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Michael Gulotta to open Maypop in the South Market District 

click to enlarge gulotta_michael.jpg

Maypop (611 O'Keefe Ave.), a spinoff of chef Michael Gulotta's (pictured) popular Mid-City restaurant MoPho (514 City Park Ave., 504-482-6845; www.mophonola.com), will open later this year in the Warehouse District. The new spot is named for a passionflower native to southeast Louisiana and will focus on a marriage of Southeast Asian and Southern flavors.

  "We're kind of cooking whatever we want to eat," Gulotta says. "It's going to be a little bit more polished than MoPho — someplace where we can be a little more agile and flexible."

  The restaurant will take over the space formerly occupied by Ursa Major in the South Market District development. The concept is very similar to Gulotta's Mid-City restaurant, and Maypop's menu will feature many of the specials tried at MoPho, Gulotta says. Taking a cue from Gulotta's Italian restaurant Tana, inside the Tulane Avenue bar Treo, the menu will be heavy on house-made pastas, often featuring locally milled grains.

  Chilled buckwheat noodles might be served with Alabama peaches and Louisiana blue crab, and wok-fried tapioca egg noodles might be tossed with Gulf shrimp and turmeric curry, Gulotta says. The kitchen will use house-cured charcuterie in several dishes.

  Gulotta, who once helmed the kitchen as chef de cuisine at John Besh's August, has garnered widespread accolades in recent years, including being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine earlier this year.

  Maypop will serve lunch and dinner.

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