UPSCALE

Rabbit and Shrimp Fricassee

Trenasse

444 St. Charles Ave., (504)-680-7000; http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/10375171-123/ian-mcnulty-rolling-out-thehttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/features/food/10583138-171/an-uptown-taqueria-shows-a%20http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/9923809-171/ian-mcnulty-slow-braise-comeshttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/opinion/10466008-123/celebrity-chef-friendship-spawns-newhttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/beaucoup/9931655-171/new-cbd-restaurant-has-ahttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/beaucoup/8246285-171/dining-notes-new-life-forhttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/features/food/10246259-171/behind-a-modern-savvy-designhttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/features/food/9750564-171/deli-adds-to-a-stackhttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/10943230-171/digging-in-making-a-casehttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/11011759-171/ian-mcnulty-concepts-for-dininghttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/sports/football/10881938-123/ian-mcnulty-at-mollys-nowhttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/10375171-123/ian-mcnulty-rolling-out-thehttps://twitter.com/IanMcNultyNOLAhttp://trenasse.com">trenasse.com

Chef Jim Richard is a Lafayette native and a Commander’s Palace alum who made his name on Florida’s Emerald Coast, home of his massively popular http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/10869376-123/brennans-rebootedhttp://www.stinkysfishcamp.com/">Stinky’s Fish Camp restaurant. Each part of that equation shows at Trenasse, which he opened last month inside the CBD’s InterContinental hotel. It’s an upscale/casual restaurant that mixes Gulf Coast seafood with a strong dose of hunting camp-inspired flavor. The rabbit and shrimp fricassee ($26) is representative, arriving with half a braised rabbit, very tender and lush, and a handful of large shrimp over a foundation of egg noodles as thick and burly as country dumplings in a light-bodied but flavorful sauce mixed with field peas and carrots. Like many of the entrées, it’s a good one to share after a few rounds of appetizers and oysters.

WILDCARD

Voodoo Roll

Chiba

8312 Oak St., (504) 826-9119; http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/features/food/8923498-171/new-restaurants-vary-approaches-towardhttp://chiba-nola.com">chiba-nola.com

Chiba’s sushi bar makes prolific use of fresh fruit, but its voodoo roll ($12) was a new one on me. Starting with striped bass, which is mellow-flavored and firm-textured in the raw, the chefs fold in slivers of apple for some bright acidic crunch. The big flavors, however, come from a mix of black tobiko and orange masago roe liberally coating the top and a spicy ponzu sauce with heat that doesn’t burn but rather settles in to invigorate the palate.

CASUAL

Cajun Hebert Fries

Bobby Hebert’s Cajun Cannon

4101 Veterans Blvd.

(504) 324-6841

http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/features/food/9167172-171/in-a-former-fast-foodhttp://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/sports/football/10881938-123/ian-mcnulty-at-mollys-nowhttp://theadvocate.com/entertainment/allentertainment/9540797-123/southern-flavors-get-modern-twistshttp://bobbyheberts.com">bobbyheberts.com

Downtown sports bars will be mobbed with visitors on New Year’s Day as the Rose Bowl kicks off and Sugar Bowl preparations hit high gear. For more of a locals scene, check out Bobby Hebert’s Cajun Cannon, which the former Saints quarterback opened last summer. The food, while still very casual, takes a step up from typical sports bar fare. The Cajun Hebert fries ($9.95), for instance, replaces the standard cheddar blanket of cheese fries with a very rich, crawfish-studded cream and mushroom sauce. Greasy, generously heaped and with a peppery kick, it’s a bar snack that can double as a New Year’s Eve recovery round.