Since the streetcar isn't operating, we call another cab to take us to the legendary Commander's Palace for their weekly jazz brunch. The palatial building was built by Emile Commander, as a wedding gift for his daughter. The wedding never took place, so the Commander converted it into a restaurant in 1880. Up until Katrina, it was the oldest, continuously running restaurant under the same name in the U.S. The 14 months of reconstruction and rebuilding brought the grand old space up to code and into the modern era, but the rooms and the décor and the impeccable service harkens back to another time. As we ascend the flight of stairs to the upper level dining room, we are greeted by a cadre of servers, each wishing us a happy Mardi Gras or a "good morning, welcome to Commander's" greeting. The brightly-lit room is full of windows, flooding the space with light. A trio of musicians roams the room, playing standards and jaunty tunes with Cajun and Blues roots. Ti Martin and Lally Brennan are now the face of the restaurant, having assumed the mantle of running this massive operation from the matriarch, Ella Brennan (who still lives next door to the restaurant).
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