Three-Course Dinners, $20-35; Lunch Deals Too
The Best Time Of Year
To Dine In New Orleans
New Orleans restaurants are in the dead zone in late summer. The fact that it happens every year and that restaurateurs know it's coming doesn't lighten their anxiety. What does help, though, is the patronage of local diners. Who, in turn, know that the latter two-thirds of summer is a great time to sample the city's most famous restaurants. Especially those in the French Quarter.
A friend once told me that he loved August in New Orleans, because you could stand on the corner of Royal and St. Louis at seven in the evening, without reservations, and walk into any restaurant you wanted: Antoine's, Brennan's, K-Paul's, the Rib Room, Nola, Broussard's--and those are just the ones within a block or so.
In order to fill some of the empty spaces that make that true, French Quarter restaurants (and others) create special menus at this time of year with exceptionally attractive prices. For the past few years, that promotion has become coordinated. A few years ago The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau invented The Coolinary (it gets no prize for the name). The restaurants are asked to devise a special dinner menu with three courses for $35, and a special lunch for $25. (Prices vary a little from this in both directions.) The Coolinary officially began August 1.
I have been posting these menus since then in the New Orleans Menu. Here they all are--but new ones are being added almost daily. I'll put those here as they come up, the newest ones on top. An alphabetical listing of all the summer specials is here. By August, I should have forty or more special menus here.
If you know of a restaurant with good summer specials not included here (or if you are part of such a restaurant), please send the details to me at email@example.com.
Updated August 23. Bookmark this page and come back to it often for daily new additions.
Alphabetical List Of 30 Summer Specials
So far, anyway. New menus are added daily as the restaurants announce them. Click on the names below to view the menus and details.
|Andrea's Dinner, $30; free bottle of wine per table|
|Bacco Dinner, $25|
|Bayona Dinner at 6 p.m., $34.|
|Bombay Club Dinner, $25.|
|Bourbon House Lunch, $20|
|Brigtsen's Dinner, $32|
|Broussard's Dinner, $32.50|
|Cafe Giovanni Dinner, $36|
|Desire Oyster Bar Lunch, $18; Dinner, $28|
|Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse Lunch, $20|
|GW Fins Dinner, $35, Sun.-Thurs.|
|Le Meritage Dinner, food and wine flights, $21|
|Louisiana Bistro Dinner, $33-43, Wed.-Sun.|
|Martinique Bistro Dinner, $34|
|Mike's On The Avenue Lunch $20, Dinner $34|
|Mimi's Dinner, $15 (two courses)|
|Mr. B's Lunch, $20|
|Muriel's Lunch, $16.50, Mon.-Fri. Dinner, $30, nightly|
|Palace Cafe Temperature Lunch (10¢ x high temperature)|
|Pascal's Manale Lunch, $17. Dinner, $32|
|Pelican Club Dinner, $35|
|Ralph's On The Park Dinner, $28|
|Red Fish Grill Dinner, $35|
|Rib Room Lunch, $20|
|Royal Palm Dinner, $34|
|7 On Fulton Lunch $21, Dinner $32|
|Tujague's Dinner, $28|
|Upperline Garlic menu, $28.50; Dinner $35|
|Vega Tapas Cafe Five-course dinner $27|
|Windsor Court Grill Room Dinner, $39|
Details Of Summer Specials
Most Recently Added First
French Quarter: In The Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, 621 St. Louis, 504-529-7045.
Lunch: three courses, $20.
Chef Anthony Spizale has this three-course lunch deal for $20 every weekday. He must have been very busy the day he composed it:
Chef Spizale Caesar
Hearts of romaine with parmesan grits croutons and a creamy garlic dressing
Black Skillet Roasted Louisiana Catfish
Creole tomatoes and Jazzmen Rice “calas”
Mini Abita Root Beer Float
With Kleinpeter Vanilla Ice Cream
This goes on through the month of September. The best day is Friday, of course, when all the locals stream in.
They've sweated out many a summer during the ninety-seven-year history of Pascal's Manale Restaurant. In more ways than one. As they have for the past few years, the delicious Creole-Italian neighborhood eatery has a summer menu, with everything a bit cheaper than you're used to seeing. As in three courses for $17 at lunch, and three different courses for $32 at dinner.
