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October 2010 Archive

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What do two best buddies who grew up together on the south coast of England do when they grow up? Open a restaurant in New Orleans’ warehouse district, of course. Richard Knight and James Silk opened Feast in Houston two years ago, and now offer their rustic European cuisine in a high traffic corner between downtown and the Garden District. The Feast menu changes daily, but expect hearty fare such as crisp-roasted pork belly with potato cakes, braised lamb shank with potatoes and garlic, scallops with a brandy, mushroom, cheese and cream sauce, and even a traditional English fish pie. The owners say they are trying to create a feeling of a traditional “family meal shared around the kitchen table of an old-fashioned European family farm.” Stop in for Feast’s festive happy hour (5 p.m.-6:30 p.m.) and stay for dinner. Pork pie with English mustard anyone? We thought so. And extra credit for anyone who knows what the menu item “Bubble and Squeak” is without asking. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Feast, 200 Julia St., New Orleans, LA 70125, 504-304-6318.
From the outside it may look like a typical Victorian-style New Orleans home, but once inside it's "Mad Men" all the way. Think mid-20th century minimalism, and you've got the picture of chef John Harris' new small plates restaurant, located directly next door to his highly successful Lilette. Bouligny Tavern, featuring such items as gouda beignets and fries with aïoli, even has a full living room setup that could be right out of an episode of "The Dick Van Dyke Show." Harris uses the narrow space between his two buildings as an intimate pocket patio for cozy outdoor dining. The fried gnocchi and the duck confit and crostini with marrow and garlic are typical of Harris' full-flavored cooking. As they do at Lilette, Harris and company have put good thought into the selections for the grand wine bar, and distinctive cocktails abound. If you dare, try the La Madrugada --- Spanish for "dawn" --- Blanco tequila, grapefruit juice and St. Germain, Campari. Bouligny Tavern, 3641 Magazine St., New Orlean, LA 70115, 504-891-1810.
Former New Orleans Saint Archie Manning, father of star-NFL players Peyton and Eli Manning has announced plans to open a new restaurant in the downtown Harrah's complex. Manning, a high profile football analyst and CBS sports commentator, hopes to break ground on the new operation in early 2011. The restaurant will be located in the Fulton Corridor, which is already home to Gordon Biersch Restaurant, Grand Isle Restaurant and Ruth's Chris Steak House. Featuring a full bar and open-air courtyard, Manning's on Fulton Square hopes to open in the Fall of 2011. Plans call for a two-story sports-themed restaurant that will feature athletic memorabilia from Louisiana teams including the Saints, Tulane and LSU, and also from the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants, the teams of Manning's sons. Menus are still in development, but Manning promises "New Orleans food with a Southern flair." Manning's on Fulton Square, Fulton Square, New Orleans, LA 70125, no phone available yet.

News Bytes

MiLa Offers Value-Driven Fixed-Price Menus
MiLa, the chic, see-and-be-seen restaurant in the heart of the Central Business District, is offering pre-set menus for lunch and dinner. For lunch, chefs Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing offer a $20 prix-fixe, three-course menu. Selections include (but are not limited to) curry yellow squash soup with Louisiana crawfish, filo-crusted triggerfish with wilted bok choy, and vanilla bean ice cream with Louisiana strawberries. The Rushings, known for their extensive use of locally grown products, offer a seaonally changing tasting menu for dinner, six courses for $65. Right now the menu features a crispy-skinned snapper and a Colorado rack of lamb. Although the entire menu is artfully created, it may be the final course that brings you back. Dessert is chocolate bread pudding with white chocolate mint ice cream. The Rushings have created a sleek, sexy atmosphere that invites you to linger over after dinner cocktails. Be sure to ask about the 30-bottle election of wines priced at under $30 each. Located on a busy downtown street, MiLa offers complimentary valet parking. MiLa, Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel, 817 Common St., New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-412-2580.
Grill Room Launches New "Farm to Table" Menu
Arguably the most luxurious dining room in town, The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel is going back to basics. In a salute to the current sustainable agriculture trend, The Grill Room has launched a new "farm to table" lunch menu. Crispy quail is served with cheddar grits, radish salad and spicy molasses, while pecan-crusted crabcakes are accented with red onion apple relish. Sandwiches are decidely upscale, featuring such items as Gulf fish with sliced pickles on brioche, with cured tomato apple slaw, and a new twist on the traditional BLT, featuring bacon, pork belly, lettuce and tomato on brioche, with basil aïoli. The popular Windsor Court Salad is still on the menu, as is the locally beloved house-made gumbo. And best of all? The Grill Room tradition of $2 martinis at lunch continues. The Grill Room, Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-522-1992.

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