Pending all the last-minute formalities necessary to a restaurant's opening, LuLu's in the Garden is set to open for dinner this week in the Garden District Hotel (2203 St. Charles Ave., 586-9956). This is chef-owner Corbin Evans' second restaurant -- the first, LuLu's (307 Exchange Alley, 525-2600), recently celebrated its year anniversary. Like the original restaurant, LuLu's in the Garden is opening as a BYOB affair. The a la carte menu is philosophically similar to the original's in that freshness and simplicity take precedence. Expect dishes such as grilled octopus with red bliss potato salad; garlic-roasted mushrooms; and flat-iron steak with fried potato salad. LuLu's in the Garden is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday; LuLu's (in the French Quarter) is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, and dinner Friday and Saturday, when Chef Paul Williams takes over Evan's cooking duties.
Still looking for that perfect ... meal? The next Single Gourmet dinner is scheduled for Friday, June 13, at Genghis Khan (201 Baronne St., 299-9009). The cash bar opens at 6:30 p.m., and the $48 Korean-style feasting begins at 7:30 p.m. Call 885-1831 for reservations and details, or log on at www.singlegourmetneworleans.com.
Strawberries might be on the fade, but loads of other produce is in rare form at the Crescent City Farmers Market (and at roadside stands). I recently bought red beets and baby fennel from Lucy and Al Capdeboscq; roasted and tossed with walnuts, chopped fennel fronds and sherry vinegar, they formed an incredible entree salad. Also look for the season's first Creole tomatoes and blueberries.
Martin Wine Cellar (3827 Baronne St., 899-7411; 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300) is selling just 100 tickets each for two off-site events in June, when the weather is most conducive to quaffing. Both benefit Share Our Strength, an anti-hunger and anti-poverty organization. On Tuesday, June 10, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hotel Monaco (333 Saint Charles Ave., 561-0010), try six different martinis made with Absolut Vodka. The evening will also include live music, a silent auction and hors d'oeuvres. Tickets are $25 in advance. Then, sip six sparkling wines and taste the fonduing talent of Zoe Bistrot (300 Poydras St., 525-9444) Chef Peder Tulling from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 19, at the W Hotel. Tickets are $25 in advance. Stop by either Martin location or call 866-525-1110 to reserve tickets.