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Food News 

Under-Sung Rum

These days, the bulk of the clientele at Bon Ton Cafe (401 Magazine St., 524-3386) are, for the most part, conventioneers and tourists. This is not entirely unpleasant -- when I requested a table for one last week a group of Californians still wearing nametags invited me to eat with them -- but it does lessen the restaurant's appeal to local diners. If I could cite one argument in its defense, it wouldn't be the famous crawfish bisque or the matronly waitresses wearing nurse-white uniforms, but rather the under-sung Rum Ramsey Cocktail. Essentially a rum sour, this cocktail was designed for muggy summer evenings. It's as refreshing as a margarita, but with a darker, less prickly backbone. My waitress called the cocktail "the highlight of this restaurant, for sure." Human beings have founded civilizations on weaker principles.

Extra Large

Bruce Erhardt and Darryl Reginelli, the tag team behind the Reginelli's Pizzeria chain, asserted their stronghold over the local pizza market by opening their fourth location last Friday where Mystic Cafe once operated (3244 Magazine St., 895-7272). A fifth store is slated to open this month at 817 W. Esplanade Ave. in Kenner.

Building the Bridge

Bridge House, a drug addiction treatment center, is the beneficiary of the 10th annual Brewmaster's Dinner to be held this Thursday, Aug. 7, at Crescent City Brewhouse (527 Decatur St., 522-0571) from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Chef Mark Latino and Brewmaster Wolf Koehler have collaborated on the five-course menu; Tom Fitzmorris of radio station WSMB 1350 AM will broadcast his Food Show from the restaurant from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. before presiding as master of ceremonies. Tickets are $40 and may be obtained by calling 522-3901.

Hot Ticket

Tickets are limited for next Tuesday's (Aug. 12) "That's Amore: A Taste of Italy" at Martin Wine Cellar (714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300). Purchase them by phone or at either store (the second location is at 3827 Baronne St., 899-7411).

Hooked Up

If your office is wherever you lay your laptop, consider Marisol's (437 Esplanade Ave., 943-1912) free wireless Internet access. You may boot up during the $12 all-you-can-eat antipasto lunches offered Tuesday through Thursday, or on Friday when three-course lunch specials run for $20. There's also free validated parking in the adjacent lot.

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