Nonstop holiday tunes on Magic 101.9.
Fresh pine trees and gingerbread cookies.
Red and green lights and inflatable snowmen… so many snowmen.
Finally, it’s my favorite time of the year – CHRISTMAS TIME.
I’ve been a member of the Holiday Hive since I was a wee-girl, jumping for joy looking at all the lights at Celebration in The Oaks, scream-singing my favorite carols (Carol of the Bells is a particular favorite), performing in The Nutcracker ballet. Now as an adult, I still catch the Christmas spirit, decorating my office with tiny nutcrackers, putting up my family’s tree, and still scream-singing my favorite tunes (What Do the Lonely Do at Christmas is a new favorite in adulthood.) Another new addition to my adulthood Christmas time favorites – Reveillon.
What is Reveillon, you ask? Well, since the 19th century, folks in New Orleans have hosted these rather long dinners at home for those returning from midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. “Reveillon” means “awakening,” meaning, you’ve gotta have your stretchy pants on and your eyes wide open for this filling, family-centered dinner.
All throughout the city, restaurants – both oldies and newbies – host their own Reveillon dinners, providing a menu complete with traditional Creole dishes to pay tribute to the originators of Reveillon and a few fresh twists to their own menus. These dinners usually right after Thanksgiving and go until New Year’s Eve.
While Reveillon has been around for beaucoup years, my personal favorite is b’Reveillon, Reveillon’s cooler, 30-something cousin who keeps a bottle of the best champagne on deck and never wakes up before 9 a.m. This new tradition of the holiday brunch has that same Christmas magic as the dinner, we just get to enjoy it before the twinkling lights and inflatable snowmen turn on.
Here’s a roundup of a few of the b’Reveillon brunches in the city this year:
Standing strong for more than 175 years in the French Quarter, this spot’s b’Reveillon serves up a rich three-course brunch with dishes like duck and waffles, a bright brunch salad filled with goat cheese and madarin oranges, oysters that have been Rockefeller’d, Thermidor’d and Bienville’d, crawfish quiche, and a holiday treat – eggnog bread pudding. Antoine’s is also home to one of the richest wine cellars, so don’t forget to enjoy that brunch with a good ole glass of champagne. Click here to see the menu. ($35)
This four-course brunch starts with an amuse bouche, and then it gets fancier, y’all. This Uptown spot has all the French faves like caviar and creme, and salmon tartine as second course options, and cheddar waffles with kimchi as one of the third-course options. Wear your fanciest stretchy pants for this brunch. Click here for the full menu. ($55)
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Don’t let the French scare you from this deal of a brunch! At Couvant, for $24, you can score a French-inspired four-course brunch with a little lagniappe of coffee or tea. Start off your day with an onion bouillon pissaladiére, an onion soup of sorts, followed by a quiche du jour, and take it up a notch with a steak perigourdine with a personal favorite french side, pomme frites. The fourth course is a French dessert, Mont Blanc, which is a lovely concoction of pureed chestnuts and whipped cream. Click here for the full menu.
As we all know, brunch without a little bit of spirits is just breakfast. A few restaurants in the city may not host their own B’Reveillon, but they’ve got special holiday cocktails to try like the 12th Night at the Carousel Bar, the Brown Butter Bourbon Punch at Couvant (try it at brunch!), or an other favorite, the X-MAS Old Fashioned at NOSH in the Warehouse District.
December is a long month that goes by way too fast, so be sure to head to one of these spots for b’Reveillon, or any of the other restaurants for traditional Reveillon (https://holiday.neworleans.com/reveillon-dinners/) and celebrate the holiday season in style.
See you at brunch!