Sarah Baird on a spot for pastafarians and oenophiles
Excluding technical mistakes (an appetizer that's wrongfully charred, a main course that's cold in the middle) there are few things more disappointing than pasta that isn't cooked well. But restaurants committed to perfecting pasta, turning out dishes with an al dente bite instead of soggy, overcooked noodles, separate the wheat from the chaff.
A place where pastas steal the show.
Jonathan Lestingi's menu and Sonali Fernando's whiskey-focused cocktails shine at this Bywater spot.
Scott Gold on an Uptown restaurant that's finding new combinations to put between two slices of bread
A chef could be satisfied with creating interesting dishes such as osso buco with bone marrow mascarpone mayonnaise or braised rabbit with grapefruit gastrique. But what happens when one asks, "Why don't we take all of these entrees and just throw them on Leidenheimer bread?"
Scott Gold finds a French Quarter classic revived for a new generation
When Patrick and Rebecca Singley, the owners of Gautreau's, announced they'd open their version of Marti's at the site of the famed original restaurant, which closed its doors in 1988, some local diners were intrigued. Dead restaurants, no matter how beloved in their heyday, aren't normally revived after 25 years (the address housed Peristyle for a number of years).
Scott Gold on the reborn "upscale diner" in the Riverbend
The restaurant business can be unforgiving, not generally known for second chances. Second acts, on the other hand, are another matter.
Scott Gold visits the Mid-City breakfast and brunch spot
Banks Street in Mid-City has become something of a breakfast hot spot offering several new options for hungry early risers. Among them is the alliterative Biscuits & Buns on Banks, which opened last fall.
Scott Gold goes for fried seafood on the Pontchartrain lakefront
Like many New Orleanians, I have fond memories of going out to dinner with my family as a child, particularly at seafood shacks on the Lakefront. I remember anxiously waiting for fried shrimp, french fries and hush puppies, twisting the stem of the cherry in my Shirley Temple and watching pelicans skim over the water.
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Carrollton Market8132 Hampson St.,
(504) 252-9928www.carrolltonmarket.comLouisiana shellfish risotto includes shrimp, oysters, crabmeat and shellfish stock. Clancy's6100 Annunciation St.,
(504) 895-1111www.clancysneworleans.comRisotto is made with lobster, mushrooms and truffles.
Fire House Burgers3224 Edenborn Ave., Metairie,
(504) 875-4600www.firehouse-burgers.comA burger is sandwiched between two grilled American cheese sandwiches — with white bread on the inside and a bun on the outside. Frencheezewww.frencheezefoodtruck.com
@frencheezetruckThe menu of grilled cheese sandwiches on this food truck includes The Skinny B, featuring smoked Gouda and provolone cheeses, heirloom tomatoes and collard greens on multigrain bread.
Emeril's800 Tchoupitoulas St.,
(504) 528-9393www.emerilsrestaurants.com/emerils-new-orleansBrussels sprouts are boiled
with crawfish and served as sides with whole truffle fried chicken for two. Maurepas Foods3200 Burgundy St.,
(504) 267-0072www.maurepasfoods.comSauteed Brussels sprouts are served with smoked drum aioli and Grana Padano cheese.
Atchafalaya901 Louisiana Ave., (504) 891-9626www.atchafalayarestaurant.comOn the brunch menu, eggs Treme features boudin cakes topped with poached eggs, fried crawfish and hollandaise. Jamila's Cafe7808 Maple St., (504) 866-4366This Tunisian restaurant serves crawfish, zucchini and spinach bisque.
Yes, New York Times, we have kale: Five unique preparations for the trendy green
Bhava2600 Chartres St., (504) 617-2652www.facebook.com/bhavanolaThis vegan/vegetarian spot offers chili-garlic kale quiche, served with lacinato kale salad. The Grill RoomWindsor Court Hotel,
300 Gravier St., (504) 522-1992www.grillroomneworleans.comFried oyster salad features
fried kale, radicchio, bottarga
and spicy chili vinaigrette.
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April 9Dishcrawl: Freret Street7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. WednesdayRestaurants to be announced two days before eventwww.dishcrawl.com/dinearoundfreretThe progressive meal features courses at three Freret Street restaurants.
