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Noodles Made Simple
At the Japanese Table (Chronicle Books, $16.95), by Lesley Downer, illustrates how simple it is to prepare Japanese-style noodles at home. Her Noodles in Hot Broth can be made with either soba or udon noodles; it calls for just eight ingredients, all of which can be found at Asian Gourmet supermarket (see Restaurant Review).


Grand Opening

Chef Horst and Karen Pfeifer, the couple who run Bella Luna Restaurant (914 N. Peters St., 529-1583), have expanded their romantic riverfront business. The Foundry (333 Joseph St.) is a 19th century warehouse space located within walking distance of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and renovated to accommodate seated dinners for up to 700 people and open-house receptions for 1200. For more information call Rebecca Pace at 529-1583 or log on at www.bellalunarestaurant.com.


Bubbling With Excitement
A new Sunday brunch at the Grill Room (Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 522-1992) features straight-up Dom Perignon Champagne. Three courses created by Chef James Overbaugh, live jazz by the Joe Simon Trio and the champagne altogether cost $45 per person. There's also a $35 non-champagne brunch and a la carte options for children. Mr. John's Steakhouse (2111 St. Charles Ave., 679-7597) is also bubbling over on the weekends, offering $10 bottomless glasses of Piper Sonoma Champagne during both Saturday and Sunday brunches.
Back to School
This fall's Savvy Gourmet evening demonstrations, operated in conjunction with the Jefferson Parish Parks Department, are already cooking at Mike Miley Playground. Guest chefs for the remaining classes include Stephen Hassinger of Cafe Degas, Corbin Evans of LuLu's, Toby Dotson of Palace Cafe, Tom Wolfe of Wolfe's of New Orleans, Tommy Hines of Dickie Brennan's Steak House, Anne Kearney of Peristyle, Anne Weatherford of Herbsaint and chefs from The French Table and Sugar Magnolia. All classes cost $20. Call Barbara Scherer 736-6999, ext.114, or e-mail her at bscherer@jeffparish.net.


Special Appearances
The $16, three-course early-bird special at Dante's Kitchen (736 Dante St., 861-3121) is rolling through October. Head to Riverbend Monday through Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. to cash in. Did you know that Dante's Kitchen chef Emanuel Loubier, Jacques-Imo's chef Jack Leonardi, Dick & Jenny's chef Richard Benz and Clancy's chef Brian Larson crashed the James Beard House in August to collaborate on a "Taste of N'Awlins" dinner? Will there be a repeat performance down here? We should be so lucky.

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