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Irene's Cuisine Restaurant Review: Nothing much ever changes at the venerable Irene’s, but that is just the way the locals like it: spicy and familiar. Reminiscent of the now-shuttered Elaine’s in New York, Irene’s relies for atmosphere at least partly on lining the walls with photos of regular customers and famous patrons. The dining rooms are intimate (even a bit snug), and the waiters are old favorites in the French Quarter. A décor enriched with garlic braids, crockery and gewgaws proclaims Sicilian influences, as does the menu, although a Creole accent also comes through to ground many of the dishes in their New Orleans roots. This cooking relies on southern Italian sauces, rather than the truffles-and-cream cuisine of northern Italy. For instance, a marinara has a toss of garlic and oil that's glorious in its simplicity. In a more complex vein are a stuffed veal chop and grilled red snapper with shrimp and peppers. Italian-style Baked Alaska aflame with grappa makes a good conclusion. The brief wine list features Italian selections that pair well with the lusty food. Service is efficient, considering the space configuration. Be prepared to wait for a table most nights, and know in advance that you will probably be waiting outdoors.