Review of Ponchatrain Hotel in New Orleans
There has been a lot of recent buzz about the Upstairs Bar at the Ace Hotel—and for good reason—but lately, I am enchanted by the Hot-Tin Rooftop Bar at the Pontchartrain Hotel.
Boasting a “270-degree view” of the Mississippi River and downtown New Orleans, I had to go check it out (if only to educate myself on how much 270 degrees actually is). I stepped on the elevator with a man wearing a seersucker suit and a younger man wearing a suit made entirely of white linen. After a short ride, we arrived to the top and I was immediately struck by the view. I went right before sunset and was able to admire the vastness of the Superdome, the city skyline and the twinkling lights of the Crescent City Connection. It is absolutely gorgeous and it makes me wonder why we don’t have more rooftops showcasing New Orleans’ downtown.
In browsing through the drink menu, with names like “Summer & Smoke” and “Champagne Safari”, every drink sounds tempting and delicious. I decided to go with “Daiq on a Hot Tin”, which the bartender describes as a mix between a daiquiri and a traditional hurricane because it has passion fruit juice in it. Like the location, it is a perfect combination of old-meets- new.
Seeking food, I made my way downstairs to the Bayou Bar. I love the coziness of the dark woodeverywhere and the deep red covered chairs. With a wall case of liquor and a mural of a bayou scene, it sort of feels like you snuck into your grandpa’s study. But when you look through the window adjoining the Bayou Bar to the Caribbean Room you see a grinning painting of Lil' Wayne in a pink suit and you know you belong.
I notice the downstairs has a new drink menu (so many options!) and an interesting food selection (Muffaletta eggrolls, anyone?). I order the 1&1 burger, which includes bone marrow, hickory sauce and Benton’s bacon. It is the best burger I have ever had, no lie. And the fries were perfectly crispy. I am normally a ketchup kind of girl, but the garlic aioli sauce they provided was excellent.
I heard the women behind me order the Mile High Pie and when the waiter brought it out, I had to take a peek. This thing has three distinct colors and the name is not misleading; it is humongous. “Can we clear some more room?” and then “Do you have your camera ready?” the waiter asks the women seriously. With a trained recording on this procession he begins to drizzle chocolate over the mammoth slice, slowly raising and then lowering his saucer to create a dramatic effect. I half expected the cake to be lit on fire with the build-up that he had created but I have to say, I really loved the drama. I can appreciate the theatrics when it is sheerly for the sake of building anticipation and absolutely when it is for the sake of food.
I will definitely be back to the Pontchartrain to check out another sunset. And of course, I have got to try that pie!