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News for Restaurants in New Orleans
March 2010 Archive

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In a city that is light on Thai restaurants, the news that Sukho Thai is expanding to a second location uptown is most welcome. Sukho Thai is a favorite in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, and the new location promises to be even more expansive. The restaurant is moving into a cavernous space formerly occupied by a combination kitchen store and cooking school. That means the kitchen is far better equipped than the Marigny restaurant, which will allow the chefs to try out new dishes and continually allow the menu to evolve. We hope they keep the three-flavor fish and seafood clay pot on the menu, and we feel confident the slightly addictive rice pudding will make the cut. Sukho Thai also has one of the most comprehensive tea menus in the city. Sukho Thai, 4519 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70118, 504-948-9309.
The words "Sid-Mar's is back" have been resounding throughout New Orleans. Sid-Mar's was one of the favorite Lakeview area seafood restaurants. It was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, much to the disappointment of local seafood lovers. Now, the eatery has returned in a new Metairie location. Owners Sidney, Jr. and Marion Burgess, who owned and operated the place for almost 30 years, are back front and center, and happily greeting their former clients. Sid-Mar's is known for its gumbos and po' boys, as well as boiled and fried seafood. Among the most popular menu items, the giant fried seafood platter is back. Also returning are the irresistible stuffed crabs and the house jambalaya. Sid-Mar's shrimp bordelaise appetizer has also returned. There are over 1,000 restaurants open in the metro area now (more than before Katrina), but to many New Orleanians, the return of Sid-Mar's truly represents the recovery of the local restaurant scene. Lunch & Dinner daily. Sid-Mar's, 3322 N. Turnbull Dr., Metairie, LA 70002, 504-831-9541.
Chef Susan Spicer For years Chef Susan Spicer has been garnering attention because of her French Quarter restaurant, Bayona. Now, Spicer is set to open Mondo in May, which she describes as a "comfortable, casual, upbeat neighborhood restaurant and bar with an international menu full of things you want to eat." If Spicer says we want it, we believe it. The truly distinctive news about this place is that it will open in Lakeview, the area hardest hit by the 2005 hurricanes, and one that has clawed its way back. It so happens the chef lives in Lakeview. Today, Lakeview is thriving, and Spicer's presence there is bound to give the neighborhood a lift. Look for pizzas from wood-burning ovens, local seafood, ethnic specialties and handmade desserts. Bayona is known for its fabulous desserts, so expect nothing less from Mondo. Prices will be moderate, and although the wine list will not be terribly complex, it will surely be well thought out. Mondo, 900 Harrison Ave., New Orleans, LA 70124, 504-224-2633.

News Bytes

All Proceeds from a New Cookbook to Benefit Haiti Earthquake Relief
Leave it to the great chefs of New Orleans to come up with a creative way to help Haitian earthquake victims.  Big name local chefs including Matt Murphy, John Besh and Brian Landry (among others) have contributed recipes for the new RHINO Cookbook. RHINO stands for Recipes Homemade in New Orleans. The book features 400 pages of recipes and tips, contributed by the chefs and others. Local company Durr Heavy Construction covered the production costs, and all proceeds go to Haiti, via Catholic Charities. Order online at The book costs $20.
MiLa Introduces 30 Wines under $30
The elegant downtown restaurant MiLa continues to cater to recessionary pocketbooks by introducing 30 bottles of wine under $30 each. Chef-owners (and husband and wife) Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing are making the new wine list available now, at both lunch and dinner. About dinner: The Rushings offer a nightly dinner tasting menu, six courses for $65. The only thing better may be their $20 prix-fixe three-course lunch, offering such items as phyllo-crusted redfish or braised beef short ribs. And do not miss the vanilla bean rice pudding. The Rushings change the menu frequently, making repeat visits a must. MiLa, Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel, 817 Common St., New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-412-2580.
New Orleans Cooking Experience Offers Classes Based on Julia Child's Cookbook
If you have yet to have the New Orleans Cooking Experience, this Spring promises to be among the best times ever to start. Not only are some of the finest area chefs going to be offering classes, but in June, renowned area chef Gerard Maras will offer a series of classes based on Julia Child's cookbook. Building on the continuing popularity of the 2009 film, "Julie & Julia," and the renewed attention to the cookbook, three consecutive days of classes will be offered at the House on Bayou Road. The house is an elegant bed and breakfast with a full size teaching kitchen. Classes are held continually in the kitchen, and after each class, all of the attendees get to eat everything that has been prepared. Check the web site for a full schedule for March, April and May. Among the highlights: Brigtsen's owner/chef Frank Brigtsen will teach students how to prepare some of his favorites, including crawfish etouffée, catfish and stone-ground jalapeño cheese grits and his locally beloved pecan pie. All classes are $150 per person, including instruction, recipes, wine service, seated meal and all taxes and gratuities. New Orleans Cooking Experience, 2275 Bayou Rd., New Orleans, LA 70119, 504-945-9104.

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Stay in a romantic mood with this Rosé Champagne.

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8 Ball Chocolate WhiskeyFor those that love chocolate and whiskey, this is a match made in heaven.

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