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Avo and Toups South add brunch options 

Italian brunch options and special menus at Toups South

click to enlarge avo_carbonara.jpg

  Restaurants Avo and Toups South are upping their brunch games.

  Chef Nick Lama's Italian restaurant Avo (5908 Magazine St., 504-509-6550; www.restaurantavo.com) is serving a brunch menu including baskets of house-made pastries and small plates such as pesto deviled eggs, meatballs and polenta, brown butter yogurt parfaits and an everything-spice bagel flatbread topped with smoked salmon, capers, red onions and leek cream. Larger plates include spaghetti carbonara topped with a poached egg, hanger steak with soft scrambled eggs, a tuna and orzo dish with avocado, olives and tomatoes, and "eggs in a hole in purgatory" — gnocchi alla Romana topped with eggs, sausage, peppers and arrabbiata sauce.

  A build-your-own mimosa deal includes pitchers of orange, strawberry, white peach or blood orange juice. Brunch cocktails include Negroni sbagliatos, grilled pineapple mojitos and bloody marys made with spicy beet-infused vodka. Drinks range from $8 to $10, and pitchers (which serve four) are $25 to $30.

  Avo serves brunch 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

  Isaac Toups' Central City restaurant Toups South (1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-304-2147; www.toupssouth.com) is launching a brunch extension of its Counter Club dinner series. The restaurant already serves brunch on Sundays, but starting March 11, it will host a limited-seating brunch on the second Sunday of the month. It will be a four-course meal of dishes not on the regular menu, plus bottomless mimosas, for $50.

  The menu will change each month, and might include dishes such as pancake-battered smoked sausage with Tabasco mash hollandaise, smoked lamb chilaquiles, and sourdough biscuit churros with cinnamon ice cream and chocolate sauce. Call for reservations.

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