At long last … Gabrielle, the long-lost restaurant that has been closed since Hurricane Katrina, has finally reopened on Orleans Avenue in the historic Tremé. Owners Greg and Mary Sonnier have overcome many obstacles since their original location in Mid-City was shuttered, but at last, Gabrielle has returned, and fans both old and new can rejoice its re-entry into the New Orleans restaurant scene. Some dishes on the opening menu include she-crab bisque, BBQ shrimp pie, slow-roasted duck with an orange-cherry sauce, and a mojo-marinated pork chop.
2441 Orleans Ave., (504) 603-2344, facebook.com/GabrielleRestaurant
Unusually delicious … Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts, the folks behind New Orleans eateries like Kingfish, Bayou Burger, and NOSH, have launched yet another restaurant dubbed Curio. Located in the French Quarter on the corner of Royal and Bienville Streets, Curio offers "an eclectic menu with many modern twists" created by their executive chef, Hayley Vanvleet. So much more than a bistro, Curio is "a collection of food, art, and history," with paintings created by local artist Tony Mose. The menu includes dishes like shrimp boulettes with buttermilk chive dip, candied fried pork ribs, panéed pork po-boy, and browned butter rum pound cake. Curio is open daily.
301 Royal St., (504) 717-4198, curionola.com
Bigger digs ... Liberty Cheesesteaks, the tiny, Philadelphia-loving hoagie shop, has moved into a larger space on Freret Street. Since 2013, the cheesesteak shop was located in "the shed," an itty-bitty spot that originally housed the first Dat Dog. The new, larger building on the corner of Freret and Soniat features an added bar in the back and, to every loyal customer's joy, bathrooms!
5039 Freret St., (504) 875-4447, libertycheesesteaks.com
A troubled parting ... What began as negotiations to purchase the popular Israeli restaurant Shaya from the Besh Restaurant Group, degraded into James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya being replaced, losing his role as executive chef of both Shaya and Domenica. Talented chefs de cuisine Zachary Engle and Micheal Wilson were named executive chefs to Shaya and Domenica respectively. Can you have a Shaya without Alon Shaya? We don't know. But while the future for Alon Shaya remains to be seen, we're positive it's going to be delicious.
4213 Magazine St., (504) 891-4213, shayarestaurant.com
Changing of the guard … Experienced New Orleans chef Eric Cook was recently named executive chef at Tommy's Cuisine. Cook is coming to this position after a year as executive chef of Bourbon House in the French Quarter. He will also be the chef for NOSH, the small-bites lounge next door to Tommy's that just opened this past April. Cook is replacing Chef Michael Farrel, who was the previous executive chef for both restaurants.
746 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 581-1103, tommyscuisine.com
Still cookin' … When Chef Duke LoCicero recently closed Café Giovanni, many fans despaired, thinking they'd never taste his cooking again. But lo and behold, LoCicero just accepted the position of executive chef at Mr. John's Steakhouse, replacing the previous chef, Jared Gassenberger. Don't fret! Although Mr. John's is most definitely a steakhouse, they are excited about featuring some of LoCicero's dishes you know and love from Café Giovanni.
2111 St. Charles Ave., (504) 679-7697, mrjohnssteakhouse.com
Same game, different players … Classic French Quarter restaurant Broussard's tapped Jake Shapiro as its new executive chef and Rebecca Shattman as general manager. With a history of cooking in some of the city's finest restaurants (i.e. Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Palace Café, and Bourbon House), Shapiro sees Broussard's as a natural transition. He says, "Having this opportunity to work with Creole Cuisine at Broussard's—a fixture in the dining scene for nearly a century—is a dream, and I am excited to be a part of the next 100 years." Schattman, who was hired as the general manager this past June, has tons of experience in the local service industry, working at spots like Emeril's Delmonico and for the nationally recognized spirits festival Tales of the Cocktail.
819 Conti St., (504) 581-3866, broussards.com
Dinner and a movie, Part II … According to NOLA.com, The Theatres at Canal Place are changing to Cinebarre Canal Place 9 because owner George Solomon has hired Regal Cinemas to manage the Downtown multiplex in addition to his other theater, the Grand Esplanade in Kenner. The theater will continue to serve a full menu, but without the help of Chef Adolf Garcia, who launched the Gusto café since the 2010 renovation.
333 Canal St., (844) 462-7342, regmovies.com/theaters/cinebarre-canal-info
To the trough! … Taking over the spot that formerly housed Kyoto, The Flying Pig Café opened recently on Prytania Street, offering "a Southern-centric menu that pays homage to the Caribbean, Asian, and Latin traditions." Launched by Chef Rob Vance and his wife, Bayou 95.7 radio personality Katina (a.k.a. "Kat"), the restaurant features dishes like fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade, vodka-cured salmon, blackened fish tacos, and pimento mac 'n' cheese. The Flying Pig is open daily for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
4920 Prytania St., (504) 644-2982, theflyingpigcafe.com
Saying "arrivederci" and "xin chào" … After nearly a decade of serving coffee and Italian sandwiches to the neighborhood, Il Posto Café shuttered its doors, only to be almost immediately replaced by a Vietnamese restaurant dubbed Le's Baguette. Launched by the Le family, the new café offers Vietnamese favorites like banh mi, spring and egg rolls, steamed bao, and pho, along with Southern-style breakfast dishes (ahem, BBQ shrimp & grits), panini, and fresh salads. Le's Baguette is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
4607 Dryades St., (504) 895-2620, facebook.com/lesbaguettenola