Party Girl was on the scene for the opening night of Ruffino's on the River, the EatLafayette Kickoff, the third annual Bid on a Bachelor and the second annual Village of Hope Gala.
The official opening night of Ruffino's on the River in late May followed a week of warm-up invitation-only trial runs that already had the buzz going up and down the bayou and across town. Owner Ruffin Rodrigue worked the room like the restaurant pro he's become after years of successful operations in Baton Rouge. He was so excited about the new Lafayette gig he even brought his own grandmother, Rita Anastasia Rodrigue, so he could show off his latest creation. Two of his fellow Capital City-based restaurateur luminaries drove in to spread the love: Raising Cane's founder Todd Graves and Walk-On's co-founder Brandon Landry. To round out the décor, Ruffin added customer portraits on the walls, and in a brilliant move is already talking about a separate parking lot for the golf carts so popular in the 'hood. IND faves on the menu? Love the lightest crab meat cheesecake ever, shrimp corn dogs (you really gotta try 'em), a variety of pasta selections and the Fish Katie ... plus Sterling Silver aged heavy beef that literally melts to the touch of a knife, the particular pride and joy of executive chef/partner Peter Sclafani. And check out the beautiful glass vessels of infused vodka that gleam like jewel cache pots above the bar.
1. Ruffin Rodrigue and Peter Sclafani
2. White chocolate brownie and Kleinpeter vanilla ice cream
3. Vohn Mosing, Ryckman Callais, Ben Degatur, Chuck Degatur and Bryn Mosing
4. Grilled oysters
5. Brandon Landry, Ruffin Rodrigue and Todd Graves
6. (top) Kami Landry, Melissa Naquin, Kathryn Howard, Jamie Henry and Gretchen Bodin
(bottom) Jarod Landry, Andy Naquin, Craig Henry and Chad Bodin
7. Gab and Carolyn Camardelle, Ruffin Rodigue, Gene Trahan, and Bonnie and Wayne Hebert
8. Brandon Landry
The Heymann Center buzzed with foodies June 19 during the EatLafayette Kickoff that included 45 of the more than 70 restaurants that participate in the campaign, which runs through Sept. 2. Eateries served up a taste of signature dishes from crowd favorites like Charley G's smoked duck and andouille gumbo and Café Habana City's fresh mojitos to Sophi P's cupcake tower filled with raspberry cream cheese confections. Thoroughly Acadiana tunes from Chubby Carrier put folks in the mood for local food - not that it took much prodding. We spotted Sandra and Steve Moore munching on Rusted Rooster's hand-battered chicken biscuit lined with a habanero pepper jelly (see photo) while Sterling LeJeune helped himself to Café Vermilionville's braised green tart.
1. Julie Calzone and Robert Callahan
2. Sophi P's tower
3. Charley G's smoked duck and andouille gumbo
4. Andrea Veron and Sterling LeJeune
5. Tiffany Cotton and Briana Brown
6. Steve and Sandra Moore
7. Cindy Phillips and Connie Collins
8. Sheryl Granger and Susan Boyle
9. Z Cajun Foods staff
Going once, going twice, sold to the lady in the second row! Locals gathered at Scandals Nightclub for the third annual Bid on a Bachelor event to benefit The Children's Shelters of Acadiana Youth. The 21 eligible gents entertained the crowd with a promise to be at the beck and call of the highest bidder. Randi Landry and Trevor Chapman emceed the event and encouraged the crowd to be generous with their checkbooks. Troy Guy was the bachelor who sold for the highest bid of $4,500. After the bidding was done, some of the lucky ladies were spotted dancing the night away with their bachelors. All funds raised help Acadiana Youth provide a safe living environment for troubled youth and therapeutic and educational services to the residents of its shelters.
1. Wesley Sun Chee Fore, Luke Lawton and Terry Veillon
2. Gabrielle Mergist, Ashley Menard and Brandi Darbonne
3. Shawna Rasmussen, Paul Bosworth and Hayley LeJeune
4. Yvette Naquin and Michelle Boudreaux
5. Wesley Sun Chee Fore, Pablo Estrada and Kevin Stein
6. Joey D., Dwight Pitre, Monique Comeaux and Bill Stagg
7. Erin Kellogg and Belinda Smith
8. Dr. Leslie Jacobs and Angie Simon
9. Terry Veillon and Kerry Naquin
In just its second year, Village of Hope Gala doubled its number of tables sold, driving a relocation of the festive event to the Lafayette Hilton. Event Rental swathed the ballroom in turquoise and white from the draperies to the tables, which were donned with towering centerpieces topped with white-feathered flames. Chef John Folse cooked up a fabulous feast of corn and crab cappuccino, grilled black drum, veal osso buco and Ponchatoula strawberry cheesecake. Sen. Fred Mills led the lively auction, with items including a 20-person dinner prepared by Chef Folse, two fishing trips and three shotguns signed by the cast of Duck Dynasty. The Rev. Glenn Meaux's SOLT Kobonal Haiti Mission, in partnership with Cross Catholic Outreach, presented the event, which raised more than $438,000 to help build houses in Haiti.
1. Barry and Julie Bleichner
2. Debbie Dore, Molly Mouton and Boni Ritter
3. Mike and Jean Coluzzi
4. Tyron Picard and Blane Comeaux
5. Hope and David Hebert
6. Sen. Page Cortez and Veria Samaroo