RESTAURANT INSIDER

October is when things start looking up around these parts; by now we’ve had a few cool nights, and even if I’m wearing shorts while trick-or-treating with my 9-year-old, I’m no longer worried about the 100-degree days of the past few months.

On Oct. 7, Morton’s The Steakhouse, right, and members of the Mondavi family will hold the local iteration of a national wine dinner and charity auction. The main event is at the Charles Krug Carriage House in Napa Valley, but in private dining rooms at Morton’s locations across the country, diners will be served the same menu and will witness the event via a large high-definition screen with theater-quality surround sound. Something on the order of 2,400 diners are expected to participate nationwide. If you want in, tickets are $175 per person, and you can book online at www.mortons.com/celebratingthelegendaryblend or by calling Morton’s in New Orleans at 566-0221.
The Riverbend International Tapas Crawl, started by a few local restaurants in July, is held on the last Wednesday of every month – October’s crawl will take place on the 27th. Participating restaurants each serve a small plate and a “short” glass of wine for $5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event in August featured Barcelona Tapas, Brigtsen’s, Dante’s Kitchen, Hana and Jazmine Café, and was a great success. Though the lineup of participating restaurants changes, it’s a great way to sample the fare at some tasty joints and to get outside and socialize while the weather’s nice. You aren’t required to speak with a Catalan accent when ordering, though you will no doubt impress Xavier Laurentino of Barcelona Tapas if you do.

Not far from the Riverbend, the wine bar and restaurant Oak, below, (8118 Oak St.) has opened. The focus of the venture is wine, and Michelle Gueydan, formerly a sommelier at Restaurant August, is in charge of selecting the bottles available. Aaron Burgau of Restaurant Patois is consulting on a small-plates menu to match Gueydan’s offerings. Oak is owned by Katie Winters and Shawn Haddad, and it’s a fantastic addition to an already-vibrant Oak Street dining scene. Call the restaurant at 302-1485 for more information.

Finally, a branch of the Feast (200 Julia St.) restaurant family, which originated in Houston, is opening in the Warehouse District. Feast specializes in “rustic European fare” with a heavy emphasis on “nose-to-tail” eating.

That is a shorthand way of saying you’ll find things such as pig’s ear cake with pickled parsnips; head-on duck neck sausage with green beans and bubble and squeak; and beef “tea” with bone marrow on the menu; alongside such English pub classics as Cock-a-leekie; fish pie with a mashed potato crust; and black pudding with peas, mint and a fried egg. As of press time, the website for the New Orleans restaurant is bare-bones, but check out the site for the Houston Feast if you’re interested in seeing more of the menu: sites.google.com/site/feasthouston.

If you see me on Halloween, please be nice. By “nice,” I mean “give me large volumes of candy.” It’s, uh ... for my son.

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

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