BBQ Shrimp Poor Boy
Shrimp and Andouille Ravioli
With sauteed Louisiana Gulf shrimp
Shrimp and Eggplant Dryades
shrimp in a tomato cream basil sauce, served over Italian fried eggplant
Crab Cake Alfredo
Filet of Fish Pascal
fried, with BBQ shrimp
The only bad news here is that no oysters appear regularly at Manale's these days, for the well-known reason. As famous as thier barbecue shrimp are, I've always liked their oyster dishes even more. Well, it won't be long now. (I hope.)
Harvey: 1901 Manhattan Blvd, 504-644-4100.
Dinner: three courses, Wed.-Fri., $34.
This will go down as the year when the Coolinary summer-menu program managed to cross the river for the first time. Participating this year is the handsome Royal Palm in Marrero, which has sent out meals ranging from pretty good to excellent to my table in the past couple of years it's been open. Warning: avoid Ladies Night, which fills the bar (and the dining room) with loudness.
This three-course Coolinary menu goes for $34, plus plus. It's available Wednesdays through Fridays through the month of September.
Crab and Corn Etoufee
in a crispy puff pastry with sage emulsion and sizzled leeks
Fresh tomato, torn bread, olives and cured ham
with Gruyere cheese biscuit
Smoked Chicken Breast
sweet potato grits, Creole tomato sauce, collard greens
Filet Tips Tchoupitoulas
Black Drum Amandine
asparagus and lyonnaise potatoes
White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Vanilla Ice Cream
bananas Foster sauce and candied pecans
Desire House Salad
with balsamic vinaigrette
French bread croutons
Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich
Fries or potato salad
Shrimp, chicken and Chisesi smoked sausage
Fried Catfish Platter
Fries, cole slaw and hush puppies
New Orleans Bread Pudding
Desire Chocolate Pecan Pie
Bowl of Creole Gumbo
Baby lettuces and lemon
Prince Edward Island Mussels Marsala
Over fettuccine pasta with baby green beans and garlic French bread
Grilled Ribeye Steak
Crab sauce meuniere, house steak fries and sautéed vegetables
Shrimp and Grits
Roasted red peppers, tasso ham and creamy stone ground grits
New Orleans Bread Pudding
Bananas Foster Cheese Cake
Mr. B's Bistro has a limited involvement with the Coolinary program. I guess they're doing enough business already. Here is the entirety of their summer special menu offering, lunch Monday through Saturday:
Mr. B’s Luncheon Salad
Baby greens, spiced pecans, grated Grana Padano and grape tomatoes tossed with an herb vinaigrette
Chicken breast roasted with a rosemary compound butter, with baby carrots, orzo and a natural reduction sauce with fresh rosemary
Sorbet Du Jour
That's all, folks!
Mr. B's. French Quarter: 201 Royal, 504-523-2078.
Uptown: 5908 Magazine, 504-891-8495.
Dinner, three courses, $34.
More Uptown restaurants are offering summer specials this year. Martinique Bistro, whose lush outdoor dining garden is more comfortable than you might imagine even on warm nights, offers this French-tinged menu featuring a lot of regional ingredients of better-than-average quality. The price for the three-course dinner is $34.
Yellow Tomato and Heirloom Cucumber Gazpacho
Spinach Gnocchi à la Parisienne
Roasted eggplant, chevré
Sunflower sprouts, hazelnuts, orange supremes, brie, honey-lemon Vinaigrette, chive oil
Prince Edward Island Mussels
Sauvignon blanc, leeks, garlic, garden herbs
Savory Basil Crêpe Provençal
Roasted oyster mushrooms, fire roasted red peppers, Creole tomatoes, niçoise olives
Sautéed Medallions of Organic Pork Tenderloin
Roasted Rustin peach-sage demi-glace
Vanilla Bean Sponge Cake Trifle
Peach caramel, vanilla malt ice cream
Daily Housemade Sorbets
They're also offering these three wines (from three different countries) at the attractive price of $6 a glass: Brownstone Chardonnay, Marques de Caceres Rose, Cesari Pinot Noir.
