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A pair of young, gay, line cooks, broke and recently canned, are getting plastered on the New Orleans levee and musing about starting their own restaurant. They’d call it Liquor, a place where every dish is based on a drink and no idiot manager would harass them. They know it will never happen. They get a new job, cooking in the back of a friend’s bar. Then, their calvados-soaked stuffed dates get some attention from food critics, from potential investors, and from one of their former managers — a fellow with a big grudge and a small connection to the mob.

Formally, this isn’t quite a mystery and it isn’t quite a thriller. It’s got plenty of plot, though, and some really fine food.