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News for Restaurants in New Orleans
June 2012 Archive

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RESTAURANT NEWS

Openings

Rocky and Carlo's is simply the little restaurant that could. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the restaurant flooded with four feet of water and was unable to resume business until 2007. Then, in February of this year, a kitchen fire broke out, causing an estimated quarter of a million dollars damage. True to form, Rocky and Carlo's reopened its doors in early June, and the crowds couldn't be happier. This time, the building was completely rebuilt from the ground up, but regular customers are amazed to find it looks exactly the same as it did before the fire. Best of all, the menu and its prices have not changed a bit, including the citywide-famous mac and cheese, topped with red gravy. Mulitple generations of the Tommaseo family work in the restaurant, including 86-year-old Leonard "Nana" Gloe in the kitchen. Dating to 1965, the restaurant is a local institution. A recent visit found the place just as noisy and shoulder-to-shoulder crowded as ever, but that's the charm of the place. Rocky and Carlo's, 613 W. St. Bernard Hwy., Chalmette, LA 70043, 504-279-8323.
 
When the locally-beloved Cuvee Restaurant shut its doors last year, many regular customers were severely let down. Now a new steakhouse has opened its doors in one of the most handsome spaces in town. Chophouse New Orleans takes full advantage of the elegant brick walled, wooden floored space with the giant windows overlooking bustling Magazine Street. The menu is predictably red meat heavy, and if you're a devoted carnivore, make sure you have some deep pockets. The lowest-priced steak on the menu is $33. This is the type of place to go for a heavy meal that starts with an icy cold martini, moves smoothly into a Caesar salad, aged USDA Prime steak, and yet still insists on a huge wedge of fudgy, chocolate cake for dessert. Chophouse's backstory is as delicious as its beefy menu. Two Tulane University students, Jerry and Barbara Greenbaum, met at school, fell in love, got married and decided to pool their mutual love for food and open a restaurant. The rest is savory and sweet history. Dinner nightly. Chophouse New Orleans, 322 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-522-7902.
 
Chef Rick Tramonto and John Folse For almost two years New Orleanians waited patiently for what they were told would be the most innovative fine dining experience in the city. Restaurant R'evolution, the brainchild of Louisiana chef John Folse and Chicago import chef Rick Tramonto, opened with a fluorish in early June. The grand opening party attracted everyone from the Archbishop of New Orleans to the Mayor to the CEO of Sonesta Hotels, since the restaurant is located lobby level in the famed Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street. R'evolution is indeed a grand experiment in the city, since it is among the highest priced restaurants in town and sits in easy walking distance from some of the best and most established dining rooms, including Arnaud's, Antoine's Restaurant and many others. One part of the menu is titled "Caviar Staircase," and includes several options, the highest level being "all black caviars" for $200. The menu, while somewhat complex, includes a number of tips of the culinary hat to New Orleans, offering a variety of oyster presentations, gumbos and the requisite Gulf fish entrees. But it also ventures into unusual territories, such as a full-flavored Calabrese style stewed tripe, and even absinthe-glazed, boudin-stuffed quail entree. In a town that often has trouble keeping guests in the hotel for dinner, R'evolution is certainly one of the most ambitious restaurant undertakings in recent memory. Open for dinner only, R'evolution has plans to launch lunch in the Fall. Dinner nightly. Restaurant R'evolution, Royal Sonesta Hotel, 777 Bienville St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-553-2277.
 

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News Bytes

Galatoire's Features "Native Wines"
Nothing much every changes at the venerable Bourbon Street eatery Galatoire's, and that's just the way its intensely loyal legion of regular customers likes it. But Galatoire's is coming closer to home with some of its newly feaured wines that have Louisiana connections. Nine wines are now being offered from seven different vineyards that have local affiliations. Some are made by New Orleanians who transplanted themselves to other parts of the country and then promoted their wines in Louisiana. Others are made by individuals who live in the state. The restaurant, which has an extensive wine program, plans to add even more wines with local affiliation. Galatoire's, 209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-525-2021.
 
The American Sector at the World War II museum American Sector Diversifies Dinner Menu Offerings
Ever since The American Sector opened at the World War II museum, although it offered lunch and dinner daily, the menu was the same throughout. Now chef de cuisine Todd Pulsinelli has introduced a new dinner menu that differs greatly from the lunch list. Pulsinelli says his goal is to attract customers who come in primarily for a meal at the restaurant, rather than just those who happen to be at the museum. The new menu is diverse to say the least. Now diners find everything from a sworfish sandwich to duck fried rice to alligator meatballs and spicy sausage over pasta. Some of the mid-20th century favorites remain, including the popular housemade footlong hot dogs with a variety of extras. The new menu also features comfort food items like creamy oyster stew, housemade mac and cheese, and meatloaf with mashed potatoes. Brave diners are likely to try a sugar cane, iced candied bacon cupcake for dessert. The American Sector, The National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-528-1940.
 
New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees in the Restaurant Business
A face very familiar to New Orleans Saints fans appeared at a recent New Orleans City Council meeting to gain approval for a new uptown restaurant. Drew Brees, the NFL Super Bowl winner and MVP was seeking the city's permission to open a franchised Jimmy John's Sandwich Shop in an area that is heavy with restaurants and bars. A number of neighbors opposed the opening because it is classified as a fast food restaurant, which traditionally has not been allowed in the area. However, others were there to support Brees, and in the end the Council gave its conditional approval for the business to open in early 2013, so long as they do not serve liquor and the restaurant closes nightly by 10 p.m. In his ongoing plans to diversify his business interests, Brees announced recently he and his wife will also open a clothing retail shop in New Orleans. As for the sandwich shop, it is almost guaranteed success, since it will be located in an area heavily travelled by students from nearby Tulane and Loyola universities. Jimmy Johns specilizes in subs and "giant club sandwiches." Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shop, 7621 Maple St., New Orleans, LA 70118, no phone.
 

Chef Shuffle

Changes are afoot at Manning's, the Fulton Square restaurant owned by former NFL great Archie Manning (and father of Eli and Peyton). First comes news that chef Anthony Spizale, (formerly of Upperline and Rib Room) is out. No word on why Spizale left, and so far a new chef has not been named. Spizale is known in the city as an innovative, culinary risk taker, but at Manning's he was restricted to bar food, burgers and typical sports bar fare, such as potato skins and sliders. Chances are he was not feeling able to use his considerable skills. The word in the tightly-knit local restaurant community is that Manning's may change its menu to be even more sports bar-oriented. Although it has attracted a large contingent of tourists, locals have found the price point to be a bit out of bounds ($14 for a basic hamburger, $33 for a 9 oz. filet). Manning's, 519 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-593-8118.
 

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.

Sammy's On Bourbon Street in the French Quarter has closed. Sammy's On Bourbon Street, 627 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130, no phone.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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