Mike's On The Avenue
CBD: 628 St. Charles Ave. 504-523-7600. Not yet rated.
Lunch, three courses, $20. Dinner, three courses, $34.
Vicki Bayley and Chef Mike Fennelly are back at the place where they both made their first impressions on New Orleans diners almost twenty years ago. It's Mike's on the Avenue all over again, but with the stylish duo still surfing the currents of cuisine and coolness. Mike's penchant for mixing flavors and ingredients from disparate parts of the world continues. Even in the restaurant's Coolinary menus, which offer three courses' worth of lunch for $20, and three different ones at dinner for $34. It runs through September.
Sesame oil and grey sea salt
Red onion confit and housemaid sesame crackers
Creamy citrus-soy vinaigrette and manchego cheese
Pork Debris Wrap
Okinawa barbecue sauce, Asian slaw and French fries
Braised Brisket Panni French Dip
Jack cheese, pepper jelly and Asian slaw
Grilled Fish Tacos
Guacamole, salsa and Creole aioli
Lemon ice and Ketel Oranje cocktail
Crispy Box Sushi
Ahi tuna, cajun crab and sweet sake-soy glaze
Louisiana Barbeque Oysters
Creole Tomato and Red Onion Salad
Sake-sherry vinaigrette, bleu cheese and fire-dried pecans
Paneed Pork Chop
Smoked tomato sauce and orzo herb salad
Louisiana Seafood Paella
Shrimp, crawfish, smoked sausage and saffron orzo
Herb-Crusted Gulf Fish
Shrimp sauce, tomato salad and stir-fried green beans
Lemon ice and Ketel Oranje cocktail
7 On Fulton
Warehouse District: 700 Fulton 504-681-1034.
Lunch, three courses, $21. Dinner, three courses, $32.
The restaurant in the little-known Wyndham Hotel Riverfront--part of the Harrah's collection of hostelries--has a spiffy restaurant inside, cool and quiet. Chef Matthew Fultz has been there enough years now to have developed a cuisine of his own, and the food is better than the typical hotel fare. He presents two Coolinary menus, running through September. Both are three courses, and both come with a complimentary glass of wine.
Andouille and Seafood Gumbo
Mixed Green Salad
Creole mustard vinaigrette
Smoked cole slaw
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Sauteed southern greens, new potato salad
Cochon du Lait
On wheat ciabatta, with fried green beans
Gulf Fish Amandine
Bacon lardons and sauteed green beans
Lavender Crème Brulee
Traditional Bread Pudding
Endive and Watercress Salad
Pears and blue cheese, candied pecans
Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Pulled chicken with fresh summer vegetables
Sauteed Red Grouper
Pickled vegetables, jambalaya couscous
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Baby mache, wax bean salad
Pomme frites, sauteed haricot verts
Traditional Crème Brulee
Chef’s Choice Sorbet
Among the more attractive summertime menus around town is that of Brightsen's. Not only because the food is great, but because through most of the year it's not easy to get a table in the little Riverbend bistro. Summer changes all the patterns, though, and we must save hay while the sun shines.
Duck & Pistachio Pâté
with red onion marmalade, Creole mustard, & homemade pickles
Coconut Shrimp Bisque
with ginger & garlic
with mushrooms, asparagus, and lemon parmesan sauce
Grilled Fish with Shrimp
jalapeño smoked corn beurre blanc
Strawberries, Raspberries, And Summer Melons
In champagne vanilla sabayon
Trés Lechés Cake
with pineapple brulée and piña colada sauce
The price: a steal at $32. It persists though September.
River Ridge: 10160 Jefferson Hwy. 504-737-6464.
