Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Restaurant news: La Boulangerie changes hands, restaurants offer reveillon dinners

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 11:35 AM

Uptown French Bakery La Boulangerie has been sold to the Link Restaurant Group. - COURTESY LA BOULANGERIE/FACEBOOK
  • Uptown French Bakery La Boulangerie has been sold to the Link Restaurant Group.

Uptown bakery La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine St., 504-269-3777) has been sold to Donald Link’s restaurant group. The French bakery and cafe made the announcement Nov. 22 on its Facebook page. The bakery will close Nov. 26 for renovations and reopen under the Link Restaurant Group's helm mid-December.

Former owner Dominique Rizzo opened the Magazine Street bakery in 2000, selling fresh baguettes, French pastries and confections.

“It has been an exciting 15 years,” Rizzo writes. “We are proud to have served the New Orleans Community, brining a touch of the French joie de vivre with every bite.”

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Da Winnas & Da Loozas: A 2015 Louisiana campaign recap

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 11:23 AM

Jefferson Sheriff Parish Newell Normand, left, and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond were two of "da winnas" in Louisiana's recent elections.
  • Jefferson Sheriff Parish Newell Normand, left, and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond were two of "da winnas" in Louisiana's recent elections.

A friend of mine told me this anecdote about six weeks before the Oct. 24 primary: Months ago, when U.S. Sen. David Vitter was still pretending to care what people thought of him, he asked former Gov. Mike Foster to identify his (Vitter’s) biggest weakness as a candidate for governor. Foster responded, “David, people just don’t like you.”

Leave it to Paw-Paw to tell it like it is.

Several months and millions of dollars later, Louisiana voters gave Vitter the same answer.

As a result, the guy who seemed inevitable last May proved to be unelectable in November — so much so that he announced his political retirement during his concession speech. Vitter lost in a landslide to state Rep. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat from Amite, who decided to run in 2013 while on a fishing trip with his legislative seatmate and close friend, state Rep. Sam Jones, a Democrat from Franklin, which, coincidentally, is also Mike Foster’s hometown.

The end of the David Vitter Era coincided with the end of the Bobby Jindal Era. How ironic that Louisiana’s two leading Republicans, who cannot stand one another, both bowed out within days of each other.

Which brings us to our recap of the political carnage in the wake of Louisiana’s statewide elections, known for more than 30 years as Da Winnas and Da Loozas. For the uninitiated, I focus not on the names that appeared on the ballot but rather on the players and forces that shaped the campaign and its aftermath. For them, the election results mean four years of either exhilaration or exile. Let’s get on with it, starting with …


1. Teacher Unions — After eight years in exile, teacher unions (and all unions) finally have a governor again. Edwards made it clear shortly after his victory that he won’t dismantle charter schools or vouchers, but he will help public employee unions survive the existential threat posed by so-called “paycheck protection” legislation, which would outlaw union dues check-offs. He also will put real money back into public education.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Boulevard American Bistro opens in Metairie

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 12:58 PM

Boulevard oysters are served at the new Boulevard American Bistro, now open in Metairie. - COURTESY BOULEVARD AMERICAN BISTRO
  • Boulevard oysters are served at the new Boulevard American Bistro, now open in Metairie.

Boulevard American Bistro (4241 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-889-2301) is now open for lunch and dinner in the former Houston’s spot in Metairie.

The restaurant is the latest project from Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts, which also runs French Quarter restaurants Broussard’s, Kingfish and the Bombay Club. Following Houston’s shutter, which surprised many loyal customers, the restaurant group tapped Robert Hardie, who oversaw operations at the restaurant for 17 years before it closed, to serve as general manager and partner at the new eatery. 

Hardie said at the time he looked forward to “welcoming back the community” with the new restaurant and said renovations to the space would be minimal.

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Brewsday Tuesday: NOLA Brewing collaborates to create funky brews

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 9:00 AM


This holiday season, NOLA Brewing is releasing two collaboration beers with breweries 7venth Sun from the Tampa Bay area and Fulton Brewery in Minneapolis.

The Fulton collaboration springs from the fact that the Mississippi River starts in Minnesota and ends in Louisiana. As the water moves south, it picks up sediment and all sorts of funk, making the water that flows into the Gulf of Mexico different than what it was in the north. There are two Messipi versions: a clean and pure version of amber saison and a funky version, which uses wild yeast strains to give the vibe of the muddy waters of the Mississippi.

