News for Restaurants in New Orleans
Every year on Christmas Eve in New Orleans, hundreds (maybe thousands) of people eat dinner in the middle of the night. That is because the tradition of fasting until taking communion at midnight mass is alive and well. It is called Reveillon (literally translated to "awakening"). This year, 41 local restaurants have created special Reveillon menus, ranging in price from $38 to $90, not including tax and gratuity. Many of the restaurants are in the French Quarter, catering to the many families and individuals who attend midnight mass at the historic St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square. These are festive dinners that usually last for at least a couple of hours, and generally run four to six courses. Menus are being updated daily at http://www.neworleansonline.com/holiday/ and reservations are essential.
For those who thought there's nothing new that can happen with lunch, it may be time to check out Mat & Naddie's Cafe. Mat & Naddie's debuted its new "Meat & 3" concept. Here's how it works: You choose an entrée, ranging in price from $8.95 to $12.95, and for another five bucks you get three side items. Sides include a range of items such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, okra and tomatoes, Belgian fries, cole slaw, beet salad, mixed green salad, soup, green bean casserole and other rotating dishes. Or, for an extra $2.50 you can choose two side items. There are those who say you haven't lived until you taste Mat & Naddie's cornbread muffins, which are included with every meal. Reservations are a good idea. Mat & Naddie's Cafe, 937 Leonidas St., New Orleans, LA 70118, 504-861-9600.
In the French Quarter, Cafe Giovanni is synonymous with authentic Italian cuisine. Couple that with the big personality of chef Duke LoCicero, and it is no wonder the place is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Chef Duke, not one to rest on his laurels, used the anniversary occasion to announce big plans for the lakefront area of New Orleans. Duke plans to open a newly constructed seafood restaurant and fish market in the very space where Hurricane Katrina decimated some fo the city's most beloved seafood restaurants. The new enterprise will reportedly include a 4,000-square-foot restaurant and a 375-foot dock. He is building the restaurant 18 feet off the ground, with sturdy windows that can withstand up to 130 mph winds. The ambitous construction plan calls for a June 2013 completion. Dinner nightly. Cafe Giovanni, 117 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-529-2154.
View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in New Orleans
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Check out the 2015 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which features the Top 40 Restaurants in the US and more.