Arnaud’s, located at 813 Rue Bienville, has been a staple in New Orleans practically since it’s opening in 1918. When Archie Casbarian acquired the restaurant in 1978, he knew the importance of keeping tradition alive. Rather than changing the menu and giving into the craze of redesigning, Casbarian simply restored and improved upon what was already there. The chandeliers, iron columns and cypress paneling remained; so did the old nonfunctioning ceiling fans.
The restaurant has been owned by only two families throughout its existence. Today the restaurant is run by Katie and Archie Casbarian, and their mother Jane. The Casbarians still insist on keeping tradition alive, while appealing to an ever-changing pool of customers.
Katy Casbarian, who worked for the Waldorf-Astoria before returning to New Orleans to work with her family, knows how hard it can be to balance the old with the new. With every decision she and the executive team makes, they walk the fine line between staying true to tradition and staying pertinent in a world of gastro-pubs and sushi bars.
Information, 813 Bienville St., 523-5433, www.arnauds.com
LaCôte of many colors
LaCôte Brasserie in the Renaissance Arts Hotel offers fresh seafood with New Orleans spice. Chef Chuck Subra has assembled an ever-changing menu that includes dishes such as Glazed Salmon with Tabasco and Steen’s Cane Syrup over roasted Mirliton with Louisiana Shrimp Nage. The menu also features classic dishes such as Braised Short Ribs and a recipe for his grandmother’s New Iberian Duck and Andouille Gumbo.
LaCôte Brasserie will host several notable events in the coming months, including the Justice for All Ball on Oct. 1, the New Iberia Gumbo Cook Off on Oct. 10 and the March of Dimes Celebrity Chefs Gala on Nov. 21.
LaCôte Brasserie is open for Breakfast from 6:30 to 11 a.m. daily; lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily; dinner Sunday to Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 6 to 11 p.m.; and Sunday Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It also offers a three-course Table D’Hote lunch Monday through Friday for $17.
700 Tchoupitoulas St., 613-2350.
– Jordan DeFrank
Here’s to Happiness
Five Happiness has served authentic Chinese cuisine to New Orleans for nearly 30 years. The eatery, which has been selected as the Best Chinese Restaurant by New Orleans Magazine and has been awarded the Zagat Certificate of Distinction, serves such Chinese dishes as House Baked Duck, Shrimp with Honey Roasted Pecan and Asparagus with Chicken – all chef’s recommendations.
Five Happiness was completely renovated and remodeled after Hurricane Katrina, but maintains that it has kept a subtle Asian feel. The Imperial dining room can accommodate private parties of 50 to 150 people and also features takeout and delivery service.
Five Happiness is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Information, 3605 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3935.
– Jordan DeFrank