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Prices Drop at Sunset
The location of Ralph's on the Park (900 City Park Ave., 488-1000, www.ralphsonthepark.com) provides front-row seats to sunsets reflected on City Park oaks just across the street. This season, the restaurant is offering what amounts to discounted tickets to those seats. Through the end of the summer, Ralph's is serving a three-course dinner with a glass of wine for $30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The deal includes an appetizer like shrimp remoulade, an entrŽe like parmesan-crusted pork tenderloin, and desserts like bananas Foster bread pudding, plus a glass of wine. Just be sure every member of a party is seated by 6:45 p.m. to get the special pricing. The restaurant's a la carte menu is available as well.


Court Orders
In another nod to the post-Katrina demise of business-as-usual, the Court of Two Sisters (613 Royal St., 522-7261; www.courtoftwosisters.com) has rewritten its traditional Creole dinner menu, which now includes a table d'hote option. That four-course meal goes for $41, and an a la carte menu is available as well, with entrees ranging from $24 to $28. The revamp is the work of Mario Adbu, who was hired this spring after a local career that included turns at Lee Circle Restaurant, Gamay Restaurant and CafŽ Sbisa. While some Court of Two Sisters mainstays like baked oysters Bienville and Rockefeller and lobster etouffee remain, new items veer toward the contemporary with entrees like pan-roasted chicken with wild mushrooms, andouille and pan gravy, parmesan-crusted drum with caponata and a citrus beurre blanc and a grilled, double-cut pork chop with Abita Amber-smothered greens and tasso Creole mustard demi-glace. The restaurant continues to serve its traditional jazz brunch buffet daily.


New Port for an Old Port

The Northshore's Pontchartrain Vineyards (81250 Old Military Road, Bush, 985-892-9742; www.pontchartrainvineyards.com) has produced a port wine and named it in honor of the something the vineyard's winemaker believes locals should look to with pride and confidence for the future: the Port of New Orleans. Pontchartrain winemaker John Seago says the name of his new port — "Port of New Orleans - America's Port" — reflects New Orleans' strategic location and importance as a crossroads of international commerce and cultures, two key ingredients in the city's history and lynchpins for its recovery from Hurricane Katrina. The port of New Orleans is the largest in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world. Pontchartrain Vineyard's port is made with old-growth Zinfandel from California, and Seago says it was made with the area's traditionally rich cuisine in mind. The port was unveiled at an event held, fittingly, at the headquarters of the Port of New Orleans overlooking the Mississippi River.

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