Food & Drink

Monday, July 11, 2016

Gambit food writer Helen Freund wins national award

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 12:18 PM

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Gambit food writer Helen Freund won top honors at the Association of Alternative Newsmedia Awards in Austin, Texas July 9. Freund’s stories on blind culinary workers in New Orleans, as well as the restaurant scenes on Tulane Avenue and Kenner’s Williams Boulevard, won first places in the category of Food Writing among papers with a circulation of less than 45,000.

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Freund is a veteran reporter who worked for the New York Post for four years as a general assignment and crime reporter. She covered crime for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune before moving to Gambit in April 2015. Before moving to New York, Freund reported on dining and nightlife in Seattle. Freund also has worked as a professional chef and attained a culinary degree at Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu.

The Association of Alternative Newsmedia is the umbrella organization for 114 alternative newspapers and websites across North America, each of which focuses on local news, culture and the arts.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Restaurant news for Tujague’s, Carrollton Market, Josephine Estelle

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Tujague's is celebrating the 160th anniversary of its founding. - COURTESY TUJAGUE'S/FACEBOOK
  • COURTESY TUJAGUE'S/FACEBOOK
  • Tujague's is celebrating the 160th anniversary of its founding.
Chef Phillip Mariano has left Josephine Estelle (600 Carondelet St., 504-930-3070; www.josephineestelle.com), the Southern-leaning Italian restaurant inside the Ace Hotel.

Mariano, who previously worked as chef de cuisine at Domenica, was tapped by James Beard award-nominated chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman to helm the restaurant when the hotel opened earlier this year.

As of last week, a representative for the hotel confirmed Mariano's departure “to pursue other opportunities.” In the interim, the sous chef Ysaac Ramirez has stepped up to executive chef. Ramirez is a longtime employee of Ticer and Hudman’s and moved to New Orleans from Memphis to help open the restaurant.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Shogun adds Japanese robata-style grill menu

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 1:35 PM

Sea snails, or whelks, are sometimes served on Shogun's new robata-style grill menu. - HELEN FREUND
  • HELEN FREUND
  • Sea snails, or whelks, are sometimes served on Shogun's new robata-style grill menu.

When Masako "Peggy" Kamata opened her hibachi and sushi restaurant Shogun (2325 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-833-7477; www.shogunneworleans.com) in 1981, she dreamed of having a section dedicated to robata, a style of Japanese cooking where skewered snacks are cooked over a charcoal grill.

But she felt the timing wasn’t right, and so, the Metairie spot — the oldest Japanese restaurant in the city — built a solid reputation for its griddle-top hibachi and, later, sushi.

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Koreole hosts fried chicken fundraiser for Alton Sterling’s family Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 10:50 AM

Koreole hosts a pop-up fundraiser July 9 to benefit the family of Alton Sterling. - COURTESY KOREOLE/FACEBOOK
  • COURTESY KOREOLE/FACEBOOK
  • Koreole hosts a pop-up fundraiser July 9 to benefit the family of Alton Sterling.

Koreole (2809 St. Claude Ave.) will host a fundraiser Saturday, July 9 to benefit the family of Alton Sterling, the 37-year-old black man killed by Baton Rouge police officers earlier this week.

The pop-up was originally planned as part of an ongoing pop-up series to spread the word about the grocery-restaurant hybrid's opening in mid-August. But when news of Sterling’s death spread, owner Kayti Williams said they shifted gears, choosing to donate the proceeds to Sterling's family members.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Vendors announced for Fried Chicken Festival Sept. 25

Posted By on Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 10:30 AM

The city's first-ever Fried Chicken Festival is Sept. 25. - WIKICOMMONS/BISWARUP GANGULY
  • WIKICOMMONS/BISWARUP GANGULY
  • The city's first-ever Fried Chicken Festival is Sept. 25.

Milkfish, Company Burger, McHardy’s Fried Chicken and Bayou Hot Wings are just a few of the vendors who will be slinging their version of the iconic Southern staple at the city's first-ever Fried Chicken Festival in September. 

