Holiday Time

Only in the South: Celebrate the Arrival of 2020 with Unique New Year's Eve Drops (December 2019)

Log on to Cyber Monday Deals (December 2019)

Southern Hospitality Traveler's Favorite Things About October (October 2019)

Honor the Red, White and Blue in the South with Independence Day Celebrations (July 2019)

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Celebrating Mardi Gras 2019 (February 2019)

Pickle, Pelican or Peach: The Many Unique Ways the South Welcomes in the New Year (December 2018)

Get Into the Holiday Spirit with the 29th Annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest (November 2018)

17 Celebrations Honoring the Red, White and Blue (June 2018)

Celebrate Mom this Mother's Day with Getaways and Experiences (May 2018)

"Throw me Somethin' Mister!" Celebrating Mardi Gras 2018 (January 2018)

Beach Ball, Fleur-De-Lis, MoonPie: Unique New Year's Eve Drops in the South (December 2017)

25 Festive Events to Keep that Holiday Feeling Through the New Year (December 2017)

Awe-Inspiring Gingerbread Displays at Various Hotels and Resorts Around the South (December 2017)

Fun and Fireworks: 14 Events Celebrating Independence Day (June 2017)

Celebrate 2017 Mardi Gras in the South (February 2017)

Three Festive Ways to Avoid Going Stir Crazy Before the Holidays (December 2016)

30 Ways to Get Your "Jingle" On in the South (December 2016)

Five Ways to Experience the Holidays "Louisiana-Style" (December 2016)

"Brighten Up" Your Holidays with These Holiday Light Displays (November 2016)

Red, White, Blue and You: Fourth of July Celebrations in the South (July 2016)

Drops, Celebrations and More: Memorable Ways to Welcome in 2016 (December 2015)

Spark Your Holiday Spirit with the Many Events Happening Around the South (December 2015)

Six Places to Celebrate the Holiday Season (December 2015)

So Many Ways to Kick Off the Holiday Season in the South (November 2015)

14 Dazzling Holiday Light Displays Throughout the South to Enjoy Now (November 2015)

Celebrate the Holidays in Minden and North Louisiana with the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights (November 2015)

New Twist on an Old Favorite: Amping Up the Grilled Cheese (April 2015)

Celebrate National Soup Month Anytime with Recipes from Benchmark Resorts & Hotels (January 2015)

Move Over Ball Drop - This is How the South Welcomes in the New Year (December 2014)

Ways to Get Your Holiday On in the South (December 2014)

Liven Up Your Thanksgiving Meal with Some Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Style Comfort Foods (November 2014)

Warm Up the Days and the Nights with These Chili Recipes (October 2014)

Creating the Perfect Cheeseburger with Crawford Ker on National Cheeseburger Day (September 2014)

Celebrate National Martini Day with these Recipes (June 2014)

It's Great to be King...Celebrating Mardi Season with King Cake Creations (February 2014)

Celebrate Your Valentine with a Getaway (February 2014)

A MoonPie, Pickle, Red Stick and More...Welcoming in the New Year in the South (December 2013)

Celebrate the Holidays with a New Orleans' Reveillon Dinner (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide...Packages and Escapes (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Books (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Food and Beverage (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Made in the South (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Experiences in the South (December 2013)

End Your Holiday Meal on a Sweet Note courtesy of Chef Sara Thomas (November 2013)

From Their Table to Yours: Holiday Recipes from The Carolina Inn (November 2013)

Firing Up the Grill: Tips and Recipes for a Successful and Tasty Grilling Season (May 2013)

Breakfast for Mom, Southern-Style (May 2013)

Mom-Worthy Hotels in the South (May 2013)

Talkin' Mardi Gras, Shreveport, La. Style (February 2013)

Southern Style: 13 Things You Must Do in 2013 (January 2013)

Holiday Joy: Tips for Creating the Perfect Gingerbread House (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Secret is in the Sauce at Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Make It Memorable and Give the Gift of an Experience (December 2012)

8 Reasons to Visit Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights this Season (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Chef's Table at Emeril's Delmonico (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Simply Ballastone Cookbook (November 2012)

Treat Your Mom to One of These Eight Southern Destinations (May 2012)

