November 3, 2013

00:00 November 04, 2013
By: Kim Ranjbar
[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

It seems that everyone who is everyone wants to be in New Orleans, not that we blame them, but can we all fit? Some restaurants close, while others open and such is the circle of life. Or at least the hospitality industry in the Crescent City. It's sad to say goodbye to tried and true spots, but all we can do is say a fond farewell and offer well-wishing for those headed for alternate horizons and welcome new prospects with open arms.
Among some of the sadder news of the season, Blue Plate Cafe shuttered its doors not long ago. Located on Prytania Street in the Lower Garden District, the diner was a favorite spot for breakfast and lunch for many locals with inexpensive, yet delicious eats like the "The Beast" sandwich, an onion roll piled high with juicy roast beef, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and a thick slice of brie. Owner/chef Holly Diliberto is looking forward to break after being open every weekday for over nine years. The Blue Plate Cafe will truly be missed.
Fat Hen Grocery's sudden closing strikes at the stomachs of college students and tourists popping off the streetcar for a bite. Open only two years previous, the popular restaurant seemed like it would finally break the curse that was haunting that location on the corner of Cherokee and St. Charles Avenue, what with the eatery's famous breakfast "Womelets" and barbeque. Chef and owner Shane Pritchett, whose talents were realized as chef de cuisine at Emeril's Delmonico, decided to shut down Fat Hen Grocery and take much needed break, but he hopes for a comeback. We'll have to just wait and see.
While some restaurants are closing, others are just getting started, for example the highly anticipated Fountain Lounge inside the Roosevelt Hotel. Originally opened in 1938, the Fountain Lounge was a seriously hip hot spot where the who's who of New Orleans would enjoy sips and bites in a casually elegant atmosphere, a place to see and be seen. The newly renovated space features "rich wood flooring, luxurious fabrics and high-end finishes" along with a full raw bar with fresh oysters, shellfish and other seafood from the Gulf. Open for lunch and dinner daily, the restaurant's main focus is creative cocktails, like their original "Jambalaya," a hefty wine list and tasty small plates. For more information, visit
Laurel Street Bakery was another grand opening last month. Located at 2701 South Broad Street, the new bakery is now open daily offering fresh goods, all baked from scratch daily, including items like bagels, muffins, bread, cookies, croissants and more. Laurel Street Bakery also offers a full breakfast and lunch menu including specialty beverages like espressos, cappuccinos, chai and teas. Owner Hillary Guttman's new storefront bakery is a part of the Washington Avenue and Broad Street "renaissance," an $8.7 million project which includes another restaurant, several nonprofit organizations and a community health care clinic.
Speaking of community, on November 11, 2013, Morton's the Steakhouse will host The Jonathan Vilma Foundation as the beneficiary for the 4th Annual Celebrity Servers from 6 -10 p.m. You can join Jonathan Vilma and his Saints teammates as they trade in their uniforms for aprons to support the relief efforts for the Haiti earthquake. Morton's partners with our city's favorite athletes and sports celebrities to help raise funds for their preferred charities. During the "Celebrity Servers at Morton's" events, guests will enjoy hors d'oeuvres, four courses of signature steakhouse cuisine, chilled cocktails and fine wine as they rub elbows with the best and biggest names in sports!
In other news, everyone is jazzed for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation's Boudin, Bourbon & Beer event happening November 8th at The Foundry. Like the years previous, the 2013 food and drink extravaganza will feature boudin created by chefs like Mr. Lagasse himself, the famous Italian chef Mario Batali, Donald Link of Herbsaint, Cochon and (most recently) Peche, Bart Bell from Crescent Pie & Sausage and many more. Boudin, Bourbon & Beer will also offer beers from Abita, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and wines from Au Bon Climat. Proceeds from this event benefit the Emeril Lagasse Foundation "which seeks to inspire, mentor and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances." For tickets and more information, please visit
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse is celebrating its 15th birthday this month. The classic New Orleans eatery will be offering specials all month long including two-course, $15 Friday lunches which will include a choice of dishes like Seafood Gumbo and Broiled Twin Filets served with mashed potatoes and a bourbon, peppercorn cream sauce. Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse will also have $15 glasses of Moét & Chandon Impérial Brut NV as well as a Spirit Flight featuring Redbreast 15 year single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, Springbank Single Malt Scotch 15 year and Dalwhinnie Single Malt Scotch 15 year for $20.
Finally, Marcus Woodham who previously ran the kitchen at Tempt has been hired as executive chef of Tivoli & Lee inside The Hotel Modern. Woodham is replacing Michael Niremberg who originally opened the Lee Circle restaurant less than a year ago. Locally born and raised, Woodham is quite familiar with Southern Louisiana cuisine, not to mention his part in opening Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge and John Besh's Luke here in the CBD. He also worked at Aaron Burgau's Restaurant Patois Uptown as his sous chef. Woodham has lots in store for the menu at Tivoli & Lee including house made charcuterie and larger, family-style portions.

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