by Ian McNulty
Feelings Cafe is a Creole restaurant in a very old house with many rooms. Now, one of those rooms is a new wine bar called Sentiments.
Head up the narrow staircase just past the restaurant’s reception area and you’ll find Sentiments open on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 p.m. on.
The menu lists a dozen or so wines, most available by the glass, and Sentiments also serves a varying selection of cheese, charcuterie and small plates. The bar itself is as snug as possible, with room for just two. Otherwise, there are a few tables inside, while the best seats in the house, at least in nice weather, are on the slim, catwalk balcony overlooking a lush courtyard. This is a romantic, charmingly homespun spot, practically hidden inside one of the Marigny’s great old buildings.
A record player on the sideboard plays from a stack of show tunes, ragtime acts and singers like Edith Piaf and Josephine Baker. This certainly adds to the ambiance, but the Sentiments team isn’t above supplanting these vintage sounds for more timely interests. For instance, on a Friday night visit during the NFL preseason, they had the record player off and the radio tuned in to the Saints game.
Local French teacher Nikki Heathcock and her partner David Lee opened Sentiments this summer in cooperation with the Feelings Café owners. Heathcock says they’re interested in opening on other weeknights in the future and perhaps screening French movies outside in the courtyard on nights when Feelings Café is normally closed.
The idea behind Sentiments was to put some under-utilized space in the rambling old building to use, and the wine bar isn’t the only new venture to take root here. The local yoga studio Swan River offers classes just down the hall.
Meanwhile, Feelings Café’s own piano bar, open Thursday through Sunday, still has its own scene going in space directly beneath Sentiments, and the restaurant continues to serve dinner and Sunday brunch.
Feelings Cafe and Sentiments
2600 Chartres St., 945-2222