Dinner: two courses, $15
Mimi's is one of very few restaurants of any note in River Ridge, but it's good enough to make the trip down Jefferson Highway even if you don't live around there. Chef David Whitmore has taken the summer-special idea one step farther: his is only $15. There are a few minor catches. It's two courses instead of three, and you can only get it Tuesday through Thursday. Also, there is no set menu, as the chef creates a new one each week. Here's what's on this week:
Summer Garden Salad
with creamed spinach, shiitake mushrooms and artichokes, and roasted fingerling potatoes
with tomato-pesto sauce and baby lima beans
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
with Creole mustard sauce, black eyed peas and andouille, and braised red cabbage
Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta
with herb tomato sauce, and pecorino romano
Veal and Italian Sausage Bolognese Lasagna
White Coffee Cream Custard
This menu, again, will change weekly (but not in this space). The deal lasts until mid-September. Apparently the summer doldrums end early in River Ridge.
French Quarter: 430 Dauphine. 504-525-4455.
Early Dinner: Three courses, $34
The Coolinary menu at Bayona is simple but appetizing enough: these are dishes that have been signatures of the restaurant practically since it opened twenty years ago. You can have it for dinner any night except Sunday. It's an early-evening special, so you have to be there at the six p.m. seating to get this three-courses for $34.
Cream of Garlic Soup
Soup of the Day
With balsamic vinaigrette
Fish of the Day
Grilled Duck Breast with Pepper Jelly Glaze
Vegetarian Dish of the Day
Homemade Ice Creams or Sorbets
Coffee or Tea
French Quarter: 823 Decatur, 504-525-8676.
Dinner: three courses, $28.
Soup Du Jour
Three to choose from daily
Six-ounce, grilled to order
Desserts Du Jour
Year after year, the summer specials at the Pelican Club are among the most attractive in the field. Chef Richard Hughes's $35, three-course menu is a startling value, especially considering that jumbo lump crabmeat, appears three different places in it. Also in there are filet mignon, lobster, and fresh fish. This is available every night through August at least. (They usually keep it going through the first dead weeks of September, too.) On a few scattered days, the summer menu won't be available; when you make a reservation, check to make sure.
Lump Crabmeat and Shrimp Cakes
With a fried green tomato and pineapple-jalapeno chutney and remoulade sauce
Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta
With vine ripened tomatoes, arugula, extra virgin olive oil and garlic
Maine lobster, jumbo lump crabmeat, gulf shrimp with potato salad and eight-herb ravigote, served “up”
Hearts of Romaine Salad
Served with blue cheese crumbles, toasted spicy pecans, croutons and Alecia’s tomato chutney vinaigrette
Shrimp, Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
Crispy Parmesan Chicken Breast Paillard
With arugula and creamy goat cheese dressing
Panéed Gulf Fish With Jumbo Lump Crabmeat
Roasted new potato, baby vegetables, Creole meuniere sauce and jalapeño hollandaise
Korean style boneless grilled baby back ribs with Boston lettuce for wrapping, jasmine rice, house made pickles, cilantro, mint, kimchee, chili sauce and miso aioli
Whole One-Pound Lobster
With seared diver sea scallops and sauteed jumbo shrimp baby vegetables, corn maque choux and roasted new potatoes (add $5)
Filet Mignon with Crabmeat and Shrimp Cake
With truffle mashed potatoes, buttered asparagus, haricots verts and béarnaise
Seared Sashimi Grade Tuna and Chinois Salad
With napa cabbage, greens, mango, avocado, tomato and crispy won tons in a sesame ginger vinaigrette
White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Vanilla Bean and Brandy Crème Brulee
A "flight" of wine is a sampling of several wines, usually along a theme. The idea came from formal wine tastings, but it's spread to restaurants. In some of them (not enough), instead of getting a glass of wine you can get a flight of three or four in smaller portions. Chef Michael Farrell's summer special menu is called Flight Bites. You get three small plates and three two-ounce pours.
You pick the varietal: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. The chef matches the three "bites" to go with them. At $21 per flight, this is either a) an absurdly low price; b) an invitation to two or even three flights; or c) both a and b.
Here are the flights. They're available every night, all night, Tuesday-Saturday. This sounds like a lot of fun, and delicious, too.
Chardonnay: Oak or No Oak?
