Next week, the fifth annual Tales of the Cocktail event begins a five-day series of presentations, liquor tastings, tours and dinners. The cocktail and culinary festival is held primarily at the Hotel Monteleone (214 Royal St., 523-3341; www.hotelmonteleone.com) as well as various restaurants and bars mostly in the French Quarter. The evening of July 19 is when a collection of fine-dining restaurants will serve Òspirited dinnersÓ as part of the festival, with cocktails paired with each course of meals ranging in price from $65 to $85 per person. Authors, cocktail experts, chefs and television show hosts will be on hand throughout the festival leading seminars and presentations. The calendar of events covers subjects from liquor-laced food, wine-based cocktails and the drinks and dishes created in New Orleans to the importance of ice, the impact of women on the liquor industry and the lasting appeal of rum. Registration and tickets are required for most events. Visit www.talesofthecocktail.com for complete information.
If youÕve been keeping track of the growing number of ice cream parlors and gelato shops opening up around the city, be sure to add this one to your sweet list: the Crescent City Farmers Market (www.crescentcityfamersmarket.org). The newest vendor at the Tuesday edition of the market is La Divina Gelateria (3005 Magazine St., 342-2634; www.ladivinagelateria.com), the Uptown gelato parlor that opened earlier this year. The shop makes its gelato flavors in house and owners Katrina and Carmelo Turillo use market vendors as suppliers for regional ingredients, like Smith Dairy milk from Washington Parish, seasonal Louisiana fruit and locally produced honey. They dish up scoops of a few flavors each week for market customers to eat as they shop. The Tuesday market is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Uptown Square (200 Broadway St.).
Betting on "Bam"
New Orleans-based celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse opened his newest restaurant, EmerilÕs Gulf Coast Fish House (3300 West Beach Blvd., Gulport, 228-314-1515; www.emerils.com), at the Island View Casino Resort (www.islandviewcasino.com) in Gulfport, Miss. The new restaurantÕs chef de cuisine is New Orleans native Steve DÕAngelo, who has worked at LagasseÕs restaurants for years and later ran his own restaurant, Bay City Grill in Bay St. Louis, which was damaged by Hurricane Katrina and did not reopen. The general manager, Jason Lonigro, is also a New Orleans native who began working at EmerilÕs Restaurant as a server in 2002. EmerilÕs Gulf Coast Fish House is the 10th restaurant for Lagasse. It is open daily for dinner and will soon add lunch as well. Ñ McNulty