This Week's Edition / October 16, 2014

First Bite

Nottoway Plantation gets new chef

A chef with a distinguished career joins Nottoway Plantation. Michael J. Loupe, an award-winning chef who has logged time across Louisiana and in France, will start working as executive chef at Nottoway next week. At the historic plantation and resort, Loupe will head The Mansion Restaurant, which specializes in Creole-inspired Louisiana cuisine and seasonal menus.

Loupe trained in Paris and most recently worked at the Hilton Capitol Center in the same role for the past six years. Loupe has also headed the kitchen at the local Ruth's Chris Steak House, where he was in charge of the culinary team for two years. He was the executive chef at the Baton Rouge Country Club for more than three years, and worked at the Camelot Club.

Loupe's extensive culinary career started at age 15 when he got a part-time job, making nut butters and vegetable juices at the Yum Yum Tree in Plaquemine. After attending culinary school in the early ’80s, Loupe worked at La Varenne in Paris in 1983. Over the course of his career, he also worked at John Folse's Lafitte's Landing in Donaldsonville.

For more information on Nottoway Plantation, visit nottoway.com. —Matthew Sigur

Sugarbelle bakery closes Perkins Road location

Just months after opening, Sugarbelle's Perkins Road location is closing its doors. The bakery's second location, which replaced the Sweet Wishes cupcakes and sweets eatery in March, will be replaced by a nail salon in the coming weeks "due to a change in ownership," according to a post on Sugarbelle's Facebook page.

While the new location of Sugarbelle offered an expanded menu with items such as stuffed breads, the store couldn't gain traction. This is the final week Sugarbelle will be open at 10889 Perkins Road, and the bakery's remaining business hours are Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Fans of the shop can still enjoy baker Kasie Coleman's creations at Sugarbelle's primary location (5151 Plank Road, Suite #42), open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Read a profile on Coleman and Sugarbelle from 225 Dine. —Matthew Sigur


Foodies

'225': Parents, children still not happy with public school lunches even after changes

The phrase "school lunch" can evoke plenty of memories for many of us. "No matter the memories, school lunch is a rite of passage," April Capochino Meyers writes in the latest issue of 225. But the days of opting for a hot dog and plate of French fries are gone now that Congress has implemented the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. While guidelines such as whole wheat replacing white bread and pastas have created healthier options, many students and parents are not satisfied with the quality. Nadine Mann, director of the Child Nutrition Program with East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, thinks over time, students could learn to enjoy lunch again. "The cafeteria is like a classroom, and because they're in there twice per day, they are going to have to learn to add fruits and vegetables to their meals and learn portion control," Mann says. "It's not going to happen overnight." Read the full story.

Pelican House hosts second Oktoberfest

Fall is the time for beer, polka music and more beer in Germany—and now, even in the Capital City. Here in Baton Rouge, The Pelican House will get in the spirit with its second Oktoberfest Friday at 6 p.m. The event features beers from Spaten, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Santa Fe Brewing Company, Abita, Warsteiner and many more as well as pretzels, schnitzel, späetzle and a red cabbage plate. The Austin, Texas, trio The Flying Balilaka Brothers will provide a backdrop of polka and gypsy sounds for the night. This year's festivities also include a beer stein-holding tournament. For more information, click here or call 456-5200. —Matthew Sigur

Du Jour

From Spatula Diaries: Seasonal cooking with radishes

"I have moderate success at vegetable growing, with usually only a couple of crops cooperating," writes Maggie Heyn Richardson in her latest blog post. Most often, there’s just one standout in her vegetable garden, and right now, it’s her radishes. "Unlike Swiss chard, radishes are universally popular in my house, which has made them a routine addition to green salads," she writes. "But there are plenty of other ways to enjoy these tasty and fast-growing root vegetables."

In this week’s blog post, she offers up suggestions for using radishes in everyday cooking—from providing an added crunch in seafood salad to making a pickled relish for chicken tacos. Read the full story.

Oktoberfest returns at Middendorf’s

Middendorf’s Restaurant in Akers is best known for its paper-thin fried catfish, but every fall it also brings Bavaria to the bayou. Owners Karen and Horst Pfeifer, who bought the restaurant after Hurricane Katrina, are once again holding their month-long Oktoberfest celebration at the 80-year-old waterfront restaurant. The authentic menu, turned out by the German-born Horst Pfeifer, is offered every Wednesday and Thursday night Oct. 1-Nov. 6. This week’s selection includes wiener schnitzel, breaded pork loin cutlets served with dumplings, salad, a homemade pretzel and apple strudel for dessert. The following week, Pfeifer will serve stuffed veal shoulder with wild mushrooms, onions and fresh herbs, potato noodles and beer sauce and black forest cake. Oct. 29 and 30, pork roast in a cream sauce with potato dumpling will be the main course, while pork hind shank with smothered cabbage will hit plates Nov. 5 and 6. For more information, visit middendorfsrestaurant.com or call (985) 386-6666.





