The Sortez Cafe (141 Delaronde St., 227-2989) brings a new gourmet option to Algiers Point. Soups, such as French onion, potato puree and vegetarian chili, are sold by the cup, pint or quart. The selection of Toasties, or panini-style sandwiches, includes smoked turkey with apples and andouille sausage dressed with a Hurricane sauce of mayonnaise, horseradish, Creole mustard and lime. Chef Carlos Barona , who previously worked at Zoe Bistro in the W Hotel , cooks daily specials that mix Creole cuisine with influences from his native Colombia. Pastry Chef Angela Wilson makes fresh breads, scones and pastries. Items are available for carry-out only, although there are benches in front so that customers can have an impromptu picnic. With a freezer full of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and a snowball machine, Sortez will be extra busy this summer.
Do eggplants inspire you? The Crescent City Farmers Market (www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org) gives devotees of the purple nightshade a chance to express their love at the Second Annual Aubergine Monologues. Writers are encouraged to submit 500 words celebrating the eggplant, or aubergine as the French say. The winning entry will be read at the Thursday farmers market (3700 Orleans Ave.) on Bastille Day, July 14, and again in October at the New Orleans Book Fair (www.nolabookfair.com). At the Bastille Day reading, Cafe Degas will cook an eggplant dish, accordionists will play French tunes and poodles will be on parade. Entries must be submitted by July 1 to email@example.com or 7214 St. Charles Ave., Box 907, New Orleans 70118.
The movie Sideways taught us that an awkward, failed novelist can win the love of a beautiful woman with his knowledge of wine. "Cork dorks," as wine aficionados sometimes call themselves, are suddenly hip. If you want to join the cool crowd, Martin Wine Cellar (714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300; www.martinwine.com) offers a five-week beginners course led by wine expert Marc Pelletier . Learn about wine terminology, how to read a label and wine-making techniques. At each class, there will be six different wines to sniff and sip. The classes will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays starting July 11. Cost is $75 and reservations must be made in advance by calling 899-7411 or 896-7300.
One Restaurant and Lounge (8132 Hampson St., 301-9061; www.one-sl.com), which I recently reviewed, has introduced its summer menu. New items include Maryland-style crabcakes, a roasted grouper with escargot butter and "Pork and Bean," or ham "osso buco" with grilled tenderloin and a fresh bean ragout. Ñ Price Got a tip, rumor or comment? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.