Mid-City in Motion
Three new Asian restaurants are opening within three blocks of each other in Mid-City, taking over spaces from restaurants that closed due to Katrina. Doson Noodle House (135 N. Carrollton Ave., 309-7286) opened Nov. 9 in the space that previously had been the Tex-Mex joint Café Hola. Doson Noodle House was located on Oak Street before the storm, where for years it had done business as Chinese's Chinese Restaurant. The restaurant serves a combination of Chinese-American fare and Vietnamese dishes, such as spring rolls and pho, and it is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and for dinner on Sunday. Minh Bui, chef of the now-closed Lemon Grass, plans to open a new French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant in the space that previously was Michael's Mid-City Grill at 4139 Canal St. It will be called Café Minh and is expected to open in December. Finally, Metairie's Little Tokyo Restaurant (1521 N Causeway Blvd., 831-6788) plans to open a new Japanese restaurant in the space that had been Chateaubriand Steakhouse at 310 N. Carrollton Ave. Little Toyko's management isn't talking about their plans, but a banner on the new location promises sushi and hibachi-style steaks and seafood.
Before your holiday social calendar fills up, consider booking a Reveillon dinner in December. This old Creole Christmas tradition of an extravagant meal served in the home was revived, revamped and moved to restaurants about 20 years ago by French Quarter Festivals Inc., the nonprofit that helps promote the French Quarter to tourists and locals during the holiday season. After a storm-induced hiatus last year, the dinners are back with more than 30 downtown restaurants signed up so far to offer prix fixe, multi-course meals during December. Prices for the dinners average between $24 and $70, with most between $35 and $45. Some include a drink as well. A list of restaurants and their planned menus is available at www.frenchquarterfestivals.com under the Christmas link.
Four local restaurants and one downtown hotel received four-star rankings from the 2007 Mobil Travel Guide (www.mobiltravelguide.com), the authority that lays claim to inventing the "star" rating system. The Windsor Court Hotel (300 Gravier St., 596-0966; www.windsorcourthotel.com) received Mobil's four-star rating for lodging, and its New Orleans Grill received the same rating in the restaurant category. The Windsor Court relaunched its restaurant in September with new chef Michael Collinsat the helm. Mobil says its rankings are based on recent inspections and are current. The other local restaurants receiving four-star rankings from Mobil are Bayona (430 Dauphine St., 525-4455; www.bayona.com), Emeril's Restaurant (800 Tchoupitoulas St., 528-9393; www.emerils.com) and La Provence, (25020 US Hwy. 190, Lacombe, 985-626-7662; www.laprovencerestaurant.com). -- McNulty