News for Restaurants in New Orleans
October 2012 Archive
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For many years the Bywater Barbecue Restaurant occupied space in the heavily residential Bywater neighborhood. When it shut its doors a few months ago, locals wondered if someone else would open a new concept. Now Prime Grille not only opened its doors, but completely refreshed the old place, with sparse, comfortable decor and soft lighting. The courtyard, once a calling card of the barbecue restaurant, has been kept intact and serves as a separate dining area. Prime Grille offers hearty fare, including steaks, venison stew, baked salmon and a unique Gulf fish Wellington. The owners hail from the Midwest and are proud of their "meat and potatoes" fare. In the near future a second bar will launch adjacent to the courtyard, and will be open late for cocktails. Lunch & Dinner, Tues.-Sat., Brunch Sun. Prime Grille, 3162 Dauphine St., New Orleans, LA 70117, 504-301-1740.
One of the most imaginative rehabs of a historic New Orleans building took place several years ago when the old American Can Company factory was turned into modern apartments and condos. Now, the highly creative chef Chris DeBarr, who used to own Green Goddess in the French Quarter, has opened Serendipity on the property, with a unique cuisine which he describes as "an exotic blend of French, Spanish, Indian, Caribbean, Acadian (Cajun) and Creole influences." That plays out in such dishes as "Lafcadio's Creole Curried Lamb Baklava," a Caribbean-style meat pie. Also on the menu is "Shrimp in a Grass Skirt," featuring jumbo shrimp wrapped in phyllo with traditional New Orleans barbecued shrimp sauce. Since the bar stays open until midnight every night, desserts may become a calling card, including the "Homage to Hubig's Pie," a salute to the recently fire-damaged, locally beloved pie company. Dinner nightly. Serendipity, 3700 Orleans Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118, 504-407-0818.
Hot on the heels of his successful Warehouse district venture, Root, chef Phillip Lopez announced the imminent opening of Square Root, in the Garden District. Advance press materials about Square Root reveal it will be a two-story restaurant with an open kitchen on the first floor, surrounded by a 15-seat bar. Diners who choose to eat downstairs will be served a nine-to-10-couse tasting menu. Those who opt for the upstairs area will order small plates and a charcuterie menu. If all the building permits are cleared, there is a possibility of a balcony off the second floor for outdoor dining, as well. Look for an early 2013 opening. Square Root, 1800 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130, no phone.
Actors Channing Tatum ("Magic Mike") and Jenna Dewan-Tatum have opened their own Bourbon street bar and restaurant, Saints & Sinners. The new space pays homage to the famous red-light district bordellos and burlesque halls of New Orleans’ 19th century Storyville era. In fact, the restaurant's motto is "Where the red light is always on." Saints and Sinners offers soups, salads, burger, po-boys and grilled items. The establishment is located on one of the most high-traffic areas of Bourbon street. Saints & Sinners, 627 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70116, 504-528-9307.
When Hurricane Katrina decimated some of the city's oldest and most established seafood houses on Lakeshore Drive, it seemed unlikely the highly vulnerable spot would see much of a renaissance. That has now changed, as plans have been announced for The Blue Crab, a new seafood complex to be operated by Kent Burgess. The Burgess family owned Sid-Mar's, a lakefront seafood house popular among locals for more than 30 years. The new complex will include a 4,500-square-foot restaurant, a fresh-catch fish market, boating store and fuel dock. The restaurant will retain the open-air, waterfront feeling of the location, with boiled seafood served at picnic tables on the first floor and a full-service seafood restaurant with spacious outdoor decks upstairs. This project was originally called Duke's on the Basin, when chef Duke LoCicero of Cafe Giovanni was at the helm, but LoCicero pulled out of the deal several months ago. The owners hope to have the restaurant open by the end of this year. The Blue Crab, 7842 Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans, LA 70124, no phone.
Tarek Tay, Gaby Saliba and Hicham Khodr may not be household names in New Orleans, but they are quickly becoming the restaurant barons of Magazine Street. With Byblos and Salu already runaway success stories on Magazine, the trio now plans to expand their efforts with a new barbecue restaurant next door to Salu, and in 2013, a new Mexican restaurant that will feature more than 100 tequilas. Word is also out that Salu is due for expansion. The owners plan to add a second floor dining room and a balcony overlooking Magazine Street. Additionally, the menu at Salu recently added about a dozen new items, including small plate offerings and several new preparations of mussels. Lunch & Dinner daily. Byblos, 3218 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115, 504-894-1233.
Dunbar's to Change Locations
The venerable Dunbar's restaurant, widely known for its authentic Creole cooking and fried chicken, has announced it will move to the Gentilly neighborhood in New Orleans. Currently, Dunbar's operates at the Loyola University Law School food court, but space restrictions have limited the menu. With the new move, Dunbar's will reportedly expand its menu to include additional Creole dishes and full dinners. Dunbar's lost its permanent location on Freret St. to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina floods, and its current location has always been considered temporary. All of the standard menu items will still be offered. Look for a Spring 2013 opening. Dunbar's, Loyola University New Orleans Law School, 501 Pine St., New Orleans, LA 70118, 504-861-5451.
