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April 2011 Archive

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The high-rise office building just off I-10 in Metairie, LA has been home to several restaurants over the years, but none of them had the culinary and commercial power of Ralph Brennan behind them. Brennan, former President of the National Restaurant Asociation, has added the new Heritage Grill to his restaurant empire. This time, Brennan's target clientele appears to be the office workers from the 18-story Heritage Plaza building in which the new restaurant is located. The menu is fairly straightforward with items such as a good filet, chicken and dumplings, gumbo, po-boys, crabcakes and sandwiches. The interior is understated and the service is impeccable, just as at all the other Ralph Brennan establishments. Heritage Grill, 111 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, LA 70001, 504-934-4900.
Anyone who believes the New Orleans restaurant market is saturated should consider the recent expansion of chef Adolfo Garcia's collection of restaurants. For years, Garcia has been wowing enthusiasts with his seafood creations at Rio Mar, but more recently he opened A Mano in the Warehouse District and Gusto, inside the upscale Canal Place Theatres. Now comes word that Garcia will open two new spots. High Hat Cafe will be a casual Southern-style restaurant, while Ancora Pizzeria & Salumeria will feature pizza from a wood-burning oven. Inside Ancora, Garcia's chefs will also create salumi (cured meats) for all of Garcia's restaurants. We will keep you posted on these new dining spots as they get closer to opening. Both will be found Uptown on Freret Street, a burgeoning restaurant row. Rio Mar, 800 S. Peters St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-525-3474.
What if someone opened a tiny restaurant that served nothing but hot dogs, and the most expensive item on the menu was $6? Good news---someone did. Dat Dog is located in Uptown New Orleans, in a tiny, whimsically painted building on busy Freret St. Traditional German wieners are five bucks. Sausages are six bucks, including bratwurst, Louisiana hot sausage, smoked sausage, alligator sausage and even a crawfish sausage. All hot dog selections are served in buns that are steamed and then toasted. They're perfectly cooked, and what happens to them afteward is up to you, in the form of grated cheddar cheese, ketchup, mustard, diced red onion, diced tomatoes, wasabi, guacamole, sauerkraut, homemade chili and andouille sauce. If it sounds like a gimmick, it is one that is working. The long, quick-moving lines outside the building tell the story. Top it all off with a locally produced Barques Root Beer. Dat Dog, 5031 Freret St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-899-6883.

News Bytes

The Bombay Club Has a High-spirited New Cocktail Menu
Among local New Orleanians, the Bombay Club is known as "the" place for martinis. For years, the restaurant has offered some of the most creative martini concoctions. Now, Bombay Club has unveiled its newly compiled, 20-page selection of classic and contemproary cocktails, all artfully blended by the restaurants's master mixologists. Among the new offerings are even some "skinny cocktails" of 150 calories or less. Chief among these is the "Peach at the Beach," a combination of Finlandia Tangerine Vodka, Monin sugar-free peach syrup, cranberry juice and soda water, all garnished with an edible flower. Adventurous cocktailers will enjoy new items such as the "Tropical Praline," made of Malibu coconut rum, praline liqueur, hot cocoa and whipped cream. The restaurant goes all the way with presentation, as well. Classic cocktails are even served in period stemware reminiscent of the style of glass from which the drink was originally served. Champagne enthusiasts will enjoy the more than 15 creative Champagne cocktails. Dinner nightly. The Bombay Club, Prince Conti Hotel, 830 Conti St., New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-586-0972.

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