Decade of the Duke
Chef Duke LoCicero is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his Decatur Street restaurant (a "Decade on Decatur"), Cafe Giovanni (117 Decatur St., 529-2154), with elaborate wine dinners. A Chateau Potelle VGS dinner is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 5, while an Antinori is the featured label for the restaurant's exact anniversary, Nov. 15. Both dinners cost $85, which includes tax, tip and live entertainment from Chef Duke's entourage of opera singers.
Chef Duke and his singing crew also are on call for the Crescent City Farmers Market on Saturday, Nov. 3. Join them at 10 a.m. for a cooking demonstration celebrating the Italian good life. The Saturday market is at 700 Magazine St. and runs from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 861-5898 or visit www.loyola.edu/ccfm.
Feel the Heat
Vaqueros (4938 Prytania St., 891-6441) is warming up for its annual Chile Pepper Festival, running from Thursday, Nov. 1, to Nov. 15 and celebrating 18 different chile peppers in various food preparations. The festival is punctuated with Thursday evening events and extended happy hours. Enjoy entertainment by Julio & Cesar at the Tequila Sauza kickoff party on Thursday, Nov. 1. Join Ricardo Crespo and Sol Brasil on Nov. 8, followed by the same musicians and the chance to win a trip for two to Jamaica in a Tabasco-sponsored recipe contest on Nov. 15. For more information, call 895-1390.
There's an hour of golden-brown opportunity at Foodies Kitchen (720 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 831-4002). Between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., the hour before closing time, stop in for the buy-one-get-one-free bread special. You pay for the more expensive loaf, of course, but the nice bread lady sometimes launches the deal a few minutes early. An especially inviting detour on the way back to town after a day of starved air travel, Foodies also has expanded the in-house dining area and put out a formidable bowl of red beans with housemade andouille, lots of ham and a few random mushrooms last week.
Chef Christian Karcher, most recently of Mike Ditka's and before that Mike's on the Avenue, recently moved his talents further Uptown to Willow Catering (8220 Willow St., 861-9174). Willow offers full-service catering, as well as intimate, six-course wine dinners on Wednesday evenings only. These dinners are thrown in a historic, 19th century, shotgun home called Willow Too (8226 Willow St.).
On Nov. 30, the local, quickly expanding chapter of The Single Gourmet will wrap up its first year with a meal at Antoine's (725 St. Louis St., 581-4422). Call 885-1831 to reserve a spot for the $59 all-inclusive dinner. -- Roahen