May 02 2016

Food News - May 2016

By: Kim Ranjbar

Every dog has its day … The highly anticipated Catahoula Hotel opened recently to much ado. Originally built almost two centuries ago, this Downtown boutique hotel was once a couple of private, Creole townhouses restored by local developers Keely Williams and A.J. Brooks. Along with 35 elegant rooms featuring modern and classic New Orleans decor, the Catahoula Hotel offers a coffee shop (serving PT's Coffee from Kansas), a Pisco Bar, a rooftop terrace and a Peruvian-inspired cafe open all day, every day. Try their Polenta Peruana, a baked polenta cake topped with breakfast sausage, eggs and salsa verde;  Causa Limena with golden potatoes blended with aji amarillo and topped with Gulf seafood; or a Butifarra or country ham sandwich with salsa criolla on pan roseta, a type of Peruvian roll. 

914 Union St., (504) 603-2442,

Food News - May 2016


In the market for Hatian food? … According to, recent transplants Charly Pierre and Eva Chereches from Boston recently launched Fritai, the new Haitian food vendor at St. Roch Market. Taking their place in the constant roll call of new tastes at St. Roch, Fritai offers dishes like fried Plantains with a citrus relish, spicy wings with mango and scotch bonnet peppers, pork shoulder with carrots and mirliton, and red rice in a pork broth with kidney beans. What a way to spice up a visit to the Bywater! 

2381 St. Claude Ave., (504) 609-3813,


Cocktails and cake … Set your sweet tooth loose at the newly-opened Bakery Bar in the Lower Garden District. Located in the building that formerly housed the old Italian favorite Eleven 79, the Bakery Bar is the creation of Charlotte McGehee and Charles Mary, better known as Debbie Does Doberge. The new restaurant and bar offers a full cocktail menu created by Jeff Schwartz, which will obviously pair well with those dazzling doberge cakes and “dobites”, plus a cafe-style menu of savory items like a special sandwich menu created with help from talented chef Mason Hereford formerly of Coquette. 

1179 Annunciation St., (504) 616-2330,   


Because there can never be enough … It should be an absolute breeze to get your java fix in New Orleans these days, what with a multitude of new coffee shops opening. It seems the city won't sleep till there's one on every corner. But there are no complaints from the peanut gallery as Portland, Oregon's own Stumptown Coffee opens up inside Ace Hotel in the Warehouse District. Due to the oppressive heat in New Orleans, Stumptown is wisely focusing on cold brew coffee featuring several taps pouring nitrogen-charged cold brew and small batch coffees. The new restaurants next door, Josephine Estelle and Port City Pantry, will provide pastries and sweets to accompany your cold cuppa joe. 

610 Carondolet St., (504) 799-0548,

Food News - May 2016


Hollygrove BBQ … LA Smokehouse opened softly recently, a brand new 'cue joint located in the building that briefly housed the Maple Street Patisserie et Bistro. Owners Aubin and Daniel Wender are offering a menu of the usual suspects – brisket, pulled pork, ribs and chicken – along with some interesting BBQ combos. Try their  “Grits & Grillades” bowls that offer a choice of BBQ (ie. sausage, brisket, pulled pork, etc.) atop a bowl of buttery grits smothered in one of four sauces from traditional to Southwestern. LA Smokehouse also offers a variety of sides like Burnt End Black Eyed Peas, Maque Choux Mac & Cheese and Pickled Pepper Cole Slaw. 

8300 Earhart Blvd., (504) 265-8905,


Ramping up the ramen … The tiny, Gert Town gem, Kin, has changed up their menu and hours, switching it up from their previous fine dining menu. Now the neighborhood restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. offering several different types of ramen along with a few stunning small plates for the fusion aficionados. It seems the fine-dining format was just too much for such a small place, but according to, owner Hieu Than is seeking a spot for a second location where his incredible former menu can flourish.  

4600 Washington Ave., (504) 304-8557,

Food News - May 2016


What what whaaat? … Not long after the Magazine Street tavern Cavan opened, Executive Chef Kristen Essig selected to step down from both Meauxbar and Cavan at LeBlanc + Smith. Little Bird, the pop-up at Barrel Proof, will continue to operate under Essig and her partner Chef Michael Stoltzfus of Coquette. In a statement released by the restaurant group, Essig admits, “While I may not know exactly what I’m leaving to do or explore, I am most confident in the people that will continue our hospitality vision. While I’ve been the executive chef of Meauxbar and Cavan, I have only strengthened my personal visions for what true hospitality is.” We offer Essig all of our support and look forward to her next culinary adventure. Meanwhile, Meauxbar will be left in the capable hands of of sous chef John Bel and Cavan will continue to thrive under the gastronomical creativity of chef de cuisine Ben Thibodeaux.


Say it ain't so! … Though it seemed to be going so swimmingly, James Cullen has stepped down as executive chef of Bywater restaurant Press Street Station. According to the chef's personal Facebook page, he announced his resignation last month on April 7th.  “Today I resigned as chef of Press Street Station. I want to thank all the people who worked hard for me and put up with my madness. I was proud to be your chef.” No specifics were given as to the reason for his departure other than his duty to “protect an employee.” You and your excellent will be missed Mr. Cullen, but we look forward to your future endeavors!

5 Press St., (504) 249-5622, 

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