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MoPho Mid-City opens this weekend 

  MoPho Mid-City (514 City Park Ave., 504-482-6845; www.facebook.com/mophomidcity) is set to open this weekend (Jan. 11), with former August chef de cuisine Michael Gulotta offering a menu of pho, vermicelli and other traditional southeast Vietnamese dishes and specials that meld Vietnamese and Louisiana influences.

  "That's where chef's really going to shine, through the daily specials," says Jeff Gulotta, the chef's brother, MoPho general manager and co-owner. Those specials include dishes such as slow-roasted lamb neck in green curry with Creole cream cheese potatoes and grilled Two Run Farms beef ribs and cast iron roasted rapini with lime vinaigrette. "We're using traditional Vietnamese cooking techniques and a Gulf pantry."

  The restaurant previously was scheduled to open the last week of December 2013, but Jeff Gulotta says, "We were just waiting on chairs and permits. The chairs came in [Jan. 30]." The Gulottas partnered with August veteran (and high school friend) Jeff Bybee on the new restaurant.

  "We may try to do a soft opening on Friday (Jan. 10)," Jeff Gulotta says. "We're shooting for opening next weekend."

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