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Review: After a slow simmer, Avo ascends as a top Italian restaurant in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Octopus is paired with fruit and lardo (cured, whipped pork fat) for a stand-out appetizer at Avo.

It’s always exciting to see a new restaurant open, and these days in New Orleans that’s practically everyday fare. What’s more gratifying, however, is watching a restaurant reach its potential, and that’s the story lately at Avo. It’s a tale told through bucatini carbonara, the long, hollow noodles giving a pliant tug under a creamy,… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty: Though Dinner Lab is belly up, “data-driven restaurants” may still soon compete with the chef-driven kind

Advocate file photo by Ian McNulty - Dinner Lab held pop-up style events, like this one in Central City, and asked its members for detailed feedback to build a trive of dining data.

One upshot from the demise of Dinner Lab is that we will have to wait a bit longer to experience the purely data-driven restaurant. The New Orleans-based start-up went belly up, laying off its staff and ending operations in 30 cities around the country where people had bought memberships. The company was built around one-off… Continue reading →

A dozen grilled, smoked and fried OYSTER dishes to try

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Smoked oysters are served at the Curious Oyster Co. inside Dryades Public Market.

The New Orleans love affair with the oyster reaches its perennial peak in the cooler months, and it finds its fullest expression at the raw bar. But the return of summer doesn’t put this into hiberation. It just reframes things a bit as attention shifts to cooked oyster dishes — the fried and grilled, the smoked and… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Chefs, restaurateurs and authors share food stories

Photo by Ron Manville -- Bay Leaf Custard with Mixed Berries

“When did New Orleans become self-consciously gourmet?” writer and broadcaster Tom Fitzmorris asked at a May 19 event celebrating Louisiana cookbook authors while benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. “When ‘du jour’ began appearing on menus,” he said, answering his own question. Fitzmorris served as master of ceremonies at the fifth annual Literary Luncheon, “Chefs in Kind,” to… Continue reading →

Prudhomme dinner, all-day culinary event planned

The WYES Chef Paul Prudhomme Tribute Dinner presented by First NBC Bank will pay homage to one of America’s best-known chefs on Friday, June 3, at Purloo, 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with an open bar, specialty cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. At 7:30 p.m.,… Continue reading →

Big on desserts? This New Orleans pastry chef is boosting the temptation by thinking small

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The dessert tray at Salon by Sucre in the French Quarter.

On a recent afternoon, a woman walked into the sunlit dining room of Salon by Sucré, the French Quarter restaurant run by chef Tariq Hanna. She stopped short when she spotted a silver dessert platter covered with small colorful confections. Although she hadn’t ordered lunch, she already knew what she was having for… Continue reading →

A new look at local food: Wild boar, lionfish, even kudzu -- it’s all fair game during the Eat Local Challenge

Photo by Beau Ciolino - A rooftop in Central City is the setting for some events during the annual Eat Local Challenge. A dinner held last year featured wild edibles foraged from around the area. This year the focus is on invasive species.

The shopping list for people looking to eat local in New Orleans has been expanding fast as homegrown brands proliferate and more producers crop up. In the weeks ahead, however, you may start seeing a different side of local food, one that expands to include the innovative, the overlooked or underutilized and even the invasive.… Continue reading →

Rock-n-Sake on a roll: fourth location for the sushi bar planned for Metairie

Photo courtesy of Rock-n-Sake -- The sushi restaurant Rock-n-Sake started in the New Orleans Warehouse District in 1998 and is now expanding in Metairie and Lafayette.

Closing in on 20 years in business, Rock-n-Sake has seen a lot of changes around its original Warehouse District address, and some of its regulars have changed too. “We have customers who have been coming here since we started,” said Tisbee Dantin, a managing partner at Rock-n-Sake. “Now, though, we hear from them saying, ‘We love you… Continue reading →

A game plan for the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

Photo by Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times -- Wine experts say tastings like the upcoming Grand Tasting and Vinola! event in New Orleans are training grounds for making satisfying choices at restaurants and wine shops.

There’s a vast world of wine out there, and this week a lot more of it is flowing into New Orleans. The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, the city’s largest annual wine event, returns Thursday through Saturday. The schedule is a little different this year, though the format is mostly the… Continue reading →

Quick tips for the best sips: wine pros on finding your favorites, to spit or not to spit, and when enough is enough

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Wine experts say tastings like the upcoming Grand Tasting and Vinola! event in New Orleans are training grounds for making satisfying choices at restaurants and wine shops.

