Paris in New Orleans: Cafe Degas
Since moving to Esplanade Avenue, Bayou St. John is quickly becoming a new favorite neighborhood of mine. It’s a small historic neighborhood in between City Park and Broad St. along Esplanade. The homes, street names and bayous give it beautiful character. Bayou St. John is just a 10 minute cab ride down Esplanade from the French Quarter, so I recommend venturing out. You’ll find many hidden treasures, but none quite as charming as the French Restaurant, Café Degas.
You’d probably miss it if you weren’t looking for it, but perfectly tucked behind shrubbery and trees is the quaint & delicious French bistro Café Degas, named after Edgar Degas. The famous French impressionist painter found refuge in this neighborhood when he lived and painted here. Side note: his home is now a guesthouse and cultural center worth visiting.
I recommend making a reservation and requesting a table either outside on their small deck (there’s only one table) or by the sidewalk so you can catch a breeze and see the New Orleans ladies sashaying down Esplanade. Also, at night they have white string lights (which I applaud everywhere, any day of the year) that add a romantic element. The lights, coupled with French music in the background, make it a perfect date spot.
I was lucky enough to visit Paris for my birthday last year, and I must say that Café Degas made me feel like I was back there again. All of my food highlights from Paris were brought back to me when I scanned the menu: rosé, escargots, fromage, quiche, hanger steak and pomme frites…and more rosé and fromage!
Sip on wine or cocktails with names like The Streetcar, and be sure to try the French onion soup and cheese plate to start. If you’re feeling extra fancy, get the escargots too.
I’m always on the hunt for restaurants that have the killer combo of both amazing food and ambiance, and Café Degas is currently in my top 3 list. As soon as you feel the first fall breeze, you’ll know it’s time to make your reservation here.