One Restaurant and Lounge (8132 Hampson St., 301-9061; www.one-sl.com) has been generating a lot of buzz since opening a few weeks ago. Owners Scott Snodgrass, formerly executive chef at Clancy's and Lee Circle, and Lee McCullough are lifelong friends who have dreamed of opening a restaurant together for six years. They renovated the former Padrino Cafe location in Riverbend themselves, a process documented on One's Web site, and created a high-energy space with an open kitchen. While One will certainly attract the happy-hour crowd and, with DJs spinning tunes Tuesday night, might become a late-night destination, long-time fans of Snodgrass' cooking will line up for the food. With a menu that includes coq au vin with savory bread pudding, grilled beef tenderloin and warm beef shoulder rillettes with Stilton cheese glacage, and pan-roasted grouper with smoked salmon, basil pesto and baby bok choy, they won't be disappointed.
Ray Horn has left his fingerprints on plenty of New Orleans restaurants; he owned some of the original Italian Pies and, with other members of his family, started both Saucy's and Slim Goodies Diner. Horn said that his new restaurant, Lil Ray's Diner (133 N. Carrollton Ave., 309-8824), is 'similar to Slim Goodies but with more on the menu.' Lil Ray's serves po-boys, daily specials and breakfast items like the Slammer (two slices of bacon, hash browns and eggs smothered with chili and cheddar cheese). The kitchen and full bar will soon be open 24/7.
A Wine Old Time
Smith and Wollensky (1009 Poydras St., 561-0770; www.smithandwollensky.com) celebrates its annual Wine Week from Monday, March 7, through Friday, March 11. Each day at lunch, $10 buys a tasting of 10 different wines. Different vineyards, including Bonny Doon, Toad Hollow and Geyser Peak, are featured each day, so wine aficionados might want to stop in for lunch more than once.
Now that Wolfe's of New Orleans (7224 Pontchartrain Blvd., 284-6004; www.wolfesofneworleans.com) serves Sunday brunch, weekend diners will be drawn to this Lakeview restaurant for char-grilled oysters on the half-shell with a champagne gastrique, herb-marinated hanger steak with two eggs any style and stone-ground grits and grillades with smoked beef brisket and country style gravy. Reservations required.
Rising Young Chefs
Jeremy Barlow, Fany Hernandez, Charles Lumpkin and Kevin Wehlen, students at Grace King High School in Metairie, took top honors at the Louisiana Restaurant Association's ProStart Leadership Competition. They proved their culinary mettle against 19 other teams by preparing the best three-course meal within one hour. We wish the students the best of luck at the national competition in Orlando this April.