All sorts of good things are coming together at the new Poydras & Peters restaurant in the Loews New Orleans Hotel. Not only is the brand-new eatery located where Poydras and S. Peters Streets meet in the Warehouse District, but it’s also where Vietnamese and Italian cuisines are fused with classic American fare. It’s where history collides with modern décor, where the past meets the present. And it’s where friends meet for drinks, or dinner, or brunch. Thomas Hines, executive chef of Poydras & Peters, wants to focus on “the importance of how food brings people together across different communities and cultures.”
Poydras & Peters—along with its adjoining bar, Bar Peters—is located on the site of the former Poydras Market, where, many years ago, vendors would sell fresh goods straight off the ships that docked at the riverfront just a few blocks away. Though this market dates back to the 1830s and has long since disappeared, the art of gathering only the freshest produce and meats lives on. Chef Hines insists on only farm-to-table, homegrown, in-season ingredients in every one of his eclectic dishes. “I’ve pushed creative boundaries by reimagining classic American dishes with the influence of several cultures,” he said. “I use fresh, locally sourced ingredients to ensure every course tells a great story.”
If every course is a story, his menu speaks volumes. Dishes—such as his tempura-fried squash blossoms with mascarpone cheese in a romesco sauce, and the fried chicken and oysters with a hot sauce reduction and crispy ginger—are especially noteworthy. And the 1855 angus beef tenderloin with mushrooms and carrots in a bordelaise sauce, as well as the cherry beignet dessert with piccola gelato, are both something to write home about. Or, if you’re in to spinning fish tales, try the pan-roasted stripe bass with lemon, basic, caperberry, and tomato. Any of the menu items pair perfectly with a handcrafted cocktail from the bar, like the Poydras Punch, the Bar Peters Spritz, or the drink that should win a prize for coolest cocktail name ever: the Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley.
Poydras & Peters has replaced Café Adelaide, a Brennan family property that was the previous restaurant in the Loews Hotel. This means that Hines had pretty big chef’s shoes to fill. But he’s up to the task and, in fact, trained under the Brennans when he first began his culinary career in one of their many restaurants. Though Hines has traveled far and wide to hone his chef-ing skills, working in locales as diverse as New York City and the Bahamas, New Orleans kept calling him back. A New Orleans native who left town only after he lost everything in Katrina, he is very excited to be heading the kitchen at the new Poydras & Peters, and happy to be cooking again here in his beloved hometown. Hines knows how important the food is to the local identity, and he takes pride in his work as much as he takes pride in his city. “It’s the people; it’s the culture,” he explained. “New Orleans will never die. That’s just who we are. Without that, we’d be like every city. I’m proud to be a New Orleanian.”
That devotion really comes across in his food. Come taste it for yourself.
Poydras & Peters is open from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily. Bar Peters is open from 11:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 11:30 a.m. until midnight on weekends. Located at 300 Poydras St. in the Loews New Orleans Hotel. For more information, go to loewshotels.com/new-orleans.