The owner of the three wildly popular Dat Dog locations in New Orleans, Skip Murray, has stretched his own boundaries by opening a hot dog and hamburger place called Dis & Dat. The new restaurant is located in mid-city, and will feature a number of Dat Dog's hot dog selections, with the addition of a variety of burgers. The restaurant also offers beer and wine. Murray says his burgers are coated with a "secret glaze" made from a recipe given to him by a chef he once worked with in London. Lunch & Dinner Tues.-Sun. Dis & Dat, 2540 Banks St., New Orleans, LA 70119, 504-909-0458.
Magasin, the highly popular uptown contemporary Vietnamese restaurant, has announced plans to open a second location in the under-construction Paramount building downtown. The Paramount will be a mixed use facility, including new condos, retail and restaurant space. Slated to open in early 2015, the new restaurant will be called Magasin Kitchen. Magasin's owners said their new space will be dedicated to sustainable and seasonal produce, as well as a green design and environmentally friendly business model. The Paramount is located in a section of downtown that has been renamed the South Market District. Magasin Kitchen, 611 O'Keefe Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113, no phone.
For much of last year, French Quarter residents battled over whether restaurant developer Sean Meenan should be allowed to renovate an abandoned building and open a high-profile restaurant and bar. The building anchors one full corner of the French Quarter, and has been vacant for more than 30 years. Meenan operates Cafe Habana restaurants in Brooklyn, Malibu and and New York City, and wanted to make New Orleans his fourth location. Neighbors balked at potential traffic and noise problems since the building is located in a residential area. Meenan finally withdrew his proposal to develop the building. Now, Meenan has come back with a scaled-down version of his original build-out plan, in hopes that the City Council and local residents will approve the compromise, which calls for fewer seats and a smaller venue. Cafe Habana is known for authentic Cuban cuisine. Cafe Habana, 1310 N. Rampart St., New Orleans, LA 70116, no phone.
Although a projected opening date has not been announced, the owners of The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk revealed that Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill is on track to open inside the shopping center. The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk occupies a massive riverfront space in downtown New Orleans. The 19,000-square-foot restaurant location is currently under construction. The Outlet Collection opened in late May. The restaurant serves steaks, burgers, fries and a variety of appetizers. Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, Port of New Orleans Pl., New Orleans, LA 70116, 504-522-1555.
In a town crazy for home-grown po' boys, the idea of opening another sandwich shop may be daunting for some, but not Mike Brewer, the owner of the recently opened The Sammich. Located on an uptown restaurant row near the University area, The Sammich's menu is distinctive. From the duck fat fries to the fried lobster knuckle sandwich in mango cream to the flash-fried escargot, there is nothing routine about this place. The building has housed many restaurant concepts over the past decade or so, but Brewer's idea of taking classic entrees and refashioning them as sandwiches is unique to the area. Oh, and about the name: It's a local colloquialism for "sandwich." Lunch & Dinner Daily. The Sammich, 7708 Maple St., New Orleans, LA 70116, 504-726-6424.
Chef Emeril Joins Ty Pennington for New TV Series
Emeril Lagasse, arguably one of the best-known faces in food-related television ("Top Chef," "Emeril Live"), has teamed up with TV personality Ty Pennington ("Exttreme Home Makeover") for a new TNT series, "On the Menu." The new show will feature a cooking competition among everyday cooks who vie for a chance to have their dishes served in major restaurant chains across the country. Four cooks will face off in each episode, in which Emeril will provide expertise and industry insider tips. Participating restaurants include Chili's, Denny's, California Pizza Kitchen, Emeril's, Outback Steakhouse and several other top national names. Emeril's, 800 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-528-9393.
Del Fuego Taqueria Adds Lunch Service
Following a successful opening just a few months ago, Del Fuego Taqueria is now open for lunch. Previously a dinner-only Mexican restaurant, Del Fuego Taqueria will offer the same menu at lunch and dinner. Already known for its high energy, fun atmosphere, Del Fuego features indoor and outdoor patio seating, and Mexican fare such as duck enchiladas, carne asada, tacos and a variety of margaritas. Del Fuego Taqueria, 4518 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-309-5797.