More Food Trucks May Appear in New Orleans
The New Orleans City Council may vote before the end of the year to ease restrictions and requirements for food truck vendors. The vendors and the council met in October to discuss ways to expand the food truck industry in the city, which currently only issues a maximum of 100 food truck permits per year. The vendors appealed to the council not only to issue more permits, but also to extend the length of time a food truck may stay in one place, and lengthen the operating hours. One vendor testified that for every 20 food trucks, as many as 40 full-time and 60 part-time jobs are created in New Orleans. The industry has slowly been emerging citywide, but the startup costs for a food truck have become prohibitive. In some cases, a potential vendor has to spend up to $40,000 just to bring the truck up to the city's codes, but then is not guaranteed a permit. New rules would make it less expensive and more likely to be approved.
Cocktail-Paired Brunch at Cafe Adelaide
On November 10, Cafe Adelaide will present a food & cocktail paired brunch featuring five courses and five cocktails for $55. The menu will include dishes such as Gulf oysters and caviars paired with a Cherry Cordial Champagne Cocktail; charred parsley and Parmesan roasted grouper complemented by a Sidecar; and Bourbon apple crumble served with Applejack Milk Punch. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. Space is limited. Cafe Adelaide, Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-595-3300.
Galatoire's Plans to Expand
Nothing much ever changes at the venerable Galatoire's, and that's just how the locals like it. But now the company has announced its acquisition of the adjacent building. The three-story structure, which has been unoccupied since 2005, will enable the restaurant to add 200 seats to its private dining spaces upstairs. The owners have not yet decided what will be on the first floor, but they assured the public that the first floor dining room in the original space will not be affected by the expansion. The company is especially cautious in announcing and implementing changes to the restaurant, since past alterations have caused significant public outcries. The restaurant changed owners three years ago, just a few years after a new second-floor dining room met with dissatisfaction among local, regular customers. Galatoire's, 209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-525-2021.
The plush Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel has hired a new executive chef, Kristin Butterworth, to replace Drew Dzejak. Butterworth's background includes years as chef de cuisine at the elegant Lautrec at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Her time there followed sous chef positions at a number of luxury resort properties including The Inn at Little Washington and Sea Island Resort. Butterworth is a dévotée of the farm-to-table approach to cooking, and works with local farmers and private growers. The Grill Room has seen a higher than average chef turnover rate in the past several years, but the addition of Butterworth could be just what is needed to give the room the consistency it lacks. The Grill Room, Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-522-1992.
The elegant downtown establishment, Le Foret, has announced Brandon Felder as the new executive chef, hired to replace the recently departed Carlos Briceno. Felder has worked for Le Foret for about a year and a half, as executive sous chef. It was Felder who created the popular menu item grilled quail with potato gnocchi. Le Foret, 129 Camp St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-553-6738.
The departure of chef Spencer Minch from Emeril's Delmonico was highly unexpected in the local restaurant community. Speculation about Minch's replacement has now been quelled with the announcement that chef Anthony Scanio has been appointed chef de cuisine. Scanio's background includes time spent at Herbsaint before joining Emeril's Delmonico in 2005. He was promoted to sous chef a year later and to executive sous chef in 2009. Scanio retains the overall feel of Minch's menu, but the steak offerings have been reduced and replaced with several contemporary Creole dishes. Scanio trivia: He used to be a high school English teacher before changing careers, pursuing a culinary degree and joining Emeril's organization. Emeril's Delmonico, 1300 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-525-4937.
Manning's in the Harrah's Casino complex has scored a major coup in recruiting local chef Jared Tees. After the recent, abrupt departure of chef Anthony Spizale, Tees has not only taken over the kitchen operation at Manning's, but streamlined the menu. The menu at Manning's has been criticized for its price structure, but the new effort appears to be a bit more reasonable. Tees, who intends to make Manning's a ”game-day destination,” reveals the restaurant’s new menu will feature easily shared appetizers for $8 each, including the “Three Point Spread,” andouille, shrimp and crab, with house-made chips; “Slow Roasted Cochon du Lait Frites,” pulled pork, gravy and artisan cheese; and fried chicken wings, with Crystal hot sauce beurre blanc and blue cheese. Tees is well-known and widely respected in New Orleans, after successful stints at high profile restaurants including Bacco, Luke, Commander's Palace, and most recently, Besh Steak. Manning's, Harrah’s New Orleans, 519 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA 70130, 504-593-8118.
After less than a year in business, the tiny French-owned bistro C'est la Vie on Magazine Street has closed. C'est la Vie, 4206 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115, no phone.
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