Five Spice Tuna and Beet Salad
Crab and Corn Bisque
Seared Sea Scallop
Wines: 2006 Heitz Cellars, 2006 Maldonado, 2006 Groth
Duck Two Ways
Spicy Pork Potsticker
Wines: 2007 Patz & Hall, 2007 Duckhorn Decoy, 2008 Pali “Huntington”
Braised Beef Short Rib
Savory Lamb Chop
Foie Gras PBJ
Wines: 2007 Robert Foley “The Griffin,” 2006 Ladera, 2007 Shafer One Point Five
Soup of the Day
Shrimp and andouille stuffing; baked and served with a roasted Creole tomato sauce
Louisiana shrimp, simmered in a classic New Orleans Creole sauce, served with popcorn rice
Wood Grilled Pork Chop
With red beans and Louisiana popcorn rice, with cornbread
Wood Grilled Beef Tenderloin Salad
Wood grilled Beef Tenderloin Salad, With Kalamata olives, tomato and basil, tossed with rotini pasta in a roasted garlic vinaigrette with shaved parmesan.
Choice of Soup
New Orleans Seafood Gumbo, Turtle Soup au Sherry or Soup of the Day
Shrimp And Goat Cheese Crepes
Goat cheese filled crepes topped with fresh Louisiana shrimp in a buttery sauce of Chardonnay, onion, tomato, and bell pepper
Tossed with a roasted garlic and parmesan dressing, with shaved red onions and herb croutons
Pecan Crusted Louisiana Alligator
Flash-fried and served with a mirliton, carrot and red onion slaw, and pepper jelly
Fettuccine with chicken, andouille, duck and shrimp, and seasoned with peppers, onions, tomatoes
Seafood Au Gratin
Gulf shrimp, fish, and crabmeat baked in a Parmesan au gratin, garnished with a potato croquette
Pecan Crusted Puppy Drum
Served with Louisiana crabmeat relish and laced with a lemon-butter sauce
Louisiana shrimp with garlic, classic Creole sauce and popcorn rice
Double Cut Pork Chop
Wood grilled, topped with a Louisiana sugar cane apple glaze. Pecan glazed sweet potatoes and Southern style greens
Pain Perdu Bread Pudding
With candied pecans and rum sauce
Vanilla Bean Crême Brulèe
Dark Chocolate Brownie
Peanut butter gelato, caramel and chocolate sauces
French Quarter: 830 Conti. 504-586-0972.
Three courses, $25, Wednesday-Sunday.
The elegant Bombay Club just began its summer menu, which will persist from now until September 6. It's a three-course repast with enough choices that one could conceivably take advantage of it more than once. And at the $25 price, it's hard to say no. In addition, on Thursday nights, Chef Nick Gile is steaming lobsters. With a salad and a side dish, that's also $25. As in past years, the operating schedule has been trimmed of its Monday and Tuesday dinners until fall. The martinis are as cold and plentiful as usual, of course.
Here's the whole summer menu:
Soup Du Jour
Curry and Citrus Steamed Mussels
Stout-braised beef with horseradish mashed potatoes
English Style Fish And Chips
With fresh cut fries and apple-jalapeno tartar sauce
Creole Linguine Carbonara
Chicken, andouille, asparagus, garlic, cream & cheese
Crabmeat Stuffed Louisiana Shrimp ($30)
Baked, with sauteed spinach and choron sauce
Praline Creme Brulee
Assorted Ice Cream
French Quarter: 337 Dauphine. 504-525-3335.
Dinner, a la carte.
Chef Mars--as the proprietor of this teeny but good little restaurant across the street and a block down from Bayona calls himself--always offers a seasonal menu in addition to his regular card. His summer menu is not discounted as far as I could tell, but I couldn't resist including it. He's taking a shot at the oil company we've all come to despise. Even though the spurting oil well has now been capped, the anger hasn't begun to abate. I think you'll get a chuckle out of this. But all the cooking is in deadly earnest:
BPQ Shrimp $9
Jumbo gulf shrimp in a black pepper sauce
Boudin Booms $9
Roast boudin sausage links protecting a "beach" from caramelized onion pork glace
Dirty Bird $26
Crisp broiled oil-poached duck leg confit with dirty rice covered by a mysterious dark goo
Pork Barrel with Leeks $24
Braised pork grillades and gravy in an Idaho potato barrel with crispy leeks
"Top Hat" Surf and Turf $34
Pan roasted prime filet mignon topped with crawfish tail scampi on roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Junk Shot Jambalaya $27
Ever-changing mix of Louisiana fish and shellfish with andouille sausage in a Cajun style tomato rice pilaf.
