New Face at Muriel's
Muriel's Jackson Square (801 Chartres St., 568-1885; www.muriels.com) has hired a new executive chef, Guy Sockrider, who worked in the Commander's Palace kitchen in the 1970s under chef Paul Prudhomme. He later worked at the Michelin-rated Le Moulin des Mougins in southern France under chef Roger Verge and at Chicago's Le Perroquet restaurant. At Muriel's, he replaces chef Erik Veney, who left earlier this year to become sous chef at Stella! (1032 Chartres St., 587-0091; www.restaurantstella.com ). Muriel's is keeping much of its contemporary Creole menu intact, so the best way to sample Sockrider's new imprint is through his table d'hote specials, which change weekly and include three courses for $24-$28. Some of his specialty dishes include salad Midi with champagne-marinated tomatoes with basil, avocado and feta cheese; chicken breast Tchoupitoulas served over fried polenta with a green peppercorn chardonnay sauce; or a grilled filet mignon with crawfish mashed potatoes, marchands de vin and watercress salad. Muriel's is open for dinner nightly and lunch or brunch Friday through Sunday.
Mt. Fujita and the Big PayTuna
It seemed inevitable when the New Orleans Saints began playing well that restaurants would pay homage to the team by naming dishes for its players; Linebacker Scott Fujita served up an irresistible opportunity for a sushi bar. Rock-n-Sake (823 Fulton St., 581-7253; www.rocknsake.com) took the bait and modified its crawfish and tuna "New Orleans roll" by adding a cascade of avocado sauce and stacking the pieces up in mountain fashion for its new "Mt. Fujita roll." The 250-pound, six-foot, five-inch Fujita was adopted as an infant by Japanese-American parents and joined the Saints this season. He is joined on Rock-n-Sake's inventive menu by Sean PayTuna, sashimi named for Saints coach Sean Payton, and the blue Brees roll with tuna and blue cheese named for quarterback Drew Brees.