Conceived as a temple to the cocktail, the Swizzle Stick Bar at Caf Adelaide (300 Poydras St., 595-3305; www.cafeadelaide.com) is paying more attention to wine these days and is the latest in a growing number of local restaurants to feature a weekly wine tasting. This one, called "Wined Up to the Weekend," is held on Friday evenings and features wines the restaurant recommends as both hard-to-find and affordable. Representatives from local wine distributors are on hand to talk about the selections, which are available to purchase by the bottle. People who decide to stay for dinner at Caf Adelaide are offered tastings of additional wines, which they can order with their meals. The upcoming event on Aug. 11 will be hosted by Rick Hopper of Hopper's Wine and Spirits (170 Broadway St., 861-7500; www.hopperswines.com).
Necessity is the mother of invention, and sometimes also the inspiration for strange bedfellows. Consider the menu at Asian Pacific Caf (3125 Esplanade Ave., 945-1919), a little BYOB place best known for its sushi. There are also plenty of cooked Asian dishes here, but recently the owners also added hamburgers and chicken sandwiches with fries. Burgers and bento boxes aren't normally seen on the same menu, but the selection here does offer some welcome flexibility when some members of a dining party want sushi and others (perhaps children) would rather starve than eat raw fish. The burgers are fine, but the restaurant's don't-miss item on the menu still comes from the sushi bar: the Asian Pacific roll, a perfect creation for hot weather that is made with salmon, crabstick, pineapple, mango, cucumber and avocado wrapped in lettuce and rice paper and served with a sweet and spicy sauce.
New Chef for Galatoire's
Galatoire's Restaurant (209 Bourbon St., 525-2021) is famous for changing as little as possible as the years march on, but recently it has seen some turn-over in its kitchen. The 101-year-old restaurant has named Brian Landry as its newest executive chef. He's been at the job since June, when former chef Ross Eirich left to start a catering company called Nick & Nate's, help his father reopen the family's Cypress Cove Grill downriver in Venice and begin plans to open his own restaurant in Slidell. Landry has been the head chef at Galatoire's Baton Rouge expansion restaurant, Galatoire's Bistro (17451 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, 225-753-4864), since it opened in November and now he holds the top chef position at both restaurants. A New Orleans native and a graduate of the culinary program at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, Landry has trained with local chefs Rene Bajeux, Kevin Vizard and Gerard Maras.