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News for Restaurants in New Orleans
November 2011 Archive

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If "root" seems an unlikely name for a New Orleans restaurant, chef/owner Philip Lopez begs to differ. Lopez named his restaurant Root, he says, because it conujures "birth." Hoping to build his own empire of eateries, Lopez wants this one to represent the birth of his business. Root is situated on a busy street in the Warehouse/Arts district of New Orleans and features a prominent bar with a "white tiger" granite top. Lopez, who trained and worked under chef John Besh (Restaurant August, Domenica, among others) calls his cuisine "modern American." Look for "cigar-smoked scallops," Korean-style chicken wings, hanger steaks, rotating styles of foie gras, charcuterie and sausages, an extra-spicy Indian potato and cauliflower dish, and more. We would go back just for the truffle-scented chicken liver parfait and the corn and caramel flan for dessert. Lunch & Dinner Mon.-Sat. Root, 200 Julia St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-252-9480.
The name Archie Manning is iconic to the city of New Orleans. Manning, a former quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, is also the father of football stars Peyton and Eli Manning. Now, the elder Manning is preparing to open a sports and entertainment bar and restaurant in downtown New Orleans, adjacent to Harrah's New Orleans Casino and Hotel. Manning's will feature a a 210-seat restaurant, with indoor and outdoor bars, a courtyard, 30 flat-screen TVs and a gift shop. Included will be private party rooms, and a top-of-the-line game-viewing space called "The End Zone," with 17 reclining leather seats, a full sports anchor desk and a huge wall-size screen. Football fantatics will enjoy the rotating memorabilia from the Manning family. The food will be the creations of Anthony Spizale, who was the chef at the Rib Room, and later at Upperline. Look for lots of comfort food, including such items as a skillet-fried filet topped with Southern Comfort pan sauce. Look for an early 2012 opening. Manning's, 228 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-533-6000.
When word came a few months ago that Dominique Macquet would move his Dominique's on Magazine restaurant to a new, bigger space, locals wondered what would become of the existing dining space. The answer is Apolline, a contemporary Creole dining room with chef Matt Farmer helming the kitchen. Farmer comes from the popular Garden District small plates restaurant Salu. This time, Farmer's menu will feature imaginitive takes on Creole cooking, such as pork confit ravioli, duck pastrami and even the popular sautéed sweetbreads with stone ground grits made popular by Macquet. The space is small, but warmly lit and elegantly appointed with hardwood floors and brick-and-mirrored walls. The floor-to-ceiling windows overlook bustling Magazine Street. Meanwhile, Macquet will still debut his new Dominique's on Magazine in the spring, as well as his Tamarine by Dominique in the refurbished Hotel Moderne in the Garden District. The latter is slated to open by the first of 2012. Dinner Tues.-Sat. Apolline, 4729 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-894-8881.

News Bytes

Dinner After Midnight? Only on Christmas Eve
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 and reservations are essential.
Mat & Naddie's Puts a New Spin on Lunch
For those who thought there's nothing new that can happen with lunch, it may be time to check out Mat & Naddie's CafeMat & 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.
Cafe Giovanni Celebrates 20 Years, as Chef Duke Plans New Opening
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.

Chef Shuffle

When chef Chris Lusk announced he was leaving Cafe Adelaide to become executive chef at Restaurant R'evolution, the not-yet-open Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans restaurant, those in the know waited to hear which Brennan family of restaurants chef would take over the Adelaide kitchen. True to form, the Brennans promoted one of their own, Chris Barbart, who had served as chef de cuisine at Commander's Palace since 2004. Barbato is highly respected in the local restaurant community, largely due to his vast knowledge of Creole cooking, and his clever adaptations of traditional Creole dishes. Cafe Adelaide, Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-595-3300.


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 Fat Hen Grill has closed. Fat Hen Grill, 1821 Hickory Ave., Harahan, LA 70123, no phone.

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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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