Now open: South of Philly Steak & Shake 

If you're in need for a quick cheesesteak fix, you might want to check out South of Philly Steak & Shake

The new quick-service restaurant opened last month and comes from Ricky and Kathleen Pallotta, who own and operate South of Philly at 4353 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd.

The new South of Philly is located at 9364 Airline Highway, Suite F24. Business hours are 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 

Six- and 10-inch Philly-style cheesesteak and chicken Philly sandwiches are on the menu, as well as fries and chocolate, vanilla and strawberry milkshakes. Manager Atoria Scott said the menu will be expanded soon to feature burgers and a couple of po-boys. 

For more information, visit facebook.com/southofphillysteaknshake or call (225) 831-1397. 


Izzo's and Lit Pizza coming to City Square Shopping Center 

The corner of Bluebonnet Boulevard and Highland Road will feature some local favorites that will open in 2018. 

Ozzie Fernandez, co-founder and CEO of Izzo's Illegal Burrito and Lit Pizza, said locations of both chains will open side by side at the upcoming City Square Shopping Center. Both restaurants will open "sometime in 2018," he said. This will be the 18th location of Izzo's and fifth for Lit Pizza. 

"It's a great area that's growing and has a lot of neighborhoods," Fernandez said of the decision to bring Izzo's and Lit Pizza to the upcoming shopping center. 

Fernandez is also working on opening Rocca Pizzeria at the former location of Goûter Restaurant, 3897 Government St. He said the restaurant is coming along but at a slower pace than his team anticipated. 

"We're in no hurry," Fernandez said of Rocca, mentioning he didn't have a target opening date as of now. "We're making sure we're doing things right." 

For more information on Izzo's, visit izzos.com. For more information on Lit Pizza, visit lit.pizza


Duke's Seafood & Steakhouse opens Denham Springs location

Denham Springs has a new seafood and steak restaurant. 

Duke's Seafood & Steakhouse opened its second location at 2592 Range Ave. just two weeks ago. Business hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

Duke Landry is the owner of the restaurant, which opened its first location in Watson two years ago. Prior to opening Duke's, Landry had worked at Don's Seafood on Airline Highway for 42 years. 

For this second location, Landry remodeled the old Piccadilly, mimicking his Watson restaurant. 

"It's got the same look and same menu, just a different location," he said. 

The restaurant specializes in 12-ounce ribeyes, sirloin strips, seafood gumbo and charbroiled oysters. Landry is a fan of the grilled or fried steak bites, as well as the hamburger, made with meat that's ground in-house.

So far, the five-time U.S. oyster-shucking champ has been "astonished" by the response to his restaurants. 

"It's been a good move," he said. "We had lived in Watson for the last 40 years and saw it constantly growing. The opportunity came up with Rudy and Loretta Chandler to open the first one. We were thinking it would be another five years before we open another one.

"Due to the flood last year, some businesses closed, including Piccadilly. The owner made us an offer, and it was a great location. There's no dirt between us and the interstate. You can't get any closer than that." 

For more information on Duke's Seafood & Steakhouse, visit dukesseafoodandsteakhouse.com or call (225) 271-4409. 


Flambée Cafe to start Sunday brunch service

Just five months after opening, Flambée Cafe is expanding its hours to host Sunday brunch. 

The new restaurant from the owners of Bistro Byronz will start serving Sunday brunch on Oct. 29. Brunch hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

For brunch, Flambée Cafe will serve new French-inspired dishes (a few sweet and savory items) as well as craft cocktails. 

"When the demand for brunch became increasingly strong, we saw the opportunity to expand our concept and please our loyal customers," chief operating officer Brock Kantrow said in a news release. 

The brunch menu features many of the restaurant's signature items, such as thin-crust tarte flambées and open-faced tartines. Some brunch-specific items include the Petite Dejuener Flambée, with eggs, cheese, bacon and onions; the Croque Mad-Ham-Oiselle Tartine, an open-faced sandwich with fire-braised ham, a French-fired egg and bacon mornay; and the Cinnful Bun, an oven-fired cinnamon roll drizzled with homemade icing. 

Brunch isn't the only bit of news for this new restaurant. Emelie Kantrow Alton, the CEO of the Byronz Restaurant Family, said in the release that the group is "continuing to let the concept grow organically and are even in the process of creating a catering menu that will include some of our most loved dishes." 

For more information on Flambée Cafe, visit flambeecafe.com or call (225) 960-1100. 


ICYMI: Marcello's coming back to Southdowns Village Shopping Center 

The former owner of Enoteca Marcello’s Wine Bar & Café has signed a lease for the restaurant’s old space in the Southdowns Village Shopping center and plans to open a “wine-centric” casual eatery there.

Gene Todaro said the restaurant at 4205 Perkins Road will “more than likely” be called Marcello’s and is expected to open by March.

“It will be more casual than what we did before there,” he said. “But we’ll have some of our classic dishes and new dishes on the menu. It will be less pigeonholed than just Italian. We’ll have more flexibility to do different things.”

Todaro ran Marcello’s in the old Southdowns Lounge spot for several years before he sold the building to Romacelli Bistro in 2012. Since then, he opened a Marcello’s in New Orleans’ Central Business District and in Metairie, to go along with Marcello’s locations that existed in Lafayette.

“We still have New Orleans and Lafayette locations, and I live in the middle,” he said. “I love living in Baton Rouge.”

Todaro said he started looking for a restaurant site in Baton Rouge and his former location kept popping up.

Plans are for the new restaurant to be open for lunch and dinner, but it hasn’t been determined how many days a week. The restaurant space has been vacant since February when Table closed. 


Upcoming food events you can't miss: 

  • The Baton Rouge Bar Association hosts its annual fundraiser, Belly Up to the Bar, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Live Oak at Cedar Lodge Events Center, 6300 Jefferson Highway. The event features a cooking competition, music by Storywood and other activities. Proceeds from the event benefit the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation's youth education programs. Advanced tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for law students and $12 for children over the age of 12. Tickets at the door are $35 for adults, $12 for children. Contact Donna Buuck at (225) 214-5556 or email donna@brba.org for more information. 
  • Tin Roof hosts Boos and Brews from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at its taproom at 1624 Wyoming St. The event features food from Reed's Cakes, a specialty blood orange Voodoo Pale Ale and a costume contest for pets starting at 6:30 p.m. facebook.com/tinroofbeer.
  • Southern Craft Brewing, at 14141 Airline Highway, Suite 4J, hosts its Fall Fest Party at 1 p.m. Saturday. The day's fun includes barbecue from Smokin' Aces as well as live music as two special beers. facebook.com/socraftbeer
  • Head to Lafayette for The Taco Festival. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Moncus Park, 2913 Johnston St., and features local restaurants dishing out $2 tacos. General admission is $14. thetacofestival.com/lafayette
  • Gnarly Barley Brewing in Hammond hosts its fourth annual GnarBQ. The free event starts at noon Saturday at the taproom at 1709 Corbin Road and features food from Jay Ducote and the Bite & Booze crew as well as music from Blues Boy George & Delta Revelry. VIP tickets available. facebook.com/gnarlybarley

— Timothy Boone contributed to this report.

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.