The hosts and guests at this holiday kickoff party represent a phenomenal cross section of New Orleans now. Here are the places where you can find them cooking, eating and making music.
A 1927 Garden District classic brought back to its former grandeur. John Besh and chef Chris Lusk updated the Caribbean Room menu—but wisely kept the signature Mile High Ice Cream Pie. 2031 St. Charles Ave.; thepontchartrain hotel.com.
John Besh and Aaron Sánchez teamed up for this inventive Mexican restaurant in the Central Business District, serving shrimp-ceviche tostadas and beef-barbacoa tacos. 930 Poydras St.; johnnysanchez restaurant.com.
The Queen of Creole Cuisine got her start in 1946, cooking at the restaurant where her in-laws once sold po’boy sandwiches and lottery tickets. Today Leah Chase is the undisputed grande dame of the New Orleans food scene. 2301 Orleans Ave.; dookychaserestaurant .com.
The Carousel Bar
The French Quarter jazz institution has been going strong since 1961. Ben Jaffe, whose parents were the cofounders, is creative director and also plays tuba and upright bass for the ace house band. 726 St. Peter St.; preservationhall.com.