That voodoo that you do . . . New Orleans native chef Eric Cook has launched Gris Gris, a new restaurant on Magazine Street. Taking over the building that was originally designed for Square Root, the high-end spot by chef Phillip Lopez, Gris Gris offers Cook's interpretation of classic New Orleans (and more!) fare in a much more casual atmosphere than its predecessor. From chicken gizzard grillades and Mom's Chicken Dumplings to seafood-stuffed crab, it's a restaurant definitely worth getting excited about. Gris Gris is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily.
1800 Magazine St., (504) 272-0241, grisgrisnola.com
Farm fresh . . . Metairie recently got another farmer's market, most appropriately dubbed the Metry Market at the Park. Open every Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m., the new market is located on Mall Island near the center of Lafreniere Park. The market will offer products like lemonade, gelato, goat’s milk, mushrooms, jellies and jams, fresh beef and lamb, Louisiana seafood, pralines, salsas, and more. In addition to the fresh produce and prepared foods, the market also wants to encourage folks to hang out and enjoy offerings like live music, face painting, and other activities for kids. It's a market and a festival, all rolled into one!
Across the lake . . . Owners Jeff Talbot and Saunders Conroy just launched Autonomy, a new bakery and cafe on Boston Street in downtown Covington. Along with pastries and breads, the cafe also offers lunch and dinner as well as Saturday and Sunday brunch. Dishes include the Autonomy Wagyu Burger with hash browns; a smoked brisket Reuben on rye pain de mie; a crab au gratin tartine; and “The Douglas,” featuring Thai shrimp, avocado mousse, and jicama salad on brioche. Autonomy is open Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesday) from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
705 E. Boston St., (985) 888-1669, facebook.com/Autonomy-288197945074610
One of 1000 . . . From the folks who gave us 1,000 Figs, the Fat Falafel truck, and Echo's Pizza comes Little Fig, a new vendor at the Pythian Market. The featured dish at Little Fig is hummus, which is house-made and served with greens, pickled vegetables, and fresh bread. Toppings include spiced beef, summer vegetables, chicken, lamb, and pork. They also offer grab-and-go items like tabbouleh, olive salad, baba ghanouj, and rice pudding.
234 Loyola Ave., (504) 259-4658, little-fig.com
Irish bar hop . . . When the new owners of Finn McCool's decided to go a different way food-wise, Michael Gulotta moved his kitchen installation Rum and the Lash to one of the oldest Irish bars in Mid-City. Now located at Mick's Irish Pub on Bienville Street, Rum and the Lash is serving many of the same items it did at Finn's, dishes like crispy Brussels Sprouts, fish and chips, and MoPho's famous wings.
4801 Bienville St., (504) 482-9113, rumandthelash.com
The best Bs . . . Tickets just went on sale for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation's 8th annual Boudin, Bourbon, & Beer, happening in Champions Square on Friday, November 9. The event is “bringing together the best of food, drink and entertainment for the ultimate Louisiana-inspired culinary celebration” and will feature 70 talented chefs, including Tory McPhail, Nina Compton, Isaac Toups, and more. Chef Emeril Lagasse and his co-chairs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski will also welcome celebrity TV chef Guy Fieri! The event launches the Foundation's signature fundraising weekend and is followed by the nationally recognized wine auction and black-tie gala dinner Carnivale du Vin. Last year, the weekend managed to raise $3.5 million for children's charities.
Arouse your palate . . . The Eliza Jane hotel, recently opened on Magazine Street, just launched their tantalizing new restaurant, Couvant. Meaning “to smolder,” this modern French bistro offers an oyster bar and outdoor dining in the hotel's lush courtyard. Managed by Makeready, the “menu offerings honor the city's classics while introducing a relevant, and deliciously uncomplicated voice to the New Orleans culinary chorus.”
315 Magazine St., (504) 882-1234, theelizajane.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/couvant.html
So sad to see you go . . .
It's the summer doldrums in New Orleans, and though many new restaurants are opening, there are others that are unfortunately falling by the wayside. Recently, The Commander's Family of Restaurants announced the closure of Cafe Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar. After 15 years of service, the CBD restaurant will close on August 24. Talented chef Meg Bickford will return to work in the kitchen at Commander's Palace. The Loews New Orleans Hotel will take over the operation of the restaurant and bar. After raising such talented local chefs as Chris Lusk and Carl Shaubhut, we're sorry to see it go.
Finally, the Forrest Gump-inspired restaurant Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has closed after 20 long years in business. Inarguably a restaurant aimed at tourists visiting the French Quarter, the seafood spot's end has no doubt disappointed its many fans.