More dining deals this fall: Coolinary returns for an encore offering another round of specials

For the first time, Coolinary returns to give diners another helping of deals this fall.

The new campaign, called Coolinary Encore, is an unprecedented adaptation of the annual summer dining promotion rolled out by New Orleans tourism leaders to help drive business to restaurants hit hard by the pandemic.

Rosemary BBQ Shrimp at Rosedale from Chef Susan Spicer; Photo courtesy: Paul Broussard

New Orleans and Company, the city’s convention and visitors bureau, announced the promotion Thursday during a virtual press conference as part of a larger tourism campaign aimed at helping struggling restaurants, hotels and attractions.

More than 50 restaurants are already on board for the new Coolinary Encore program running from Oct. 19 to Nov. 22.

New restaurants participating in the program this fall include Justine, The Franklin, Acme Oyster House (Iberville location), Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Gianna, Meril and Gattuso’s Neighborhood Restaurant.

Photo courtesy: Todd Coleman

This time around, some of the restaurants will offer menus centered around weekly themes to encourage repeat diners including seafood, New Orleans classics, po-boys and sandwiches, and gumbos and soups.

For two weeks, from Oct. 19 to Nov. 1, enjoy menus around fresh and flavorful seafood. Then, from Nov. 2 – 8, celebrate the city’s love of its traditional cuisine with New Orleans Classics week.  New Orleans’ best comfort food creations, like po-boys, get the spotlight from Nov. 9 – 15.  And finally, as the gumbo weather rolls in, Coolinary menus will focus on gumbo and soup week from Nov. 16 – 22.

Aside from themes, regular COOLinary Encore menus will also be offered for the entire five-week culinary campaign.

Dine-in, take-out and delivery flexibility returns again for the fall edition, with multi-course, prix-fixe meals for $22 or less for lunch and $40 or less for dinner and brunch.

In addition, some participating restaurants will present Chef’s Special COOLinary menus. However, these menus are a true sample of the chef’s talent and thus cannot be restrained by COOLinary course and price parameters.

Photo courtesy: Zack Smith

Coolinary Encore is only one part of a three-fold marketing campaign that tourism leaders unveiled during the press conference.

The second part of the plan is a regional drive market campaign that targets surrounding areas within a driveable distance like Dallas, Houston, Shreveport and Jackson, Miss. The goal of the road trip campaign is to remind visitors that New Orleans is open for business and a great destination to visit this fall.

The final part of the campaign centers around “Holidays New Orleans Style” which will promote annual holiday traditions like reveillon dinners, Celebration in the Oaks and holiday shopping. More details about the city’s holiday campaign are forthcoming.

Chief marketing officer Mark Romig said in a statement:

“Tourism is not a closed system. The ripple effect of dollars spent in tourism will benefit our community far beyond the restaurants, hotels and attractions – wholesalers, purveyors, beverage companies, delivery companies and linen supply companies are all directly impacted, as well as the New Orleanians who work in all these great establishments and spend their money throughout the city. That’s why our goal with these marketing campaigns is to encourage visitors to come and stimulate business, in a safe way, during these challenging times.”

During the webinar, New Orleans and Company CEO Stephen Perry painted a very bleak picture of the local tourism economy calling it a “very dire” situation. Perry said local spending is one of the biggest chances to save the local restaurant community.

“Our Coolinary program, Coolinary Encore, we think is going to do a tremendous job,” Perry said. And it’s the most impactful thing that we can do against the headwinds of the pandemic and the headwinds of governmental restrictions that are making it very hard to present our culture to the world and provide jobs for our people.”

Find the complete list of participating restaurants and menus at the Coolinary website, www.neworleans.com/coolinary.