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News for Restaurants in New Orleans
February 2013 Archive

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RESTAURANT NEWS

Openings

The Lafayette Hotel, right on the CBD streetcar line on St. Charels Ave., has been the home to many restaurant concepts over the years, and now the hotel is banking on a steakhouse. Situated in the ground level space with oversize windows that once housed Mike's on the Avenue (which closed at the end of 2012) is Desi Vega's Steakhouse. The owner also is a partner in Mr. John's Steak House, farther up St. Charles Ave. The menu is similar to Ruth's Chris Steak House, as are the prices. Lunch Mon.-Fri.; Dinner Tues.-Sat. Desi Vega's Steakhouse, Lafayette Hotel, 628 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-523-7600.
 
Donald Link, owner of the popular Warehouse District restaurant Cochon, has unveiled plans to open a new seafood restaurant, Peche Seafood Grill. In partnership with Stephen Stryjewski and Ryan Prewitt, Link hopes to open in the spring, not far from Cochon. The new place, unlike many other local seafood houses, will not offer any fried entrees at all. Fish will be locally caught and grilled over an open wood fire. The trio was inspired by trips to Spain and Uruguay, where wood-fired seafood dishes are traditionally popular. Also included at Peche Seafood Grill will be an oyster bar, and a planned extensive vegetable program. Link describes his intended menu as one that is "primitive with a soulful spirit." The restaurant will be located in a 19th-century building that was once a livery stable, and later a coffee roasting company. Lunch & Dinner, Mon.-Sat. Cochon, 930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-588-2123.
 
For years, New Orleanians have taken the drive over the Mississippi River bridget to the West Bank of New Orleans to dine at Tan Dinh, a popular Vietnamese restaurant. The trip is about to get a lot shorter for East Bank residents, as Tan Dinh has announced it will open a second location on the popular uptown Maple Street restaruant row. The new place is reportedly to be called Ba Chi Canteen. No details have been released about the menu or an opening date, but it is highly likely diners will find Tan Dinh's well-known mason jars full of fish sauce on every table. Tan Dinh, 1705 Lafayette St., Gretna, LA 70053, 504-361-8008.
 

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News Bytes

Emeril Lagasse to Be Honored for Charity Work
If you are looking for New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse on May 6, you'll have to go all the way to Lincoln Center in NYC. Lagasse will be honored that night by the James Beard Foundation with its Humanitarian of the Year Award. Lagasse, who now owns 13 restaurants in five cities, is known nationwide for his charity work, particularly with children's causes. In the past 11 years, Lagasse's foundation has contributed more than $5 million to programs that work with students and education. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. Emeril's, 800 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-528-9393.
 
Galatoires The "New" Galatoire's Opens its Doors
After months of anticipation and rumors, the venerable Bourbon Street restaurant Galatoire's finally opened its newly expanded doors during New Orleans' recent Super Bowl, followed by Mardi Gras. Last year, Galatoire's owners acquired the adjacent vacant building, which once housed a popular seafood restaurant that never re-opened after the 2005 hurricanes. The new three-story space includes a new third-story wine room, a second-floor private dining space, and a ground level bar. Still to come is a new restaurant on the ground floor, but so far the company has not released any details about the concept or planned opening date. That space is undergoing renovation and new construction. The owners have publicly promised that nothing they do in the new building will interfere with Galatoire's famed Friday lunch, a weekly ritual that often spills over into the dinner hour for some regulars. Galatoire's, 209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-525-2021.
 
Martinique Bistro Offers Pop-up on Mondays
The romantic uptown bistro, Martinique Bistro, is now playing host to Cristiano Ristorante, a Houma, LA, restaurant, on Mondays. Cristiano chef Lindsay Mason offers one of Houma's only Northern Italian menus in town, and now Mason is offering some of his most popular dishes at Martinique, including handmade pappardelle with roasted lamb ragú, and a stellar osso bucco. Cristiano Raffignone, who owns both restaurants, may be trying out his Northern Italian dishes on the locals to test the waters. At least that is the buzz around town. Whatever the reason, he is filling the French/Mediterranean dining room and elegant courtyard every Monday night with those seeking Italian flavors. With dishes that include char-grilled oysters with red pepper butter and risotto ai porcini, Cristiano is providing real competition for the plethora of already-established New Orleans Italian restaurants. Reservations are almost a must. Martinique Bistro, 5908 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-891-8495.
 

Chef Shuffle

Chef Ian Schnoebelen and Maitre D’ Laurie Casebonne, already known in New Orleans as the owners of a quaint, if underrated French Quarter eatery, Iris, have opened a second restaurant, Mariza. Located in the increasingly restaurant-filled Bywater neighborhood, Mariza is an artsy Italian-themed restaurant in the newly renovated Rice Mill lofts complex. Mariza features a raw bar, house-cured meats, house-made pasta dishes and Neapolitan pizzas. With an interior featuring exposed brick walls, dramatic lighting and contemporary art, Mariza is a step up from some of the other neighborhood eateries. And why did the couple decide on the Bywater location, instead of the bustling Quarter? They happen to live just down the block. Dinner Tues.-Sat. Mariza, 2900 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70117, 504-598-5700.
 

Closings

CLOSED FOR GOOD
Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for New Orleans to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from the past. Dominique's, R.I.P.

The Lafayette location of elevated Cajun restaurant Cochon has closed after two years in business. Donald Link's original Cochon in New Orleans remains open. Cochon, 921 Camellia Blvd., Lafayette, LA 70508, no phone.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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