What's in a name? … The new proprietors of the previously ill-fated Fat Hen Grocery, the St. Charles Avenue diner once owned by Chef Shane Pritchett, has changed its name to Oakline Grocery. Perhaps the new owner C.J. Williams Jr. believes that the new nomenclature will help the restaurant escape the former occupant's reputation, but I think all it will take are their delectable, honey-butter laden buttermilk biscuits.
7457 St. Charles Avenue
Hip, hip, hooray! … Locals and visitors alike are delighted that the recently shuttered Meauxbar Bistro has been re-opened as simply "Meauxbar" by owner Robert LeBlanc and his team from Ste. Marie. Chef Kristen Essig is offering a heavily French-influenced menu with dishes like Beef Tartar, Goat Cheese Tart with pork fat pastry, Chicken Farci, Moules-Frites in a saffron-tomato broth and a Vanilla Crème Brulee. Bar Manager Chris Arenas also came along for the ride creating a menu of classic and craft cocktails as well as a modest wine list.
924 N. Rampart Street 504.569.9979
Riverside burgers … Texas-based burger franchise MOOYAH opened its first New Orleans location inside the new and improved Riverwalk recently, offering a novel option in the fast-casual world of burger joints in the Crescent City. Local owners Kaleb and Khai Duong are excited to open the first of five MOOYAH restaurants slated to be opened over the next three years. Along with the usual suspects, MOOYAH also offers an all-natural turkey burger, a black bean veggie burger and a choice of white or whole wheat buns. For those gluten-challenged individuals, MOOYAH also offers a lettuce wrap for your burger and "100% real ice cream" shakes.
500 Court of New Orleans Place mooyah.com
Surf's up! … The highly popular, after-work spot Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar & Restaurant in the Warehouse District has just announced a new Tiki-inspired cocktail menu for the summer season. The new menu includes a variety of surf-inspired drinks like the "Sing-A-Pour Sling" with gin, cherry liqueur, Benedictine and pineapple juice; the "Bali Hai" made with freshly-squeezed orange juice, Coco Lopez and Tito's Vodka; and the "Puerto Rican Zombie" which is "aptly named for its effects on those who dare to enjoy it."
701 Tchoupitoulas Street
Cheese (cake), please … The Los Angeles-based restaurant chain The Cheesecake Factory has opened its first Louisiana location last month in Metairie on Veterans Blvd. at Lakeside Shopping Center. The restaurant features a 9,300 square foot dining room that seats approximately 245 diners and has brought over 300 new jobs to the Greater New Orleans Area. Along with offering a huge array of delicious cheesecakes, The Cheesecake Factory has an extensive (and rather eclectic) menu featuring a ton of appetizers, pastas, seafood, steak, salads and sandwiches the entire family will enjoy.
3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Ste. 15
For real this time ... Wave a final (final) farewell to Crazy Johnnie's in Metairie. The popular Fat City steakhouse has officially closed its doors, and though they tried several months ago, this time the close is the real deal. Fans from all over the Greater New Orleans Area are sad to see owner Johnnie Schram go. For over 28 years, Crazy Johnnie's has had a reputation of inexpensive, yet tasty steaks and seafood, most notably their Overstuffed Filet Mignon Po-Boy with "crazy potatoes." This classic Fat City landmark will most definitely be missed.
Le petite dejuner! (breakfast!) ... NOLA-native Rene Brunet recently opened a brand new CBD cafe dubbed Cafe 821 on Baronne Street. The coffee shop not only offers finely-brewed coffees and teas, but an array of pastries (croissants, scones, danishes and muffins), French-style sandwiches (Croque Monsieurs and Madames), quiche and Belgian waffles. The new cafe seems to be catered specifically for workers downtown, only open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm, but I doubt that will stop me and other New Orleans denizens employed in different parts of the city from making the trek.
821 Baronne Street 504.267.5456
Certifiably sustainable … Carmo has recently earned certification from Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch as a sustainable restaurant, the first to earn such recognition in the entire state of Louisiana. Seafood Watch is a national organization devoted to aiding businesses and consumers in making the best choices for healthy oceans. Their recommendations are science-based and use ecosystem-based criteria. Carmo's co-owner and head chef Dana Honn says they've been working to make their seafood menu sustainable since their opening and "...as a Seafood Watch restaurant partner, we're in an optimal position to help ensure the SW program accurately represents and communicates the true bounty and condition of our local fisheries." Many kudos to Carmo from all of us here at Where Y'at Magazine!
527 Julia Street 504.875.4132 ~ cafecarmo.com