Derrick Rose and Mardi Gras: the two things we're most looking forward to this February.
Hit the French Quarter early at Nouveau Tavern, which is bringing the essential elements of Bourbon Street — authentic Creole cuisine, hurricanes, and moonshine — to Ontario street.
Nah, that doesn't mean gratuitous nudity or long-term kidney damage. This is a more refined Nawlins lounge experience, seating you in supple white leather under LED mood lighting. It's more Cajun cathedral than street fest, as proven by your fancy feast of sambal-slathered bayou wings, Louisiana chicken — cornbread-stuffed half-roasted chicken with chicken Andouille sausage covered in voodoo sauce — and bananas foster bread pudding.
After dinner, and maybe a few glasses of blackberry moonshine spiked with fresh lemon juice and cream soda, let the party come to you. The pink-lit lounge seamlessly transitions into a nightclub with bottle service and low leather booths protected by metal curtains.
Snag the best seat in the house: the (faux) snakeskin semi-circle booth that overlooks the dim cocktail den. Slowly sip a signature hurricane, but be careful, there are three types of rum in that there drink.
See? We told you rum is in.
Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Subway: Brown Line to Chicago
Scene: Catch the early dinner crowd feasting on hard-to-find Southern classics or the late-night club crowd sipping on very potent cocktails.
Best bets: Bayou wings; shrimp and grits; jambalaya
Nearby: Union Sushi + BBQ; Tavernita; Reza's