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New on Lafayette Square

Local restaurant veteran Raymond Toups opened Restaurant Anatole (600 St. Charles Ave., 274-0105; www.restaurantanatole.com) on the ground floor of the Lafayette Hotel. Toups was for years the executive chef at the Rib Room in the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel and most recently was chef at River 127 in the Wyndham Canal Place hotel. Restaurant Anatole occupies a downtown space that has seen quite a few different restaurants in recent years, including MikeÕs on the Avenue and Mike DitkaÕs Steakhouse in the 1990s. Prior to Katrina, it was a Russian-themed restaurant called RasputinÕs. The dining room and lounge have been opulently redesigned for Restaurant Anatole and the menu is divided between seafood and steaks. The restaurant is open for lunch on weekdays and dinner Monday through Saturday.

Eleven79 Reopens, Mat & Naddie's Resumes Dinner

Eleven79 (1179 Annunciation St., 299-1179) has reopened with a new chef preparing the same menu of Italian dishes the restaurantÕs devotees have been pining after for more than a year now. In charge of the kitchen is chef James Sibal, who trained under the late chef Jamie Shannon at CommanderÕs Palace. Eleven79 is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and stays open until 11:30 p.m. on the weekends. Meanwhile, across town in the Riverbend area, Mat and NaddieÕs Restaurant (937 Leonidas St., 861-9600; www.matandnaddies.com) will celebrate the return of its dinner service with a party on Friday, Sept. 29, featuring live music in its artfully renovated cottage home. The contemporary Creole restaurant reopened in the spring serving lunch only from an offbeat and bargain-priced buffet. That continues each weekday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and now dinner is back on Friday, Saturday and Monday nights.

Distill My Beating Heart

Tales of the Cocktail-founder Ann Rogers is uncorking another new spirited event, the American Whiskey Festival, which includes themed restaurant dinners and opportunities to meet master distillers from some top whiskey makers. The dinners will be held Wednesday, Sept. 27, and each features a menu including American whiskeys and discussions with a distiller throughout the evening. Jimmy Bedford of Jack DanielÕs will be at Bourbon House (144 Bourbon St., 521-8310; www.bourbonhouse.com), Harlen Wheatley of Buffalo Trace will be at RalphÕs on the Park (900 City Park Ave., 488-1000;www.ralphsonthepark.com) and Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey will be at the House of Blues Foundation Room (225 Decatur St., 310-4976; www.hob.com). Tickets are available through the restaurants for $75 each. Distillers will also attend a tasting party at Bourbon House on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Autographed bottles of whiskey will be available for sale from each distiller with proceeds supporting the Crescent City Farmers Market. Party tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Ñ McNulty

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