Seeing Various Shades of Green: St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in the South (March 2012)

It’s Mardi Gras Time in the South (February 2012)

Celebrate Elvis Presley’s Birthday in the South (January 2012)

A MoonPie, a Pickle, a Horseshoe and More: Ringing in the New Year Southern-Style (December 2011)

Celebrate the Holidays New Orleans-Style with a Reveillon Dinner (December 2011)

"Treat" Yourself this Holiday Season with (November 2011)

Holiday Fun in the South After Thanksgiving (November 2011)

Holiday Fun at Gaylord Opryland (November 2011)

Tours and Treats Along Virginia’s Inn to Inn Cookie Trail and Tour (November 2011)

Celebrating Milestones in the South (August 2010)

5 Activities that Add a "Sizzle" to Your Summer Vacation (June 2010)

Forget Gifts, Give Experiences This Mother’s Day (April 2010)

Celebrating Mardi Gras 2010 (February 2010)

Published: December 2013
Celebrate the Holidays with a New Orleans' Reveillon Dinner  

Holidays tend to be a time of traditions and celebrations.  New Orleans, a destination known for its celebration, honors the holidays with réveillon dinners.  A 19th century tradition once found in many homes is now celebrated in many of New Orleans’ fine dining establishments. In fact, during the month of December, visitors can enjoy portions of the dinner. Some restaurants not only do that, but also serve full réveillon dinners on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve like Restaurant R’evolution, featuring modern Creole cuisine by chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto, located in the French Quarter.

Réveillon dinner is our way of celebrating with the best, and showing guests that we appreciate them and care about them,” says Folse.

“It is our way of welcoming them in our ‘home” and thanking them.


Meaning “the awakening” in French, réveillon dinners were celebrated in regional areas in France. Since Louisiana has such a strong French history, it makes sense the city would also keep this tradition.

“The dinner celebrates the joy of living, and it’s a way to remember our roots,” he says. “There is no better way to do that than with a réveillon dinner.”

The dinners were planned around the eve of major holidays, specifically Christmas and New Year, he says. The feasts were a great, lavish celebration for families and close guests to enjoy after fasting for eight hours and then attending midnight mass.

“The feasts were to ‘awake’ the senses  and get ready for Christmas morning or New Year’s morning. They would go until four or five o’ clock in the morning.”


And the table tended to show off Louisiana’s rich culinary culture.

“While they might have differently slightly, the table would include a wild game of some sort, either venison or wild goose that was filled with apples and oranges. A modest home might present a baked mallard, prepared in the very best way.” comments Folse. “There would also be a great oyster dish as well as other seafood plates, all representing what was sourced from the Mississippi River, swamps and salt lakes.”

Others items included cornbread dressing, oyster dressing, rice dishes and more.

“The table would go on and on, and that’s not even including the sweets, liqueurs and cordials.”

According to Folse, red and white anisette liqueurs were a staple at the dinner as were ratafia liqueurs (fruit-infused liqueurs Creoles were known for.)

Of course the affluent households with their elaborate the tables had a wider variation of spirits. One popular one was a cordial known as a cherry bounce, made with black cherries, whiskey and sugar.

When it came to sweets, Folse says they tended to reflect the talents of the cook. However, the centerpiece typically was floatings islands, which was poached meringue floating on crème anglaise. Common items included a fruitcake, which he says was nothing like the fruitcakes of today. These fruitcakes would have a variety of candied fruits like pineapples, apples and raisins and nuts; of course the more variety of fruits and nuts indicated the wealth of the household.

“Coffee went into the flavor of the fruitcake as well as brandy or a similar-type of liqueur. The fruitcake would be baked in November, and every week an ounce of brandy would be poured on it to spike it. This would continue until the dinner when the cake would be cut.”

Other sweet offerings were pralines, fudge, cookies as well as four-layer coconut cake.

“The coconut cake was considered to be the ultimate gift for guests,” says Folse. “For someone to take time to get the coconut, shave it and prepare the cake, It showed how much the household about them.”


“No matter how affluent or modest a household was, the réveillon dinner reflected the best they could put out for their family and friends,” says Folse.

photo: P&J Sizzling Oysters, Restaurant R'evolution, courtesy of Restaurant R'evolution