Cheers

'That’s the Spirit' enjoys cocktails and more at Bistro Byronz

In this week's "That's the Spirit," 225 contributor Rivers Hughey tries Bistro Byronz's bar menu and classic cocktails. While Hughey isn't from Louisiana, the restaurant's atmosphere and feel is an example of the pleasant Southern hospitality she has come to know. She sees Bistro Byronz as an unpretentious restaurant where people can gather day or night to relax, share conversation and enjoy reasonably priced food and drinks. Check back Friday for the full story and read Hughey's previous posts here.

Restaurants

Lava Cantina has new menu offerings, operating partner

Lava Cantina, a rock 'n' roll-themed restaurant in Perkins Rowe, has updated its menu to focus on tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and other Mexican/Creole fusion-style dishes. The new menu features revamped recipes and new entrées such as smoked duck, Baja shrimp and catfish tacos and a bacon-wrapped oysters appetizer called "Oysters in a Blanket." The menu also now includes amplified shrimp tacos, which feature cornmeal-battered, lightly fried shrimp rolled in a tangy "bang bang" sauce and topped with red cabbage slaw and tomatoes. Gone from the menu is the restaurant's refried beans, which has been replaced with a new charro bean side. Talapia, ribs and a few other dishes have also been removed from the menu.

The updated dishes come with the restaurant's announcement of the hiring of Martin Ybarra, who will serve as Lava Cantina's new operating partner. Ybarra previously worked with Texas de Brazil's Baton Rouge location for the last seven years.

The restaurant is also currently working on a patio expansion. The new space is a $150,000 investment, according to a representative of Lava Cantina, and will be complete later this month. For more information on Lava Cantina, click here. —Matthew Sigur

'Business Report': Updates on Fast Fit Food and Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar

A new healthy fast food restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week will open downtown next month. Doug Seacrest's Fast Fit Food is set to open at the corner of Third and North streets next to the downtown YMCA in early November. The announcement was made at this week's Downtown Development District board of commissioners meeting. The meeting also shed light on the opening of Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, which is set to be complete and open for business next month. Read the full story.

Calendar

Enjoy local food and more at this weekend’s Slow Food Fall Heat

Get into the fall season with great food this weekend. Slow Food Baton Rouge's second Slow Food Fall Heat cook-off takes place Sunday at the Burden Center's new outdoor pavilion and grounds at the LSU AgCenter's Botanic Gardens (4560 Essen Lane) at 4 p.m. This year's event features dishes created by local celebrity chefs using fresh, local produce and paired with a beer from Hammond's Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. Competing chefs include Ryan André of City Pork, Scott Varnedoe of Restaurant IPO and Mary Koehler of Nino's. Tickets are $75. Student discounts are available. Proceeds from the event will benefit Slow Food Baton Rouge's programming. For more information, visit slowfoodbr.org. —Matthew Sigur

Musicians come together for Country Corner fundraiser

Local musicians Denton Hatcher, Polly Pry and The Rakers will perform Friday night at Red Star as part of a benefit concert and fundraiser for Country Corner, a Garden District convenience store. The store on Perkins Road was robbed in mid-September. According to this NBC-33 report, a suspect walked into the business with a handgun demanding money as the store was closing. Proceeds from the event will benefit the local store, which offers food, drink and crawfish (when in season). The show starts at 8 p.m. RSVP and get more information.

Roundup

Galatoire’s Bistro offers fall specials

Galatoire's Bistro is now offering an extended happy hour each Friday before LSU football games. The new happy hour takes place 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., and guests can enjoy $5 specialty cocktails, select wine and champagne and bar bites. The restaurant is also offering a "3 for $30" menu that offers guests three small plates paired with a wine for $30. Patrons can choose from a selection of 10 small plates, a few classic entrées and a few chef specialties that change each week. The special menu is offered Monday-Wednesday 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. and before each Broadway performance at the River Center as a pre-theatre dinner. For more information, click here or call 753-4864. —Matthew Sigur

Walk-On's donates more than $20,000 to charity

After a month-long fundraising initiative that ran in September to help feed hungry kids, Walk-On's Enterprises will turn its attention to breast cancer awareness in October. The business, which includes Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar, announced last Friday that it will donate more than $20,000 to Share Our Strength's Dine Out For No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America. During October, all locations of the restaurant and bar will donate $3 from every $6 "Tata-Tini" Cosmo purchased to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. For more information on Walk-On's, click here.

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