Charlie's Steaks Broiling Again
One of the lingering questions of restaurant recovery has been the fate of Charlie's Steakhouse (4510 Dryades St., 895-9705), a scruffy, iconic Uptown steakhouse that first opened in 1932 but remained closed after Katrina. The restaurant reopened thanks to the efforts of new owner Matt Dwyer , a local bartender who has lived next door to the steakhouse for 14 years. Dwyer bought the landmark restaurant in 2007 from the original owners, the Pettrosi family, and began a thorough round of repairs and renovations to the neglected, flood-damaged structure. Dwyer has endeavored to keep the same casual feel and basic menu that endeared the restaurant to generations of New Orleanians and visitors. For instance, while members of the pre-Katrina kitchen crew retired, he gathered the original Charlie's recipes that resided mainly in their minds to ensure the restaurant's food and traditions would endure. Charlie's is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
Café with a View
The theme of "rebuilding better than ever" is alive and well in City Park. On the food front, the Parkview Café (Dreyfous Ave., 483-9474; www.neworleanscitypark.com) has opened in the park's Timken Center, more commonly known as the old casino building. Housed in the beautiful public structure and located right by a picturesque bayou, the café provides an easy alternative to packing a picnic lunch for a park visit. The menu includes sandwiches, salads, desserts, coffee, soft drinks and Blue Bell ice cream. The café also provides free wireless Internet access. To get to Parkview Café, use the park entrance on City Park Avenue and take a right onto Dreyfous Avenue. The café is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There is plenty of hot weather ahead of us, but this week marks the final stretch for the annual summer restaurant discount program called COOLinary New Orleans . As in years past, participating restaurants offer three-course COOLinary menus for $20 or less at lunch and $30 or less at dinner. Dozens of restaurants have signed up to participate, but the last official day of the program is Sunday, Aug. 31. See a list of participating restaurants online at www.nomcvb.com/restaurants.