A New Year Brings New Eats
Throw these dozen restaurants on your list to check out in 2015.
he New Orleans restaurant economy continues to pullulate with new life, making the list of choices ever longer and more complex. To simplify things, here’s a sampling of 12 restaurants – one per month – to check out in 2015. All are either just opened or on the way.
Brennan’s. A culinary pillar of the Vieux Carré that had deteriorated in recent years reopens under a familiar name but a steadier hand: that of Ralph Brennan. Slade Rushing, who has done intriguing work at MiLa, will don the chef’s hat at this Brennan’s reboot. – Late 2014 – 417 Royal St.
Latitude 29. New Orleans gets a bit of Tiki with a cocktail-centric, fine-dining “PolynAsian” restaurant in the Bienville House hotel. Owner Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, known as a patron saint of the cocktail culture, will help to man the swizzle sticks in the space that formerly housed Iris. – Late 2014 – 320 Decatur St.
Tacos & Tequila. Nick Bazan and Miles Prescott are ending the pan-Latin ways of Rio Mar to go straight down Mexico way with a new taquería named, yes, Tacos and Tequila. – Now open – 800 S. Peters St.
Johnny Sanchez. Speaking of Mexico, one new taquería on the scene is a celebrity team-up from John Besh and rising national star Aaron Sanchez. Located in the Poydras Street building where Ste. Marie was short-lived, this is the second Johnny Sanchez location. (The first is in a Baltimore casino.) – Now open – 930 Poydras St.
Balise. Balise is making its home in an ancient American Sector structure that has long felt under-appreciated. The former Ditcharo’s at the corner of Carondelet and Girod comes back to life with sparkle as Chef Justin Devillier and wife Mia (of La Petite Grocery) open Balise. – Winter 2014 – 640 Carondelet St.
Ursa Major. Future denizens of the South Market District development under construction in the CBD will be a captive audience for Ursa Major. It comes from the modern renaissance men who brought Booty’s Street Food to the Bywater, Kevin Farrell and Nick Vivion. – Spring 2015 – South Market District.
Magasin Vietnamese Café. Also destined for the South Market District is a second location of the Nguyen family’s Magazine Street pho shop, Magasin. – Spring 2015 – South Market District.
Purloo. The new Southern Food & Beverage Museum on O.C. Haley is home to a stationary restaurant from pop-up chef Ryan Hughes (formerly of Café Degas). Purloo will take diners on an edible journey across the American South. – Fall 2014 – Southern Food & Beverage Museum.
New Adolfo Garcia restaurant (Name T.B.A.). Down the street from Purloo, restless restaurateur Adolfo Garcia (Ancora, High Hat Café, La Boca) is planning a new venue at the corner of Felicity Street. Garcia has a knack for opening restaurants in neighborhoods on the rise – a good sign for O.C. Haley. – Spring 2015 – 1800 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
The Manor on Magazine. On a far more established strip, Robert LeBlanc and Sean McCusker have taken over a true architectural gem. The Manor on Magazine will allow the duo that created Sylvain in the French Quarter to operate with more elbow room. Given the charms of Sylvain, diners will have high hopes for such a graceful new setting. – Winter 2015 – 3607 Magazine St.
Altamura. Also on Magazine Street: Jack Petronella, owner of the new breakfast spot Manhattanjack’s on Prytania Street, is going to dinner – and back to his ancestors’ hometown in Italy – with Altamura. Co-restaurateur Coleman Jernigan will chip in on the chef-ly responsibilities. – Fall 2014 – 5119 Magazine St.
Ming’s. From the Joe family, which created China Doll and China Orchid, comes a new Chinese restaurant in Lakeview. Ming’s is claiming the old Wolfe’s (later Zachary’s) location on Pontchartrain in the West End area. Lakeview has been without Chinese since the delightfully kitschy (think dim lighting and beaded doorways) China Rose / Imperial Palace on Robert E. Lee drowned. – Now open – 7224 Pontchartrain Blvd.
Peter Reichard is a native New Orleanian who has written about the life and times of the city for more than 20 years, including as a former newspaper editor and business journalist.