If green beer, potatoes, and leprechaun-spotting aren’t up to your St. Patty’s Day speed, try champagne, beignets, and turtle-watching. This Saturday, the recently reopened, Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans hosts the first ever parade of turtles. During construction, the team at Brennan’s found 10 turtles living in their courtyard. They quickly adopted them as their mascots, “The Motha’s and The Otha’s,” so named for the five classical sauces of French cuisine (Béchamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomate, and Velouté) and the other five sauces essential to New Orleans’ cooking (Remoulade, Ravigote, Bordelaise, Mignonette and Cocktail).
Unfortunately, the construction and fountain repairs displaced the turtles for almost two years. Now their fountain is watertight and ready for them to hurry home, so Brennan’s is unrolling the green carpet for them with a parade on Saturday, March 14. A team of bagpipers will lead 10 turtle-topped floats through the French Quarter and into their home in the courtyard restaurant complete with a Champagne sabering welcome.
The fresh take on classic New Orleans cuisine and turtles aren’t the only attraction to Brennan’s, I advise stopping and soaking in the decor. Designed by one of our favorite Alabama-born decorators, Richard Keith Langham, the restaurant is richly colorful, comfortable, and filled with fanciful details worth taking a closer look. You’ll find some inspiration for your own home.
10: 15, parade starts at 550 Bienville & Chartres
10:50, parade arrives at Brennan’s 417 Royal Street
11-12:30, homecoming celebration in the Brennan’s courtyard – open to the public
Follow the turtles @BrennansTurtles