Sip 'n' snack … Mowgli Pierlas, owner of Arabella Casa di Pasta, and local musician Bruce McDaniel have joined forces to open Estaño, a Basque-style tapas bar on Saint Claude Avenue. Tapas and wine seem like the perfect fit for the smallish space inside this renovated shotgun. Offering a rotating selection of tapas, Estaño uses “conservas,” or high-quality tinned seafood imported from Spain, to serve patrons dishes like skewers of anchovies, olives and pickles, croquettes, or a slice of egg and potato tortilla.
2266 St. Claude Ave., 504-930-8038, facebook.com/estanonola
Wine and dine … The folks behind Fulton Alley and Bonfire Catering have recently launched Copper Vine, a wine pub and restaurant on Poydras Street. Offering both indoor and outdoor dining, this new Central Business District restaurant has tapped Chef Michael Brewer—a man who was crowned as the 2015 King of Louisiana Seafood and who previously owned the award-winning Sammich, a now-defunct eatery in the Riverbend—to run the kitchen. Along with a full bar and 30 different varietals from a state-of-the-art wine tap system, Copper Vine offers dishes like deviled eggs topped with jumbo lump crab, quail and boudin gumbo, duck confit with bacon jam and goat cheese, and buttermilk pie with berry compote and Vietnamese ice cream.
1001 Poydras St., 504-208-9535, coppervinewine.com
Opposites attract … Contemporary chef Phillip Lopez, known for his unique culinary creativity at Root and Square Root, was recently named head chef at Galatoire's Restaurant and Galatoire's 33 Bar & Steak. Easily one of the oldest and most traditional fine- dining restaurants in the historic French Quarter, Galatoire's seems like an odd fit for such an innovative chef. Perhaps Lopez's appreciation for classic New Orleans cuisine and expert skills with quality ingredients will only enhance this landmark dining destination.
209 Bourbon St., 504-525-2021, galatoires.com
No Montagues allowed … Capulet, a new breakfast and lunch spot, recently opened inside a large warehouse space in the Bywater. Though chef/co-owner Chris St. John has a thing for veggies, there's plenty on the menu for carnivores as well. Dishes include a Kimchi BLT with slab bacon and gochujang aioli, a Bloody Mary Beef sandwich with braised beef and tomato-horseradish aioli on rye, and broccoli falafel with pickled banana peppers and basil-lime cashew cream.
3014 Dauphine St., 504-507-0691, capuletbywater.com
Parting is such sweet sorrow … Tariq Hanna, co-founder and executive pastry chef of the incredibly popular Sucré, has resigned his position at the company. Sucré opened over a decade ago on Magazine Street and has since launched locations in the French Quarter and Metairie. According to Nola.com, Hanna “lost his creative juices,” but still remains part owner and sits on Sucré's board of directors. We'll definitely be keeping an eye on him for possible future endeavors!
Multiple locations, shopsucre.com
Raising the steaks … Chef Chris Lusk, who formerly headed kitchens at Café Adelaide, Restaurant R'Evolution, and the recently closed Caribbean Room at the Pontchartrain Hotel, has been tapped to lead at The Steakhouse inside Harrah's Casino. He has already begun making the eatery his own, changing things up with more seasonal dishes, along with serving a really “great steak.” The Steakhouse was previously known as Besh Steak, until Harrah's changed the name after ending its relationship with John Besh.
8 Canal St., 504-533-6111, caesars.com/harrahs-new-orleans/restaurants/the-steakhouse
Where there's smoke, there's barbecue … Steve and Maureen Mock opened Smoked, a new 'cue joint in Harahan on Jefferson Highway. Steve, the pit master, has spent two decades honing his smoking techniques in Kansas City with a focus on quality meats and house-made rubs and sauces. Enjoy blissful basics like brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, ribs, and jalapeno or hickory sausage. Sides include items like potato salad, baked beans, and mac 'n' cheese. Smoked is open Tuesday through Saturday.
6626 Jefferson Hwy., Harahan, 504-577-0199, smokedbysteve.com