Organizers for the inaugural festival announced the lineup Wednesday — which also happens to be national Fried Chicken Day — for the fall festival, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 25 in Lafayette Square. It's free to the public.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Vessel opens in Mid-City

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Vessel, a new restaurant and lounge, opened inside the former church that once housed Christian's. - COURTESY VESSEL
  • COURTESY VESSEL
  • Vessel, a new restaurant and lounge, opened inside the former church that once housed Christian's.

The historic building at 3835 Iberville St. was a church, the longtime home of the restaurant Christian’s, and after that, a restaurant called Redemption. Now, under a new team, it’s home to the more modern restaurant and lounge Vessel.

The restaurant, from partners Alec Wilder, Eddie Dyer and Chuck Brechtel, opened last week for a series of soft-opening dinners. Though the owners have taken care to retain the building’s historic features, including the 25-foot ceilings with exposed beams, originally built to resemble an upside-down ship’s hull, the interior has been remodeled to offer a more casual environment than its predecessors. That includes a yawning 35-foot bar fashioned out of walnut wood, and come fall, a large outdoor terrace.

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Restaurant news for The Halal Guys, City Greens

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 11:30 AM

New York City-based franchise The Halal Guys opened its first New Orleans location on St. Charles Avenue. - COURTESY THE HALAL GUYS/FACEBOOK
  • COURTESY THE HALAL GUYS/FACEBOOK
  • New York City-based franchise The Halal Guys opened its first New Orleans location on St. Charles Avenue.

The Halal Guys (301 St. Charles Ave., 504-302-2918; www.thehalalguys.com) opened its first New Orleans location on Friday, June 24.

The New York City-based chain known for its oversized gyro and chicken platters and sandwiches opened in 1990, when three friends opened the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fast food concept out of a hot dog cart in midtown Manhattan. The spot quickly became known for its lunchtime crowds and long lines.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Anna’s Gastropub closes

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 12:51 PM

Within a week of opening, Anna's Gastropub in the Marigny has closed. - HELEN FREUND
  • HELEN FREUND
  • Within a week of opening, Anna's Gastropub in the Marigny has closed.

Well, that was fast.

Less than a week after French gastropub Anna’s opened in the Marigny, the restaurant — which boasted a no-tipping policy and a $15 starting wage for servers — has closed. Over the weekend, the restaurant's website featured a disclaimer stating the spot was undergoing an "emergency closing," and would be closed till further notice.

Christopher Jones, a manager and part owner of the restaurant, confirmed Monday (June 27) that the Royal Street bistro closed Friday (June 24), one week after it opened. What sparked the sudden shutter isn’t clear, but it appears to be related to a fallout among the owners.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Restaurant news for Fharmacy, Little Korea BBQ and Purloo

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Purloo, the southern-inspired restaurant from chef Ryan Hughes, has closed its location inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Purloo, the southern-inspired restaurant from chef Ryan Hughes, has closed its location inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum.

Purloo, chef Ryan Hughes' Southern-inspired restaurant inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, has closed.

The news, first reported by Eater, was announced Friday (June 24). Hughes opened the restaurant inside the museum on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in January 2015. A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page confirmed the news, and implied the restaurant may reopen at a new location in the future.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

NOLA Caribbean Festival is June 25

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 4:53 PM

COURTESY NOLA CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL
  • COURTESY NOLA CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL

The third annual NOLA Caribbean Festival is June 25 at Roux Carre. The music lineup features Cuban percussionist Alexey Marti & Urban Minds, DJ Megatron from Jamaica as well as local groups such as the Hot 8 Brass Band. Roux Carre food vendors include Johnny’s Jamaican Grill, The Pupusa Lady and The Splendid Pig.

The festival highlights cultural, musical and linguistic ties between New Orleans and the Caribbean.

“We want to highlight New Orleans as the Caribbean’s northern-most city,” says festival organizer Joel Hitchcock. “There is a strong cultural link between the two."

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