Chef John Besh, who continually adds new restaurants to his collection, has re-opened the Caribbean Room at the historic Pontchartrain Hotel. Originally opened in 1927, the Garden District hotel was a dining destination for decades before the restaurant closed in 1994. Known for its “Mile High Pie,” the room was often a special occasion choice for locals. In addition to the restaurant, Besh also opened other outlets in the hotel, including the Bayou Bar, the Silver Whistle Café and the Hot Tin rooftop lounge. Caribbean Room, 2031 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70140, 504-323-1500.
One of New Orleans’ favorite after-work gathering spots, The Delachaise, has opened a second location in Uptown. Chais Delachaise made its debut 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. Chais Delachaise, 7708 Maple St., New Orleans, LA 70118, 504-510-4509.
Ted Brennan's new restaurant, Ted Brennan's Decatur, will be located just two bocks from Brennan's, with previous Brennan's chef Lazone Randolph in the kitchen. Ted Brennan's Decatur will be a 12,000-square-foot, two-story facility in a location that has seen many restaurants and bars come and go over the past several years. Ted Brennan's Decatur, 309 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70116, no phone.
Guy's Po-Boys, one of New Orleans' most treasured spots for huge, overstuffed po-boy sandwiches, has re-opened. The building had been closed for repairs for several months since a drunk driver crashed into the front of the building, causing extensive structural and cosmetic damage. Owner Marvin Matherne has proven himself to be one of the most determined restaurant owners in town, since the building has been forced to close twice in the past following fires. With a fresh new look, Guy's serves the same menu, and expect to wait in the same line to order, but it moves quickly. Guy's Po-Boys, 5259 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-891-5025.
The "bakery with a bar" concept seems to be catching on in New Orleans. After the splashy opening of Willa Jean earlier this year, the next entrant into this distinctive field is Bakery Bar, occupying the space that once housed Eleven 79 Restaurant. Owned by Charlotte McGehee and Charles Mary IV, Bakery Bar serves the locally beloved doberge cake and a full range of cocktails. Doberge cake, a local favorite, is a six-layer butter cake that is usually done in lemon or chocolate. At Bakery Bar, the doberge cake is offered in a variety of flavors, as well as in smaller bite-size portions. McGehee, aleady known locally for her pop-up, Debbie Does Doberge, has partnered with Mary to offer not just cake and cocktails, but a limited menu of savory items, as well. Chefs Mason Hereford and Jordan Brown plan to expand the menu as the business grows. Bakery Bar, 1179 Annunciation St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-265-8884.
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.
Tujague's Celebrates a Milestone
Tujague's, one of the most iconic dining spots in New Orleans, is turning 160 years old. To celebrate, the owners have decided to offer a special three-course weekday lunch for $18.56, in honor of the restaurant's founding year. The offer will extend indefinitely. Additionally, throughout the year the restaurant will host guest chefs and special events commememorating the restaurant's long run on Decatur Street. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum, also located in New Orleans, will soon debut a special exhibit dedicated to the restaurant's history. Tujague's, 823 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70116, 504-525-8676.
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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Find out which restaurants and chefs top the list of GAYOT's 2016 Annual Restaurant Awards.