Culinaria (1519 Carondelet St., 522-8789; www.culinariaart.com) recently opened in Central City with its motto: 'Celebrating the Art of Wine, Food & Spirits.' This translates, according to its press release, to a space inside the renovated 19th century Duncan Kenner House that offers a 'culinary institute, wine academy, private entertainment facility, and unique retail outlet.' Group parties can sample Creole cuisine as well as Asian, French, Italian and Latin dishes. The wine cellar will boast more than 5,000 bottles. For more information, call or visit the Web site.
As the Super Bowl approaches (Feb. 6), several restaurants are wooing sports fans to try out their space. ZydeQue Cajun Barbeque (808 Iberville St., 565-5520), recently voted by Esquire magazine as 'The Best New Barbecue Restaurant in America,' offers 11 TV screens for proper football viewing. ZydeQue also added curbside takeout to accommodate of the downtown lunch crowd's hunger for ribs. Simply call ahead and have your credit card ready. (That Esquire rating, by the way, should come as no shock: writer John Mariani is a huge fan of Zydeque and GW Fins Chef Tenney Flynn.)
Congratulations to the winners of Culinary Concierge magazine's "Cooking With Community Coffee" contest. Commander's Palace Chef Tory McPhail won Best in Show with his Chicory Lacquered Quial, while Besh Steakhouse Chef de Cuisine Steven McHugh won Best of Savory for his Braised Venison Osso Buco (with pumpkin sage grits and Community Coffee-Chocolate Mole. Frank Brigtsen earned the Best of Sweet nod for his Cafe au Lait Creme Brulee, and Rene Bistrot barista Leonard Hardy won for Best Coffee Drink with Leonard's Decadent Community Coffee.