Although James Bond himself asks for a martini shaken, most prefer to go the traditional route and enjoy themselves a martini stirred. However you prefer a martini, be sure to sip on one June 19, which is National Martini Day. This classic gin and vermouth cocktail is a staple at many New Orleans restaurants, including the five on this list. Read on to learn about the twist they put on this traditional cocktail!
Ace Hotel Lobby Bar
This bar is located right in the comfortable, French Deco-inspired lobby of Ace Hotel. At the Lobby Bar, customers can enjoy upscale bar bites inspired by Southern tradition, like boudin balls or delightfully seasoned fried chicken wings, with one or more of the many cocktails it has to offer. The Lobby Bar's martini special can be found on the classic cocktail happy hour menu. This martini is classically made, but can be garnished with your choice of an olive or orange peel. 600 Carondelet St., 504-900-1180, acehotel.com.
Located off the famous St. Charles streetcar line, Vincent's has been serving the Uptown area since 1997. This restaurant specializes in Italian fare, inspired by the owner's Sicilian family, with a special New Orleans flair and is a favorite of local New Orleanians. Although Vincent's wine list is extensive, as is typical with most Italian restaurants, ask the waiter for a martini with your meal. In the past, Vincent's has offered a free martini with a lunch entree. Although it seems like that tradition is no longer alive, you can still keep the tradition of enjoying a little gin with your eggplant parm! 7839 St. Charles Ave., 504-866-9313, vincentsitaliancuisine.com.
The Grill Room
If you're in the mood for an upscale, fine dining experience, stop by The Grill Room, located in the luxurious Windsor Court Hotel. Customers can enjoy American cuisine, but expect a bit of a New Orleanian twist on the dishes. Each Easter, The Grill Room usually hosts a jazz brunch where you can experience some of the lovely jazz New Orleans has to offer while enjoying gumbo, braised short rib, or another dish from the restaurant's delicious, high-end menu. Be sure to order the "Windsor Martini, shaken with a house marinated olive and onion, slightly dirty, extra cold," according to the menu, with your meal. 300 Gravier St., 504-522-1994, windsorcourthotel.com.
This French Quarter saloon is known for its food first, a menu of small and big bites and other elevated "snacky" foods, but its cocktails are a very close second. SoBou, also known as a restaurant South of Bourbon, is a member of the Commander's Family of Restaurants, which includes some of the most well-respected and delicious dining establishments in New Orleans. SoBou offers a wide variety of unique and award-winning cocktails but has been known to offer special 25-cent martinis during lunch. 310 Chartres St., 504-552-4095, sobounola.com.
The Steakhouse at Harrah's
Whether you decide to stay on one of Harrah's 26 floors or visit its casino and dine afterwards, The Steakhouse at Harrah's is an excellent choice for a meal on site. This restaurant has an extensive nine-page wine menu, but the alcohol doesn't stop there. Try any number of its specialty cocktails with your steak and oysters or ask your waiter for a good, old-fashioned martini with olives. 228 Poydras St., 504-533-6111, caesars.com.