The chrome Harley-Davidson parked outside Lilette on Magazine Street most nights belongs to a restaurateur who escaped Chicago. Five years ago, Anthony Potenzo owned two of the hippest joints in my hometown, Three Aces and Charlatan. When rising rents threatened profits, Potenzo called it quits. That was the culmination of a hospitality career for...

What a difference a clam makes. The fresh linguine vongole on the menu at San Lorenzo restaurant in the recently opened Hotel St. Vincent is revelatory. Beyond the house-made pasta — and beyond the heft of the toasted garlic in buttery sauce topped with ribbons of parsley and fried breadcrumbs — there are those clams. Although littleneck clams are...

As New Orleans jazz landmarks go, it’s an unlikely one. For starters, it’s still standing, somehow having survived that period in history in which the idea of preserving the city’s cultural landmarks simply didn’t exist. Also, there’s its location. It’s not Backatown, that then-unfashionable area behind the French Quarter where the city’s Black pop...

Italian influence in New Orleans culture typically takes a second fiddle to more indiginous and inarguably dominant inspirations. And while jazz’s creation in New Orleans is credited to African-Americans, the Italians of the city, most notably Nick LaRocca and Louis Prima, can safely be assigned a supporting role. Of course, while the cuisine of th...

The residents of New Orleans have a history of creating unusual pronunciations of words. Local street names provide common examples of New Orleanians’ inventive pronunciations, such as Burgundy Street (pronounced bur-GUHN-dee, not BUR-guhn-dee) and a cluster of Uptown streets named for the nine Greek Muses, including Urania, Thalia, Euterpe, Callio...

On March 14, 1891, 11 Sicilian immigrants who had been falsely accused of murdering the police chief of New Orleans were shot and hung by a mob of thousands in the largest mass lynching in American history. The 130th anniversary of that dark day was marked in Chicago with a moving commemoration in Arrigo Park hosted by the Joint Civic Committee of...

Pelicans forward Nicolò Melli has seen his playing time cut in his second NBA season and he may be looking for a way out of New Orleans, according to a report from Sportando. The story first appeared in the Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport, which states that Melli is waiting for an opportunity with a new team. The 30-year-old has gotten...

Award-winning singer Lena Prima is the youngest daughter of music icon Louis Prima and his singing sidekick (and fifth wife), Gia Maione. A Las Vegas native, Lena spent much of her childhood in her father’s hometown of New Orleans, where she now resides and performs regularly. With seven albums to her credit, her sixth and seventh on Basin Street R...

They've been a tradition since the late 1800s, when Sicilian immigrants settled in New Orleans, and they're still going on, pandemic aside. Elaborate St. Joseph's Altars are unveiled every March 19, as Catholics mark the feast day of the saint who provided relief during a famine in Sicily. There are some changes: Fewer meals will be served, and mas...

On Oct. 15, 1890, New Orleans police chief David Hennessey was shot as he was walking home late at night. Hennessey returned fire, but was mortally wounded. When police captain William O’Connor asked him, “Who gave it to you, Dave?” Hennessey whispered “dagoes,” a racist term for Italians. “ASSASSINATED,” read the front-page headline on the New Orl...