Oh ya (ya)! … After earning his chops cooking under beloved local chef Frank Brigtsen at Brigtsen's Riverbend restaurant, Chef Conner Mullins has opened YaYa's Comfort Food in Harahan. Located on Hickory Avenue, this casual eatery is all about breakfast, with dishes like Boudin Benedict, steak and eggs, huevos rancheros, and duck and waffles. During the week, the restaurant also offers a few lunch items, like a pork belly and pimento cheese po-boy and a “classic” roast beef, plus daily specials of fried chicken, meatloaf, and stuffed mirliton. YaYa's is open Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
2317 Hickory Ave., Harahan, (504) 575-3434, yayascomfortfood.com
Movin' on up … El Libre, the cozy Cuban bar and restaurant formerly in the French Quarter, has moved Uptown to the old Bud's Broiler spot on Calhoun Street. The menu still features Cuban favorites like Ropa Vieja and the Cubano sandwich, and according to NOLA.com, El Libre is offering a respectful nod to Bud's by grilling burgers with their own version of Bud's barbecue sauce. El Libre is open Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
3151 Calhoun St., (504) 309-2699, facebook.com/ElLibreUptown
From pizza trees … Mike and Kathleen Hansel, veterans of the New Orleans restaurant industry, have just launched Home Grown Pizza in the building that formerly housed The Munch Factory. Gentilly, an area of New Orleans oddly bereft of restaurant options, will hopefully welcome the new eatery, featuring pizzas made with dough sourced from Gendusa's Bakery. Sink your teeth into the “Rocket Pizza” with garlic olive oil, mozzarella, salami, ricotta, and lemon or the “Spicy Mike” with house-pickled hot peppers, hot capicola, and honey. They also offer a few apps, salads, sandwiches, and pasta, featuring dishes like Mimi's Shrimp and Mirliton Spread and Mozza Mac—a mac 'n' cheese dish with Parmesan and mozzarella. Home Grown Pizza is open every day except Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
6325 Elysian Fields Ave., (504) 644-4762, facebook.com/NOLAHomegrownPizza
May I please have another? … Old-school Metairie po-boy shop Parran's, which has been in business on Veterans Memorial Boulevard for over 40 years, has just opened its third location Uptown on Prytania Street (the other opened on West Esplanade Avenue in Kenner in 2015). Located in the space that briefly held the Flying Pig Café, Parran's Po-Boys and Sandwiches is currently offering a limited menu of po-boys on Gendusa Bakery bread. Try the classic roast beef, the meatball, or the hot sausage … you won't even miss the ’burbs.
4920 Prytania St., (504) 875-4620, parranspoboys.com
Self-made menu … Entrepreneur Larry Morrow and his mother Lenora Chong have launched Morrow's, one of the latest restaurants to pop up in the Marigny. Located on the corner of St. Claude Avenue and Music Street, this well-designed, modern restaurant features an odd mixture of New Orleans favorites and a few Korean items. Dishes include charbroiled oysters, BBQ shrimp, and a fried oyster po-boy, along with Korean-spiced lettuce wraps, bibimbap, and Korean BBQ short ribs.
2438 St. Claude Ave., (504) 827-1519, morrowsnola.com
Huey, part deux … Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts has launched yet another restaurant dubbed The Governor on Chartres Street in the French Quarter. Mere steps from their other Huey P. Long-inspired eatery Kingfish, the restaurant offers “Share the Wealth” appetizers like the Governor's Snack of peanuts, onion straws, hominy, and cracklings; Blasted Brussels Sprouts with mayhaw pepper jelly; and Gulf Shrimp and Crab Cakes. There's a ton of seafood options, like raw oysters served with a variety of toppings, including cucumber ponzu, plus dishes like Choupique-caviar deviled eggs and a New Iberia Seafood Salad. The Governor is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
301 Chartres St., (504) 291-1860, governorrestaurant.com
Bring on the boil … Hieu Doan, owner of Mid-City Vietnamese restaurant Namese, has just launched Boil Seafood House in the Garden District. Located on the corner of Magazine Street and Louisiana Avenue, the new eatery features a different way of doing crawfish, not to mention other types of shellfish as well: steamed, boiled in a citrus mix, and finally tossed in your choice of buttery flavor. Choose your “catch” from shellfish like Dungeness crab, lobster, or (of course) crawfish, and add flavor like Cajun, Asian, and Caribbean Citrus with whatever heat level you can stand—from low to “extra high.” Boil Seafood House also offers raw and charbroiled oysters, seafood bread, fried crawfish salad, and common seafood boil sides like andouille sausage, mushrooms, and corn.
3340 Magazine St., (504) 309-4532, facebook.com/BOILSeafoodHouse
Your mouth wants their meat … Charcuterie champs Leighann Smith and Daniel Jackson teamed up to open Piece of Meat, a butcher shop and restaurant in Mid-City. Practically around the corner from Parkway Bakery on Bienville Street, the new neighborhood shop offers a wide array of meats, from cured items like prosciutto and salami to corned beef and terrines. Their short-but-sweet menu features sandwiches like The Reverend with thick-sliced corned beef, pickled cabbage, and spicy mustard, and “Not Turkey and the Wolf's Bologna” with thick-sliced bologna, provolone, BBQ sauce, and fried onions. Other notables include their incredible boudin egg rolls and a farro salad with roasted beets and goat cheese. Piece of Meat is open every day but Wednesday.
3301 Bienville St., (504) 372-2289, pieceofmeatbutcher.com
On his own … James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya and his new organization Pomegranate Hospitality have recently launched their first restaurant Saba, a name which means “grandfather” in Hebrew, with Cara Peterson as its chef de cuisine. Paying homage to the “ever-evolving cuisine of Israel,” Saba's menu features familiar dishes like labneh, hummus, matzo ball soup, and his popular pita bread (this time made using Bellegarde Bakery's freshly milled flour), plus plenty of newer dishes like octopus with shawarma spices, eggplant with peas and zhoug, and Harissa-roasted chicken. Saba is located Uptown on the corner of Magazine and Nashville Streets, in the building that formerly housed Kenton's.
5757 Magazine St., Ste. A, (504) 324-7770, eatwithsaba.com
A modern oracle … Gather all ye foodies in this virtual agora to hear our special announcement! The long-awaited Pythian Market's Grand Opening will be Thursday, May 31! Dubbed a “Downtown Urban Food Collective,” the Pythian Market will provide a “unique dining and shopping experience with 14 locally sourced purveyors, fast craft cocktails, and retail vendors.”
The vendors include Fete au Fete, the same folks behind the food truck serving creative local comfort food, like crawfish poutine and “Trash Grits”; 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant's outlet, offering dishes like The Hanover—oxtails stewed in a rich brown gravy with carrots and potatoes; Eat Well, bringing you Vietnamese bánh mì and phoritos; and La Cocinita, with their Venezuelan stuffed corn pancakes. Chef Marlon Alexander will bring two new concepts: Cru, raw and cooked specialty seafood dishes including tempura-fried Gulf oysters paired with specialty craft cocktails and wines, and Poulet, fresh sustainable cuisine with an emphasis on rotisserie chicken. There will also be gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches from Frencheeze, wood-fired pizzas from Covington-based Meribo Pizza, and authentic Southern barbecue from Central City BBQ.
It wouldn't be a New Orleans food hall without a bar! Bar 1908 will offer local beers and a craft-cocktail menu developed by bartender Lisa Nguyen, formerly of Cure and Seaworthy, with creative beverages rooted in the classics. Hours of operation will be Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
234 Loyola Ave., (504) 605-0414, pythianmarket.com