Jim was in heaven when we found the “Scottish Merchant” (John Crouch, Tobacconist) a small shop filled with a variety of authentic Scottish goods and where, at the very back of the shop, you can find (and smell) a humidor overflowing with cigars of every flavor and price range. I know that lots of people don’t enjoy the smell of cigar tobacco, but for those who love the smell as Jim and I do, you can imagine the pungent smell of quality Dominican tobacco leaves wafting over you when you enter the walk-in humidor.
Fine cigar in hand for Jim and a tartan scarf for me, we headed next door and up the jazzily painted stairs to the Bayou Room, the bar above 219 Restaurant. The bar is part of the restaurant which is located inside a building built the 1890’s. It is decorated in vintage pub style with intricately carved dark wood and delicately etched mirrors lining the back of the bar, reflecting all with golden light. Elegant 19th century Louisiana style chairs and tables waited for patrons around the large fireplace hearth in the room beyond the bar area, but like everyone else, we were drawn to the long tavern bar with its tall curved bar-stools. You can find bands playing late at night when the bar puts on more of a party/dance atmosphere, but in the early evening, the place is peaceful and pub-like.
By the time Jim finished his cigar, we were both pretty hungry, and the idea of some spicy Louisiana cuisine led us right back down another set of stairs to 219 Restaurant on the first floor. Even though it was a tiny bit chilly, we opted to sit on the patio at the front of the Restaurant so we could people watch and enjoy the beautiful evening as the sun set into darkness and the street lamps began to glow.
The food at 219 Restaurant was wonderful. The restaurant provides a variety of Louisiana Creole specialties, but the chef always has additional delicious plates to offer as specials in addition to the main menu. If you have never tried alligator, that is the place to try it! We both had the Jambalaya with a good red wine to drink and the meal was savory, spicy and absolutely delicious!