Among the most regular players in the summer specials game is Bacco. They're back again with their "Ciao Down" menu, in which you choose one each from three appetizers, three entrees, and three desserts for $25. That's an exceptional price even by the standards of summer specials. It's available every night from 5:30 to 7:30, and includes some of the best dishes at the restaurant. Here's the menu:
Baby greens, sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, goat cheese, pine nuts
Lemon Parmesan Salad
Romaine, grape tomatoes, lemon & parmesan dressing, garlic croutons, parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Corn & Crab Soup
Fresh crabmeat, roasted corn, red peppers, sweet cream
With champagne butter sauce and caviar
Jumbo Louisiana Gulf shrimp, garlic, rosemary, Abita Amber beer, Creole seasonings
Roasted Chicken & Stracci
Pulled chicken, spinach, basil, pasta rags, tomato sauce, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Ultra Chocolate Panna Cotta
A rich chocolate creamy dessert served with a coulis of red raspberries and crowned with a dark chocolate curl
Lemon Ice Box Pie
Cool and creamy lemon pie, with a lightly sweetened graham cracker crust, finished with fresh berries and raspberry coulis
Bacco also has a summer lunch special menu: two courses for $15, every weekday.
Red Fish Grill
French Quarter: 115 Bourbon 504-598-1200.
Three courses, $35, every night.
The Red Fish Grill has returned for another summer to its "Grillin' and Chillin'" menu. It's three courses of a mix of new items, available every evening all night long. It brings three courses to the table for $35. Here are the details:
with local goat cheese, spicy mirliton relish and frisée tossed in a preserved lemon vinaigrette
Creole Tomato Salad
With arugula, a fire roasted corn vinaigrette, boudin croutons and boiled peanuts
Hickory Grilled Black Drum
With grilled peaches and a panzanella salad of bacon, pecans, basil and ciabatta bread
Jumbo Louisiana Shrimp
With caper dill hummus, fried avocados, feta cheese and a vanilla red wine reduction
Parmesan Grilled Oysters
With pappardelle pasta, baby peas, crispy tasso and a tarragon tomato sauce
Chilled Citron Pie
Lemon custard and lime curd in a graham cracker crust
It may be taken as a sign of prosperity that this menu just last year was $25. Either that, or seafood has gone up in price more than we thought.
GW Fins, the superb seafood house across the street form Arnaud's, runs a good summer menu ever year. This one is as attractive a deal as ever--$35 for three courses. But there's a new reason to take advantage of the "Fins Feast Menu." Gary Wollerman and Chef Tenney Flynn, the owners, are sending five dollars of the price to local, regional and national conservation organizations as they try to deal with the effects of the oil spill. Among the recipients are Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy. Now that the oil is beginning to penetrate even into Lake Pontchartrain (which had seemed safe), the urgency of this effort is clear.
Your help in this effort is delicious, too. The menu changes every day at GW Fins as the seafood market does, but every day they have a dozen or so different fin fish from all over the world (but mostly from Louisiana), and Chef Tenney bangs out a few new dishes to take advantage of what's fresh. Here is a sampling of the food you'll find on the Fins Feast $35 menu:
Blue Hill Bay Mussels
With chanterelles, chinese sausage and rice noodles
Butter Lettuce Salad
With deviled eggs and green goddess dressing
Seafood Cocktail Veracruz
With shrimp, crabmeat and squid
Sautéed Arctic Char
With Asian vegetables, sticky rice and a sweet soy butter
Wood Grilled Canadian Salmon
With a pepper salsa and chipotle butter sauce
Wood Grilled Rainbow Trout
With spinach, shiitake mushrooms, oysters and Smithfield ham
Parmesan Crusted Carolina Catfish Meuniere
With asparagus, lump crab and fried capers
Shrimp, mussels and whitefish and rice noodles in a green curry broth
Frozen Fruit Soufflée
Again, the menu changes daily, but it will be along these lines Sunday through Thursday nights only for dinner through the end of August. The regular menu is also available every night.
