As the sliding doors open to the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans (the talk of the town after a $500 million historic transformation of the landmark World Trade Center building in 2021), guests are greeted by a 15,000-piece crystal-and-glass chandelier cascading over the glamorous lobby centerpiece, aptly named the Chandelier Bar . Like New Orleans , it’s a lot—but in the best way.
The bar’s awe-inspiring design by lauded hospitality decorator Bill Rooney pays homage to the structure’s renowned architect Edward Durell Stone, who was known for marvels like the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Opulence exudes from the circular marble bar, where beverage manager Hadi Ktiri curates a first-class menu that reflects the beguiling hotel and the one-of-a-kind city. “The space is pivotal to the drinks,” he says. “It feels like a throwback to The Great Gatsby—it’s more grand than anything in New Orleans . In a place like this, you have to bring quality cocktails with outstanding presentation.”
As a seasoned mixologist who previously worked at Arnaud’s French 75 Bar and other legendary spots, Ktiri knew that to foster a top-shelf beverage program, he’d have to look at the city’s history and focus on what it has done best for more than 200 years. “We wanted to create one of the finest showcases of New Orleans cocktails,” he says. “But we still kept all of our visitors in mind, including people like my mother, who knows nothing about mixology. We focused on making the drinks approachable to everyone.”
When developing the menu, Ktiri included staples like the Sazerac and the French 75 as well as more obscure offerings like the Brandy Crusta, a citrus-and-cognac cocktail created by local bartender Joseph Santini in the 1850s. It’s distinctly New Orleans but not typically known outside the city. The crown jewel here is the namesake Chandelier Martini, a recipe that’s a collaboration between Ktiri and senior bartender Zachary Domke. Served in a coupe crafted from the same crystal as the chandelier, this showstopper is presented on a silver tray and is set apart from traditional martinis thanks to a blend of three aromatic gins.
While the spirits are the stars, the Champagne, caviar, and regional bites are not to be missed. Savor a sip from their collection of fine bubbly, with some choices dating back to the 1950s. Order the pork belly cracklings and cornmeal fried oysters, or try a glass of ice cream covered in caviar (trust us) from Miss River, one of the hotel’s restaurants helmed by chef Alon Shaya. Dishes can be served barside (with extra napkins).
But it all comes back to the buzzy beverage program and the city that continues to inspire the Chandelier Bar’s spirited menu.
fourseasons.com , 504-434-5100, 2 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70130