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Melange: Fine-Dining Off Frenchmen

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  The location of a one-time hookah cafe just off Frenchmen Street has been revamped into an ambitious new restaurant called Melange (2106 Chartres St., 309-7335; www.melangenola.com).

The chef is Brady Broussard, who previously worked at Broussard's Restaurant (819 Conti St., 581-3866; www.broussards.com) and the Camelot Club, a private club in Baton Rouge.

  His contemporary cuisine covers a range of dishes, with appetizers from tuna tartare to brisket sliders and entrees from wine-braised rabbit with pancetta to shrimp and grits. There's also a shorter late-night menu available after 11 p.m., with fare including a brisket sandwich, a crab melt on brioche and a breakfast-meets-dinner platter of eggs, potato pancakes and grilled pork tenderloin.

  The restaurant is going for a vintage, supper club ambience, from the retro attire of its staff to its Speakeasy Bar, where there's a cocktail list, wines and local beers on tap. There's live jazz Thursday through Sunday.

  Note that Melange is not related to the restaurant of the same name that formerly operated at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The hotel later turned that restaurant into M Bistro (921 Canal St., 524-1331; www.ritzcarlton.com). This new Melange serves dinner nightly and brunch on weekends.

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