Sofia Coppola’s appreciation for New Orleans was hard won. Initially turned off by Bourbon Street tourist traps, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, director, and actress (folks, forgive her for The Godfather III) fell in love after spending two months living in NOLA while working on her newest film The Beguiled. During her time in Hollywood South, she developed a list of her favorite spots around town, which she kindly shared Conde Nast Traveler.
The director, who splits her time between New York City and Paris, explained that she was pleasantly surprised by the laid back lifestyle of the Big Easy. “I had this idea in my head that it’d be Girls Gone Wild craziness,” admitted the director and scion of the famous Coppola family. “Now I’m glad to know that it’s a nice place to go for a long weekend.”
Coppola and her Beguiled cast — which includes Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell, and regular collaborator Kirsten Dunst — would regularly hit up Donald Link’s seafood grill Pêche for post-work bites. She mused to the magazine, “I long to go back for the crab and cucumber salad.”
Despite her Bourbon Street misgivings, the director found plenty do to in the Quarter, whether exploring the wine cave at Antoine’s or having Sunday supper at Angeline, where the cast would assemble before making their weekday journeys to Madewood Plantation House, the Napoleonville now-B&B which was also the setting for several of Beyonce’s Lemonade videos.
The director also name-checked Lilly’s (“really good pho”), HiVolt, Cosimos, Central Market, and the R Bar (a “perfect dive with free haircuts” — though admits she herself never sat in the barber’s chair).
The be-all, end-all for bars was Napoleon House which, in her words, is “the greatest of the classic French Quarter bars. It’s 150 years old and barely changed a lick.” Coming from a woman with a series of wines named in her honor, a boozy compliment is no small praise.
Coppola also counted herself a fan of the Children’s Museum (she has two daughters, Romy and Cosima, with her husband, Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars), massages from The Woodhouse Spa, Nadine Blake’s boutique goods, and music at The Spotted Cat, dba, and Three Muses.