With the Saints heading to the Super Bowl, surely demand is heating up for po' boys and other Louisiana fare. You can find some excellent examples at the new Croaker's Spot, a warm and welcoming destination at 1026 Hull St. in Manchester. This offshoot of downtown's long-running Leigh Street spot serves shrimp and fish po' boys and an expanded menu of fish and other soulful dishes for lunch and dinner daily. Its sharp service staff, full bar, wood-crafted dAccor with handsome portraits and fresh flowers on the tables show why this is a spot to be taken seriously, well beyond football season. 269-0463. croakersspot.com.
And one more pitch for beignets, while we're talking New Orleans. See chef Nate Sams at Louisiana Flair on Wednesday mornings from 7-10:30 for those sugary bits of fried perfection. He's also selling made-with-love king cakes by reservation for $14.95, and the restaurant's usual menu at breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday. 322 E. Grace St. 612-9066. www.louisianaflair.com.
Click here for a listing of Valentine's week specials, including the aphrodisiac-themed, reservation-only dinner at chef Andy Howell's always-intriguing CafAc Rustica downtown. Hint: pomegranate.