The Magnolia Hotel, on Gravier Street, is now home to Laurel Oak, a Southern Brasserie. The restaurant results from a partnership between hotelier Stout Street Hospitality and TAG Restaurant Group, both out of Denver. Local chef Wesley Rabalais heads the kitchen, turning out items like Benton’s ham tartine and roasted redfish with gulf seafood étouffée. 535 Gravier St., Monday – Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday – Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., 527-0006, Laureloakrestaurant.com.
The number of Thai restaurants in New Orleans increased earlier this year when Long Chim took up residence on Magazine Street. The restaurant, which specializes in “street food” started as a vendor in the Auction House Market, and the new location isn’t much larger. Look for a small menu of salads, soups and noodle dishes. 4113 Magazine St., Thursday – Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to be added, 982-0046.
Chinese-American food gets a bad rap, but that’s the challenge behind long-awaited restaurant Blue Giant which was opened recently by two chefs with local experience, Bill Jones and Richard Horner. The focused menu of standards like shrimp dumplings, hot and sour soup, steamed bok choy with house-made oyster sauce and whole Peking duck, Blue Giant may change perceptions locally. 1300 Magazine St., Monday – Wednesday (closed Tuesday), 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., 582-9060, Bluegiantnola.com.