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September 2009 Archive

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If there is one opening New Orleanians have been eagerly anticipating for four years, it is The Roosevelt New Orleans. Formerly the Fairmont New Orleans, the hotel suffered extreme damage after Hurricane Katrina. Now exquisitely refurbished, the hotel has opened its doors, and the legendary Blue Room is back in business, as well. The Blue Room, with its rich history of showcasing some of the world's most famous entertainers, is now serving a gourmet plated brunch on Sundays, backed up by clarinetist Tim Laughlin. The plated brunch will feature culinary creations by executive chef Stefan Kauth and desserts by executive pastry chef Robert Plouffe. Two culinary stations containing seafood and desserts will serve as focal points. Adult plates are $59 and include valet parking and a complimentary glass of champagne. Children 10 and under will be served at half price. Reservations are suggested. Blue Room, Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel, 123 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-648-1200.

News Bytes

The French Quarter Bistro's New Look and New Menu
Although it has been through a few incarnations in its five-year history, the French Quarter Bistro at the Maison Dupuy Hotel has finally hit on a winning combination of artistic ambiance and comfort food. Toulouse Lautrec-inspired murals still adorn the walls, but a bright new paint job, new linens and great new lighting provide the perfect backdrop for chef Mike Farrell's inspired menu. New appetizers at the Bistro include oysters on the half shell with fresh shaved horseradish and mignonette sauce; "Grown-up Mac and Cheese" with Vella Dry Jack, smoked gouda and truffle essence; blue cheese fondue; and "Truffle-Kissed Fries" with Parmesan and fresh herbs. On the entrée menu look for pizza with fontina, wild mushroom and prosciutto; pan-seared speckled trout with Leon Brown butter; and a Cuban pressed sandwich served hot and juicy with pulled pork, turkey, Provolone and pickle chips. Chef Farrell also keeps things close to home with Louisiana crawfish étouffée; chicken and andouille gumbo and, of course, red beans and rice. All of this comes with those great wrap-around corner windows that offer some of the best people watching in the French Quarter. Breakfast, lunch & dinner daily. French Quarter Bistro, Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-586-8000.
Vega Tapas Cafe Expands its $2 "Tapas TWOsday" Special
It was just supposed to be an experiment, but Vega Tapas Café had such a huge response to its "$2 TWOSday" special, the chef decided to expand the menu. Every Tuesday you can order selected tapas for just two bucks. On the cold side, look for such items as "Tortilla Española," potato omelets with onions and peppers, and Huevos Rellenos---pink caviar stuffed boiled eggs. There is also salmon ceviche made with salmon pastrami on tapenade toast. On the hot side, the Empanada de Atún is getting a lot of attention; it's made with fresh ahi in crispy pie with caper butter. The Albondiga a la Plancha features a grilled lamb meatball with chimichurri. Also, just a reminder about Vega's "Winey Wednesdays," when every Wednesday you can have a glass of wine for just $5, all night long. Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly. Vega Tapas Cafe, 2051 Metairie Rd., Metairie, LA 70005, 504-836-2007.
“Fried Chicken Tuesdays” at The Rib Room
The Rib Room, known for decades as the place for prime rib, is shaking things up a bit. First, every Tuesday the restaurant offers its increasingly popular three-course meal with two pieces of fried chicken served with baked mac and cheese, smothered okra and corn bread waffles, a wedge salad with warm bacon and blue cheese dressing, and pecan pie a la mode---all for $19! Meanwhile, the adjacent see-and-be-seen bar has been renamed The Rib Room Bar. That was the winning name after a contest was held to allow the public to name the bar. There’s more: Chef Anthony Spizale has unveiled his new dinner menu---treat yourself to a potato-crusted redfish on a warm shitake and lump crabmeat salad. Rib Room, Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, 621 St. Louis St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-529-7045.
John Besh's Brand New Cookbook
Chef John Besh (Restaurant August, Luke, The Besh Steak House at Harrah's, Domenica, La Provence) is out with his new cookbook. Besh, a Louisiana boy through and through aptly titled his new tome, “My New Orleans: The Cookbook.” The lush food photography will make you hungry, but even better is the way Besh communicates his love of Louisiana through food. Here you will hear how he learned how to preserve figs with his grandfather, and why cornmeal-fried okra reminds him of his boyhood. This is a big book with 200 recipes.  Besh, whose Domenica just opened in the newly refurbished The Roosevelt New Orleans, is set to open another eatery in the National World War II Museum in November. Restaurant August, 301 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-299-9777.
Dickie Brennan's Debuts "Quick and Casual" Lunch
The Oyster Bar at Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House restaurant is one of the most happening places in the lower French Quarter. Now, Bourbon House is serving its new “Quick and Casual Lunch” at the bar. The no-fuss lunch offers sandwiches costing $8.50, among them muffalettas, pressed Cuban sandwiches and grilled veggie sandwiches with fresh mozzarella. Or, you can opt for a combo lunch, featuring the “Oyster Trifecta”---seafood gumbo, three freshly shucked oysters and a fried oyster po-boy. Also available is the “Shrimp Trifecta,” same as above, but with shrimp instead of oysters. Dickie Brennan’s  happy hour is still happening every day from 4–6 p.m. The Oyster Bar serves oysters on the half-shell for $1/oyster, and the bar features specially priced wines and $3 Abita Amber drafts. Bourbon House, Astor Crowne Plaza, 144 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-522-0111.
Saints Games at 7 on Fulton
There are no football fans quite as hungry as New Orleans Saints fans. Every game day, loyal Saints fans gather everywhere in proximity to the Louisiana Superdome for all-day tailgating parties. Now, 7 on Fulton Restaurant is taking tailgating to a new level. Every Saturday and Sunday throughout the football season, 7 on Fulton offers appetizers and $10 buckets of beer from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. while you watch the games. 7 on Fulton, Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans Hotel, 701 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-525-7555.
Chef Besh Celebrates 2009 All Year with his $20.09 Lunch
The lunch crowd has spoken: Restaurant August has become a clear choice for Friday lunches in New Orleans. For some time now, chef/owner John Besh has been offering a stellar three-course lunch for $20.09, Fridays only. The delicious news is that Besh has decided to extend the special lunch price five days a week, Mon.-Fri. The prix fixe lunch offers select choices, but given Besh's dedication to local sasonal ingredients, and the whimsy and refinement that characterize all of his offerings, you are sure to find something satisfing. Recent lunch selections have included jumbo Gulf shrimp and okra stew with heirloom tomatoes, and a fantastic heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad with green pea pesto. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Restaurant August, 301 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-299-9777.
Check Out Weekends at The Lakehouse
If you've got a couple of five dollar bills, you have weekend nights covered. Now at The Lakehouse in Mandeville, shucked oysters are $5/dozen, and cocktails are just five bucks on Fridays and Saturdays. There are other five dollar appetizers, too. While you're celebrating all the money you're saving, you can enjoy Sam Adams on the piano. Friday is also "Girls Night Out" at The Lakehouse, with cool jewels and handbags offered at hot prices (while you're enjoying your $5 cocktails!). The Lakehouse, 2025 Lakeshore Drive, Mandeville, LA 70471, 985-626-3006.

Chef Shuffle

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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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