New gig. Look for Ian Julian, Bombay Sapphire's "Most Imaginative" 2012 statewide winner, behind the stick at the newly-opened Dominique's on Magazine. Ian's winning cocktail, "Sippin' on Gin and Juice with a Summer Breeze," will follow him there; look for it on the DOM cocktail list.
Sara's winter drinks. Mere months after new owner Bart Thomas took the helm at Sara's Bistro, he's added a trio of new specialty cocktails to the list - a pineapple-jalapeño margarita; whiskey sour shot through with apricot liqueur; and a pear caipirinha flavored with rosemary simple syrup, because it's Brazil's summer season.
New wine shop. By the time you read this, Faubourg Wines will have opened on St. Claude Avenue, a victory for shop owner Catherine Markel, who had petitioned City Council to change a zoning ordinance to allow wine purveyors to open on this up-and-coming stretch in the Marigny. Inside, the chic space will sell small-batch wines from all over the world, both by the bottle and in $5 pours at the bar; fans can also linger over gourmet cheeses and sandwiches.
More on tap at Company Burger. Chef/ owner Adam Biderman has expanded Company Burger's brews on draft: at the moment, almost all ales. The beers - rustic or fruity Belgian-style, hoppy pale or golden ales, and one citrus session brew, joined by a sole classic pilsner - come in 14-ounce and "shorty" pours.
On the bottled side, Company Burger has added lagers, a stout, Abita and NOLA Brewing labels, and an earthy, caramel bière de garde from Southern Star. A longer wine, cocktail and spirits list includes whiskey-spiked iced tea and amaro digestifs, which make a nice meal-capper with whatever housemade dessert (often, brownies) are showcased on the counter.
Non-grape wines. NOLA Tropical Winery popped up in the Quarter recently, offering fruit wine-based smoothies at a shop at the corner of St. Peters and Bourbon. Their twin location, a retailer and wine bar at Riverwalk Marketplace, offers wines made from fermented fruits, including wild plum, blueberry, pomegranate, Key lime, banana and mango (there's also muscadine, which yields a sherry-like wine). A few offbeat bottles feature almond or carrot-made wines.
Eat Mah Tacos. This taco pop-up (managed by Niki Mouton, one of the original owners of Boo Koo BBQ) comes to Pal's Lounge on Tuesdays, selling tacos by the pair in combinations like red curried shrimp/pineapple slaw, Buffalo chicken/blue cheese, mushrooms/ Gouda, and classic ground beef loaded with onions and cheese. Cash only.
Street food at Holy Ground Irish Pub. This Mid-City joint now offers food nearly all day, from savory breakfasts served by pop-up Wakin' Bakin' (breakfast burritos, croissant sandwiches, and their signature Chicken and Pancrepes) to creative bar food from Edible Alchemy (pulled pork fries, fish and chips on Fridays; nacho variations come with hand-sliced potato chips). They'll also deliver to Mid-City addresses.
Victory Bar. Try Victory Bar's tequila-based Electric Fence, a spin on the margarita that showcases lemon juice and peach bitters, standing in for lime and triple sec. Joining this party is white crème de cacao, which makes for a softer drink and creamier finish than you'll find in a traditional sour. Also cool: they use a barspoon of the peach bitters and shake them in with the other ingredients, so you get sparkly peach through to the last sip.