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Cheese Shop Uptown Bound

A pair of Tulane alumni have returned to New Orleans from careers overseas with plans to open a new fine cheese shop Uptown. The husband-and-wife team Richard and Danielle Sutton moved from London to New Orleans in June and are finishing construction of what will be St. James Cheese Co. (5004 Prytania St.; www.stjamescheese.com), which they plan to open in November to sell imported and domestic artisanal cheeses. In London, Richard was manager of Paxton & Whitfield, BritainÕs oldest cheese monger and the cheese supplier for Buckingham Palace as well as hotels and restaurants. Through the job, he says, he was able to develop relationships with many of BritainÕs cheese makers and cheese-making operations in France, Italy and Switzerland. The store will also carry specialty items such as cured meats and patŽs, as well as sandwiches. The shop will hold in-house tasting sessions and events and allow customers to bring their own wine to accompany cheese plates in the store or in its courtyard. The 2,000-square-foot space, which is located next to the wine merchant Wine Seller (5000 Prytania St., 899-6000) was earlier slated to be a restaurant called Nouvelle CafŽ but those plans fell through.

Gobs of Lobster

Lovers of lobster and champagne will find common ground with a limited-time special at Bacco (310 Chartres St. 522-2426; www.bacco.com). For the next few days, the French Quarter restaurant is serving a five-course meal that features four lobster dishes, dessert and wine pairings with each course for $85 per person ($65 without the pairings). The menu includes lobster bisque, chilled lobster salad, lobster ravioli with caviar and a whole, roasted Maine lobster. The first wine pairing is a sherry, while the four that follow are different champagnes from the French winemaker Pommery. The special is available for dinner nightly through Sept. 10.

Eat Your (Sea) Vegetables

The most striking dish at the new Faubourg Marigny lunch spot Melonhead (2801 Dauphine St., 942-4226) contains no melons but rather arame Ñ a thin, black, threadlike seaweed. Also called sea vegetables, this type of produce is hailed for the vitamins and dietary fiber it delivers along with its mild, sweetly marine-tinged flavor. Melonhead uses arame in a salad with chopped avocado, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, red onions and a honey vinaigrette that is just right for the hot weather. Other choices at the health-conscious cafŽ include BLTs made with soy-based tempeh Òbacon,Ó scrambled tofu sandwiches, smoothies and fresh juices. The location had previously been AquarianÕs Marketplace, which also offered plenty of healthy foods not often seen locally. Melonhead is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and until 4 p.m. on Sundays. Ñ McNulty

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