It’s not everyday that you have the opportunity to be serenaded by a live jazz band while dining at a luxury restaurant and sampling fine cuisine such as shrimp creole omelettes and Eggs Benedict. This is exactly what we experienced at the Court of Two Sisters in the heart of the French Quarter during our recent visit to New Orleans. The Court of Two Sisters brunch experience is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our trip and therefore we want to share just a few reasons why you should spend $30 to sample the jazz brunch for yourselves!
A Brief History
Founded in 1886 by Bertha and Emma, two sisters with a rich, aristocratic Creole family heritage, the Court of Two Sisters became a popular spot for high-class women to purchase formal gowns. This was initially a elegant ‘clothing’ store but the sisters frequently are known to have transformed this into a small bistro for their aristocratic customers.
Following the sisters deaths, the Court of Two Sisters served refreshments since the 1920s but in 1963 the Fein family (who still own this property today) ensured that this restaurant maintained its rich historical integrity and legacy…and of course keeping the same name which is a fitting tribute to the founders!
What You Need To Know
Located on Royal Street, the Court of Two Sisters is open for reservations and if you decide to visit on a Saturday morning as we did, they strongly recommend calling ahead and booking a time to ensure you can enjoy your experience here. Arriving a little early at the restaurant, we took the time to explore the exterior which in itself is yet another beautifully constructed design that fits perfectly in this part of the French Quarter.
The interior hallway has an intriguing set of wrought iron gates which are known as the ‘charm gates’ as they were made in Spain specifically for the Court of Two Sisters. Legend has it that Queen Isabella of Spain had them blessed so that their charm would be passed along to anyone that touched them. You can’t not touch them after hearing this story!
Address: 613 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Telephone: (504) 522-7261
Hours: The Jazz brunch buffet is offered daily between 9:00AM – 3:00PM. You can also enjoy a Creole a la Carte Dinner every evening between 5:30PM – 10:00PM.
There is a real French flavor about the design throughout the Court of Two Sisters and this restaurant just oozes Parisian flamboyance with the intricate details of the chandeliers and of course the gorgeous courtyard where we were seated.
The main dining area is the courtyard (during the warmer months) but even if you are seated inside I can imagine this is still a great experience as every minor detail is meticulously prepared so that your time at the Court of Two Sisters is nothing but perfect!
But of course we felt incredibly fortunate to be visiting on a day where the weather was perfect and we were seated in the back corner of the courtyard overlooking the full dining area. Sat directly next to where the live jazz band was playing (more on that later), we were able to enjoy this charming French inspired space while shaded by the canopies overhead.
I will share our only frustration right now because visiting this restaurant in the fall meant that the leaves and other floral debris was constantly falling and on several occasions interfered with our dining experience. The waiter quickly remedied this by putting up a couple more umbrellas.
Located in the opposite corner to where we were seated was a gorgeous Italian inspired fountain and the sound of the water gently sprinkling combined with the jazz music provided the perfect ambience to enjoy our morning brunch. I am sure you are ready to hear about what type of food was available so we won’t keep that from you any longer.
Jazz Brunch Buffet Selection
Let’s take a look at the delicious selection available for our jazz brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. With over 60 different items to choose from, guests are literally spoiled for choice so immediately this suggests that you are getting good value for your money. But having a wide variety of food is worthless if the quality is not there…fortunately the Court of Two Sisters don’t have anything to worry about here.
Through the use of the freshest ingredients, there is a vast selection of delicious looking hot and cold items both in terms of breakfast options and lunch fare. After being seated, our waiter offered us tea, coffee or water along with additional paid options of juice, soda etc. We were then left to go our own way and sample the fine delicacies available.
The first stop was the omelette bar where freshly made omelettes, eggs benedict, french toast and pancakes were available at your request. Any style and combination you could think of are available but of course the house specialties are the New Orleans seafood or shrimp creole omelettes.
After collecting our omelettes (I opted for a plain ham and cheese and Heather was a little more adventurous with the shrimp creole) we moved to the hot entree offerings which looked mouthwatering. From spicy etouffee to creole jambalaya, and from veal grillades to a myriad of breakfast meats, it was difficult not to devour everything.
The andouille gumbo was delicious though the soup of the day is turtle soup au sherry so be sure to try that if you feeling a little more adventurous!
The cold bar was equally as impressive with a variety of cajun pastas including tuna, crawfish and more. Farmhouse pâté was available which is not something I have seen this side of the pond before, so that was a nice addition to the menu along with a variety of European and domestic cheeses to choose from.
The most difficult decision at the Court of Two Sisters is what food to choose…our suggestion is try it all! Small portions of a wide variety will give you the true representation of how appetizing this food is.
Needless to say we took several return trips back to the buffet but to really get your value for money I strongly recommend making a number of trips. Don’t forget that this is a brunch menu so the reality is you will probably be eating enough for the majority of the day but you don’t need to worry that you will be leaving the Court of Two Sisters still feeling hungry!
Ready for Dessert?
After such an appetizing experience you may be forgiven for thinking that dessert would be the last thing on your mind. However, at the Court of Two Sisters the selection to satisfy your sweet tooth is so vast that this deserves special recognition and certainly something you have to experience before leaving the courtyard.
Where do we even start? A decadent looking Oreo cake along with a lighter lemon creme cake were in my opinion the best options here.
Add a little home churned vanilla ice cream to either of these and you had a perfect combination.
Alternatively, bananas foster and home-made bread pudding were hot alternatives if you preferred something with a little heat.
Of course a vast fruit selection was on display so the reality is you are spoiled for choice and this is definitely NOT a time to be counting those calories. The beauty of New Orleans though is that a French Quarter walking tour is awaiting you as you exit the Court of Two Sisters, so perhaps eating a few extra calories can be forgiven.
Live Jazz Band
Visiting the Court of Two Sisters wouldn’t quite be the same without the experience of listening to the live jazz band that plays throughout the morning. A mixture of blues and soul music can be heard from the band members who soulfully harmonize together to create a perfect environment.
The music isn’t overpowering so you can still enjoy your brunch while holding a conversation, yet in the background still hearing the beautiful sounds of New Orleans echoing throughout the courtyard.
The million dollar question – is the Court of Two Sisters brunch good value for money? Without doubt YES it is! We rarely spend $30 per person for a meal but take a moment to think about how much you may spend for breakfast and lunch combined. It’s probably not that much cheaper than this, especially if you are dining in a city like New Orleans.
The overall experience at the Court of Two Sisters is what makes this great value, not to mention the amazing variety and quality of the cuisine on offer. I can’t wait for us to return to the Crescent City and have the opportunity to revisit this courtyard and of course listen to some more soulful harmonies playing while sampling New Orleans’ finest brunch menu!