Briquette opens in Warehouse District_lowres

Chef Robert Vasquez opened Briquette.

Briquette (701 S. Peters St., 504-302-7496; www.briquette-, a sprawling seafood restaurant, is now open in the Warehouse District.

  Lindsey Jo Vasquez and husband and chef Robert Vasquez and restaurateur Anna Tusa opened it Oct. 5 in the Refinery building, the home of the Rodd Bros. Molasses Refinery in the 1800s. There's a spacious dining room with picture windows offering views of the chefs at work.

  Robert Vasquez originally is from Scottsdale, Arizona, and is known locally for the Southwest-inspired New American cuisine served at Opal Basil in Mandeville. The couple closed that restaurant earlier this year to reopen a more casual version of it in the Warehouse District along with Briquette.

  Briquette highlights Louisiana and Gulf Coast seafood and a section of the menu is dedicated to grilled fish, which on the opening menu included redfish, cobia, halibut, pompano, tuna and snapper.

  Smaller dishes and salads fall in the $10 to $14 range and include a lobster tamale with spicy chorizo, a fried egg and bisque sauce. Lump crabmeat salad is tossed with avocado, pickled mirliton, blue corn crisps and a jalapeno-lime vinaigrette. Grilled octopus and Gulf shrimp and served with tomatoes, cilantro and a lemon-butter broth.

  Larger dishes range from $18 to $26. Broiled boneless short rib is served with bacon risotto, wilted spinach and a Calvados sauce. Cilantro-flecked shrimp come with gnocchi, queso fresco and Crystal butter. A smoked-chili pork tenderloin is served with lump crabmeat, charred romaine lettuce, red peppers and sweet potato mash.

  Briquette is open daily for dinner.