Conspicuous Consumption
Eating and drinking are on the roster throughout this week's Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. On Friday, Food Network junkies might take interest in Sara Moulton's tips on writing a cookbook; John Mariani, whose restaurant critiques and food musings appear in myriad publications, will weigh in on wine pairings and restaurant trends; and Michael Green, wine consultant for Gourmet magazine, will host Tennessee Sips, a wine tasting at Brennan's. On Sunday, a discussion titled "Who Taught Ya Ta Cook like That?" features the following panelists: John T. Edge, author and director of the Southern Foodways Symposium; Moulton, Food Network star and executive chef at Gourmet magazine; and Randy Fertel, local writer and son of the late Ruth Fertel of steakhouse fame. The annual Cooks and Books tasting and cookbook signing will follow. Also on Sunday, Valerie Boyd of the Washington Post, David Denby of The New Yorker and John T. Edge will explore the topic of literary criticism, including food criticism. To view a schedule and pricing information, and for a list of restaurants offering menus inspired by Williams' works, visit

Tapas Atop
A late-night tapas bar opened upstairs at Mimi's in the Marigny (2601 Royal St., 942-0690) last week. Chef Mike Hampton, a former sous chef at RioMar, has composed an appealing Spanish menu separated into hot tapas (sherry-braised oxtail, patatas bravas), cold tapas (tuna caper toast, ceviche with yuca chips) and desserts (orange rice pudding, crema Catalana). According to owner Joaquin Rodas, a brief wine list includes vintages from Spain, Argentina, Chile and Portugal.

Dinner and a Movie
Over in the same neck of the woods, Chris Rudge at Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits (600 Poland Ave., 948-9111) is injecting neighborhood spirit into dinner-and-a-movie nights. Until the end of April, bring along a movie rented from Channel Zero Video (800 Louisa St., 947-5591), or a receipt for pizza from Cafe Picasso (3401 Chartres St., 948-6881), and Rudge will grant 10 percent off your wine purchase.

This week's column powered by a characteristically creative but unexpectedly light dish at Gabrielle: speckled trout with ginger-marinated cucumbers and lemon mousseline.

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