Andrea's: $30 Three-Course Dinner
Chef Andrea comes up with so many special menus that it can get confusing as to which is the best of them to order on any given day. But this is a good deal by any standard. The three-course dinner is $30, and if the whole table orders it, it gets a free bottle of wine. The minimum number at the table for this to happen is two. (I wonder how long it will be before two couples each book a table, but arrange in advance to decide to sit together once the free wine arrives.) Here's the menu you pick from:
Soup du Jour
Cannelloni Due Torre
Cannelloni with two sauces and two stuffings
Andrea’s Green Garden Salad
With black peppercorn sauce
Eight-ounce, with sauce Bordelaise
Lamb Shank Osso Buco
With angel hair pasta
Roast Pork Loin Au Jus
This is available at dinner, seven nights.
Vega Tapas Cafe's Virtual Med Cruise
Old Metairie: 2051 Metairie Rd., 504-836-2007.
Dinner, five tapas courses, $27.
Vega Tapas Cafe began its annual Tour Of The Mediterranean today by pretending that it (and you) are in Marrakesh. Every week for the next eight, the Metairie Road restaurant will present a special menu of dishes from a different and culinarily interesting place around the Mediterranean Sea. It's a great idea, since all those places--despite their tremendous cultural and geographical differences--have many flavors things in common. The Moroccan menu is five tapas-size courses long for $27. Here's the menu:
Chickpea and fresh herb soup
Gulf shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce
Roasted chicken layered with pine nuts, eggs, onions and cinnamon in phyllo
Tagine of Lamb
Slow roasted leg of lamb with almonds and honey over vegetable couscous
Kaab el Ghzal
Sweetened almond cake with marzipan and orange blossom syrup
You can have wines (from the region, yet), paired with all this for a surprising $15 extra. This has always been a lot of fun and a terrific summer bargain. A new menu on the Tour of the Mediterranean premiers every Monday through August.
Palace Cafe's "Temperature Lunches"
CBD: 605 Canal. 504-523-1661. Classic Creole.
Lunch, two courses, ten times previous day's high temperature, Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
The Palace Cafe's Temperature Lunch Specials are back again for their fourteenth year. It's a gimmick, but a good one. Multiply yesterday's official Weather Service high temperature at the airport. The total in cents is the price for today's two-course lunch. You get a choice of turtle soup or the Werlein salad to start. Then the daily special entree of the day. Examples: Blackened catfish with alligator mashed potatoes and tarragon butter; grilled beef tournedos and jumbo Gulf shrimp over creamy quinoa, finished with a pepper jelly sauce; and chilled cous cous and corn macque choux with blackened sheepshead fish. This is a good deal no matter how high the temperature gets, of course, but the real penny-pinchers will be on the watch for those rare cool fronts.
