Before Hurricane Katrina, the city began a project to redesign the sidewalks and landscaping along downtown Canal Street to help reinvigorate what was historically New OrleansÕ most lively shopping area. Now that portions of that work are complete, Palace Caf (605 Canal St., 523-1661; www.palacecafe.com) is doing its part to revive the pulse of the cityÕs central thoroughfare with a new sidewalk caf service for meals, snacks and drinks available all day and into the evening. Proprietor Dickie Brennan says he was inspired by the open-air, sidewalk cafes common to Europe but in short supply in New Orleans. The sidewalk caf menu includes dishes like oysters bordelaise, smoked salmon croque monsieur sandwiches, steamed mussels, fried eggplant with roasted tomato jalapeno tartar sauce, gelatos and sorbets made in-house and the restaurantÕs signature white chocolate bread pudding. There are wines by the glass and other beverages available. The sidewalk caf is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., weather permitting.
Sipping with the Saints
Any bartender or grocery store clerk will tell you the beverage of choice for the overwhelming majority of adults cheering on the New Orleans Saints is beer. But true to their mission to promote the finer side of New OrleansÕ dining and drinking culture, the producers of the local Tales of the Cocktail festival (www.talesofthecocktail.com) are offering up a new Saints-themed cocktail recipe for fansÕ consideration. Their concoction is the called Half Sinner-Half Saint, and it is based on the classic sweet and dry vermouth cocktail known as the half and half. For this Saints version, pour a small amount of the locally produced liqueur Herbsaint into a rocks glass and swirl, discarding any excess, then fill the glass with ice and top with two ounces each of Martini and Rossi dry and sweet vermouth andÊgarnish with a lemon twist.
Green Plate Special
The Tuesday edition of the Crescent City Farmers Market (200 Broadway St., 861-5898; www.marketumbrella.org) reopens this week after its holiday hiatus with a new guest restaurant serving its Ògreen plate specialÓ lunches. For the rest of January, Sortez Caf (141 Delaronde St., 227-2989; www.sortezcafe.com), the gourmet-to-go shop and bakery in Algiers Point, will be at the Tuesday market serving fruit salad made with Pontchatoula strawberries and organic citrus, Òsunshine soupÓ with winter vegetables and bread pudding with praline sauce. The Tuesday market is held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. A new restaurant is selected each month to serve lunch. Ñ McNulty