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Royal Heritage
Inspired by the restaurant's location in the 170-year-old LaBranche House, and by the relatively mellow season, Chef Michelle Matlock of Royal Cafe (700 Royal St., 528-9086) is offering an a la carte Creole Heritage Menu through August 15. Exploring Creole cuisine's mosaic of cultures, Matlock created dishes like scallops with paprika-almond sauce, Jamaican conch stew and banana fritters for dessert. General Manager Keith Director's summer drink specials at Royal Cafe include sangria, Planter's Punch, a Caribbean Cosmopolitan and a strawberry-banana colada.

Sip With Zip
On the French Quarter summer drink tip, check out the new, vodka-based Cajun Wave at Patout's Cajun Bistro and Cajun Cabin (501/503 Bourbon St., 529-4256). Bartender Dana Diperna describes it as a sweet frozen lemonade. Diperna recently took first place in a citywide drink competition. Her New Orleans Sunrise is made with Southern Comfort, a dash of Grand Marnier, peach schnapps and orange juice. She serves it up in a martini glass with a few drops of grenadine that sink to the bottom to mimic a wedge of peach.

Grapevine
There's a free California and Oregon Pinot Noir taste-off this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Foodies Kitchen (720 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 837-9695). Call 837-9695 to reserve a spot.

'Til Tuesday
During $5 Toastin' Tuesdays at Bull's Corner Lakefront (316 Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 832.0017) between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., taste wines from Alsace this week and take a tour of Oregon on Tuesday, July 30.

Bayona on the Cheap
On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings through August, Bayona (430 Dauphine St., 525-4455) is offering fixed three-course dinners for $28. Pay an extra $7 and you'll also get wine with the first two courses.

This week's column powered by wahoo ceviche at Taquero's. -- Roahen

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