In New Orleans these days, some restaurants aren't just up against all the other eateries in town. Some revived historic restaurants are also up against idealized memories of themselves that live on in the city's long memory.
The latest example is the Pontchartrain Hotel, which reopened on St. Charles Avenue in June and brought back a clutch of restaurants that were touchstones of their time a generation ago in New Orleans.
The Caribbean Room, the Bayou Bar, the Silver Whistle café -- these are evocative names for people who knew the Pontchartrain Hotel in its prime. Today, its new developers behind it are banking on that appeal, even as they try to create something new here. In the balance are old memories and modern expectations for restaurants and bars as the landmark is revived for a new generation.
2031 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, 504-323-1400
Dinner daily 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; lunch Fri. 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; brunch Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Daily 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Wed.-Thu. 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Fri. 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat. 2 p.m.-2 a.m.