Our city may be nicknamed "The Big Easy," but no one is taking it easy, not by a mile. With the way new businesses keep popping up, and new festivals being organized, new buildings, and an infl ux of new residents, life in New Orleans has become anything but easy.
Speaking of popping, there's a new donut shop popping up every Saturday morning inside Tracey's on the corner of Magazine and 3 rd Street. Dubbed the Upper Nine Doughnut Company, this gourmet donut company's fans are already fl ocking every weekend to sink their teeth into delicious sweet treats like Ponchatoula strawberry donuts dressed with creole cream cheese mousse, chocolate ganache, praline bacon, crème brulee, and key lime. They open every Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and stick around till they sell out, so you might want to go early.
One of the newest restaurants in town is none other than the long-anticipated Lucky Rooster. From the folks that brought you Juan's Flying Burrito and Slice comes a restaurant featuring Asian market and street cuisine with a slight nod to New Orleans. Located on Baronne Street on the edge of the CBD, the Lucky Rooster combines the talents of general manager and wine director Joe Briand and chef Neal Swidler to bring this inexpensive and unique eatery to the denizens of the Crescent City. "Nibble," "munch," "peck," "crunch," and "slurp" your way through a menu featuring Red Ginger Shrimp Bao, Lo Mein Spinach Salad, "Wise Boar" Soup or a "Master Po" grilled shiitake mushroom banh mi. Don't forget to leave without a "happy ending," a.k.a. dessert, like Coconut Crème Brulee or a Kung Pao Cocoa Pot.
Another Asian restaurant dubbed Pho Bistreaux recently fl ung open its doors, to the delight of people living near Oak Street. Located in the historic building that briefl y housed a burger joint, deli, and Indian spot, Pho Bistreaux is a welcome new addition to the array of restaurants that already grace burgeoning Oak Street. The small space sports a sleek, modern look, with counter seating, high tables, and low-hung track lighting. Enjoy dishes like grilled pork or chicken "sliders," pho, vermicelli, egg rolls and spring rolls, or an interesting combination of both.
Almost a year after a fi re destroyed its operations, Hubig's Pies fi nally has solid plans to build their new bakery on Press Street in the Marigny. The site is currently a large vacant lot owned by the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Institute, which must approve the fi nal design of the new building. Hubig's is anxiously seeking to remain in the community of which it has been a part since its founding in 1921. Since then, Hubig's has become a company whose fried fruit pies have become a beloved, nostalgic symbol of New Orleans, which both locals and tourists alike have greatly missed since production halted last year.
Leonardo Trattoria's newest venture, Cibugnu, recently won silver at the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience's Fleur de Lis awards, an impressive victory for on its own, let alone for a restaurant that has yet to open. Located on St. Charles Avenue, just a hop away from Herbsaint, the Italian restaurant already has a brand-new website touting Cibugnu's "Italian from Scratch," listing features like a wood-fi red oven, handmade pasta and al fresco dining. There's even a sample menu listing dishes like "Cinque Bucci," a squid ink pasta with crab cream, "Briante," or sausage pizza, and "Braciola," or fl ank steak rolled with speck (juniper-fl avored ham) and Gorgonzola cheese. It is expected to open late June, early July.
In other news, Kelly Barker and M. Cristiano Raffi gnone of Martinique Bistro have purchased Dick & Jenny's on Tchoupitoulas Street from Will and Leigh Peters. The current staff will remain, including Dick & Jenny's chef Stacy Hall, who will be working with Cristiano's executive chef Lindsay Mason. The 14-year-old restaurant has long been a local favorite, and the new owners recognize and respect that loyalty.
Finally, the folks over at Gautreau's are planning to open a bar with small bites in the former Vizard's space later this month. Famed chef Sue Zemanick and owners Patrick and Rebecca Singley are naming the new space "Ivy"; it will have a lounge feel with a focus on cocktails.
2604 Magazine St., traceysnola.com
515 Baronne St.
1200 S Carrollton Ave., phobistreaux.biz
709 St. Charles Ave., cibugnu.com
Dick and Jenny's
4501 Tchoupitoulas St., dickandjennys.com
1728 Soniat St., gautreausrestaurant.com