Farewell to Filipino food … Due to exorbitant rents, the popular Filipino restaurant Milkfish was forced to shutter. Owner/chef Cristina Quackenbush opened her novel restaurant only two years ago with much ado and acclaim. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite enough for survival in the teeming Mid-City food corridor on N Carrollton Avenue. Hopefully Quackenbush will find another place for her Filipino restaurant to thrive.
125 N Carrollton Ave., (504) 267- 4199, http://milkfishnola.com/
Fabulous fusion … Chefs Jean-Pierre Guidry and Carl Schaubhut have joined force to launch Bäcobar across Lake Pontchartrain in Covington. Touted as “international street food with a South Louisiana soul,” the cuisine at Bäcobar combines the best of Latin and Asian flavors for dishes that chefs (and us regular Joes) crave. Open daily, Bäcobar's menu features items like Shrimp Remoulade Summer Rolls, Blue Crab Bisque, a Bäcobarrito and Thai Blackened Gulf Fish. Be sure to order a cocktail from their menu curated by famed local bartender Lu Brow like a frozen Chi Chi with Pinnacle vodka and cream of coconut or an All Weather Mojito featuring Appleton Rum and fresh fruit from the local farmer's market.
70437 Hwy. 21, Covington, (985) 893-2450, http://bacobarnola.com/
Another cuppa Joe … Because there can never be enough coffee shops in the Greater New Orleans area, Cherry Espresso Bar – initially located inside Stein's Deli – now has added another location, its own digs inside an old firehouse on Laurel Street. Lauren Fink, the genius barrista/owner, features third wave coffee from RoseLine Roasters in Portland, Oregon, but also offers sips from other roasters around the country in a weekly rotation.
4877 Laurel St.,https://www.facebook.com/cherry.espresso.bar
Uptown breakfasting … Super-hip coffeehouse HiVolt recently opened another location Uptown in the P's & Q's pie shop dubbed HiVolt Bakery. In addition to Counter Culture Coffee, owners Benji and Laura Lee have tapped baker Liz Hollinger (from their LGD location) to offer a dizzying array of baked goods for breakfast including muffins, biscuits, scones, cookies and more. Expect to find breakfast favorites from the original HiVolt like “The Ozzy” with poached eggs, greens and avocado atop quinoa and new items like “The Brekky” - an egg and cheddar buttermilk biscuit sandwich with rooster mayo.
5720 Magazine St., (504)324-8818, https://www.facebook.com/Hivolt2
Reaching out … The folks at French Truck have been busy little bees the past few months what with two new restaurants featuring their fabulous, fresh roast. First off, French Truck owner Geoffrey Meeker has taken over deli/convenience market The Grocery on St. Charles Avenue. Much to the appreciation of local denizens, Meeker has kept most of the menu like their pressed po-boys, with some new additions planned by general manager Aaron Hubbard.
2854 St. Charles Ave., (504) 895-9524, https://www.facebook.com/pressedpoboynola
As if that was not enough, French Truck has also opened the French Truck Cafe on Dryades Street in the Milan neighborhood. The brightly painted blue and yellow cafe on Dryades Street offers French Truck's stellar brews (of course) plus a simple breakfast and lunch menu with dishes like a Waffle Sandwich with egg, prosciutto and goat cheese, and a Caprese Sandwich.
4536 Dryades St., https://www.facebook.com/frenchtruckcafe
Market fluctuations … The roster is always changing at the controversial St. Roch Market in the Bywater. Just recently, Chef Leo Sloan opened Good Bird, replacing the vending spot once occupied by Shank Charcuterie. The menu at Good Bird is all about free-range, vegetarian fed, rotisserie chicken with sandwiches and salads made from of their fabulous fowl.
Also at the Roch, Warehouse District baker Bittersweet Confections has taken over the stall formerly manned by The Sweet Spot. Owner/confectioner Cheryl Scripter is offering both breakfast and sultry sweets at St. Roch Market with plans for ice cream and floats on the horizon.
2381 St. Claude Ave., (504) 609-3813, http://www.strochmarket.com/
Mid-City merge … The seemingly eternal Italian restaurant Fellini's Cafe closed its doors recently, but fans shouldn't fear for they can still find some of their favorites! After over 15 years of business at the N Carrollton restaurant, owners Marc and Azita Clark decided to sort of merge the two restaurants with a slow incorporation of Fellini's menu appearing at Nonna Mia on Esplanade.
3125 Esplanade Ave., (504) 948-1717, http://www.nonnamia.net/
Even more in Mid-City? … Famed local bartender Chris McMillian has opened his very own digs dubbed Revel Cafe & Bar in the building that once housed Juicy Lucy on N Carrollton Avenue. Enjoy cocktails personally curated by McMillian himself and a full menu of munchies like tempura shrimp, slow-smoked pork nachos, a crawfish grilled cheese sandwich and cheese steak on a housemade sub roll.
133 N Carrollton Ave., (504) 309-6122, https://www.facebook.com/revelcafeandbar/
Cajun creations … Louisiana-native Jana Billiot was recently names chef de cuisine at one of the French Quarter's fanciest spots, Restaurant R'evolution. Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramanto opened R'evolution in 2012 and Billiot was in on the action from the ground floor. R'evolution's original chef de cuisine Chris Lusk departed the restaurant after being tapped as executive chef for John Besh's relaunch of the historic Caribbean Room. Billiot plans to add her own accents to R'evolution's menu in the next few months.
777 Bienville St., (504) 553-2277, http://www.revolutionnola.com/