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Riverbend Changes
One Riverbend restaurant is doing away with its lunch shift while another is preparing to reopen and initially serve lunch only. Dante's Kitchen (736 Dante St., 861-3121; has 86ed its weekday lunch so its kitchen can focus on dinner service. Its popular brunch on Saturday and Sunday remains, however, and the restaurant serves dinner every night except Tuesday. Just upriver a few blocks, Mat & Naddie's Restaurant (937 Leonidas St., 861-9600) is preparing to open any day now with a weekday lunch buffet. The restaurant was badly damaged by a felled tree during Hurricane Katrina, and in the past few months the owners completed a long-planned renovation of the large patio, dining room and bar. Mat & Naddie's plans to book private parties in the evenings initially, before resuming its normal dinner service down the line. The buffet is planned as a quick weekday lunch option serving the restaurant's contemporary Creole fare.

Sparkling Buffet
The Windsor Court Hotel (300 Gravier St., 888-596 0955; has upped the ante on what was already one of the most decadent lunch options available in the $20 range by throwing in a complimentary glass of sparkling wine to its lunch buffet. The Windsor Court raised eyebrows last summer by introducing a lunch buffet, since the luxury hotel was well-known for the culinary repasts of its highly rated restaurant, the New Orleans Grill and its formal high-tea service. But the meal, served in the stately Polo Lounge, was never like an ordinary hotel buffet. Though the menu changes daily, the offerings usually include dishes like seared salmon with ginger sauce, beef tenderloin, leg of lamb, oysters Rockefeller, shrimp and corn bisque and plenty of salads and desserts. The buffet costs $21, which now includes that glass of bubbly and valet parking as well. Lunch is served weekdays from noon to 2:30 p.m.


Wine, Music and Meat
Pontchartrain Vineyards (81250 Old Military Road, Bush, 985-892-9742; is beginning its Jazz'n the Vines picnic and music series this week. Each year, the Northshore vineyard holds early-evening concerts on its grounds, inviting guests to bring their own picnic meals or buy food there. Outside alcohol is prohibited, since bottles of Pontchartrain Vineyard wines are available for sale on premises. The series begins May 13 with Craig Klein's Euphonious Brass Band and continues every other Saturday through the fall. Admission is $10 and the events run from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. See the Web site for a music calendar. The vineyard also will hold a steak dinner in its tasting room on May 20, with a wine hour beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.

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