Food News September

15:00 September 08, 2015
By: Kim Ranjbar

Besh Bakes

The highly anticipated and publicized Willa Jean bakery and cafe recently opened downtown in The Paramount, a new complex situated in the South Market District (a.k.a. The Warehouse District). Headed by Besh Restaurant Group pastry chefs Kelly Fields and Lisa White, Willa Jean’s menu focuses on Southern favorites. But the bread certainly doesn’t stop there, as the bakery offers everything from ciabatta to cinnamon rolls. Stop in for a cup of Intelligentsia java and chocolate chip cookies, or stay and sample their Low Country–style shrimp and grits or a fresh biscuit loaded with fried boudin and Poirier’s cane syrup. 504.509.7334 ~ 611 O’Keefe Ave. ~  

Celebrating Seafood 

From Friday, September 4 to Sunday September 6, celebrate the bounty of good eats to be had in this great state at the Louisiana Seafood Festival held in the festival grounds of New Orleans City Park. This fantastic, free festival features live music from bands like The Wise Guys, Starship and Brass-A-Holics; celebrity chef cooking demonstrations; lots of kids’ activities; an arts village and, of course, tons of great seafood! Expect delicious dishes from local restaurants like Acme Oyster House, Royal House, Superior Seafood, Café Reconcile, Drago’s, Galatoire’s, Lüke and much, much more.


Not So Good... 

On a sad note, the organic food delivery startup Good Eggs was forced to shut down all operations (including their branch here in New Orleans) other than that in their home base of San Francisco. It seems the west coast company put their eggs in too many baskets too quickly before “fully figuring out the challenges of building an entirely new food supply chain.” The New Orleans branch of Good Eggs had become quite popular and many hope for its resurrection. But for now, it’s back to the farmers market.


This Little Piggy Had None

After surviving for seven years in what some consider a “cursed property” on Oak Street, Squeal Bar-B-Q has shuttered its doors. Although the neighborhood restaurant was popular with tourists and locals alike, things like road and streetcar closures can have a detrimental effect on Riverbend businesses. Co-owner Patrick Young says he has no plans for a future restaurant location, but Squeal’s delicious BBQ will still be available at local festivals. 504.302.7370 ~ 8400 Oak St. ~


Where There’s Smoke

Chef Jeffrey Hansell and his wife, Amy, a.k.a. the folks at Oxlot 9 in Covington, have decided to expand their delicious North Shore empire with the addition of Smoke BBQ, with their sous chef Nate Meharg as pitmaster. Located in the building on N. Collins that once housed Thai Kitchen, Smoke BBQ offers the usual suspects, including a couple of eye-openers like “Smoke Fries” topped with brisket burnt ends, bacon, smoked cheddar and horseradish ranch dressing and “The Sauier” po-boy with pulled pork, house pickles, Smoke’s own white sauce and fried onions.  985.302.5307 ~ 1005 North Collins Blvd. ~

An “Average” Restaurant

Recently opened Uptown on Magazine, The Standard is a new neighborhood restaurant owned and operated by Lana Banks and Alison Wild, who also run a Mexican joint in Atlanta. Offering “good food” and “good friends,” this unassuming American-style restaurant is open for lunch,dinner and brunch, with dishes like Goat Cheese Enchilada, Crab Melt, Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pancakes. 504-509-7306 ~ 4206 Magazine St. ~

A Cut Above

Aimed at “chefs, culinary professionals and serious cooks,” Coutelier NOLA is a new retail cutlery shop that opened recently on Oak Street in the Carrollton neighborhood. Although the shop specializes in exquisite Japanese knives, it also offers wet stone knife sharpening for individualsand restaurants, plus great local ingredients like sea salt from Cellar Salt Co., Poirier’s Cane Syrup and kitchen tools such as pepper grinders, cutting boards and more.  504.475.5606 ~ 8239 Oak St. ~

Eating Wings of Love

 Separately, chefs Kristen Essig and Michael Stolzfus do quite well knocking our collective socks off at their usual haunts—Meauxbar and Coquette, respectively—but the cooking couple now awe us as one from their kitchen installation at Barrel Proof. As if they weren’t busy enough, this dynamic duo has been wowing with their summer launch of Little Bird, offering hungry whiskey drinkers a simple but mouth-watering menu of Fried Chicken Drumettes, Pork Tamales and Watermelon “Pizza,” which features a thick slice of cool, seedless watermelon topped with guanciale, ricotta salata, chopped scallions and espellette (French chili peppers). 504.251.3248 ~ 1201 Magazine St. ~

Sign Up!