With the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience returning this week, we asked a few wine pros for practical tips and guidelines on etiquette at the tasting table. Below are comments from master sommeliers Madeline Triffon and Evan Goldstein, who are both visiting for NOWFE, and from Commander’s Palace “wine guy” Dan Davis… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Chicken pairs with broccoli, salsa for a tasty meal

Photo by CORINNE COOK -- Lemon Garlic Chicken

I had chicken in the oven, fresh broccoli steaming and cold bean salsa is in the fridge. That’s a light, tasty and economical meal anyone can make. Most of the time I bake whole chickens sitting on a bed of onions, celery and peppers. But when I see chicken pieces on sale, I’ll get them, particularly if… Continue reading →

Summer dinner series in New Orleans to feature renowned chefs

Renowned chefs from the Gulf region will share their passion for local, sustainable seafood at Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) “Summer of Sustainability” dinner series launching at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2, and continuing through August in New Orleans. The Chef Council and G.U.L.F.’s Restaurant Partners will present an all-inclusive,… Continue reading →

Food at the Boogaloo: flavors from a growing Mid-City dining scene and a root beer ‘float’ right on the bayou

Photo provided by MoPho -- A vermicelli bowl, topped with glazed pork, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, from MoPho.

The scene at the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo is famously relaxing. Deciding what to eat may be the most difficult part of your day. The waterfront festival’s collective menu consists of ethnic delicacies, Creole mainstays, vegetarian plates and inspired beverages that will cool you to the core. “We have a variety of food that appeals to anyone and… Continue reading →

Mid-City’s Bayou Boogaloo is back with boat contests, more music, floating bar

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - People flock to Bayou St. John each spring for the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, which combines music, food and art in a setting along the historic waterway.

Awards for boat decorations, more water activities, a floating bar and a wider selection of local craft beer are new this year at the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo, New Orleans’ annual late spring festival along Bayou St. John. The free festival, between Dumaine and Lafitte streets, invites attendees to enjoy the historic waterway while listening… Continue reading →

A new start, downriver: priced out of a changing Bywater, new eateries, bars head to Arabi

Advocate staff photos -- New in Arabi (clockwise from top left): Pirogue's Whiskey Bayou bar; hanger steak from the Kitchen Table Cafe; hot fried chicken at the Rear Window; Isla Nola performing at Old Arabi Bar; chef Kevin Hackett and Donna Cavato at the Kitchen Table Cafe.

At the new Kitchen Table Cafe, you’ll find smoked fish dip, market-fresh beet and kale salads and fried oyster BLTs in a setting as causal as any diner. Just across the street, the new bar Pirogue’s Whiskey Bayou has draft beer from a nearby microbrewery, cheaper beer stacked in the cooler and a… Continue reading →

Roll credits: CBD sushi bar that set a new standard will close Friday

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Chef Komei Horimoto opened his restaurant Horinoya in New Orleans in 2001. He plans to close the restaurant May 13, 2016.

There was no lack of sushi bars around New Orleans when Horinoya first opened in the CBD in 2001. But this restaurant immediately set a new standard for the city with its fidelity to Japanese tradition and with the adventurous menu it offered those ready to venture beyond the basics. On Friday, May 13, however, Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Cooking up a country supper

Photo by CORINNE COOK -- Meatball Stew

My brother and his wife were coming over from Texas to stay with me for a couple of days. Once I had the date, the next thing was, “What to cook for them besides crawfish?” Our Mama made a wonderful meatball stew with a brown gravy that was served over rice, so I decided to make that… Continue reading →

Is Tujague’s 'America's oldest neighborhood restaurant?' Sizing up the 160-year-old landmark

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD (top), Tujague's archive photo (bottom) - The bar has long been key to the appeal of Tujague's, which marsk 160 years in business in the French Quarter in 2016.

Give any restaurant enough time and an institutional history will accrue. Give it as much time as Tujague’s has on the clock, and it can develop its own lore and legends and even some dichotomies that might seem like contradictions but end up defining the place. Tujague’s dates to 1856. It became one of… Continue reading →

At Decatur Street's Trinity, new restaurant combines modern cuisine, design with the persistence of the past

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - The new Decatur Street restaurant Trinity has an open kitchen with a long dining bar, like its predecessor Maximo's.

In the French Quarter, even when you make a fresh start there are usually vestiges of the past entwined. That holds true at Trinity, the newest addition to the French Quarter dining scene that still owes the spark for its existence to a much older predecessor at this Decatur Street address, Maximo’s. Trinity officially… Continue reading →

Pho Tau Bay returns on Tulane Avenue, stirring more than just appetites

Photo by Ian McNulty -- Won ton soup from Pho Tau Bay.

Banh mi is now bar food, spring rolls are a festival snack and many neighborhoods across the city have not just their own outpost for pho but competing options. It’s never been easier to find Vietnamese food in New Orleans. And yet, there’s been audible pining and outright yearning for the return of one particular Vietnamese restaurant,… Continue reading →