OXALIS NEW ORLEANS

When you walk in, tell em you want to sit in outside on the patio. In order to get a table on the patio, you may have to get food, so when they ask if you are eating, say yes and then at least get some fries so you aren’t a liar. Oxalis’s interior is fine, but it’s the multiple courtyards that keep me spending my money on their very reasonably priced, very well made cocktails. The first courtyard (the big one, open every day) has the usual New Orleans courtyard accoutrements: chipped walls with plants growing on and out of them, some intentionally, some not. The patio furniture looks like something you might have in your yard: black iron tables and chairs, with a long table near the back wall that seats larger parties. Drinking here midweek is casual and easy amid the quiet of the courtyard. It’s lovely no matter what night you come, but if you can, try to have a drink there on a weekend. That’s when Oxalis opens The Branch, a hidden nook of a bar and courtyard, located behind the larger courtyard. The bar seats five on a good day, and unless it is very early or very late, you shouldn’t plan to linger. People will be constantly elbowing through you to order their drinks. Instead, grab your cocktail and head out to the oasis in back. On rare chilly nights, sit by the fire or wear a coat. Otherwise, grab a chair by the fountain. I don’t know why more people aren’t drinking here on the weekend in this tucked-away piece of heaven, especially when the drinks are always solid no matter who is doing the mixing. I often order my way around the specials, but no matter what, my first drink here (and often my second or third) is their signature Old Fashioned. Five dollars, people. Six bucks for a nice pour of whiskey, not too sweet, with just enough bitters. A paltry rent in so lovely a locale.

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