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AN OLD DOG CAN LEARN NEW TRICKS
Marie Laveau's, capitalizing on their successful lunch and brunch menus, will expand to feature dinner too, with New Orleans classics like shrimp creole, etoufée, and smoked duck country gumbo. There will also be nightly specials like skillet-fried chicken. Thursday night is TV Dinner night, where patrons will be served traditional TV dinners (turkey with stuffing and meatloaf), on trays to boot. Friday night brings a good ol' Southern fish fry. Dinner times are Tues.-Thurs. 5 p.m.-9 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. until 10 p.m. The restaurant will be closed on Mondays. —Laura Kelly

IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT!
That seems to be the mantra of Stephen Ollard, the new owner and chef at Coco's Cafe in Mt. Pleasant. Originally from Tennessee, Ollard says this is a first-time venture for him. He took over operations in April and aside from a new kitchen staff, Coco's is exactly the same quaint French bistro that so many Charlestonians have come to know and love. Ollard admits that the entire menu is excellent and that he has no plans to change it now or in the near future. His personal favorite dish is the lamb shank. He also recommends coming out for lunch, where variety seems to be the spice of life (at Coco's), with a menu that changes daily. —LK

FOOD + WINE LAUNCH PARTY
The second annual Distinctively Charleston Food + Wine Festival will have a launch party on Thurs. July 20 at 4:30 p.m. at the Rice Mill Building (17 Lockwood Dr.), where enthusiastic foodies will gather to hear about what's on tap for next year's festival. We already know that the festival has bagged a big sponsor in BB&T, a multibillion dollar investment firm, which signed up to be the signature title sponsor. Other planned events include culinary excursions to Wadmalaw, a tent featuring cookbook authors, and a cooking competition. Too bad those Lowcountry tastes have to simmer in our imaginations another eight months; no doubt they will be worth it, though. —Lynsy Smithson Stanley

FROM DELI TO BISTRO
Med Deli, which touts itself as the longest continually running restaurant in the Holy City, is changing its name to reflect its renewed focus on dinner. The remonikered Med Bistro will offer live entertainment Wed. through Sat. nights, as well as a happy hour on weekdays and Saturday. The evening menu focuses on fresh seafood but includes roast pork tenderloin and grilled flank steak. Med Bistro will also continue to feature art in-store for your viewing and buying pleasure. —LSS

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