To know Mosca’s – an old, white clapboard Mafioso hangout of a restaurant with real-deal Italian food – is to know you will shout “Mama Mia” for mercy while sweating pure olive oil, safe in knowing you and your date will be secure in your respective seats due to the unmistakable presence of Nature’s Chaperone (garlic). However, despite a decades-long passion for Mosca’s many New Orleanians avoid it as a regular drop in site due to its out-of-the way location that requires appointing a designated driver.

For one night only imbibers may lift their glasses, eat their fill, and leave the driving to a nice, sober charter bus driver. On Jan. 16, enjoy an old school family-style dinner at Mosca’s restaurant with the women of the NOLA Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier (a non-profit international women’s culinary organization that supports women in the food, beverage and hospitality professions) for the group’s only open-to-the-public event this year. A livery bus will depart for Mosca’s from the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFab) at 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. at 6:30 p.m. SHARP and will return around 10:30 p.m. Only 24 seats are available for $100 per person, which includes a feast of Mosca’s best dishes served family style, transportation to and from SoFab (yes, you can drink on the bus, so BYOB), tax/tip, a glass of wine AND a donation to the New Orleans chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. All other beverages may be acquired via the restaurant’s cash bar. Want in? Call or text Beth D’addondo at 504-322-0212  or email Tickets are available at PayPal.Me/lesdamesnola.

The Steakhouse (located in Harrah’s Casino, 228 Poydras St., 533-6111, will host Whisky Walk-Around with Johnnie Walker will on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 6:30 p.m.  The evening will start with passed hors d’oeuvres (buffalo carpaccio, tuna nicoise tartare, cheewees oysters) and action stations (housemade ham and accoutrements, sugar cured rib eye, penne con Berkshire pork stracotto, laurel smoked duck gumbo), dessert stations (chocolate olive oil cake, cafe au lait pot de creme, black and white brownies) and pours of Johnnie Walker including the exclusive blue label and platinum 18 yr label. The price is $80 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Tickets and details are available here.

Get thee across the lake to Covington and check out Pyre Provisions, (70437 Highway 21, Covington, 985-888-6129, Chef Jeff Mattia’s new concept restaurant fusing classic steakhouse and rustic barbeque techniques. Mattia draws heavily from his experience as part of the opening team at Craft Steak working as Chef de Cuisine under chef Tom Colicchio. The opening menu includes shareable plates and salads that including  smoked duck hummus made from slow-cooked duck legs and a housemade hummus; wood fired oysters on a half shell topped with an oyster butter and the house chili sauce; Parrilla beet salad with beets cooked in the coals, whipped feta, and arugula; and a wood roasted stone fruit salad made with roasted and braised stone fruit finished with a vinaigrette made from the braising liquid. Happy Hour is a great time to try something new. Check it out Tuesday -Friday from 3-6 p.m. for specials on wine, beer and daiquiris, and 3-5 p.m. for specials on small plates.

Picnic Provisions & Whiskey (741 State St., 266-281, is making it easier to eat lighter and stick to your resolutions in the new yea. Their new winter menu offers two new delicious and unique salads, as well as new Eat Fit NOLA options. The wild shrimp remoulade salad includes garlic marinated tomatoes, piquillo peppers and crispy onion straws topped with chilled shrimp remoulade. The new cilantro lime grilled chicken salad features caramelized onions, crispy black beans, Cotija cheese and a satisfying sprinkle of “broken” house saltines. The hungry guest who is looking for lower-carbohydrate options will appreciate these healthful but filling salads.


Have a great weekend and a wonderful new year, everyone. Use it to celebrate the people and the community you love.