When Joel Brown opened Kosher Cajun (3519 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-888-2010; www.koshercajun.com) nearly 27 years ago, he had a clear vision of his ideal customer: everyone. "When I started Day One, I knew the size of the Jewish community and I knew the focus wasn't going to be on the very small religious part," says owner Joel Brown.
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In conjunction with National Poetry Month, the local literacy and tutoring center Big Class (www.bigclass.org) is teaming up with New Orleans pizza joints to publish student work on pizza boxes. Students ages 6 to 18 wrote poetry for the Pizza Poetry Project (www.pizza-poetry-blog.tumblr.com), and their work will be displayed on the boxes April 18.
The days are warming, which means more of us will spend time on our porches sipping beverages. Since we can't (read: probably shouldn't) drink cocktails from dawn until dusk every day, Lafayette-based soda company Swamp Pop (www.drinkswamppop.com) offers some alternatives with its Louisiana-themed, bubbly, nonalcoholic elixirs.
After an informal Twitter all-call for input, Uptown ramen joint Noodle and Pie is following the advice of the masses and beginning lunch service in early May. While logistical details and the menu are still in flux, there will be options for busy folks coming in on their lunch breaks.
Martin Wine Cellar announced it will begin construction this week on a retail store and restaurant at its original location at 3827 Baronne St. The location was closed following Hurricane Katrina. The new 14,000-square-foot space will offer wine, spirits, beer and gourmet foods.
Cane syrup and pie are demanding the same respect as similar sweet treats from Louisiana legislators. House Bill 294 by state Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, calls for the exclusion of home cane syrup preparations from the state Sanitary Code and commercial food regulations, affording it the same treatment as small batch jellies, preserves, jams, honey, and honeycomb products.
House Bill 1046 from state Rep. Chris Leopold, R-Belle Chasse, and
the Louisiana Legislature's Oyster Task Force creates new regulations
for the state's oyster industry in an effort to protect and preserve reefs. The measure — developed in part by a coalition of Gulf Coast oyster fishermen in the Gulf Oyster Industry Council — passed the Louisiana House 94-0 on April 10.
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Retail $19 This wine was named for Pope Callixtus II, a 12th century prelate.
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Steve Hindy, co-founder and
CEO of Brooklyn Brewery
(www.brooklynbrewery.com), has some advice for those planning to open a brewery: Stay connected to your community. "There's a kind of respect that's accorded to people who are making the beer," Hindy said prior to an event at The Avenue Pub in early April.
The New Orleans craft beer scene continues to progress. Not only has 40 Arpent Brewing Company (www.40arpentbrewery.com) just opened in Arabi, but two local breweries in progress have seen their hard work pay off and are moving closer to opening.
When Michael and Emily Naquin, owners of 40 Arpent Brewing Company, arrived at The Avenue Pub after debuting their beer at the New Orleans International Beer Festival March 22, it was a victory celebration. Fellow brewers, distributors and beer fans crowded around to congratulate them.
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Anne Berry talks to the cocktail maestro at Dominique's on Magazine
A blooming back garden at Dominique's on
Magazine (4213 Magazine St., 504-891-9282; www.dominiquesonmag.com) means that head bartender Ian Julian always has fresh cilantro and habaneros for his signature Cajun Pho Sour, a mainstay on his craft cocktail list. After a chance meeting, Locally Preserved chef/owner Emily Vanlandingham tapped him to develop recipes showcasing her fruit preserves and syrups as cocktail mixers.
Will Coviello talks with a Louisiana strawberry farmer about this year's crop
The Ponchatoula Strawberry
Festival (April 11-13; www.lastrawberryfestival.com) celebrates the state's strawberry crops at the height of their historical growing season. Growers like Liuzza Produce Farm (www.louisiana-
strawberries.net) set up booths at the festival's Farmers' Row, where Liuzza sells fresh berries, chocolate-dipped berries, strawberry shortcake and strawberry lemonade.
Jeanie Riess talks with the Theo's Pizza man about his new project — a food truck with a pizza oven inside
Theo's Neighborhood Pizza (4024 Canal St., 504-302-1133, 4218 Magazine St., 504-894-8554, 1212 S. Clearview Pkwy, 504-733-3803; www.theospizza.com) has been in business for nearly a decade in a city that hasn't been known as a pizza town. Co-founder and co-owner Jammer Orintas has seen pizza shops come and go, but one thing he hadn't seen yet was a pizza food truck.
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