The lone contestant in New Orleans' fried calamari eating contest, Tom Fitzmorris, reviews Frank's in the French Quarter this week, bestowing his usual THREE WHOLE STARS. Frank's is now two-generations deep, having opened in 1965 by Frank Gagliano and today run by his son (whose brother runs T-Fitz' calamari fave Ristorante Philippo in Metairieland), and having the unfortunate label of being a tourist trap. The rather "crammed" muffuletta hotspot also turns out all things Italian for dinner, pastas, seafood, and T-Fitz weakness, red sauce, available in "big platter" size only, so make sure to wear your elastic-wasted windbreaker pants and matching jacket.
There is also an upstairs dining area that T-Fitz says is nicer, with a view of the river, though he avoids it due to the "steepness of climb," preferring to joke with the "colorful" older waiters downstairs and ask what they can do specially for him in the kitchen, even though we know he only came for the fried calamari, his top menu choice for seemingly all Italian restaurants, so stop playin'. T-Fitz gives a whopping -2 hipness points, suggesting they move 25% of the stuff "stacked" in the main dining room before one of the waiters done breaks his hip. [CityBusiness, sub req]
Ian McNulty reviews an "interesting, if uneven, modern neighborhood joint" in Metairie this week, Porter & Luke's. The restaurant, in the space formerly occupied by Zeke's, is run by chef Vincent Manguno, alum of pre-Katrina/Metairie institution La Riviera, so the restaurant already has its regulars. McNulty writes that the restaurant "excels at local standards" ie. red beans, po boys, gumbo, and all dat, but sometimes falls flat with specialties.
Best Bets, Per McNulty:
Oysters Barataria, which are baked under a uniquely tart, immensely creamy goat cheese sauce and heaped 10 at a time on metal platters... Eggplant Vincent — a hollow column of fried eggplant overflowing with shrimp, crawfish and buttery cream sauce.
Porter & Luke's also has a large bar, and they're open for lunch/dinner daily. [Gambit]