Finds 04.16.2008

If you’ve been all over town in search of a really good ceviche, your next stop should be downtown’s Agave Cantina, home of the Ceviche Del Mar. Beautifully presented in a martini glass with a wedge of lemon and lime, Agave’s version of the popular appetizer features three shellfish — shrimp and scallops topped with jumbo lump crabmeat. The shrimp and scallops are cooked to perfection by the acid from a lime-based southwest citrus sauce and then tossed in olive oil mixed with diced avocados, tomatoes and cilantro, creating what looks and tastes like a Mexican-style seafood cocktail. Ceviche Del Mar is on the appetizer menu for $7.95. Agave is located at 200 E. Vermilion St. Call 289-0000. — Leslie Turk

In their first release since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans musicians Ellis Marsalis and Irvin Mayfield team up for Love Songs, Ballads and Standards. Trumpeter Mayfield dedicated the album to his father, who died in Katrina’s floodwaters. The earlier recording sessions were also lost in Katrina, but Mayfield had downloaded the original mixes to his iPod, which would provide the foundation for Love Songs. With an unorthodox collection of numbers, the definition of what’s standard has been redefined, but the approach to the songs and the spirited execution should satisfy even the most stringent of purists. Mayfield and legendary pianist Marsalis cover The Beatles’ “Yesterday,” Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight,” Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why,” Duke Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood,” Stevie Wonder’s “Blame It on the Sun” and “You and I,” and Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like a Star.” Love Songs, Ballads and Standards retails for $15 and can be ordered at — R. Reese Fuller

Spring is a great time to start sipping fizzy French cider, the crisp, dry, lightly alcoholic drink that pairs perfectly with seafood, (think mussels), cream sauces and creamy cheeses. Domaine Dupont, in the northern French department of Normandy, has been making superb cider since 1837. Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie has recently been showing up in wine shops in Acadiana, and now Domaine Dupont is making a USDA-approved organic cider as well. Both bottles have lovely floral notes and long appley finishes, perfect for outdoor dinners. The demi-bottle is in the $6 range, and a liter runs anywhere from $8-$20, at Marcello’s and Phillipe’s Wine Cellars. — Mary Tutwiler