Jazz vocalist Sharon Martin had Pampy's (2005 N. Broad St., 949-7970) full martini bar and dining room swinging last Wednesday, and she will continue to perform there every Wednesday evening through August. Conversation is futile with Martin's strong voice knocking from the ceiling to the cement floor and back again; I propose taking it in quietly, with a few appetizers. A single soft-shell crab was fried to a deep mahogany during my recent visit, and Creole gumbo came chock full of ham, chaurice and waves of file's almost citrus-like herbaceousness. A moist slice of coconut layer cake also hit the spot. Pampy's runs a $13.95 early-bird dinner special from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Bingo Starr, formerly the chef at Cuvee and, later, La Cote Brasserie, has settled into the kitchen at Marigny Brasserie, where his brazen cooking style dominates every meal. Starr's new bar-food menu is alluring, particularly the beer-battered boudin with onion marmalade, and the bacon and blue cheese fries. Marigny Brasserie is open for lunch weekdays and brunch on Sunday. Dinner is served in the bar and the dining room nightly; both remain open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Also note the daily two-for-one happy hour. Wine is the discount's only exception.
Among the highlights at this week's Southern Comfort Tales of the Cocktail event is the Cocktail Hour, to be held Thursday afternoon at the Monteleone Hotel (214 Royal St.). Gennifer Flowers, songstress and proprietor of the Kelsto Club, will donate her bartending skills as guests mingle with cocktail book authors and sip cocktails made with Southern Comfort. One lucky raffle contestant will win a bar designed by local artist Matt Rinard; proceeds from the raffle will contribute to a scholarship to the culinary arts program at Delgado Community College. The Cocktail Hour is free and open to the public, but you must RSVP by calling 558-1820. For more information on Tales of the Cocktail, visit www.southerncomfortcocktailtour.com.
The French Quarter Bar located inside The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans (921 Canal St., 524-1331) is closed for Sunday jazz brunch until Aug. 29; Victor's Grill is closed for dinner until Sept. 7.