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Lemon Grass on the Move

Lemon Grass (www.lemongrassrest.com) is moving back to its old Mid-City neighborhood. The Vietnamese-French fusion restaurant, formerly located downtown in the International House Hotel (221 Camp St., 553-9550; www.ihhotel.com), plans to reopen in December at 4139 Canal St., the location formerly held by MichaelÕs Mid-City Grill. MichaelÕs did not reopen after the levee failure and the downtown Lemon Grass closed over the summer. Vietnamese-born chef Minh Bui first opened Lemon Grass in 1996 a few blocks away on South Carrollton Avenue but moved to the International House in 1999.

Stella! Chef Plans A New "Star"

The former Lemon Grass space at the International House is now being redesigned for the latest restaurant from Scott Boswell, the chef behind Stella! (1032 Chartres St., 587-0091; www.restaurantstella.com) and its casual-dining sibling Stanley! (1031 Decatur St., 593-0006; www.restaurantstanley.com). The new restaurant, which Boswell plans to open early in 2007, will be called Hoshi! Ñ the Japanese word for Òstar.Ó However, Boswell says the cuisine will be a blend of different Asian styles rather than strictly Japanese. For instance, the restaurant will feature Korean-style barbecue tables in the dining room for preparing Kobe beef, Gulf shrimp and Alaskan king crab. Boswell says his love of Asian ingredients and techniques was beginning to take over the menu at Stella! at the expense of the restaurantÕs original blend of French, Italian and Creole styles. Hoshi!, he says, will allow him to more fully explore Asian motifs. The new restaurant will be fine-dining style but at a lower price point than Stella!, he says. Stella! is expanding its schedule beginning the week of Nov. 13 to serve dinner every night. Stanley! closed in October for an extensive redesign, though Boswell could not say when it would reopen.

Wingmen Wanted

The Covington-based chain WOW CafŽ & Wingery (multiple locations citywide; www.wingery.com ) is holding a chicken-wing eating contest, the winner of which will be named the WOW Wingman and asked to represent the company at a national competitive eating event next September in Buffalo, N.Y. The contest has been going on for a few weeks and continues Thursday, Nov. 9, at WOW restaurants, beginning at 7 p.m. The winner from each location will compete in WOWÕs companywide wing-eating contest to be held Nov. 16 in Covington, where the Wingman will be named. Contestants must be at least 18 and need to register at a WOW restaurant up to one hour before the Nov. 9 event. The entry fee is $20, which includes a T-shirt, a pitcher of soda or beer and more wings than anyone should really eat in one sitting. Ñ McNulty

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