Next Monday, a well-established Houma restaurant will begin making a weekly visit to New Orleans, in the style of a pop-up, but this bayou country standout isn't known for its gumbo or etouffee. Rather, Cristiano Ristorante (724 High St., Houma, 985-223-1130; www.cristianoristorante.com) is an upscale Italian restaurant, founded by Cristiano Raffignone and Kelly Barker in 2000. He's from Leguria, Italy; she's from the bayou area. A few years after opening their Houma restaurant the couple took over Martinique Bistro (5908 Magazine St., 504-891-8495; www.martiniquebistro.com).
Beginning on Jan. 28, and continuing on subsequent Mondays, Cristiano chef Lindsay Mason will offer a menu of northern Italian dishes at Martinique. Venison tartare, mushroom risotto with Grana Padano, handmade pappardelle with roasted lamb ragu and osso buco are on the menu, which also makes room for a few Louisiana flavors including char-grilled oysters and raviolini stuffed with crabmeat.