Royal Street is already among the best and most popular streets in New Orleans, with its art galleries, charming boutiques, and trendy bars and restaurants. But how much better would Royal Street become if—added to the appeal of shopping and artwork—there was free-flowing wine and gourmet snacks all along the street?
So it is with the annual Royal Street Stroll, which took place Friday night, as part of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (NOWFE). For the price of a ticket, Royal Street Strollers could wander Royal Street between Bienville and Dumaine Streets, sampling wine and bites from the many wine purveyors and restaurants who set up tents along Royal Street. Some highlights included Stella Rosa’s many fruity and refreshing wines, and rosé by Notorious Pink. There were wines from Portugal, wines from Germany, Barefoot for blocks, and wine for days.
On the food side, just to name a few, Antoine’s offered their famous Baked Alaska and Tsunami brought some amazing sushi. Kingfish came out with a delicious crawfish and shitake mushroom salad on a crostini, and Vegan Chef NOLA impressed even meat-eaters with their tasty vegan concoctions.
Many Royal Street businesses also joined in the act, offering everything from bubbly to crab dip, so that participants could eat and drink while they shopped, eat and drink while they perused art work, eat and drink while they strolled to the next stop for something else to consume.
If, for some odd reason, you couldn’t find any wine to please you along seven blocks of Royal Street from all the many wines available for every palate, you could still take part in the fun. For non-wine drinkers, there was Stella Artois Beer and Cidre, Fernet-Branca (which you could have over gelato with espresso or infused in chocolate fudge), Old New Orleans Rum, and even tequila. Or, you could skip the booze altogether and try one of the many non-alcoholic options, like Pure Leaf tea and Lifeway Kefir.
Once you were too tipsy and stuffed to take in another bite or sip, there were still plenty of activities to take part in. You could join the Krewe of Cork as they paraded down Royal Street offering their traditional wine-themed throws, stop to pose for a photo in one of the photo booths, or collect the many giveaways from The Advocate, Barefoot Cellars, and others.