In April, after 39 years of pulling drafts and hosting the infamous Tulane-LSU wheelbarrow races, Norby Keanan sold his Uptown bar, Norby's (6078 Laurel St., 895-9441), to Gerry and Carmen Archer. Neighborhood regulars are relieved that Mr. Norby is still tending bar -- he pulls weekday shifts from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- and also that the kitchen is again operating full tilt. Dana Michaels, who has previously run kitchens in bars such as Molly's at the Market and Flanagan's Pub, says her corned beef and cabbage is a hit on Thursdays. On a recent Wednesday the bright, merry barroom and its adjoining dining room were packed; the best meal at my table was the Norby po-boy, a behemoth of ham, grilled onions, mushrooms, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, and roast beef sopping with gravy.
New Ownership, Pt.
Barataria (900 Harrison Ave., 488-7474) also changed hands, two months ago, when occasional customers Steve and Donna Nold purchased the Lakeview neighborhood restaurant from its longtime owners. With Barataria came what Donna Nold describes as "probably the largest selection of baked oyster dishes in the city," and the Nolds intend to keep it that way. With the help of Chef Danny Glassmaker, they have updated other areas of the menu. All beef is now certified Angus, including the prime rib served on Friday and Saturday nights. Opening hours are lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner Monday through Saturday. Barataria's bar remains open throughout the afternoon with a new bar menu offering housemade potato chips and other snacky foods.
All Conched Out
The new, tropical-themed Dominique's (1001 Toulouse St., 522-8800) debuted two months ago, and already Dominique Macquet is hosting a guest chef from the Turks and Caicos islands. Through Sunday, Oct. 12, Alix Saimpha is adding three conch concoctions to Dominique's already conch-heavy menu: baby conch fingers with Haitian sauce; battered conch on mixed greens with Scotch bonnet vinaigrette; and a French West Indies conch salad.
The Trifle With Truffles
Bacco (310 Chartres St., 522-2426) hosts its fifth annual truffle festival through this month, celebrating the exclusive fungus imported from Italy. Nightly four-course tasting menus (paired with Italian wines for $95, or not, for $75) include choices such as truffled lobster salad and venison chops with truffled Calvados demi. Servers will shave truffles over any regular Bacco entree for an additional $10 at lunch and $15 at dinner.