When Sound Cafe shuttered earlier this year, the loss of the neighborhood coffee stalwart (and accompanying pop-up doughnut shop) was disappointing. But spirits were lifted when it was announced Herbsaint veteran Doug Crowell is opening a casual, elegant Chinese restaurant, Bao & Noodle (2700 Chartres St., 504-459-9382; www.baoandnoodle.com).
Bao & Noodle officially opens Tuesday, Oct. 21, with a thoughtful and curious menu full of recognizable and unusual Chinese dishes. Small plates include scallion pancakes and "strange flavor" peanuts and entrees include beef chow fun, tea eggs with greens and dan dan noodles. Desserts are intriguing, with a ginger milk custard and almond jelly with osmanthus (a delicate, white-flowered plant) syrup sure to attract those with an adventurous sweet tooth. Bao & Noodle serves lunch and dinner.