Good news in the family today: our sister hotel, Bienville House, is celebrating the grand opening of their on-site restaurant, Latitude 29. This tiki-inspired bar and restaurant is like an instant vacation (especially on a cold day).
Latitude 29 is a full-service modern fine-dining experience with world-class cocktails designed by author and internationally recognized exotic drink expert Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. Hailed by Esquire magazine as “one of the instigators of the cocktail revolution” and by Food & Wine as “one of the world’s leading rum experts,” Berry recently won Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards for his book, Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean.
The team at Bienville House took a field trip through the lobby and into tiki heaven for Latitude 29’s grand opening on Wednesday. Here’s what they found:
With the world’s renown tiki expert behind the drinks at Latitude 29, it’s no surprise the drinks are absolutely divine. We might be partial to the classic creations at our Carousel Bar, but Jeff “Beachbum” Berry has created an extensive list of complicated, fruity cocktails worth sipping.
The Pontchartrain Pearl Diver is notable not only for its creamy froth but also its glass: the design is a replica of a rare vintage piece recreated specifically for Latitude 29. Inside it, you’ll find a honey-butter-spice concoction with Jamaica rum, lime, and passion fruit.
The Mississippi Mermaid also delights with its playful presentation of a tiny mermaid perched on the glass. This allspice and vodka cocktail gets a tangy kick from tamarind, a Southeast Asian fruit.
You’ll find a mix of flavors on the Latitude 29 menu, all designed to complement the authentic tiki drinks. Dubbed “PolynAsian,” the cuisine typifies standbys of Asian cuisine (think dim sum and banh mi) while adding traditional Hawaiian dishes.
One such dish is Loco Moco, a tidy stack of rice, a ground filet patty, and a fried egg topped with a brown pan sauce, shitake mushrooms, and a sprinkling of green onions. The egg and hearty ingredients make for a suitable meal any time of day. “In New Orleans, sometimes you’re looking for brunch at 3 in the afternoon,” says one Latitude 29 waiter of the dish’s versatility.
Atmosphere abounds in this cozy restaurant. In addition to authentic tiki carvings and nautical elements like seagrass ceilings, Latitude 29 has all the details of a well-planned bar: a ledge runs along the back wall so guests can set down their drinks, and lighting directly underneath the ledge spotlights even more intricately carved totems.
Outlets in the booths allow for guests to charge their phones or tablets, and select tables overlook the pool and courtyard at Bienville House. Overall, the space is meant for relaxing. Need proof? Overheard at the bar from Berry’s wife, Annene: “You’re allowed to do whatever you like in here!”