Chef Dave Gotter opened Gott Gourmet (3100 Magazine St.) last September with an eclectic menu of sandwiches and salads. One such is the St. Patty’s Day Massacre, which is a variation on the Reuben featuring braised and “pulled” corned beef, Gruyere, Horseradish, Cheddar, Fries, Ancho-honey slaw, Thousand Island dressing and Creole mustard on Pumpernickel for $10.50. Gotter also adds to the number of restaurants doing serious hot dogs. His are done Chicago-style, with yellow mustard, neon-green “Chicago” relish, Sport Peppers, a pickle spear, onions, grape tomatoes and celery salt. They are delicious, and at $4.50 a piece you should order two – trust me. Gotter also does pretty robust 1/2-pound burgers that include a little pork in the mix for $8.

Randy Lewis, who gained attention in New Orleans at Restaurant Indigo before leaving for California, has returned to helm the kitchens at La Provence (25020 Highway 190, Lacombe), where he replaces René Bajeux. Chef Lewis was most recently cooking in various restaurants around San Francisco and in Napa, and returns to La Provence’s bucolic setting. While South Louisiana may not compare favorably with San Francisco’s or Napa’s climates, Lewis actually got his first professional cooking experience with the late Chris Kerageorgiou and grew up near Lacombe, so this is a return in more ways than one.

When Guillermo Peters closed his wildly ambitious dual restaurant Coyoacan Y Taqueros, those of us who enjoyed his approach to the food of his native Mexico were disappointed. Around six months ago, Peters opened Stop 9 Refuling Station & Culinary Specialties (1432 St. Charles Ave.) in the same location, focusing on a breakfast (weekend only) and lunch crowd with a menu that touches on his roots. Starting at 6 p.m., Peters now serves serious tapas that combine highlights from his former menu – for example queso a la plancha (griddled cheese with peppers and oil) and albondigas (meatballs) – with more traditional Spanish selections such as garlic shrimp and croquettas.

Donald Link is opening two new ventures this month, both in the building that’s currently occupied by Cochon (930 Tchoupitoulas St.), the upscale Cajun/Southern restaurant he operates with Stephen Stryjewski. Calcasieu is a banquet and private dining facility with four dining rooms that will play host to events featuring seated meals for between 10 and 160 guests, with a wide variety of food available. Some of that food will no doubt be provided by Cochon Butcher, where Link and Stryjewski will serve sandwiches and cured meats as well as retailing select cuts of pork, beef and lamb. The bar (nicknamed the “Swine Bar”) will serve wines by the glass to match the house-cured meats, artisan cheeses and sandwiches. If you haven’t had a chance yet to sample what Link and Stryjewski have been up to in the charcuterie, you really need to check out Cochon Butcher as soon as possible.
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