“With both breweries’ mutual need and respect for the Mississippi River that connects us, we thought it would be fun to put a spin on the ‘clean’ and ‘funky’ aspect we each experience,” NOLA Brewing CEO Kirk Coco said in a released statement.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

The New Orleans Exercist visits City Surf

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 3:45 PM

"Paddling out" at New Orleans' new indoor surf fitness studio. - COURTESY CITY SURF
  • "Paddling out" at New Orleans' new indoor surf fitness studio.

The only thing I know how to surf is the Internet, so I feel somewhat intimidated when I arrive at City Surf (5924 Magazine St., 954-609-5725; The front door reads #NOBADDAYS, but the rainy, chilly weather disagrees. I’m here to try my first surf fitness class at New Orleans’ newest boutique workout studio, which opened last Thursday (Nov. 17).

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Y@ Speak: unpopular

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 3:06 PM

Bobby Jindal, Rob Ryan and David Vitter pack up their book bags, sling them over their shoulders and scan the cafeteria for somewhere, anywhere, anyone. Also this week: Refugee hysteria, Allen Toussaint, election night and po-boys.

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Rihanna to perform in New Orleans in March 2016

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 1:36 PM

click image Rihanna in 2014. - DOD NEWS FEATURES
  • Rihanna in 2014.

With the expected Black Friday release of her anticipated 2015 album Anti, R&B artist Rihanna has announced a globe-trotting 2016 world tour. She stops in New Orleans at the Smoothe King Center on Tuesday, March 8, among 70 international dates through August. Travis Scott will open on all North American dates.

Rihanna, following the release of massive hits "Bitch Better Have My Money" and "FourFiveSeconds" (the latter featuring Kanye West and Paul McCartney), is expected to release her eighth studio album Anti this week, her first album following 2012's Unapologetic ("Diamonds," "Pour It Up"). 

American Express card holders and Tidal members can access concert presale tickets at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 30. General ticket sales open Thursday, Dec. 3 via

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Oak Street Po-boy Fest announces 2015 winners

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 10:12 AM

Winners have been announced for the 9th annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival on Nov. 22. - COURTESY OAK STREET PO-BOY FESTIVAL
  • Winners have been announced for the 9th annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival on Nov. 22.

The Oak Street Po-boy Festival announced the winners for the 2015 food and music festival. 

Sunday’s cold front did little to detract the tens of thousands who flocked to the popular free street festival, now in its 9th year. More than 40 food and drink vendors, including local food trucks, crammed the narrow street, stretching from Carrollton Avenue all the way to the river levee.

Musical entertainment on two stages included sets from local bands Los Po-Boy-Citos, Rebirth Brass Band and Tank & The Bangas. Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen closed out the festival.

Oak Street was jam-packed at the height of the festival around 2 p.m., and lines still stretched around the block for some of the festival’s most sought-after sandwiches, including GW Fins' fried Maine lobster po-boy doused with melted butter.  

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Gambit's Digital Edition, November 24, 2015

Posted on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 8:57 AM

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Good morning, Governor

Posted By on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM

New Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards — no rest for the weary.
  • New Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Congratulations on your hard-fought victory. For a while, I wondered if you were going to pull it off. Unfortunately, you don’t have time for a victory lap. Inauguration Day is only seven weeks away — and that includes the holidays. Time to get to work.

If your to-do list seems long, you can thank Bobby Jindal. I won’t add to it, but I would like to offer a few words of advice based on more than 40 years of observation.

1. Focus. Right now lots of people are tugging at you. Some want jobs. Some are offering advice (most of it self-serving). Some want to be your “friend” (beware of them). Don’t get distracted. Right now you need to focus on the task ahead, starting with the budget. Compared to that, everything else is trivial.

2. Prioritize. No matter how smart you are, you’re still only human and there are only 24 hours in a day. Don’t micro-manage. The budget is Job One, but many other important problems need to be addressed as well. You can’t tackle them all at once, but you can prioritize them. This is tricky. You don’t want to downplay major problems, but you also can’t afford to over-reach.

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