Le Foret Debuts Lunch Service
Le Foret, the elegant fine dining spot in the heart of the Central Business District, is now open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Until now, the restaurant has offered only dinner service. Look for appetizers including fried truffle mac and cheese squares and pulled pork sliders. Entrées will include such dishes as seared beef tenderloin and Parmesan-crusted oyster salad. Chef Brandon Felder will also offer a three-course prix-fixe menu for $27. Le Foret, 129 Camp St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-553-6738.
Bombay Club On the Move
After decades of doing business in the Prince Conti Hotel in the French Quarter, Bombay Club is moving to a new location in the Chateau LeMoyne Hotel, just blocks away. The new space is bigger and will have a private entrance so guests will not have to go through the hotel to access the dining room. The Bombay Club is known for its extensive martini menu (including the signature "Skinny Chocolate Mocha-tini") as well as for great local jazz. The new space has the same softly lit, clubby atmosphere as the original. Dinner nightly. Bombay Club, Prince Conti Hotel, 830 Conti St., New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-586-0972.
After a much-ballyhooed debut of his restaurant, Dominique's on Magazine, and a successful one-and-a-half year run, chef Dominique Macquet unexpectedly announced his departure from the business. Macquet has helmed a number of restaurants in New Orleans for the past two decades, and is well-known throughout the community. Although he has not announced specific plans, it is likely he will continue to work in the city. Dominique's on Magazine, 4213 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-891-9282.
After a successful two-year run, chef Michael Gottlieb has left The Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans in the French Quarter. Gottlieb is returning to his home town, Savannah, GA, to open his own deli and bakery. Gottlieb's family has operated eateries in Savannah off and on for more than a century. The hotel has not yet named a new chef. Rib Room, Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, 621 St. Louis St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-529-7045.
Just weeks after Slade Rushing left his post as executive chef at MiLa, his wife and chef partner Alison-Vines-Rushing, ended her seven-year run at the restaurant. The Rushings brought a unique blend of traditional Louisiana dishes and time-tested Mississippi recipes to the fine dining establishment located in the heart of the Central Business District. Slade Rushing has taken over the kitchen at the soon-to-be reopened Brennan's. Allison Vines-Rushing has not announced future occupational plans, and intends to spend some quality time with her two small children. The Renaissance Hotel, where MiLa is located, has not announced plans for the restaurant now that the Rushings have moved on. MiLa, Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel, 817 Common St., New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-412-2580.
Any time Adolfo Garcia opens a new restaurant in New Orleans, it is big news to local citizens. Garcia, who counts the long-running, but recently shuttered, Rio Mar and La Boca among his collection of restaurants will reportedly open a new place in central city at 1800 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. The neighborhood, long underdeveloped and not terribly safe, is in the middle of a commercial renaissance, including the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Garcia has not released details of his new restaurant concept or a projected opening date. La Boca, 870 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-525-8205.
After just one year in business, Lucky Rooster has closed in the Central Business District. The owners, who also own both locations of Juan's Flying Burrito, have now opened another location of that highly successful Mexican restaurant in the former Lucky Rooster space. The owners have also announced tenative plans to resurrect Lucky Rooster as a food truck, because food trucks are becoming increasingly popular in New Orleans. Lucky Rooster, 515 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA 70113, no phone.
Crescent Pie & Sausage, a favorite mid-city casual dining spot, has closed. Although the restaurant did a respectable volume of business, the owners have decided to concentrate their efforts in another part of town. The Tulane Avenue corridor, home to the massive new LSU Medical Complex, is ripe for casual eateries, and owner Jeff Baron intends to take full advantage of the impending groundswell of business. Baron and his chef Bart Bell will open Crescent Plate, serving lunch only. With construction on the new hospital complex moving rapidly, the long stretch of Tulane Avenue is expected to become a high-traffic area in the coming months. The pair will operate a catering company out of the same location. Crescent Pie & Sausage, 4400 Banks St., New Orleans, LA 70119, no phone.
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