Rabbit and Shrimp Fricassee


444 St. Charles Ave., (504)-680-7000;">

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">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.


Voodoo Roll


8312 Oak St., (504) 826-9119;">

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.


Cajun Hebert Fries

Bobby Hebert’s Cajun Cannon

4101 Veterans Blvd.

(504) 324-6841">

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.