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Hungry for the Hyatt 

  The Hyatt Regency New Orleans (601 Loyola Ave., 561-1234; is expected to reopen on Oct. 19, and last week — one month out — its public relations team released details of the restaurants that will be part of the 32-story property once its $275 million post-Katrina redevelopment is complete.

  The revamped hotel will include a number of new restaurants, including one called Borgne from chef and restaurateur John Besh. Borgne will be the eighth location for the Besh Restaurant Group and this one will focus on Louisiana seafood with Spanish influences in recognition of the region's historic ties to Spain. The chef de cuisine will be Brian Landry, formerly the executive chef at Galatoire's Restaurant and most recently the traveling "chef advocate" for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board. Borgne will have about 300 seats, and it will be accessible from outside the hotel.

  Meanwhile, Hyatt announced the executive chef for the overall hotel is Eric Damidot, a Frenchman who was previously executive chef at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Restaurants he will oversee include 8 Block Kitchen & Bar, a 360-seat eatery with a menu mixing regional and French flavors at breakfast, lunch and dinner. 8 Block will have a 70-seat bar serving cheese plates and charcuterie.

  In addition, Hyatt plans to include a new sports bar called Vitascope Hall. The name is a reference to an early New Orleans movie theater on Canal Street, though with 25 flat-screen TVs around the room, it is courting the sports bar crowd that once patronized Hi-Tops, the jersey-decked watering hole at the old Hyatt — a popular pre- and postgame drinking destination for events in the Louisiana Superdome. Vitascope Hall will serve burgers, sandwiches and bar snacks, plus a raw bar will offer oysters and sushi.

  The hotel will have a Starbucks location, as well as an outpost of the Little Rock, Ark.-based barbecue chain Whole Hog Cafe, which is currently located next door to the Hyatt property inside the Entergy Building. While not open to the public, this Hyatt-based Whole Hog will supply smoked meats for the other hotel restaurants, provide off-site catering and operate a booth at Champions Square outside the Dome before New Orleans Saints games this season.


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