New Orleans Restaurant Insider

February is a pathetic month – the runt of the litter. Most years it’s somewhat redeemed by Mardi Gras, but this year that falls in the greatest of months: March. Coincidentally, March is the month in which I was born. Apropos of nothing, I enjoy single malt scotch, good wine and money.

La Dolce Nola, below, a “snackery” and gelateria, has opened in the Friedrichs Square shopping center at 200 Metairie Road. The shop offers a frequently changing selection of gelato as well as baked goods, candies and other locally produced foodstuffs. Owners Will and Jennifer Samuels are also behind the Lakeview pizzeria Pizza Nola, which opened not long ago at 141 West Harrison Ave. (www.pizzanola.com, 872-0731). I have had a chance to taste several of the gelatos, and all were excellent. Standouts included hazelnut, chocolate and goat yogurt with honey. Wine and liquor are available with your snacks. The shop is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Fri. and Sat. until 10 p.m. Check the website for a list of the gelato available, or call the store at 832-1122 for more information.

Nola Food Delivery has been delivering food to residents of Uptown for the past several months. The system is pretty simple: Order from one of the restaurants “affiliated” with the outfit and you pay a 20 percent surcharge on the cost of the meal, or order from any other restaurant for a 25 percent surcharge. The food is delivered by bicycle unless the weather makes that impractical. Among the restaurants that were affiliates as of this writing are Little Morocco, Babylon Café and Saltwater Grill. Find out more at www.nolafooddelivery.com or by calling 644-3512.

Its hours of service are Mon. through Sat. from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Chef Brack May, above, whom you may remember from Cobalt, the restaurant whose space is now occupied by Lüke, has resurfaced at 8801 Oak St. with Cowbell. May’s menu at Cowbell reflects his skill at taking home-style food upscale. There is a clam chowder with applewood-smoked bacon and red bliss potatoes on the starters portion of the menu; which also offers grilled chicken and arugula salad with toasted pecans, green apples and goat cheese in a sherry-maple vinaigrette. The natural beef burger comes dressed on a toasted potato roll with fries and can be customized by adding several cheeses; a zinfandel, bacon and onion compote; applewood-smoked bacon; and/or a fried farm egg. Larger plates include an “adult-style” grilled cheese sandwich with a mug of soup; and grilled fish tacos with black beans, green rice and chayote (mirliton) slaw; and a barbecued rib-eye with grilled asparagus and mac and cheese. Side dishes change regularly and are written on a board in the dining room. As this goes to press, Cowbell doesn’t have a liquor license – so it’s “BYOB” – but check with them at 298-8689 to see if that’s still the case. The restaurant is open Tues. through Thurs. from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., until 10 p.m. on Friday and on Sat. from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat. service includes brunch in the early hours. How impressed are you that I got through writing up this restaurant without once using the phrase “needs more cowbell?” Not as impressed as I am with myself, I assure you.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail Peyton: rdpeyton@gmail.com

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