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Eclectic and Uptown The former location of Nardo's Trattoria has been replaced by a new restaurant called Patois (6078 Laurel St., 895-9441;, opened recently by chef Aaron Burgau and his business partner Leon Touzet. Before Nardo's, the Uptown space had for generations been home to Norby's, a barroom best known for the intensity of its LSU sports fans and their cigarette smoke. Now, however, the only smoke to be found is in dishes like Burgau's smoked pork chop stuffed with boudin sausage. His menu is eclectic with rustic overtones and includes dishes like fresh sardines, sweetbreads with country ham reduction and lentils, a French pork and root vegetable soup called gabure, Portuguese seafood stew and house-made fettuccine with shrimp, escarole, lemon and chiles. Burgau's previous local kitchen gigs have included Gerard's Downtown, Ralph's on the Park , Bayona , Lilette and the Bank Café. Patois is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, serves lunch on Friday and brunch on weekends starting at 10:30 a.m. The bar stays open well after the kitchen closes on most nights.

Chase To Go

If you ever polished off a bowl of Creole gumbo at Dooky Chase Restaurant (2301 Orleans Ave., 821-0535; and thought you could put away an entire gallon of the stuff, the newly reopened restaurant has a deal with your name on it. Dooky Chase reopened in mid-September serving take-out lunches only Tuesday through Friday. Among the items on its temporarily pared down menu is gumbo by the pint for $8.75 and gumbo by the gallon for $60, presumably intended to feed a family or the office gang. Leah Chase , the chef and proprietress of the restaurant her family opened in 1941, is offering other casual lunches to go, including fried chicken, red beans, po-boys and fried seafood. She expects to resume normal service in her freshly restored restaurant early this month.

You Want a Cupcake With That?

Steve Himelfarb made a name for himself hawking plastic-wrapped slices of his homemade cakes around town, often going door to door. He eventually opened his own café in a tiny spot in the French Quarter, which closed down because of Katrina. But in September, he reopened his New Orleans Cake Café & Bakery (2440 Chartres St., 943-0010; in the former Marigny location of La Spiga Bakery. In addition to a rotating roster of cakes available whole or by the slice — with varieties like red velvet, carrot and German chocolate — Himelfarb serves breakfast and lunch menus featuring his homemade breads. Cupcakes are available with lunch for $1 extra. — McNulty

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