With new management and a full remodel, longtime Elite Cafe was reborn on Fillmore Street in October with a bar program that threatens to steal the show. New owners Sidecar Hospitality bar director Kevin Diedrich (of Sidecar’s Pacific Cocktail Haven) and bar manager Brian Nelson turn out classic New Orleans cocktails with impeccable balance alongside intriguing house creations.
THE DRINK TO DRINK: The Frozen Irish Coffee, served in a proper plastic “go cup,” inspired off the dive bar version at Erin Rose in New Orleans, is the most fun. But spirituous house drinks like the International Smoke (Suntory Toki Japanese whisky, citrus, coconut, float of Islay scotch) or much-needed revivals of a creamy Nola classic, the Absinthe Suissesse (here dubbed Absinthe Suisse), all go down easy.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: With a bowl of red beans and rice or crawfish étouffée, Joanna Karlinsky’s famed Meetinghouse Biscuits are as flaky, buttery and divine as they ever were (remaining from the former Elite).