News for Restaurants in New Orleans
April 2014 Archive
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It is not often that a restaurant owner opens a new concept with a new menu and a new name in the exact location of his former establishment. But that is exactly what Dave Gotter and Christy Parker have done at what used to be Gott Gourmet on busy Magazine Street. Gotter and Parker, owners of Gott Gourmet for five years, transformed the popular eatery into GG's Dine-O-Rama, featuring what they call "refined comfort food." Don't look for the ordinary at GG's, even for breakfast, featuring items such as crab and brie omelets with lobster cognac crème. Lunch and dinner entrées, which are cleverly categorized on the menu as "Fork & Awesome," include items such as pulled pork enchiladas, a seven-cheese mac and cheese dish with truffle butter bread crumbs on top, and a beef-and-pork meatloaf topped with tomato jam. Seating is available inside and outside. The lively place offers a different experience from that available at most of its Magazine Street cohorts. Breakfast Tues.-Fri.; Lunch & Dinner daily; Brunch Sun. GG's Dine-O-Rama, 3100 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70125, 504-373-6579.
When the elegant Domenica opened its doors in the fashionable Roosevelt New Orleans hotel, a state-of-the-art wood-burning pizza oven was installed. Still, no one could have predicted how popular the eatery's pizzas would become. The pizza has been such a hit that owner/chef John Besh has opened a new uptown restaurant called simply Pizza Domenica, serving the exact same pizza as Domenica. Chef de cuisine Alon Shaya will operate in a much more casual atmosphere than Domenica, but the pizzas will be the same, and the menu will also feature Italian small plates, salads and desserts. Shaya wisely brought along some Domenica favorite dishes, including his whole roasted cauliflower and a shaved Brussels sprouts appetizer. Lunch & Dinner daily. Pizza Domenica, 4933 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-301-4978.
In a town crazy for home-grown po' boys, the idea of opening another sandwich shop may be daunting for some, but not Mike Brewer, the owner of the recently opened The Sammich. Located on an uptown restaurant row near the University area, The Sammich's menu is distinctive. From the duck fat fries to the fried lobster knuckle sandwich in mango cream to the flash-fried escargot, there is nothing routine about this place. The building has housed many restaurant concepts over the past decade or so, but Brewer's idea of taking classic entrees and refashioning them as sandwiches is unique to the area. Oh, and about the name: It's a local colloquialism for "sandwich." Lunch & Dinner Daily. The Sammich, 7708 Maple St., New Orleans, LA 70116, 504-726-6424.
Cochon Butcher Expands
First there was chef Donald Link's authentic Cajun restaurant, Cochon. Then came the spin-off, Cochon Butcher, adjacent to Cochon. The place always seemed noticeably cramped, since Link was operating not only a true butcher shop, but also an always-packed restaurant. Butcher is now expanding from its tiny 800-square-foot, hard-to-score-a-table digs to almost 3,000 square feet, and that is welcome news for the lunch and dinner crowds that discovered the place little by little over the past year or so. The expansion was accomplished by acquiring the building next door to Butcher and doing some heavy renovations. The menu will remain much the same, although Link is planning on positioning the place as a cocktail and small plates restaurant, in addition to still serving his hearty sandwiches and entrées, and of course, his best-in-the-city mac ‘n’ cheese. Cochon Butcher, 930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-588-7675.
Update on Brennan's Reopening
When the venerable Brennan's Restaurant in the French Quarter closed last year after a number of Brennan family disputes and legal wrangling, no one was sure what would become of the historic 18th-century building. That is when Ralph Brennan, high profile restaurateur (Ralph's on the Park, Red Fish Grill, Cafe B), took over the business and promised to reopen the place with a different concept and a fashionable interior re-do. Brennan will reportedly re-launch the replacement restaurant in the Fall, possibly with a new name, but that has not yet been decided. Brennan is not sharing the menu concept, but a new kitchen is being built, and the floor plan on ground level is being redesigned, while the more private upstairs area is simply being updated. Brennan's, 417 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70116, no phone.
The Uptown/Carrollton neighborhood was sorry to see the 10-year-old ONE Restaurant shut its doors for the final meal recently, but a new enterprise has moved into the space. Carrollton Market, the brainchild of chef Jason Goodenough from Philadelphia, who has worked locally for Ralph's on the Park and Nola. Goodenough describes himself as a "Yankee cooking Southern food." Look for such items as chicken and dumplings, Gulf shellfish risotto, crispy pork belly and grilled Mississippi quail. The restaurant is open for dinner only. Dinner Tues.-Sat. Carrollton Market, 8132 Hampson St., New Orleans, LA 70125, 504-252-9928.
When two upscale popular restaurants closed around the same time recently, locals were surprised and sorry to see each of them go. Meauxbar closed first, after a great decade-long run. Then came word that Ste. Marie was also closing up shop. The good news is that Ste. Marie will move into the Meauxbar building and resume business. Robert LeBlanc, proprietor of Ste. Marie, is reportedly keeping his entire staff, including chef Kristin Essig. The word on the street is that the concept will be similar to the French fine dining element of the former Ste. Marie, but probably with more of a bistro feel, which fits the building's ambiance. The new place is slated to open in late May or early June 2014. Ste. Marie, 942 N. Rampart St., New Orleans, LA 70116, no phone.
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