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RESTAURANT INSIDER: Shula’s, sous chefs, decadent cuisine and more!

It seems hard to believe that we’re near the one-year mark following Hurricane Katrina. Nonetheless, life in the restaurant industry, as in our City, continues to be an ever-growing, shape-shifting, work in progress. Here’s the latest …
Meat a Friend for Dinner Coach Don Shula’s namesake steakhouse, above, is open in the JW Marriott on Canal Street. The restaurant is clubby, dark RESTAURANT INSIDER: Shula’s, sous chefs, decadent cuisine and more!and energetic, serving giant cuts of “better than prime,” Certified Angus beef and super-sized sides – creamed spinach and the hash brown cake being stand-outs. Cocktail fans take note, one of the city’s best bartenders, Chris McMillian, is mixing up great martinis and more at Shula’s bar – reason alone to stop in. With Shula’s, there are now four steak houses in the downtown area including Dickie Brennan’s, Morton’s and Besh Steak House at Harrah’s.
RESTAURANT INSIDER: Shula’s, sous chefs, decadent cuisine and more!Who’s Sous-ing Who Chef Erik Veney, right, has departed from Muriel’s to become Executive Sous Chef at Stella! While not a sous chef, pastry wiz Nolan Ventura has settled full-time at Stella! as Executive Pastry Chef, creating impossibly delicious and clever desserts – evidenced by the Mexican chocolate soufflé cake, studded with cinnamon, corn-cob ice cream and a plate dusting of poblano chile sugar.
Eat This The stunningly juicy and meaty hamburger topped with seared foie gras and roasted cherry tomatoes served with a silky, rich side order of “macaroni and cheese” (bow tie pasta in a creamy, cheesy béchamel) from the Cellar at Culinaria; crispy fried chicken livers with garnishes and killer desserts like fresh banana pudding with housemade ‘nilla wafers at Cochon; beefy, chewy strips of beef-jerky from Schexnayder’s; and the latest, possibly the best popsicle flavor, Chocolaty-coffee-cinnamon Mocha from Amanda’s Frozen Fruit Bars at the Crescent City Farmers’ Market.
A Class Act The New Orleans Cooking Experience continues its Great Chefs Summer Series with Antone Schulte of La Petite Grocery on Aug. 3, Danny Trace of Café Adelaide on Aug. 10 and Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s on Aug. 17. Classes are held each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and cost $150 per person. Call 430-5274 for reservations.
The Whole Thing Whole Foods Market is no longer selling live lobsters (because of inhumane treatment by vendors), but shoppers can buy frozen raw or cooked tails. Meanwhile, the Metairie store has whipped out their snowball machine to grind out seriously good snowballs with all-natural syrups. How about that fresh raspberry? There are no words, it’s that good. WF has also started making luscious gelatos in store.

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