ICYMI: Rocca Pizzeria taking over Gouter spot 

Rocca Pizzeria is set to open this summer at 3897 Government St., in Mid City, the former location of Goûter. The new concept comes from Ozzie Fernandez and Gary Kovacs, the founders of the Baton Rouge-based Izzo's Illegal Burrito and Lit Pizza.

Goûter closed in late January after being open for less than a year in the Government Street location. Fernandez said he has been holding on to the Rocca concept for "quite some time." He has just been waiting for the right property.

"This is a great space," Fernandez said. "Mid City and Government Street are very important areas to Baton Rouge. When we saw the building, we thought it would be a perfect fit."

Unlike Lit Pizza, Rocca Pizzeria will feature counter service and new twists on Neapolitan-style pizza. Customers can expect chef-inspired pizzas. Small plates and salads will also be featured. Local craft beers will be available on tap as well as wine selections by the bottle or glass.

The space will be modified as Rocca Pizzeria is "adding its own finishes," Fernandez said. The new restaurant will have an open interior design, offering customers a full view of the wood-fired oven and kitchen areas. The goal is to become a local favorite, "a destination," he said.

Gov't Taco announces chef, GM hires 

Gov't Taco, the upcoming restaurant from Baton Rouge's Jay Ducote that will be located in the White Star Market, has announced its executive chef and general manager.

Chef Aimee Tortorich has been named executive chef, and Therese Schneider has been named general manager. In going with the government theme, Tortorich is "commander in chef," and Schneider is the "majority whip."

Ducote, "the founding father" of Gov't Taco, said in a press release that both are "seasoned culinary vets with strong records in the arenas of taste, flavor and creativity."

Gov't Taco is set to open by the end of summer in White Star Market on Government Street in Mid City. For more information on Gov't Taco, visit facebook.com/govttaco.

City Pork Brasserie branching out with global inspired, prix fixe menus 

Starting next week, chef Ryan Andre will take City Pork Brasserie customers to Italy for a new chef's prix fixe menu. The menu offers four courses, priced depending on the theme and proteins involved, served Monday-Thursday. 

"It's a good way to turn City Pork into a worldly restaurant," Andre said. "We want to allow people to go to different countries, get something that's not on the menu." 

Next week's menu will feature a meatball appetizer, Berkshire pork panzanella salad, seafood tagliatelle and tiramisu with espresso ice cream. After the Italian menu, Andre said, "we'll go wherever our hearts take us." 

For more information, visit citypork.com/brasserie-and-bar or call (225) 615-8880. 

Markert and friends start new tradition, Smoke & Boil 

Richard Markert, of the mighty pop-up Secret Lair Taqueria, is hoping a new tradition will gain popularity in the Capital City. 

His latest concept, Smoke & Boil, teams him up with other local chefs for pop-up dinners. Markert will team with Jamie Brown, of the Southern Oaks Athletic Club, for the first event. The menu is filled with crawfish, chargrilled oyster crostinis, pulled pork, boozy desserts and sides. The event starts at 3 p.m. Saturday at Corporate Brew & Draft. 

Markert said he anticipates that Smoke & Boil will run monthly through the summer and early fall. He's trying to keep guests secret for the next pop-ups, but he can't hide his excitement. 

"The idea is to let these chefs come in and do whatever they want," he said. "It's something more outdoorsy, it showcases them and frees them up from being in a restaurant." 

For more information, visit facebook.com/smokeandboil

Don't miss these food events this weekend: 

  • A Cinco de Mayo style pop-up from Gov't Taco starts at 5 p.m. Friday at Tin Roof. 
  • Ipseity Pop-Up hosts its #FishPlateFriday dinner at 7 p.m. Friday at The Red Shoes at 2303 Government St. Tickets are $45 and available at eventbrite. 
  • Head downtown for the '90s Bar Crawl, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Participating bars include Lava Cantina, The Station, The Roux House, Happy's and many more. Tickets start at $31.50. Get more information at facebook.com/90sbarcrawl.  
  • The Velvet Cactus will host a Cinco De Mayo Weekend, with music Friday from Where Y'acht and Saturday from Marc Broussard. Get more information at facebook.com/thevelvetcactusbatonrouge.
  • Saturday is National Homebrew Day, and LAHomebrew, at 7987 Pecue Lane, will celebrate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature multiple beers, food and more homebrewing fun. Get more information at facebook.com/lahomebrew.

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.