Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral have always been the beating heart of New Orleans — the center of the action. In fact, the city was laid out specifically to have the Place de Armes (or Parade Grounds) at its core.
Just outside of the city center is a building that was owned by Jean Baptiste Destrehan, the Royal Treasurer of French Louisiana Colonies in the 1700s. Over the centuries and through one devastating fire, the building changed owners and purpose multiple times.
In 2001, Muriel’s opened its historic doors as a casual fine dining restaurant that celebrates the Creole cuisine of New Orleans. The interior is a lush display of beautiful antiques, filling the dining areas with timeless New Orleans charm. And the decor isn’t the only thing that makes Muriel’s historically rich.
“We’re one of the few restaurants in town that is still doing real turtle soup,” says David, general manager at Muriel’s. “The recipe has been passed down through the family for over 100 years.”
And while the turtle soup is a local favorite, there’s another item on the menu the locals have an emotional connection to.
“The pork chop is one of our oldest and most popular items on the menu,” says David. “I remember when we tried to take it off once, and we had a small revolution on our hands.”
Muriel’s also has a special connection to the spirit realm. Legend has it that the ghost of Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, a former tenant of the building in the 1800s who tragically took his own life in what is now the Seance Lounges, still wanders the property.
Today, the team at Muriel’s keeps a table set for Mr. Jourdan as an ode to his story and continued company — don’t worry, everyone has always reported the spiritual presence as friendly.
Not feeling hungry? Muriel’s massive second-floor balcony offers breathtaking views of Jackson Square and is a perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail — or two.