The Best for the Weekend, Treat Yourself


We have been through the wringer. And COVID-19 still threatens, and disturbances are swirling off the coast of Africa like a swarm of cockroaches. We deserve a break, a little R & R, a least some relief. Here are my suggestions to lighten your load.

Garbage in front of your house giving you the blues, or the greens if it reeks? Take charge! Yes, you pay for trash collection that is s-l-o-w to come but if you cannot wait another moment and you just need to see that unwanted rubbish go, the city has opened the Elysian Fields Transfer Station daily from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. for residents to drop off bagged household garbage, free of charge.  Storm debris will not be accepted. This “perk” is only open to residents of Orleans Parish.

How ironic that recycling has been suspended indefinitely and our recycling center is now accepting our garbage that we must deliver ourselves but, hey, it’s something. The station is located on the west side of Elysian Fields Avenue, just north of Florida Avenue. Enter through the service road.

After closing for Hurricane Ida, both the Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Zoo have reopened, and Louisiana residents will be admitted to both facilities at 50 percent off admission fees tomorrow through Oct. 3.

A mile or so away in my Uptown neighborhood, Mister Mao will reopen on Friday, Sept. 17, evening following a Hurricane Ida-necessitated closure. The tropical roadhouse restaurant from Chef Sophina Uong and husband/partner William Greenwell has had the neighborhood buzzing since opening in late July. The restaurant is offering a limited menu of eclectic globally inspired cuisine. Dishes include escargot wellingtons – lemon yogurt, horseradish, powder of stems; pani puri – turmeric potato masala, curry leaf, pickled blueberry, fiery mint water; Chesapeake Bay scallops – apple wood bacon, Chinese dry fried green beans, oyster sauce, basil; and wagyu coulotte – tamari + bonito braised fingerlings, nori salsa verde, among others.

In addition to the a la carte offerings, a four-course Chef’s Choice tasting menu will be available for $55 per person (not including tax + gratuity). Parties of eight or more can enjoy a selection of small plates served from roving carts. Mister Mao will open Thursday – Saturday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday and Monday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Next Wednesday, Sept. 22, Bywater American Bistro’s Chef/Restaurateur Nina Compton will host a one-night-only prix fixe dinner to raise funds for those in Southeastern Louisiana’s bayou parishes gravely impacted by Hurricane Ida. The three-course menu will showcase ingredients and dishes indigenous to the bayou and assist those that provide the unrivaled seafood and produce Louisiana is known for. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit – a non-profit fund spearheaded by Chef Melissa Martin of Mosquito Supper Club and Jonathan Foret of Helio Foundation.

Priced at $65 per person, excluding tax and gratuity, the menu will be on offer from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. with very limited seating; reservations are strongly suggested. Menu follows:


First Course

Served Family Style

Boiled Shrimp with Vietnamese dipping sauce

Cornbread with cane syrup and smoked onion butter

Little gems with shallots and buttermilk dressing

Tuna Ham with avocado and croutons

Oyster Pan Stew


Second Course

Served Family Style


Redfish Courtbouillon with Jasmine Rice

Smothered Greens


Third Course

Choose One

Banana Bread Pudding

Chocolate Ganache with Rum Caramel and Coconut Sorbet

Tete de Moine Tart with Petite Salad


*Menu is subject to change based on availability of ingredients



Catch me next Tuesday at 5 p.m. on New Orleans magazine’s Instagram Live feed . I will be in the Cookbook Studio making the Chilled Corn Bisque topped with a bright salad of Jumbo Lump Crabmeat featured in this month’s NOSH column.



That’s it from me for now. Please be kind to one another, and yourselves. We deserve it.





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