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Beard Birthday Roadtrip

The New York-based James Beard Foundation will celebrate its 20th anniversary with restaurant dinners in 20 cities. New Orleans will host three of these dinners on Sept. 28 and each will feature a meal prepared by a pair of chefs working in the same kitchen. The New Orleans dinners will be held at Restaurant August (301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777; www.restaurantaugust.com), with chef John Besh and guest chef Donald Link of Herbsaint and Cochon; at GalatoireÕs Restaurant (209 Bourbon St., 525-2021; www.galatoires.com), with chef Brian Landry and guest chef John Currence of City Grocery in Oxford, Miss.; and at the New Orleans Grill (300 Gravier St., 522-1994; www.windsorcourthotel.coms), with chef Greg Sonnier and guest chef Frank Brigtsen of BrigtsenÕs Restaurant. The chefs Ñ or, in the case of GalatoireÕs, the restaurant itself Ñ were selected because they have been nominated for or have won a James Beard Award in the past. The dinners cost $150 and a portion of the proceeds will go to the James Beard Foundation and the local chapter of Meals on Wheels. For menus and additional information, see www.jbftasteamerica.com.

The Sweet Slice of Success

The growing local pizza company ReginelliÕs Pizzeria (www.reginellis.com) was named ÒIndependent Pizzeria of the YearÓ by the national trade magazine Pizza Today. The magazine said it was impressed with ReginelliÕs business model, growth potential and marketing. The magazine reports that the five-store local chain increased sales by $1 million in the year after Hurricane Katrina even while its Lakeview location was knocked out of business. That location (847 Harrison Ave., 488-0133) reopened in July and ReginelliÕs plans to open its first Baton Rouge expansion store near the LSU campus this fall.

Knowing What You're Missing

Before there were taco trucks around town to teach New Orleanians what authentic Mexican street food was all about, chef Guillermo Peters was offering delicious, meticulously prepared lessons in what fine dining was like in his native Mexico City. For years, Peters ran a successful restaurant in Kenner with a menu of great tacos and much more ambitious specials. In 2003, he moved the business to a grandly renovated building in Uptown and introduced a two-restaurant concept called Taqueros y Coyoac‡n (1432 St. Charles Ave., 526-9996), serving cantina-style fare downstairs at Taqueros while Coyoac‡n upstairs offered dishes, atmosphere and prices to rival the cityÕs most upscale eateries. Business has been slow since the storm, however, and Peters plans to close for good after Sept. 1. As a last hurrah, he will host a series of ÒFinal Courses,Ó or table dÕhote dinners on Aug. 24 and 25 and again on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 featuring his favorite dishes. Call 526-9996 for reservations and menu information. Ñ McNulty

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