Mister Mao, the restaurant serving “inauthentic” globally-inspired cuisine, has received rave reviews since opening last summer. Now, chef/owner Sophina Uong and her husband/partner William “Wildcat” Greenwell, are giving back to the community via a new Guest Chef Charity Series to benefit local organizations. For example, Mister Mao has partnered with Austin Lane of El Cucuy for this month’s event (Tex Mex Easter BBQ, featuring guest oyster farmer Nathan Herring), which takes place April 17 from 5-8 p.m. It features four courses and two cocktails ($100 per person) and benefits Trampled Rose Rescue (a local nonprofit that recovers and places orphaned, injured and abandoned dogs in loving foster homes). Menu highlights include chargrilled Bright Side oysters, Coctel de Camaron y Pulpo, whole smoked cabrito plus fixins and a smoked chocolate Frito pie. Be sure to try the chocolate bunny tiki cocktail. 4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 345-2056, mistermaonola.com
Whet Your Palate
The much-anticipated ARRIVE New Orleans hotel, scheduled to open later this year in the Bywater, will feature 93 guest rooms across three floors, an outdoor pool and greenery-filled courtyard, rooftop space and a signature restaurant from chef Eric Cook—the talent behind Gris-Gris and Saint John—dubbed Julia Brown. Mammoth Espresso, the popular Warehouse District coffee shop, also will occupy space within the hotel. arrivehotels.com
Food for Thought
The Link Stryjewski Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski to address cycles of poverty and violence in New Orleans, has donated $100,000 to Son of a Saint (a local nonprofit that supports and provides mentorship to young men without fathers). The three-year financial commitment will help to build the Link Stryjewski Foundation Dining Room in the Ochsner Health Son of a Saint Bivian Lee Jr. Center, scheduled to open this spring.
Cooking Classes Debut at SoFAB
The Southern Food & Beverage Museum has welcomed the Deelightful Roux School of Cooking—a hands-on interactive cooking school from Chef Dwynesha Lavigne. The only Black-owned cooking school in the city that’s being taught by a New Orleans native, Deelightful Roux offers cooking classes (for up to 10 people) each Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The classes ($85 for SoFAB members and $100 for non-members) focus on Creole and Cajun dishes and include a three-course lunch, admission to the museum and a curator-led private tour of the museum. 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 655-1195, chefdeelavigne.com, southernfood.org/cooking-classes
Couvant, the beloved French brasserie located within The Eliza Jane Hotel, reopened last month after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions. New Orleans-native Ryan Pearson is now serving as executive chef, and he has released a new menu of French cuisine infused with Southern soul. Currently open for breakfast and dinner, the restaurant will expand lunch and brunch service later this year. Dinner highlights include Gulf fish rillette (served with pickles and toasted bread), Pate en Croute (duck and pork, dried fruit mostarda and pickles) and Cote de Beuf for two (pan-roasted, dry-aged ribeye, bone marrow-crusted potato gratin, roasted mushrooms and a black garlic bordelaise). Expect the same gorgeous decor, plus a few updates. For example, the raw bar now serves as a semi-open kitchen and there’s added outdoor seating with table service on Magazine Street. The restaurant and bar also is now exhibiting rotating works by local artists. 315 Magazine St., 342-2316, couvant.com