Dining Features

A Bistro on Metairie Road
Though it has relocated from Kenner to Metairie Road, Chateau Du Lac Bistro is still serving customers its famous French cuisine and French wine. Owned by Executive Chef Jacques Saleun and his wife, Paige Amundson-Saleun, the restaurant appeals to patrons who “like four star French food and wine in a casual bistro environment.” The couple says the location is “bigger and better“ than its previous location. “We listened to our customers’ requests and moved closer,” explains Jacques Saleun.

The lunch menu changes daily, offering a classic prix fixe plat du jour with two to three courses along with a few classic French standards, such as Gratinee a l’Ognion, Croque Monsieur and the nightly specials consist of fresh fish and seafood. The atmosphere, says Paige Amundson Saleun, offers a “casual southern French feel with blue accents and French paintings. We have the traditional lace curtains and print table cloths. We want our guests to feel at home.”

The Saleuns, who met in New York, have a combined 50 years of experience in the food and beverage industry and have worked in both Paris and New York. They recommend that customers try out the escargots, Foie Gras, Coq au Vin, Blanquette de Veau, Roasted Duck, Steak au Poivre, Pomme Frites, Creme Brulée, tarte Antoine and the Ile Flottante.

Information, 2037 Metairie Road, Metairie. 831-3773, www.chateaudulacbistro.com. Margaritas, mojitos and Mexican cuisine
After selling his share of Madrid Restaurant in Kenner, Juan Contreras says he sat down with his parents and decided to open a restaurant closer to “my roots and my heart, not to mention my belly.” The restaurant they started, El Gato Negro (“The Black Cat”) serves authentic Central Mexican cuisine and it has become quite popular with its open kitchen, colorful dining room and hospitable staff – not to mention its cuisine.

Contreras says Executive Chefs Rolon Contreras and Chata Contreras serve “only quality products and homemade dishes cooked to order.” Jose Morales oversees the kitchen operations and makes sure the family recipes are always used.

Contreras says the hand-squeezed margaritas, hand-muddled mojitos and the corn tortillas stuffed with filet mignon, Vidalia onion and poblano pepper are especially well-liked. The dress code is casual and Contreras believes that the restaurant is unique with its high standards of food and service.

Information, 81 French Market Place, 525-9752, www.elgatonegronola.com.

Rock, roll and dine
“Music is loud, people are loud, food is loud. It is a trendy warehouse space with neon art sculptures, exposed brick and bright colors. It exudes vibrance,” says Tisbee Manthey of Rock-N-Sake, which she co-owns with Duke and Tanya Nelson. “The atmosphere is always thumping and party-like.”

Though it appeals to different types of people, Manthey observes that, not surprisingly, it’s quite popular with 20-somethings.

Besides the music and hip atmosphere, Manthey says, “We never compromise when it comes to quality. We are willing to pay top dollar for our ingredients and we attribute a lot of our success to our employees who have become like family.”

She recommends the “Killer Scallops or Squid Steak” from the kitchen (prepared by executive kitchen chef Huy Pham) or any of the sashimi, the LSU Roll or the Salmon Zest Roll from the sushi bar (prepared by Executive Sushi Chef Dirk Dantin). Manthey praises the chefs, saying they are “extremely creative and are always striving to impress with the latest dish.”

Information, 581-SAKE (7253), 823 Fulton St., www.rocknsake.com.

Categories: Dining Features, Restaurants