Bisous Wine Garden courtyard. Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

Wine can be intimidating and Couvant, the Makeready French brasserie inside the Eliza Jane Hotel, wants to change that. Bisous Wine Garden is a new destination for wine lovers--no matter how knowledgeable--to relax while exploring a rotating selection of unique wines at accessible price points.

"There are a lot of good wine spots in New Orleans, but we really wanted to focus on our great wine program and telling the stories of winemakers that we don't really see as often," says Myles Holdsworth, Couvant's general manager. 

The garden, situated in the plant-filled courtyard and surrounded by some of the hotel's 197 rooms, will serve wine and light bites on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday starting at 4 p.m. and quieting down around 11 p.m. (You do not have to be a hotel guest to enjoy Bisous). Glasses start at just $5 and feature options from smaller producers and unique wineries located in countries like New Zealand and Macedonia. "We wanted it to be approachable in price point, but also atmosphere. You can actually talk to the bartender."

bisous night

Photo: Denny Culbert

Creating a wine garden was a no-brainer for the Makeready team: The courtyard already existed as well as the famous fountain and neon sign. "I said, 'I guess we have a new wine bar called Bisous,'" Holdsworth recalls.

With design help from HRI, Bisous is truly an unassuming CBD oasis. The space, which is also available for events, offers traditional seating as well as couches to lounge on. Keeping with the casual vibes, ordering takes place at the bar and food from the Couvant kitchen is cutlery-free. Think crudités, raw bar options, cheese plates, and french fries. The wine selection currently features lighter wine including Vinho Verdes and some organic options. Bisous isn't just limited to summer drinking and dining: Holdsworth told Adore that the courtyard will employ heaters and offer heavier drink choices in the cooler months.

The options are seemingly endless for the newly installed wine garden. After much prep and a few soft weekends, Bisous is prepared for New Orleans and its visitors. "We've got a great team and we're pumped," Holdsworth says. "We're ready to release [Bisous] now."