We were put on this great, green Earth to increase and multiply, and there couldn't be a better time than spring. While the festivals roll out and the music plays on, it seems to be the season for expansion and addition, especially in the restaurant industry.
Dat Dog, one of the fi rst founders of the new Freret Street corridor, is expanding its reach with a second location Uptown. Just last month, owners Constantine Georges and Skip Murray opened the doors of Dat Dog "numero dos" at 3336 Magazine Street, with plenty of outdoor seating, the same bright colors and the same menu as the original location. You'll still be able to load up on franks and bratwursts imported from Germany and Belgium right alongside Louisiana staples like locally made smoked andouille, alligator and crawfi sh sausages. "Dat Dog was inspired by the idea of being on vacation or at a picnic," says Georges. "It's happiness through hot dogs, an escape to the feeling of being able to relax, sit back and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, or as we like to tell people, 'embrace your bliss.'" Speaking of bliss, the coolest of cool dessert shops, Meltdown, is opening a second location in Bywater. Owner Michelle Weaver has revealed on
Facebook that they've found the perfect spot at 4011 St. Claude Avenue between Bartholomew and Mazant, and hope to be open sometime this May. Bywater just keeps getting better, and with the addition of gourmet ice pops made from all-natural and mostly local ingredients, the neighborhood will be able to add another notch to its already delicious and diverse restaurant belt.
On Oak Street, yet another hip and everexpanding neighborhood, Mellow Mushroom has fi nally opened the doors of its third greater New Orleans location. The Georgia-based pizza franchise also has locations open in Covington, and more recently, Metairie on Veterans Boulevard. The Oak Street pizzeria offers a menu that is similar to its other locations, with several specialty pizzas and calzones, fresh salads, "hoagies" (sandwiches), and "munchies" (appetizers). There are several items bound to taunt your average pizza lover, like the "Holy Shiitake Pie," with three types of mushrooms and black truffl e oil, or the "Maui Wowie," featuring ham, pineapple, jerk chicken, banana peppers, and applewood-smoked bacon.
In other news, the Maison Dupuy Hotel has tapped Jason Schwartz as its new executive chef. The native New Yorker, who started cooking young, began studying the culinary arts in search of a palatable meal. It drove him to work hard: he quickly went from being a 15-yearold line cook to studying at the Florida Culinary Institute, and has been employed in spots like the Sundy House in Delray, FL, to the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston, TX. Although he's only been in the city for a few years, Schwartz is passionate about the city and is excited to be a part of its resilience and growth.
Over on Lee Circle in the Warehouse District, Dominique Macquet's Tamarind has quickly been replaced by Tivoli & Lee, a brandnew "modern Southern bistro" headed by Chef Mike Nirenberg. The chef has taken his experience from working in the kitchens at Patois and Delachaise and created a fresh farm-to-table menu that features dishes like Chappapeela Farms Duck Confi t with braised greens, andouille tots and pomegranate glaze, and a Poached Gulf Shrimp Salad with pickled vegetables and a chili-shallot vinaigrette. Let's hope it's there to stay… Craig and Kimmie Giesecke are involved with the opening of yet another restaurant, this one called Warehouse Grille, which just recently threw open its doors to the public. Chef Donald Julien is at the helm, and Jeff Bordelon is the general manager at this brand-new eatery owned by the same folks who own the Rivershack Tavern. The Warehouse Grille is in the building that previously housed McGuire's, home of the deep-fried stuffed burger, on the corner of Magazine and St. Joseph Streets in the Warehouse District.
Finally, husband-and-wife chef team Lisa and Chris Barbato (formerly of Cafe Adelaide) have opened a heavenly new bakery Uptown dubbed rivista. Located on Magazine Street just a short hop from the corner of General Pershing, Rivista offers lots of French pastries, bagels and muffi ns, plus sandwiches and tartines.