There’s more to Mexican cooking than tacos and burritos, and that’s what David Wright is out to showcase with his new restaurant Del Fuego Taqueria (4518 Magazine St., 504-309-5797;, which opened last week.

“We are a taqueria. We have the basics, but we’ve pushed the menu a little bit further,” said Wright, who grew up in northern California on a steady diet of regional Mexican cooking. “We want to introduce more ideas for what Mexican food is about.”

That starts with a long list of some eight different salsas and entrees, such as a Yucatan preparation of barbecue ribs, a classic chicken mole from the Oaxaca region and Gulf fish cooked with olive oil and roasted garlic. House-made tortillas are the base for taco plates that can include cactus or goat as fillings.

Wright, a veteran of the local service industry, built Del Fuego from an extensively renovated Uptown storefront. It’s a casual place with a covered patio out front and a full bar specializing in tequila and mezcal drinks. Most entrees are under $20, taco platters are $12 and most other dishes are under $10.

Del Fuego opens at 5 p.m. daily. Wright intends to add lunch hours later this summer.

Stella! shutters

A restaurant that had earned a reputation as among the city’s most high aiming has come to a crashing halt.

Stella! closed abruptly last week, and its chef-owner, Scott Boswell, has filed for bankruptcy protection for his companies. Tonight, he’s holding a culinary event he says is intended “to save” his second restaurant, the far more casual diner and soda shop Stanley (547 St. Ann St., 504-587-0093;

Boswell first opened Stella! in 2001 inside the Hotel Provincial at 1032 Chartres St. He built it into a well-known destination for haute cuisine with a lavish tasting-menu format.

The Hotel Provincial owns the former Stella! restaurant space and is looking for a new operator, said hotel manager Brian Dupepe.

Boswell’s fundraiser is 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the chef’s production kitchen at 201 S. Rocheblave St., where he’ll serve a variety of dishes from the Stella! and Stanley menus. Tickets are $250. For details, go to and search under Stella.

Beer from here

Though massively outgunned on the marketing side by the major beer companies, the burgeoning ranks of local craft brewers do have the advantage of individualized style on their side. For instance, Parish Brewing Co. (, founded in 2008 in Broussard, just outside Lafayette, remains a small operation that still produces seven different beers. Its flagship brew, a wheat beer called Canebrake, is made with syrup from Steen’s Syrup Mill in Abbeville.

These Parish brews will be the featured pairing on Wednesday at a special beer dinner at Red Fish Grill (115 Bourbon St., 504-598-1200;, Ralph Brennan’s French Quarter restaurant. The five-course dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $70 per person, plus tax and tip. Call the restaurant for reservations.