Chef Dominique Macquet is all over the place these days. Next Friday he will be serving hors d'oeuvres at a grand opening party for the Hotel Modern, in which his new restaurant Tamarind (opening the next day, Saturday the 17th) will be housed. The chef left his eponymous Magazine Street restaurant last month, but plans to re-open under the same name in somewhat larger quarters only a few blocks away in the first half of 2012. If you're interested in learning more about Tamarind or making a reservation, you can call (504) 962-0909 or (504) 962-0910. It will be a great place to bring in the New Year.
The space that Macquet's restaurant formerly occupied at 4729 Magazine St. has re-opened as Apolline. Chef Matthew Farmer, who was most recently a sous chef at Salú, is the executive chef. From what I can see of the menu, there are some hold-overs from Macquet's time in charge, but expect Farmer's re-imagined Creole cooking to set the tone going forward. Under any name, the restaurant is a beautiful place to have a meal, and manager Jenny Smith intends to continue the ambitious bar program started under chef Macquet. Argentine-born pastry chef Brenda Howlin is another constant, as she remains in that position at Apolline. You can reach the restaurant at (504) 894-8881.
Continuing the Macquet-related theme, Bistreaux is opening a second location in the New Orleans Marriott Metairie in the Lakeway Center at 3838 N. Causeway Blvd. There are actually two connections to chef Macquet here. Bistreax is the semi-casual sister restaurant to Le Meritage, which replaced Dominique's first namesake restaurant in the Hotel Dupuy. Coincidentally, the new Bistreaux will take the place of Bistro 38 by Dominique. Yes, that Dominique. Jason Schwartz heads the kitchen in the new restaurant, which officially opened yesterday. The menu is a combination of Creole and Southern cooking, with influences from chef Schwartz's home state of Florida. As with most hotel restaurants, Bistreaux will be open 7 days for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; hours are 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call (504) 832-3838 to learn more.
In a story that has no apparent connection to Dominique Macquet, on Friday, December 16, chef Donald Link will host a book signing at Butcher for his friend Mitch Rosenthal. Rosenthal's recently released cookbook is titled Cooking My Way Back Home, and although his restaurants are in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, there's a lot of New Orleans cooking in the book. In the introduction, Rosenthal cites the influence of chef Paul Prudhomme on Rosenthal when he was just starting to cook professionally. Rosenthal will cook some of the food from his book at the signing, and there'll be local beers on tap. Signed copies of the book will be available for $35. Give Butcher a call at (504) 588-7675 to find out more.