Ah, June: a blessing – the start of tomato season – and a curse – the start of hurricane season.
Welcome back: Chinese food returned to Carrollton Avenue about a month ago – Five Happiness is back at its “new” location and is better than ever. The Imperial Room, Five Happiness’ banquet space, is situated next door to the restaurant. Their Moo-Shu Deluxe is one of the city’s best – sautéed, tender-crunchy, shredded cabbage, carrots and other vegetables surround cuts of pork, chicken and big, whole shrimp, to wrap in thin pancakes.
Hook up: Whole Foods Market now offers free wi-fi service in the breezeway at Arabella Station. They promise they will also stock the crazily popular and surprisingly tasty Shirataki Tofu Noodles. Carb watchers, this one’s for you.
Dishes and Drinks: Chef Jared Tees will have his wicked way with a tomato beginning this month at Bourbon House. Tees will serve spectacular salads such as roasted tomato and calamari, as well as savory dishes studded with locally grown tomatoes. Bourbon House’s special drinks menu features a twist on a classic aperitif in their pomegranate Kir Royale – a sugar cube (made from Louisiana sugar, of course) is dropped into a champagne flute, splashed with a healthy dose of pomegranate liqueur and topped off with crisp Veuve Clicquot.
Now open for lunch: Irene’s Cuisine on Thursdays and Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Martinique, Thursdays through Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and Kanno, Mondays through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
New and noteworthy: Asian Cajun’s Uptown location is on Oak Street. Calas, a new restaurant just spotted in Kenner, has opened with a menu crafted by beloved chef Frank Brigsten. The “Tastebuds” of Zea/Semolina fame have a new “concept” restaurant that will open in the former Semolina space on Magazine Street. There’s a new Italian spot on Magazine: Rivista, a deli/bakery with house-baked biscotti and other Italian treats. Jerry Roppolo, the same fellow who owns the Rue de la Course coffee shops, enters the restaurant market, serving entirely local fare and Dixie Beer, if he can get it. Finally, there’s a new Zotz Coffee House in the former Café Siam spot on Esplanade Avenue.