Eat all the toast! … Because we can never have enough Toast, French Toast, the third incarnation from restaurateurs Cara and Evan Benson, just opened in the French Quarter. Located on Decatur Street right across from Latrobe Park, the new breakfast joint features a menu similar to the one at its original Uptown location, with items like their killer croque madame made with fresh brioche, sweet and savory crepes, and those delightful aebelskivers, plus the obvious addition of various types of French toast. Drop in and ogle the gorgeous mural painted by local artist Zac Maras while sipping coffee and inhaling coconut cream-stuffed French toast topped with bruléed pineapple, candied macadamia, lemon curd, and maple syrup.
1035 Decatur St., (504) 300-5518, toastneworleans.com
Photo by Link Restaurant Group
Ch-ch-changes … Chef Donald Link's landmark restaurant Herbsaint has just tapped David Rouse as its new chef de cuisine. Louisiana-born and -bred, Rouse graduated from the Louisiana Culinary Institute in 2010 and went on to work in kitchens within August, La Provence, and Root. He also worked in Chicago at Sepia and RIA Restaurant. Since 2016, he's been a valued sous chef at both Cochon and Butcher, honing his culinary skills alongside Link and Stephen Stryjewski. “I’m honored to have this opportunity in one of New Orleans’s leading restaurants,” says Rouse, who is taking over the position at Herbsaint from Chef Rebecca Wilcomb. Chef Wilcomb is moving to open the Link Restaurant Group's newest eatery Gianna in spring of 2019.
701 St. Charles Ave., (504) 524-4114, herbsaint.com
Sailing on … It seems that Seaworthy, the oyster bar and seafood restaurant inside Ace Hotel, is looking for a new leader in the kitchen. According to NOLA.com, executive chef Dan Causegrove resigned at the end of October. There is still no word on Causegrove's future plans or who might fill the vacancy at Seaworthy. Only time will tell…
630 Carondelet St., (504) 930-3071, seaworthynola.com
In with the new … Borgne, the seafood restaurant inside the Hyatt Regency hotel, has just named Phillip Mariano as its new executive chef. Mariano was chef de cuisine of Domenica and executive chef of Josephine Estelle at Ace Hotel, and he also partnered with Tim Bordes and Jeremy Wolgamott to create Stokehold, the restaurant inside Port Orleans Brewery. Mariano is taking the place of Brian Landry, who left Borgne to help form QED Hospitality with Emery Whalen.
601 Loyola Ave., (504) 613-3860, borgnerestaurant.com
On the waterfront … There's a new spot to dine and drink on the lakefront called JB's Fuel Dock. According to NOLA.com, this new restaurant was launched by Jordan Brimer, whose family has run Schubert's Marine for the past 20 years. A modest menu offers items like mozzarella sticks, garlic knots, and eggplant fries, along with pizza and beer. Order a Supreme with pepperoni and Italian sausage and watch the boats drift by.
126 S. Roadway St., (504) 510-2175, facebook.com/jbsfueldock
You scream, they scream … Oak Street denizens, rejoice! Quintin's Natural just launched its very first by-the-scoop ice cream counter inside Simone's Market. For the past 20 years, Quintin's has been a well-known New Orleans brand of ice cream that could only be found in restaurants or at festivals and then later was sold in pint sizes at local grocery stores. Now Quintin's fans can make their way to Oak Street for a scoop (or three) of flavors like salted caramel or roasted strawberry, plus raspberry sorbet, sundaes, milkshakes, and malts.
Is it getting hot in here? … New Orleans Fire Department alum Mike Gowland, who has been a food vendor at Jazz Fest for years, finally opened his own digs in Lakeview. Dubbed Fireman Mike's Cafe & Sweet Shop, this new fireman-themed eatery on Harrison Avenue offers a small menu of items, like meatloaf, hot sausage, and fried chicken po-boys, plus gumbo and alligator sauce piquante. Sweets include milkshakes, malts, and cakes created by Mike's wife Deidre. Fireman Mike's is open daily.
203 W. Harrison Ave., (504) 681-9911, facebook.com/Fireman-Mikes-Cafe-and-Sweet-Shop
So sad to see you go …
Inevitably, great spots are bound to close as others open, and this month is no exception. First, one of my personal favorites, Dante's Kitchen, closed after 18 years of serving brunch and dinner in the Riverbend. Owner and chef Eman Loubier, a great who matriculated from Commander's Palace, created this neighborhood gem that offered dishes like spectacular spoonbread, double-cut pork chops with collard greens, “Trois Mignons,” and the famous Dante's Eggs Benedict with roasted rosemary-rubbed pork loin served atop fluffy buttermilk biscuits. So long, Dante's Kitchen! You will be sorely missed.
After only two years in business, the Picayune Social House on Camp Street closed. According to NOLA.com, chef Chris DeMers said the gastropub just wasn't able to build a following fast enough. But it seems a new restaurant is already lining up to take its place.
Finally, the popular Central Business District bike shop/café Rouler closed in late September. Owner Wes McWhorter still hopes to sell his line of cycling clothing and accessories online.