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The New Big Cheese

A new specialty cheese shop called St. James Cheese Co. (5004 Prytania St., 899-4737; www.stjamescheese.com) was opened by Richard and Danielle Sutton. The husband and wife are Tulane alumni who returned to New Orleans after the storm from careers in London, where Richard was manager of BritainÕs oldest cheese monger. St. James stocks between 70 and 100 cheeses and Richard seems able to hold forth on all of them, telling customers about the flavor and provenance of each in the way a sommelier might discuss wine. In addition to cheese, meats, pates and olives to bring home, the Uptown shop serves sandwiches, salads and cheese boards. There is seating inside, on a small patio overlooking Prytania Street and in a sleek, modern courtyard. Customers may bring their own wine to accompany a meal or cheese board, which makes the adjacent business, the wine merchant Wine Seller (5000 Prytania St., 899-6000), a convenient neighbor. St. James Cheese Co. is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

From Delta to Desayuno

The next entry in what appears to be a steadily growing catalogue of new Latin American restaurants across town has opened in Mid-City. La Finca (542 Jefferson Davis Pkwy., 512-1993) specializes in Central American renditions of dishes like carne asada, eggs and sausage, pork chops and fried chicken, plus soups and tacos. The location was previously a bar and music hall called the Delta Blues Club, which was ruined by the levee failure. La Finca itself has a significant bar scene where workers staying in the area and neighbors challenge each other to pool games. The kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

Emeril Goes Fishing on the Gulf

Emeril Lagasse (www.emerils.com) recently unveiled plans to open a new restaurant in Gulfport, Miss. The restaurant will be called EmerilÕs New Orleans Fish House and it will be part of the Island View Casino (www.islandviewcasino.com), the new gambling hall that replaces the hurricane-damaged Grand Casino Gulfport. Lagasse, whose corporate headquarters, test kitchen and warehouse for his online store are all based in downtown New Orleans, says he wanted to open the new restaurant to be part of the Gulf CoastÕs recovery. The 9,000-square-foot restaurant is under construction and is scheduled to open next summer. Plans call for 175 seats, plus a food bar for less formal dining. EmerilÕs New Orleans Fish House will be LagasseÕs tenth restaurant and it shares a name with another of his restaurants in Las Vegas. The restaurant will have a staff of approximately 80 people, including a chef yet to be hired who will train with Lagasse and develop the menu. Ñ McNulty

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