A plan is in place to bring Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville back to New Orleans. Although the last incarnation closed in 2015, a newer, much bigger Margaritaville may be opening not far from House of Blues in the French Quarter. Plans have been drawn up and submitted to the City of New Orleans for approval, but the company has hit a few snags that must be resolved. Since the $8 million, three-story structure will have a large rooftop bar, neighbors have expressed concern about the potential noise level. The City had expressed concern about the design of the building, specifically the size of the windows and doors, but that hurdle has been overcome and the design is now approved. The company hopes to begin construction later this year. Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, 336 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70116, no phone.
Kenton's is a bourbon-focused restaurant, featuring what the owner describes as an "encyclopedic collection of American whiskey." The restaurant is the creation of a husband-and-wife team, Mani Dawes and Sean Josephs, who each own restaurants in New York City. Kenton's menu highlights smoked and grilled selections. Kenton's, Magazine St. at Nashville St., New Orleans, LA 70118, 504-891-1177.
The construction took a very long time, but Brick & Spoon is finally open on Magazine Street. With locations in Lafayette, LA; Houston, TX; and Orange Beach, AL, Brick and Spoon touts Southern- and Cajun-inspired cuisine. For breakfast, that plays out in a standout scrambled egg dish created with lump crabmeat and sweet peppers. Lunch offerings include an unusual soft-shell crab BLT, and a side of mac and cheese fries. The cocktail list includes a build-your-own Bloody Mary with a choice of three dozen ingredients, and an "Espresso Martini." Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily. Brick & Spoon, 2802 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-662-1789.
Lauren Fink has made a name for herself in the local coffee lovers' world, even though she has been operating out of a tiny corner of Stein's Market & Deli, New Orleans' only Jewish and Italian deli. Now she has her own location in an old firehouse in Uptown New Orleans. Fink is so precise and exacting in her coffee preparations that she even measures each shot of espresso on a scale and uses digital timers during her brewing. Cherry Espresso Bar also features pastries created by Lilette's pastry chef, Carrie Laird. Open daily. Cherry Espresso Bar, 4877 Laurel St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-875-3699.
Geoffrey Meeker knows how much New Orleans loves a good breakfast spot, so he recently opened French Truck Café, a coffee roasting business in the Garden District, where Meeker owns a small walk-up coffee bar. The new cafe builds on the success Meeker has realized by selling his locally roasted java to New Orelans restaurants. French Truck Cafe wil serve waffles, croissants and other assorted breakfast goods in the morning, and a limited assortment of sandwiches and salads for lunch. True to his passion for coffee, Meeker's beverage list is longer than his menu. Future plans call for the cafe to be open in the evenings, as well. Breakfast and Lunch Wed.-Sun. French Truck Cafe, 4536 Dryades St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-298-1115.
One of New Orleans’ favorite after-work gathering spots, The Delachaise, announced plans to open a second location in Uptown. Known for its carefully constructed wine list, The Delachaise will debut Chais Delachaise on the emerging restaurant row on Maple Street. Owner Evan Hayes plans to offer the same menu of rotating small plates at the new venture, and a new chef will be announced in the near future. A late spring launch is anticipated. Chais Delachaise, 7708 Maple St., New Orleans, LA 70118, no phone.
In a town that is somewhat short on great barbecue restaurants, it comes as welcome news that Moe’s Original Bar B Que is now open in Uptown New Orleans. Located at the corner of Calhoun and South Tonti streets, Moe’s is a chain restaurant with more than 40 locations nationwide. Diners can expect smoked pork, ribs, turkey,chicken and chicken wings, plus fried catfish, with a selection of traditional Southern sides and daily specials. The place is casual, and customers order at the counter, rather than from servers at their tables. Moe’s is located in a space that has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina. It used to be the home of a popular Tulane student hangout called Kokopelli’s. Lunch & Dinner daily. Moe's Original Bar B Que, 3150 Calhoun St., New Orleans, LA 70118, 504-301-3790.
Kin defies categorization, with diverse menu offerings that suggest Italian, Asian and even French influences. Typical dishes include Cornish hen with Vietnamese saté sauce, fried oysters and crawfish tails, and pan-fried gnocchi with fennel and orange purée. From the outside, the place is nondescript; the tiny, sleek and brightly lit interior comes as a surprise. Patrons are welcome to bring their own alcohol, since the restaurant does not have a liquor license. Lunch & Dinner Tues.-Sat. Kin, 4600 Washington Ave., New Orleans, LA 70125, 504-304-8557.
Grand Isle Adds New Happy Hour Offers
Grand Isle Restaurant, the popular Central Business District eatery, has added some new attractions to its weekday happy hour, which runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The restaurant now offers oysters at just 50 cents each, half priced draft beer, wines by the glass and cocktails. Also available are half pounds of boiled shrimp for seven dollars. Grand Isle, 575 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-520-8530.
District Donuts Set to Expand
District Donuts Sliders Brew has met with such success on Magazine Street, that the owners announced plans to open a new location on Harrison Avenue in the Lakeview neighborhood. The owners plan for the new location to be much like the original, with a similar menu and layout. The company also owns District Hand Pie & Coffee Bar uptown. Since shortly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Harrison Avenue has become a restaurant hub in Lakeview. The new restaurant will be the only one of its type in the neighborhood. District Donuts Sliders Brew, 2209 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-570-6945.
Kristin Essig, executive chef at Meauxbar, and the recently opened Cavan, announced she will resign. John Bel, who has been with Meauxbar since 2014, will be the new executive chef at Meuxbar. At Cavan, which opened in March, Ben Thibodeaux will assume the executive chef position. Thibodeaux comes from Tableau. Essig says she is weighing her options for her next project, but that she will continue to be a chef. Essig became executive chef at Meauxbar after her stint at the now-shuttered Ste. Marie restaurant. Meauxbar, 942 N. Rampart St., New Orleans, LA 70116, 504-569-9979.
Just blocks from chef Emeril Lagasse's flagship restaurant, Emeril's, the chef's newest restaurant is getting ready to debut. Meril (named for the chef's daughter), slated to open later this year, will have chef Will Avelar in charge of the cuisine. Avelar has worked for the Emeril's organization for just over 10 years. Lagasse is known for promoting his chefs from within the company. Meril, 424 Girod St., New Orleans, LA 70130, no phone.
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