Things I Have Heard or Imagined

In this edition of Haute Plates, I present to you a series of items I think may be of interest with regard to food and dining in our fair city.


Item: In August, recently opened Italian restaurant Avo will present a summer truffle menu. According to the press release I received, Chef Nick Lama’s menu is as follows:


Tuna Crudo with leeks, King Trumpet mushrooms, parsley, and truffle oil  $15


Foie Gras & Truffle Terrine with ciabatta, cherry mostarda, pistachio, and pickled vegetables  $22


Herb Tagliarini with black truffles and parmesan  $17


Confit Veal Breast with gnocchi alla Romana, wild mushrooms, black truffles, and veal jus  $32


Avo is located at 5908 Magazine St., and the phone number is 509-6550.



Item: SoFAB Cooks! My pals Poppy Tooker and Jyl Benson are starting a program at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) towards the end of August. They will prepare meals from various cookbooks in the Rouse’s Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-Air at the SoFAB. They’re calling it the Louisiana Eats & Cooks Club, and I think it sounds like a good time.

For the first event, Judy Walker and Marcelle Bienvenue will join Tooker and Benson for a meal from Cooking Up a Storm, which Walker and Bienvenue co-authored following Katrina. Here’s another excerpt from a press release:


Upon arrival at 6:30 p.m., guests will be welcomed with Lady Helen's Cheese Straws. When they take their seats they will enjoy a demonstration of Corrine Dunbar's Oyster and Artichoke Appetizer followed by a Meaty Cajun Gumbo served with Warm, Spicy Potato Salad. Masson's unique Almond Torte will finish out the meal.

The cost of the dinner is $85 per person ($75 for SoFab members) – inclusive of dinner, wine, tax and gratuity. Visit or call 504.267.7490 to make a reservation. The next dinner will be September 24 with dishes from the cookbook Fun, Funky & Fabulous: New Orleans Casual Restaurant Recipes by Jyl Benson.


If you haven’t seen the Rouse’s Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-Air at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, you should. Like everything else about SoFAB, a lot of thought went into the space, and it’s hard to imagine a better place to take in a cooking lesson. It’s also hard to imagine a better lineup to teach that class, and I’m only saying that in part because I’m fond of Poppy, Jyl, SoFAB, Judy and Marcelle.

If you’re like me, you should try to be more patient with the idiots who man the phones at American Home Shield Home Warranty Co., and also, you are probably the kind of person who would enjoy this sort of thing. That $85 includes wine, and knowing the hosts, you probably get more than a glass or two with your culinary education. If you are interested, the contact information is in the block-quote, above.



Also in August, Salú is putting on a menu featuring mussels, and they’re not kidding around. The restaurant already features a half-dozen or so preparations on a daily basis, and the Mussel Fest menu (good through the end of August) adds a few interesting choices:


Smoked Mussel & Tomato Bisque – $8

green onion, olive oil

Mussel + Anchovy Escabeche – $12

citrus, jalapeño, tarragon, radish, grilled sourdough

Warm Mussel Flatbread – $12

pepperoncini, cherry tomato, feta, cucumber yogurt

Mussels Carbonara – $14

summer peas, pork belly, black pepper, sheep's milk cheese, bucatini

Mussels Cioppino – $20

mussels, jumbo shrimp, bay scallops, drum, stewed tomatoes, red wine, grilled sourdough


Looks good to me; I haven’t seen that many mussels since I ran into Jean Claude Van Damme, in – OH YES I DID JUST TYPE THAT.

Seriously though, Van Damme can eat some bivalves.


If you have any breaking news, feel free to leave a note in the comments.



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