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Nov 8, 201209:49 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Fun(d) Raising

The dining room at Ralph's by the Park.

Sometimes when I try to come up with a title for Haute Plates, I am pleased with myself. I mean, I'm normally pleased with myself, but sometimes I come up with a good title and I'm extra pleased with myself. Then again sometimes I come up with a title that can only charitably be described as “memorable.” I fear this is one of those times.

Despite its awkward nature, the title to this post is at least apt. I have two great events to alert you to this week, kids. First up, a benefit for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The Three Muses will donate 100 percent of the profits on each Thursday in November (apart from Thanksgiving) to City Harvest New York, a group which takes excess food from restaurants, wholesalers, caterers and bakeries and distributes it to those in need. Right now, there are a lot of folks in need in the New York/New Jersey area.


This is yet another one of those times when you can help folks in need and have a good meal in the bargain. The Three Muses is a pretty swell spot, and chef Daniel Esses is a talented cook. He's also a native New Yorker, and the menu for these benefits is based on his memories of growing up in the Big Apple. There's Second Avenue corned beef sandwiches donated by Stein's Deli; house-made Arthur Avenue fettucine alfredo; Mott Street lemon chicken with broccoli; Coney Island hot dogs with Jen's Frito pie chili, and Italian sausage or salad pizza à la Mamaroneck Avenue. Dessert is San Genarro zeppole served with New Orleans ice cream. Sounds pretty good to me.


I don't know what else they have in store at Three Muses, but I would imagine there be music, as that's one of the things they do really well. I do know there are a few drinks on offer, such as Manhattans (of course) made with Buffalo Trace bourbon (donated by Republic Beverage); Ketel One cosmopolitans (with Vodka donated by Glazer's); and Abita Fall Fest (donated by Crescent Crown). It's been quite a while since I was able to make it out on a weeknight, but this may just be enough to do the trick. The Three Muses is located at 536 Frenchmen St., and their phone number is 252-4801.


On Monday, Nov. 12, there's another benefit at a local restaurant, though this one is a bit larger in scope. Ralph's on the Park will host the first in what promises to be an annual dinner to benefit Share Our Strength, a charity that helps feed hungry kids. I don't know where you stand on feeding hungry kids, but I am personally in favor.


In addition to Chip Flanagan, executive chef at Ralph's on the Park, other local chefs participating include Aaron Burgau of Patois, newly-named executive chef at the Windsor Court Kristin Butterworth, Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery and Alex Hartell of Sylvain. Brett Gauthier, executive pastry chef for the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, will be on hand to provide dessert.


There are speakers – local author and restaurateur Randy Fertel and Rhonda Jackson of New Orleans' No Kid Hungry Campaign – and culinary, travel and lifestyle items will be auctioned. As of this writing I cannot confirm that one of the “lifestyle items” to be auctioned is a meal at the restaurant of your choice with yours truly. I cannot confirm it because for some reason they did not take me up on the suggestion. Perhaps they considered that people would be too intimidated to bid on such a lifestyle item? That's what I tell myself every night before I fall asleep.


Tickets for the event are $150 per person, and that includes a cocktail reception starting at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Tables can be reserved as well, starting at $2,500. If you're interested, you can call 202-478-6528 to learn more or make a reservation. Ralph's on the Park is located in Mid-City at 900 City Park Ave., and their phone number (though it's not the number to make a reservation for this event) is 488-1000.


Do you know about a similar event in the next month or two? Feel free to make note in the comments, or let me know by email.  

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene


Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.




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