La Petite Grocery’s cool summer menu
Executive Chef Justin Devillier says his restaurant, La Petite Grocery, serves “technique-oriented American cuisine” with a mix of Southern and French influences. According to the chef, the casually elegant establishment which serves drinks, lunch and dinner, appeals to a wide range of clientele. It is also a place where customers go to celebrate special occasions and host private parties. Devillier, who burst onto the scene in 2004, became executive chef just three years later and has been raking in the awards ever since. The restaurant is also run by Managing Partner Joel Dondis and General Manager Bryan Hutchings.
Devillier modestly credits his hardworking staff; he says they “always put guests first” and create a pleasing dining experience. With the summer heat kicking in, Devillier is lightening the menu and using summertime produce, most of which is local. Delicacies such as Roasted Oysters with Shallots, herbs and piave; Hawaiian hearts of palm with jumbo lump crabmeat and shaved fennel; and hanger steak with carmelized onions, truffle aioli and French fries are just a few of the items in store.
Information, 4238 Magazine St., 891-3377,www.lapetitegrocery.com. Staying cool at Hip Stix
“Hip Stix serves many needs,” says Managing Partner Tisbee Manthey, talking about happy hour drinks, appetizers, and what she calls “killer food” at the popular CBD restaurant. Hip Stix, she says, is “contemporary and casual” with an Asian flair.
Influences are Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese. “We felt that there was a need for our type of food in the Warehouse District,” she says. “From Asian classics like Beef and Broccoli to our stellar Slammin’ Salmon curry, we have a wide variety to select from.” She adds that Hip Stix offers “very affordable prices” and the menu this month will feature honey shrimp, stir-fried beef and eggplant and, for a refreshing beverage, she recommends the lychee flavored iced tea. Another good way to cool off during the heated summer? Manthey says to try a specialty drink.
Ginger Mojitos, Lychee-tinis, Coco-mango-tinis and Hip Stix Cosmos are all “great drinks for these hot summer days and nights.”
Information, 870 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-2858. Chillin’ at Chops
Serving classic New Orleans-style cuisine, Chops Bistro & Martini Bar uses fresh local products to ensure quality and consistency. “We make everything in-house from scratch,” says Braden Smith, general manager. While Chops had its fair share of obstacles over the past few years, Smith says that it’s made a complete turnaround since its post-storm opening. “We were able to reopen in October ,” he says, “But with very small staff and a lot of business. Of course that made things quite hectic for everyone, including guests!” However, with Smith’s passion, along with the talent of Executive Chef Christian Wagner and the rest of the staff, Chops has now been rated as a “four-star” restaurant by food critic Tom Fitzmorris (up three stars from a year ago). It’s now viewed as a classy establishment by a variety of customers who come in for events including business lunches and anniversary dinners.
Smith says the personal service is unique. “We make it a point to truly get to know our guests and to build a relationship with them,” he says. “We are able to provide just the right service they want.”
Customers can also enjoy the summer menu, which will feature lighter dishes more suited to the hot weather. Smith says the staff will be creating delicacies with seasonal flavors, and fruits and berries.
Information, 111 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, 218-8967.