The classic New Orleans Creole restaurant Arnaud's (813 Bienville Street) houses the adjacent French 75 as its signature cocktail bar. Tiki monkeys line the wall, leopard print abounds, the carpet is as thick as the soles of our shoes, and the bartenders wear classic white jackets and bowties.
It really made us feel we had walked into a time portal. We instantly we felt that Prohibition had just ended, and this was the time to enjoy a great cocktail. Our bartender Chris Hannah has taken it upon himself to make sure the history of the pleasure-loving Count Arnaud -- who founded Arnaud's back in 1918 -- survives in his bar's walls. And it sure does.
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It was a magic feeling walking in, and Chris did not disappoint. We chatted a little about the bar scene in New Orleans. He recommended a few places and asked about our local bars here in Houston. We decided to let Chris make us whatever he felt like, and he whipped up an Allspice Dram-laden cocktail with fresh cranberry sauce he'd made and rye whiskey. The drink belonged in that bar. We're pretty sure the spirit of Count Arnaud would not have been disappointed.