Lengua Madre was recently named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit. Chef Ana Castro was also named one of the nation’s best new chefs by Food & Wine.

The restaurant is one of several that I haven’t had a chance to sample but from all I’ve heard seems designed to appeal to me. It’s a five-course tasting menu of reimagined Mexican dishes cooked by a talented chef.

Lengua Madre is located at 1245 Constance St., and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m., and from 5 to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Call them at 504-655-1338.

Restaurants that serve a set menu of relatively small dishes are, as the kids say, my jam. I want to taste as many things as I can when I dine out at a great restaurant, and small, composed plates are the best way to do that other than just ordering multiple appetizers – which I also do regularly.

One of the other restaurants that fits that description is Sukeban, which opened on Oak Street fairly recently. Chef Jacqueline Blanchard, who also owns Coutelier NOLA, is a Louisiana native who has spent time in some of the best restaurants in the country, places like the French Laundry, Frasca and Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Sukeban is Blanchard’s take on an Izakaya, which is a sort of Japanese gastro-pub. Blanchard’s version is a bit more upscale than that sounds; she uses high-end ingredients, many of which are sourced from artisanal producers in Japan, but it’s still a fairly casual place.

There are 16 seats at the bar and one booth that can seat six. They only take reservations for the latter, at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. on the days they’re open (Tuesday through Saturday). Sukeban is located at 8126 Oak Street, and they’re open from 4:30 to 9:3 p.m. You can reach them at 504-345-2367.

In other news, Mexican Independence Day is this Friday, Sept. 16, and Palm and Pine are celebrating in support of Border Angels, a group that seeks to help migrants and refugees. From the email I received:

The Pine Bar will be featuring a special edition of Flight Nite, featuring exclusively Mexican distilleries and sprits, and a specialty cocktail will also be featured all night with all proceeds from the cocktail going to Border Angels. The team from El Buho Mezcal will also be in The Rampart Room hosting a tasting to showcase their selection of Mezcals.

From 5:30 to 11 p.m. you can find delicious food specials like Chiles en Nogada, Backwater Duck Pozole Rojo (both pictured below) and Tamales.

You can make reservations for the night here. Sounds like a pretty swell time to me.