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A Fall Restaurant Guide for New Orleans

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Between new restaurant openings and new offerings at old local favorites, 2013 has seen many changes in the New Orleans culinary scene. As the season changes, so do the ingredients, and so does the focus of many regional chefs. Here is a look at what’s new around town this fall.

As to casual dining, the owners of Rivershack Tavern recently ventured into the CBD with the newly opened Warehouse Grille on the corner of Magazine and St. Joseph streets. Featuring a pub-style, family friendly restaurant and an expansive outdoor patio/courtyard, Warehouse Grille satisfies diners looking to kick back with friends as well as families looking for a fun, casual night out.

The menu, designed by chef Donald Julien, takes New Orleans pub grub up a notch with creative dishes such as lamb springs rolls appetizer (lamb and vegetables stuffed inside spring rolls and served with a homemade apple mint sauce) and the Tuna St. Julien small plate (medium rare tuna filet served with julienne vegetables and topped with a poblano rouille and a side of Crystal butter).
“My personal favorite is the eggplant Napoleon,” says Julien, whose previous experience includes Executive Chef at Messina’s and Director of Food & Beverage at the Hilton. The savory not-so-small plate is composed of layered fried eggplant with an eggplant stuffing, topped with shrimp and a roasted red pepper sabayon sauce.

Warehouse Grille also features 40 beers on tap, daily specials, brunch on weekends and live music on the patio every Friday night. Parents looking for a lively weekend dinner spot are more than welcome to bring the kids to this new downtown gem.

A Commander’s family restaurant, SoBou (“South of Bourbon”) continues to make waves as it enters its second year of business in the French Quarter. Chef Juan Carlos and bar chef Abigail Gullo, along with Commander’s Palace executive chef Tory McPhail and wine guy Dan Davis hosted dinner at the legendary James Beard House in September, and this month SoBou continues celebrating both the local and national community with happy hour events for both 504ward and the Young Leadership Council.

SoBou’s “Happier Hour” menu is offered daily from 3-6 p.m. and features $3 to $6 sips and snacks such as Cajun queso & cracklin’, alligator corndogs, braised short rib sliders, beer, wine and cocktails. The hidden courtyard offers a relaxing fall hangout for those looking to unwind, while the warm and contemporary interior provides a sophisticated dining atmosphere for those delving deeper into chef Juan Carlos’ menu.

As a self-proclaimed “spirited” restaurant, SoBou hosts monthly Mixology Monday seminars in conjunction with The Museum of the American Cocktail and the Southern Food & Beverage Museum. Visit Monday, December 2, when bar chef Abigail Gullo talks about holiday cocktails. In the meantime, enjoy her fabulous new winter concoction, The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown: Great Lakes Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit, New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum, Steen’s Cane Syrup, bitters and garnished with an orange and lime twist.

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