I have a confession to make. One of my foodie fantasies is to move to New Orleans and eat my way through the French Quarter. I am guessing it might take me a month or two, if I eat out every day for lunch and dinner. That is, if I don’t explode first. The Jazz Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters would make a good first stop.
A Foodie Feast
If you aren’t familiar with creole foods and want to sample lots of dishes, a good place to start is the Jazz Brunch at Court of the Two Sisters, located at 613-615 Royal Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
My favorite meal of the week is Sunday Brunch, so imagine my delight in learning the Court of Two Sisters serves a Jazz Brunch every day of the week from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The restaurant also offers a Creole a la carte dinner nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
You might need a reprieve before dessert. Sitting a spell to enjoy the live jazz has to be good for digestion. The buffet serves desserts worth smeaching! Smeaching is when you indulge in “some of each.” Try a sliver of southern pecan pie with a dab of homemade vanilla ice cream and praline sauce on top. Bananas Foster is a local tradition made famous by another local establishment.
You will find Mardi Gras King Cake offered here all year ‘round. Then, there is the bread pudding with bourbon sauce and the lemon cake. Decisions, decisions. A short stay in town? The Court of the Two Sisters is definitely the answer to sampling lots of creole culinary culture and tradition in one meal.
The Setting at the Court of Two Sisters
The Court of the Two Sisters accommodates all sizes of parties, from couples and families to buses filled with tourists. The fixed price buffet provides quick service for those who want to get back to their sightseeing. It is also helpful to view dishes with unfamiliar titles on the buffet, deciding visually what looks good, instead of just reading a description on a menu.
The beautiful courtyard provides an inviting environment to order a cocktail and linger under the old wisteria vine listening to live jazz. The Terrace is a perfect place to enjoy the outdoor views with the luxury of air conditioning on a humid New Orleans day. The white tiled floors and large glass windows and doors let in all of the outdoor elements except the heat.
A more formal setting is available in the Main Galley. Private rooms are also available for large parties and special occasions. A meal, a concert, a rest. The perfect mid-day rejuvenation for the tourist trying to experience a lot in a small amount of time.
A Royal History
The original resident of this prestigious address was Sieur Etienne de Perier, the second French royal governor of colonial Louisiana in 1726. Originally known as “Governor’s Row,” this block of Royal Street has been the home to five governours, two State Supreme Court Justices and one future U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Edward Douglas White. The twelfth president of the United States, Zachary Taylor, also resided on Royal Streeet for a period of time.
Flash forward 106 years to 1832, a period of economic boom for New Orleans. The current structure was built as the home of Jean Baptiste Zenon Cavelier, the president of the Bank of New Orleans, and his family. Cavelier, his wife Louise, and their five children lived on the second floor of the house, in the traditional style of a French town house. Cavelier and his brother operated businesses in the downstairs block of the home. The Cavelier family resided in the home until 1854.
The Two Sisters
The property changed hands twice before Emile Angaud purchased the property in 1886. The Shop of the Two Sisters opened when Angaud’s daughter-in-law Bertha and her sister Emma Camors set up a notions shop. The shop catered to New Orleans’ women with Mardi Gras costumes, and the formal gowns of the “Gay Nineties.”
The Fein Family
Three generations of the Fein family have been managing this local gem for the last fifty years. Mr. Joe Fein, Jr., credited with preserving the building to its historic integrity, acquired the building in 1963.
Reservations are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Be prepared. Even if you walk in, you will most likely roll out. Laissez les bons temps rouler.