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July 2012 Archive

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When Commander's Palace owner Ti Martin and chef Tory McPhail put their heads together, the result is usually delicious. Exhibit A is Cafe Adelaide in the Loews New Orleans Hotel. Their newest venture is SoBou, in the space formerly occupied by the elegant Italian restaurant Bacco. Fronting the chic W New Orleans - French Quarter, the name SoBou stands for 'south of Bourbon St." SoBou opened its doors in June, offering those who frequented Bacco for two decades a moment of shock and awe. The interior has been completely refashioned. One side is a modern Creole saloon, and the rest of the place is a traditional dining room. There is also an attractive beer garden. Martin calls the place a "spirited restaurant," meaning much emphasis has been put on beer, wine and cocktails. The owners are touting the menu with "Louisiana street food," such as boudin, pork cracklin's and even something called "yellowfin tuna cones" --- tuna in something that resembles an ice cream cone. Skewered shrimp, cochon du lait, gumbo and oyster tacos share menu space. Just to prove how spirited the place is, some tables have beer taps installed in them that measure how much diners drink with a built-in meter. SoBou is located just down the block from the popular gastro-pub, Sylvain, and the New Orleans hamburger institution, Camellia Grill. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. SoBou, 310 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-552-4095.
The owners of one of the two popular New Orleans Juan's Flying Burrito restaurants have announced the impending opening of Lucky Rooster, a pan-Asian restaurant in downtown New Orleans. The exact location of the new venture has not yet been revealed, but it is known that Joe Briand, formerly general manager of Herbsaint, will be in charge. The Pan-Asian concept, offering cuisines distincitive to various Asian countries, has proven itself in more than one local dining spot. Early reports reveal Lucky Rooster will offer everthing including banh mi, Korean barbecue, dumplings, Hunan preparations and noodle bowls, among other favorites. With Briand's well-known wine expertise and the kitchen being helmed by former Emeril's Delmonico chef de cuisine Neil Swidler, Lucky Rooster promises to be a welcome addition to owner Warren Chapoton's collection of restaurants, which includes the popular Garden District spot, Slice Pizzeria. A planned opening date has not been announced.
Chef Dominique Macquet is a familiar figure in New Orleans, largely because of his long-running operation, Dominique's in the Maison DuPuy Hotel.  When Dominique's closed, the chef helmed another venue uptown, but now he is looking forward to the debut of Dominique's on Magazine. In partnership with Mike Schexnayder, the owner of Le Foret, Macquet will open a 190-seat dining room, with a traditional New Orleans courtyard and a large wine cellar. Trent Osborne, who was chef de cuisine at the old Dominique's, will resurrect his position. The new restaurant is located in a busy uptown block of Magazine Street, not far from La Petite Grocery and a number of more casual dining spots. Macquet may be the only New Orleans chef who hails from the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. From there, his culinary style is a mix of Creole, Asian, African and Indian influences. It is no surprise, then, that his new menu is hard to categorize. Look for every thing from a lobster and celery root salad to a grilled lime-basil swordfish, to sautéed sweetbreads with chimichurri. Macquet's food traditionally starts with locally grown fruits and vegetables, and seasonings that showcase the similarity between local spices and those of his geographical roots. At the old Dominique's, everybody got cotton candy at the end of their meal --- let's hope that continues. A late September opening is anticipated, if all goes according to schedule with the renovation of the building. Dominique's on Magazine, 4213 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70125, 504-261-8253.

News Bytes

Chef Susan Spicer Pays Tribute to Julia Child
August 13th through the 18th is Julia Child week at Bayona, in celebration of the iconic chef and TV personality's 100th anniversary of her birthday. Chef Susan Spicer pays homage by cooking Julia Child recipes for the week. The three-course menu is set at $48 per person. Bayona, 430 Dauphine St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-525-4455.

Chef Shuffle

The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel, one of the city's most elegant fine dining rooms, announced the hiring of Kristin Butterworth, formerly of Lautrec in Pennsylvania's Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa. Butterworth replaces Drew Dzejak. The Grill Room has seen more than its share of upheaval over the years, with chefs coming and going, general management changes and varying experimental menu concepts. Dzejak was brought in a couple of years ago by the then new hotel general manager, David Teich. Teich, with a solid background in food and beverage operations, wisely brought back the dining room's original name, after a misguided attempt to rebrand the room as The New Orleans Grill. Under Dzejak, the room fluourished. Butterworth, for her part, has an impressive culinary background that includes the famed Inn at Little Washington. Predictably, Butterworth plans an overhaul of the menu, which has happened every time the hotel hired a new chef. Butterworth's resume includes a stint in Italy where she received a certificate in Italian cuisine and pastry from the esteemed Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners. Some of those European influences are bound to show up in the Grill Room's new menu. The Grill Room, Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-522-1992.


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.

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