When you're not gobbling fi stfuls of your kid's dearly-bought Halloween candy or groovin' to Neil Young belting out his "Heart of Gold" in City Park, it's time to avail yourself of some new changes in the ever-burgeoning, New Orleans restaurant industry.
Chameleon Chef, Kevin Vizard, is shedding his skin once again for a restaurant of a different color. 5015 Magazine St., which has housed Vizard's for the past four years, has transformed literally overnight into yet another incarnation from Chef Kevin called Hevin...as in "A Lil' Taste of." Self touted as the "home of the po-nini," Hevin will be open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., aiming to serve salads and sandwiches to the Uptown working crowd. "Oooh baby, do you know what that's worth? ..."
The old comes new again in Central City with the opening of Adrian's Bakery on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. This Algiers bakery that has become locally-revered for their divine cinnamon rolls has opened this second location in the recently redeveloped Franz Building, part of Central City's plans to revive this old, commercial corridor. Though their praline cake might be one of their signature items, I have it on good authority that the Apple Fritters are not to be missed.
Another Central City newcomer, Mais Arepas that has taken over the aqua-blue building on the corner of Carondelet and Clio that formerly housed the Surrey's split-off, La Playa Juiceteria. David Mantilla, former partner at Baru Bistro & tapas on Magazine Street, introduces "arepas" to New Orleans, a Colombian dish similar to the Mexican "gordita" or Salvadorean "pupusa" made from unleavened, ground corn dough. Along with delicious cornmeal cakes stuffed with a variety of fi llings (including some with a Creole fl air), Mais Arepas also serves their own special margaritas and mojitos, perfect for Friday night happy hour after a tiring work week in the nearby CBD.
In other news, La Petite Grocery's sous chef has taken over the helm at Dijon. The Annunciation Street restaurant hopes to be born anew with Chef Daniel Causgrove taking over the kitchen. Owner Kurt Brodtmann seems excited to have him in the driver's seat stating that "Daniel is extremely organized, talented, professional, and charming with guests and staff alike...in short...he has all the personal and professional attributes that we have been searching for in a chef." Chef Daniel's new menu includes signature dishes like Fried Pickled Shrimp with shaved fennel, Yellow Fin Tuna Nicoise with haricot verts and Grilled Hanger Steak with a pinot noir jus.
Speaking of steak, roux Public House has reopened the doors of recently shuttered Jackson Restaurant located at 1910 Magazine St. The new eatery resulted from a partnership between Chef Zack Tippin of Capedeville fame and John Bel that offers what they call "traditional New Orleans dishes" and signature cocktails. Aiming to provide an atmosphere similar to a British pub, Roux offers a simple menu with not-sosimple dishes like Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs with pickled peppers and caper berries or a Pan-Seared Rib-eye in red wine butter served with parsnip home fries.
Finally, the pizza craze is still on over at Buffa's Bar & restaurant on Esplanade Avenue. It seems there's been a whole lot of pizza going on, chicaco Mike's Deep Dish Pizza that is. Michael Cegielski, a Chicago native, wanted folks down here to taste the real deal and after weeks perfecting his recipe, he decided to share it with the rest of us. With over a pound of cheese on each 14-inch pie, these beauties are selling fast, but you can still catch them Monday nights while watching the game at Buffa's.