.

4. Ste. Marie – The relatively new Ste. Marie restaurant in the Central Business District has quickly become a hub for foodies and the young – or not-so-young – professionals crowd, and with good reason. The menu is full of exquisite French food with ambiance to match, extracted from classic Old Word Champagne chateaus. Their cocktail and wine list is no different, representing elegant French varietals and styles. If you’re looking to pamper the family or friends on Easter Sunday in a chic environment, this would be the place. Reservations come very highly recommended.

5. Ruby Slipper – To take Easter Sunday down a few notches on the fancy scale, check out Ruby Slipper at their Mid City or Downtown location for casual refined New Orleans brunch fare. The Ruby Slipper is great for the whole family and has something on the menu everyone will love.