Corn & Crab Bisque
Soup Du Jour
Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad
Seafood Ceviche Cocktail
Fresh Gulf seafood, marinated in fresh citrus with cucumber Poblano relish
Cold Crabmeat Curry Soup
Chilled curry cream soup with fresh Lump crabmeat, Parsley oil and sour dough croutons
Gulf Fish Of The Evening
Pan sauteed with a Creole tomato and crabmeat sauce
Gulf Shrimp LeLe
Jumbo Gulf shrimp, sautéed with green onion lime rice, shallots, white truffle butter and parsley dill pesto vinaigrette
Honey Lavender-Glazed Salmon
Grilled, with roasted red onion couscous, baby arugula and tomato sauce
Redfish Court Bouillon
Poached in white wine fish broth with Brunoise vegetables and sauce Hollandaise
Mango Cheese Cake
With Citron Passion Fruit sauce
Angel Food cake with warm strawberry sauce, fresh Ponchatoula strawberries and vanilla ice cream
Soup of the day
Pasta of the day
Italian chopped salad
Chicken Quattro Formaggio al Forno
Sauteed breaded chicken breast baked to a golden brown with marinara and four cheeses
Grilled Fish Of The Day
With shrimp scampi sauce
Chicken or Veal Marsala
Sauteed with sauce of sweet marsala, mushrooms, and penne pasta
Tournedos of Beef
Medallions of beef tenderloin with brandy, green peppercorns, and foie gras
With the traditional cooked-all-day Italian meat sauce
White chocolate bread pudding
Blackened or Grilled Fish
Grilled Beef and Shrimp Kabob
Seared Tenderloin Salad
The Upperline returned on schedule this summer with its annual Garlic Festival, something owner JoAnn Clevenger and Chef Tom Cowman cooked up twenty-three years ago. It went beyond popular to become legendary. Not only do many locals visit the restaurant multiple times to dig the garlic, but people from out of town come in with that menu specifically in mind. The $28.50 price is very attractive (it hasn't changed in at least six years), and the food is delicious. It begins with a whole head of roasted garlic, soft enough to spread on bread. The Garlic Festival menu is available Wednesdays through Sundays. On Saturday night, you can get the dishes, but not the special price. Here's the entire garlic menu:
Creole Tomato Gazpacho
Guacamole & Garlic Chips
Creole Tomato Salad
Warm Goat Cheese & Pesto
Creole Tomatoes with Vidalia Onions
Creamy Basil Aioli
with Bagna Cauda & Carrots
Drum Anthony a la Muddy Waters
(A tribute to Anthony Uglesich)
Cane River Country Shrimp
Sautéed Shrimp, Mushroom, Bacon & Garlic over Crispy Grits)
with Stilton, Garlic & Balsamic Mushrooms
Petite Bread Pudding
with Toffee Sauce
Mixed Green Salad
Petite Ice Cream Sundae
Honey-Poached Garlic or Chocolate Sauce
Brandy Alexander on the Rocks
Aside from the Garlic Festival Menu, the Upperline has a three-course summertime menu for $35. This includes most of the regular menu items, although a few dishes (steak and foie gras, for example) carry a small surcharge. It's another one of the outstanding bargains we get from even the best restaurants this time of year.
Windsor Court Grill Room
CBD: 300 Gravier. 504-522-1994. American.
Dinner, three courses, $39.
The Windsor Court Grill Room's summer menu has one asterisk: it's available all night every night, except Fridays and Saturdays, when it's an early-evening offer from 5:30 till 6:30 p.m. Here's the current menu, which will probably change as summer goes on:
Sweet Corn Soup
With "Laughing Bird" shrimp
Creole Tomato Salad
Thai eggplant, buffalo mozzarella, arugula aged balsamic
Seared Florida Grouper
English pea puree, parmesan risotto, pearl onions
Grilled Filet of Angus Beef
Roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled asparagus, vincotto
Hibiscus Panna Cotta
With pomegranate fruit salad
Nouveau Bananas Foster
Caramel seared banana, hazelnut phyllo crisp, vanilla ice cream, rum sauce
Here's the menu of appetizers available for this deal. Items marked with an * incur a $4 upcharge.
- Turtle soup
- Vinegar fries with béarnaise
- Local Creole tomato tart with baby arugula
- *Worcestershire & citrus glazed lamb spare ribs
- Cauliflower soup with mini blue crab cake
- Pan fried serrano-wrapped chicken livers with cream cheese grits
- *Tuna two ways (tartare and cold-smoked with avocado)
- City Park salad
- Oysters Rockefeller reprise
- *Tempura Maine lobster tail with a butter-poached claw
- *House cured blueberry Atlantic salmon
- Asparagus salad, roasted pecans, feta
- Wild mushroom ravioli
- Cajun Scotch egg
- Pork belly, fried green tomato, poblano-red onion slaw, Creole mustard butter
- *Crabmeat ravigote napoleon
The wine choice is a little more restricted, but more than decent: Sauvignon Blanc Ladoucette “Les Deux Tours” 2007, and Pinot Noir Macmurray Ranch 2007. This deal is available all night, every night, through August 31.