Chef Daniel Esses, right, whose most recent executive chef position was at the Marigny Brasserie, is set to open Three Muses (536 Frenchmen St.). The restaurant will reflect Esses’ cooking, which lately has been dominated by Italian cuisine, but with elements from other Mediterranean nations from Spain to North Africa. His cooking is broad enough to incorporate Asian influences as well, and that will be reflected, at least in part, through a Korean sampler Esses intends to add as an homage to the mother of one of his partners in the venture, Ms. Sophie Lee. Lee will act as “hospitality specialist,” and will also perform jazz and swing standards. Chris Starnes, who was a manager at the Marigny Bistro after Hurricane Katrina and who owned and operated Coffea in the Bywater, will manage operations and run the bar.

Esses has recently been selling fresh pasta at local farmers markets, and intends to make that a focus of the menu at Three Muses. He told me that he intends to have between 12 and 18 menu items at any one time, depending on what he can secure from farmers, fishermen and other area sources. He anticipates a cheese plate, and will serve charcuterie both made in-house and sourced from local producers. For more information, including hours of operation, call Three Muses: 298-8746.

Patrick Van Hoorebeek, below, the former maître d’ at the Bistro at Maison de Ville and Restaurant August, has plans to open a wine bar in the French Quarter later this summer. The location is, as I write this, still something of a secret, but he assures me that it will be intimate and comfortable. Since leaving the Bistro, Van Hoorebeck has not found the right fit for his talents, but operating a wine bar should be perfect, in that it will combine his love of wine with his gregarious nature as a host. For more information, check out

SukhoThai, above, has opened a second location in the space formerly occupied by Savvy Gourmet (4519 Magazine St.). Both the original spot in Marigny at 1913 Royal St., and the new operation serve the same menu of Thai soups, salads, noodle dishes and curries, which are among the best to be found locally. Neither has a liquor license, so bring your own; the usual recommendations are beer or sweetish, fruit-heavy wines such as Rieslings, Gewurtzraminers or Sauvignon Blancs – but as my friend Tim McNally says, “Drink what you like.” Both locations are open for lunch during the week from Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. The Magazine Street location is also open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and dinner on Saturday and Sunday starts at 3:30 p.m.
SukhoThai can be reached Uptown location at 374-6471, and in Marigny by calling 948-9309.

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