Concierge.com has launched the first up-to-the-minute guide to post-Katrina New Orleans, with Mardi Gras marking the return of the city to the tourist map.Over the past two weeks, the Concierge.com staff has worked overtime to provide Mardi Gras visitors with an in-depth guide to a city in transition.
If Mardi Gras 2006 marks the “official return” of New Orleans to the tourist map, what is it really like to visit the Big Easy these days?
The good news for visitors is the historic French Quarter and other traditional tourist areas survived last September relatively intact.
Hotels, restaurants, shops, and nightclubs are open; the airport is up and running. Yet out of necessity a new city is being born.
Although low staff levels are putting a strain on businesses, local chefs who weathered the storm are thriving in this unpredictable new landscape.
The restaurant Stanley was founded when chef Scott Boswell started grilling burgers outdoors for weary National Guardsmen.
The Savvy Gourmet, a former cooking school on Magazine Street, morphed into a casual lunch spot when Katrina forced most of the city’s restaurants to close.
“This is a historic time for New Orleans, one of America’s most distinctive cities,” said Peter Frank, Editor-in-Chief of Concierge.com.
“Visiting New Orleans now is an opportunity to pay tribute to its people, and to witness the rebirth of a great American city. Our guide reflects the stories of the city and its people, while giving travelers the details they need.”
In Concierge.com’s New Orleans Destination Guide, readers will find an up-to-the-minute lay of the land—what to avoid, what not to miss, hot spots for shopping and nightlife haunts in addition to hotel and restaurant recommendations.