After a two-month-long renovation, Dickie Brennan's elegant Creole bistro Palace Cafe (605 Canal St., 504-523-1661; www.palacecafe.com) reopened Oct. 12.
A Canal Street mainstay since open-ing in 1991, the restaurant closed in August to undergo a complete overhaul of the second floor. The reopening menu introduces new items including a small plates selection that's heavy on charcuterie, with cheese boards and cured items such as Niman Ranch prosciutto, venison salami, octopus head cheese, tuna rillettes and smoked redfish. Small plates include boudin meat pies with Creole mustard sauce, fried oyster sliders with Tabasco and Sriracha tartar sauce and smoked tuna blinis with creme fraiche.
There is a newly designed charcuterie kitchen at the top of the restaurant's spiral staircase, adjacent to the second floor bar and lounge. The bar has a new rum-heavy cocktail list with the Carpe Noctum, a blend of Zaya 12-year aged rum, cane syrup, Pernod and Bittermens Tiki bitters.
Diners will still find iconic Creole dishes such as shrimp remoulade, oyster pan roast and andouille-crusted Gulf fish, among others.
Palace Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily and brunch Saturday and Sunday. — HELEN FREUND