Balise (640 Carondelet St., 504-459-4449) - the highly anticipated second restaurant from La Petite Grocery's Justin and Mia Devillier - opened its doors today. Located in the former home of Ditcharo's, the restaurant's rustic wood, exposed brick and antique metal design creates a sophisticated, loosely nautical ambience (balise means "beacon" in French).
The cocktail menu seems appropriately seafaring, with drams, syrups and shrubs (including an apple cider spiced version). The Ribico combines gin, Capeletti (a wine-based aperitif), sweet vermouth, orange, lemon, demerara sugar and sea salt for a salty-sweet punch.
The garde manger features cold dishes, such as lobster cocktail, potted quail and venison tartare, and the entremets (French for "between servings") look to be some of the most interesting offerings on the menu. Entremet offerings range from "oyster fries" and dirty rice dumplings to blue crab claw with spicy ginger and lemon grass butter.
WHERE: 640 Carondelet St.
WHEN: 11 a.m to 11 p.m. Monday to Friday; 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday