What passes for fall in New Orleans is upon us, and while we can’t compete with the color show in New England, we can at least take solace in the comparatively cooler weather. The cooling temperatures, of course, don’t mean that things in the restaurant world are slowing down.

Changes: In the weather and in kitchens
Kristen Butterworth, right, a Pennsylvania native with extensive experience in luxury resort kitchens, is the new executive chef at The Windsor Court’s Grill Room (300 Gravier St., GrillRoomNewOrleans.com). Her experience comes from serving as chef de cuisine at Lautrec in the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and as sous chef at the Inn at Little Washington and Sea Island Resort. Butterworth is of Italian descent, and while there are indications of that on her menu, her primary focus is on “farm to table” cooking. That term has become so common that it’s almost lost its caché, but at a restaurant that’s willing to truly support sourcing ingredients locally, it can still be meaningful. From what I’ve seen, the Windsor Court is once again ready to make the Grill Room one of the finest restaurants in the city. You can call 522-1194 to make a reservation.

Maple Street has long been a locus of restaurants in the university section of Uptown, and with the addition of Satsuma Café (7901 Maple St., SatsumaCafe.com), the options for dining in that neighborhood broadened further. The original Satsuma Café opened at 3218 Dauphine St. in 2009, and as they developed a loyal customer base they gradually expanded their hours and the scope of the food they were serving. Owners Cassi and Peter Dymond had always intended to open a second restaurant, and the Maple Street location gave them the perfect opportunity. The menu at both locations is heavy on vegetarian options, but there are options for meat-eaters too. Satsuma Café is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and you can call 309-5557 to learn more.

Changes: In the weather and in kitchens

My friends Meghan and Jay Forman (the latter of whom you may recognize from his work for this and other publications) have opened a bakery called Gracious Bakery + Café (1000 S. Jeff Davis Parkway, GraciousBakery.com). Meghan is a talented pastry chef who has most recently been working with the talented folks at Sucré, but she and Jay decided to open their own shop in the ground floor of the Woodward Building. In addition to pastries and desserts that wouldn’t be out of place in one of Sucré’s retail outlets, Gracious offers sandwiches, such as a rosemary-crusted roast beef on a kaiser roll, tarragon chicken salad with bibb lettuce on green onion slab bread, right,  and smoked ham with pecan-cheddar spread and pepper jelly on a baguette. Gracious is open Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 301-3709 to place an order or to find out what else they have on offer on a given day.

Changes: In the weather and in kitchens

Dijon Restaurant (1379 Annunciation St., DijonNola.com) has named Daniel Causgrove, above, to replace Chris Cody as executive chef. Dijon went through some growing pains after it first opened in a former firehouse. Causgrove has most recently been cooking at La Petite Grocery, under James Beard-nominated chef Justin Devillier. Dijon is open for dinner Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Sunday Brunch is 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Call 522-4712 to learn more.

Several New Orleans chefs will be participating in the Break’n Bread Food and Wine Festival in Birmingham, Ala., on Sun., Oct. 14 from 1 to 5 p.m. From the press release:
“Break’n Bread will once again play host to four multi-award-winning chefs from out of the state. Chef Adolfo Garcia of La Boca and a Mano; chef Brian Landry of Borgne; and chefs Alison and Slade Rushing of MiLa will helm the VIP area, serving up Big Easy-inspired dishes with Big Easy attitude.”
Tickets for Break’n Bread and additional information are available at BirminghamOriginals.org and on the Birmingham Originals Facebook page. Prices are $35 for regular, $75 for VIP and children under 12 years old get in free. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and United Way’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities.

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