Tickled pink … The low, beige restaurant and bar on the corner of Magazine and St. Joseph Streets is getting yet another makeover, this time by the ever-expanding Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts. The building that formerly housed Polynesian Joe's, McGuire's, and Warehouse Grille has undergone an extensive renovation, transforming the space into Flamingo A-Go-Go, “a nostalgic, 'mid-century kitsch'-style restaurant and bar, audaciously linking Pop Art to the 'Brat Pack.'” Amidst the “vibrant colors and splashy décor,” patrons will discover a 12-foot flamingo mural created by local painter Becky Fos and a neon green, pink, and blue bamboo centerpiece sculpted by Luis Colmenares.
The gargantuan space in back that has been everything from a volleyball court to a parking lot is now a courtyard with a fountain, cabana, plenty of tables, and a “deuce-and-a-half military troop transport truck” that's been redesigned to offer a 24-top party table. The bar offers 45 “pulls” with cocktails, wine, and beer on tap, and the menu offers eclectic bar fare with everything from fried Havarti cheese “plank” and poke to chorizo flatbread and Jamaican jerk chicken. Flamingo A-Go-Go is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
869 Magazine St., (504) 577-2202, flamingonola.com
Mysterious appearances … Without much (or any) ado, the Uptown Sports Bar & Grill on Prytania has quietly changed into Robin's Wharf Uptown Seafood Restaurant, a second location to “The Dock,” or Robin's Wharf Dockside Seafood Restaurant, in Slidell. The menu offers dishes like Oysters Rockefeller, crawfish bread, and BBQ shrimp along with po-boys, platters, and salads. The new Uptown seafood spot is open daily and also offers brunch on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
3629 Prytania St., (504) 962-9000, facebook.com/Robins-Wharf-Uptown-Seafood-Restaurant
Fool your family! … Another business has blossomed on the bustling Freret Street corridor, this time from talented chef Bob Iacovone, former head chef of the greatly missed Downtown restaurant Cuvee. The grab-and-go concept, appropriately named Iacovone Kitchen, was based on The Appetite Repair Shop, an Algiers eatery created by another talented local chef, Pete Vazquez. At Iacovone Kitchen, customers can drop in and grab expertly prepared foods, dishes like chicken salad with lemon poppy seed vinaigrette, crab rangoon dip, cornbread-stuffed pork loin, pressed shrimp panini, and lasagna bolognese. Bring it home and tell your family you made dinner … made it to Iacavone Kitchen, that is!
5033 Freret St., (504) 533-9742, facebook.com/IacovoneKitchen
Tart 'n' tiny … Speaking of grab-and-go, popular Bywater restaurant Satsuma Café has altered their other coffee business Pulp & Grind to now offer food in response to customer demand, transforming the small space to Satsuma-To-Go. Without a kitchen, the coffee shop is offering prepared salads, sandwiches, and breakfast items like pastries, along with fresh-roast coffee from Hey! Café. Satsuma-To-Go is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
5720 Magazine St., (504) 272-0164, satsumacafe.com
Breakfast on high … Cloud 9 Bistro opened recently just off Magazine Street in the Irish Channel, offering yet another eatery to the already restaurant-dense area. To set itself apart, this particular spot serves traditional Belgian liège waffles, a caramelized, buttery brioche waffle with an array of toppings (or just plain with powdered sugar) that already has folks drooling. Both sweet and savory, the offerings include seasonal fresh fruit, Bananas Foster, Canadian bacon, Gruyere, goat cheese, and Nutella. Lunch items include a “Frenchmen in a Bathtub,” or roast beef and brie sandwich with au jus, and “Bird and Berries”—an open-faced turkey sandwich with hot gravy and cranberry sauce. Cloud 9 Bistro is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
3138 Magazine St., (504) 702-5914, cloudninenola.com
Steak a place … Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar just opened its second Louisiana location in Metairie on N. Causeway. Though it's a member of the Bloomin' Brands restaurant group that also owns Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, and Carrabba's, it was originally launched by Paul Fleming, a New Iberia native who's launched other chains like P.F. Chang's and Pei Wei. The new 7,000-square-foot restaurant features prime steaks with special rubs and plenty of seafood dishes to make your meal a surf-and-turf.
3064 N. Causeway Blvd., (504) 799-0335, flemingssteakhouse.com
So much goodness … Gracious Bakery has just launched its fourth location, in the space that previously housed Manhattan Jack. This new location on Prytania Street has expanded its menu to offer custom-blended coffee drinks and waffles, along with all of the baked goodness you've come to know and love from skilled owner and pastry chef Megan Forman. Gracious Bakery Uptown is open daily.
4930 Prytania St., (504) 300-8135, graciousbakery.com
Bam! … The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience recently announced that the 2018 Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award will go to celebrity chef, television personality, restaurateur, and philanthropist Emeril Lagasse. “We are so pleased to honor Chef Emeril for the extraordinary achievements and contributions he has made to the culinary industry,” states Traci Beninate, NOWFE past president. “His creativity and unique style have elevated Louisiana cuisine to a national level, opening doors for so many young chefs, and nurturing a future generation of chefs. It is an honor for NOWFE to bestow the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award on Chef Emeril, and we are thankful she took that chance on him so many years ago.” The award will be presented at a special gala to be held on January 25, 2018, at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Canal Street, and proceeds from the event will benefit many local non-profit organizations that NOWFE supports throughout the year.