One of the city's great dining deals is now underway. From now until the end of August, dozens of local restaurants are participating in the city's COOLinary promotion (www.coolinaryneworleans.com), with two- or three-course lunches for $20 or less and three-course dinners for $35 or less.
The annual event is organized by the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. The idea is to help fill dining rooms during the summer lull in tourism and convention business.
The 58 participating restaurants make this year COOLinary's biggest yet. The options range from old-line restaurants, including Antoine's (713 St. Louis St., 581-4422; www.antoines.com), to some of the newest, like Criollo (214 Royal St., 681-4444; www.hotelmonteleone.com) inside the Hotel Monteleone. There also are some out-of-the-ordinary venues. The Bourbon Street nightclub Bourbon Heat (711 Bourbon St., 324-4669; www.711bourbonheat.com) has a kitchen that serves dishes like catfish Lafayette and Breaux Bridge blackened chicken.
The list of restaurants also includes Brigtsen's Restaurant (723 Dante St., 861-7610; www.brigtsens.com), GW Fins (808 Bienville St., 581-3467; www.gwfins.com), One Restaurant & Lounge (8132 Hampson St., 301-9061; www.one-sl.com) and Iris (321 N. Peters St., 299-3944; www.irisneworleans.com), where the dinner special is just $25 (note that Iris is closed through Aug. 15). See the full list of restaurants and their COOLinary menus at www.coolinary-neworleans.com.