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Unknown Food Critic: Four New Restaurants for the New Year

<p>Toups South</p><p>1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. New Orleans, 504-304-2147</p>

It seems like there's a new restaurant at every turn in New Orleans these days, and they’ve been cropping up in different neighborhoods and bringing widely diverse flavors and styles. What follows is an early look at four promising newcomers that I think you'll be hearing more about soon.

2127 Prytania St., New Orleans, 504-265-8101
This is am upscale Italian restaurant with a different style of cooking than New Orleans may be accustomed to finding on the plate. Altamura is not Creole Italian but more attuned to the Italian style from the Northeast. This plays out with clams casino, pasta with king crab legs, osso bucco and plenty of veal dishes. The setting in the ground floor of a Pyrtania Street mansion is unusual and enticing.

801 Rosedale Dr., New Orleans, 504-309-9595
It's been a while since Susan Spicer opened a new restaurant. This one is very different from her and others, and it's off to a great start. Rosedale is down a side street of the same name in Lakeview, in a building that's the size of the cottage and was once a police station. Today it’s a modern neighborhood restaurant, with New Orleans flavors revamped with a chef's hand. There's outdoor seating when the weather is nice, and a pair of bars inside. This is a good brunch spot tucked away in its neighborhood.

Station 6
105 Old Hammond Hwy., New Orleans, 504-345-2936
Bucktown has lots of seafood restaurants, but this one is different. Chef Alison Vega, who originally opened Vega Tapas Café in Metairie back in the 1990s, opened Station 6 last fall. It is a modern neighborhood joint with a focus on grilled and blackened seafood instead of the fried variety. There is a tiny oyster bar built into the main bar, an outdoor area for dining or lounging, and a casual feel throughout.

Toups South
1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. New Orleans, 504-304-2147
Chef Isaac Toups is best known for Cajun cooking, as serves with such gusto at Toups’ Meatery in Mid-City. His second restaurant takes a broader view of Southern flavors, though once again with the eye of a modern chef. This restaurant is within the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, and the exhibits are visible from the dining room. The pork chop stack (fried, bone-in and piled up with coffee aioli and white bread) the goat tamales, and lamb belly served as charcuterie show the range of his menu.