Every Monday we bring you the SL Hot List, a round up of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. Mardi Gras in the Old Dominion. Louisiana native and chef David Guas brings the beads and revelry of NOLA to his Northern Virginia eatery Bayou Bakery on Tuesday. Bayou Gras Block Party kicks off with mambo tunes, Abita beer, and even shuts down the streets with a neighborhood parade with floats. And of course, you’ll be able to indulge in David’s you’ll-swear-you’re-in-the-Crescent-City cuisine: gumbo, spicy crawfish tamales, “muff-a-lottas,” and more.
2. Nicholas Sparks’ new film. The master of the romantic tearjerker is back to pull at our heartstrings just in time for Valentine’s Day. The North Carolina author’s new movie Safe Haven was filmed in Southport, North Carolina, an area he once told us has “a romance that makes it a great backdrop for a love story.” Don’t forget your tissues for this one.
3. The Flaming Lips’ limited release. The Oklahoma City band channeled Willy Wonka last week, releasing only 100 copies of their USB album. Instead of golden tickets, lucky fans were treated to a USB full of songs housed in an anatomically correct chocolate heart crafted by Dallas chocolatiers Dude, Sweet Chocolate. The hearts were available only at Dwelling Spaces in Tulsa, so if you can’t get your hands on a heart, look for the band’s studio album “The Terror” available April 2.
4. Wild game in Louisville. If you’re on the hunt for something different from your usual burger, go to Game in Louisville for Tuesday’s opening. The new restaurant from Adam Burress and Chase Mucerino, co-owners of Hammerheads, will serve high-end burgers made from meats such as elk, ostrich, and wild boar.
5. José Andrés’ cocktail venture. The chef behind District favorites Jaleo and Oyamel expands his D.C. culinary empire on Friday with the opening of barmini. Connected to his cutting-edge, inventive dining experience minibar, his new cocktail lab is a sleek gallery-like space with reportedly more than 100 drinks on the menu. Watch a preview of the lounge below.