Arnaud’s Restaurant To Celebrate 100 Years Of Serving Authentic Creole Cuisine In 2018
NEW ORLEANS – In 2018, Arnaud’s Restaurant – one of the oldest family-operated restaurants in the country – will celebrate 100 years of serving authentic Creole cuisine in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter.
The menu, featuring items named after friends and loved ones, contains many items that have remained nearly untouched, along with a handful of options introduced over recent years, reps said. Revered as a grande dame of Creole dining, the restaurant will invite the community and customers, old and new, to celebrate the milestone through special events, new menu items and partnerships with local organizations, to take place throughout the year.
Founded in 1918 by French wine salesman Arnaud Cazenave, the restaurant has seen only two families of owners – the Cazenaves and current owners the Casbarians. Arnaud’s success continues under the leadership of the second generation of the family ownership, Katy and Archie Casbarian, children of Jane and the late Archie Casbarian, reps said.
“Arnaud’s is a special place,” said Archie Casbarian. “I grew up here and, like many New Orleanians, can remember celebrating holidays and special events at the restaurant since I was a child. To have transitioned into an operating role and to be part of Arnaud’s storied history is truly an honor for Katy and me. We are excited to see what the next 100 years have in store.”
Located at 813 Bienville St., the restaurant bears its founder’s name with a commitment to providing quality cuisine and unmatched hospitality. Referred to as ‘The Count,’ Arnaud was among the first restaurateurs to reintroduce the art of wine and spirits paired with gourmet food at the end of the Prohibition era. He channeled much of the restaurant’s fortune into expansion, purchasing one adjoining property after another until Arnaud’s 11 buildings covered most of the block. After 30 years of running the restaurant, Arnaud passed the restaurant down to his lively and gregarious daughter, Germaine. Eager to maintain the reputation of Arnaud’s that her father worked so hard to build, she led the restaurant to international acclaim.
In 1978, after Germaine determined she needed to relinquish control of the restaurant, Arnaud’s was acquired by Archie and Jane Casbarian. While many approached Germaine with offers to buy the restaurant, it was the many similarities between Archie and her father that attracted her to pass the reins to the Casbarians. Upon acquisition, the Casbarians sought to return Arnaud’s to its original grandeur from which it had strayed by restoring the property and reinvigorating the cuisine. This brought widespread praise to Arnaud’s Restaurant, reps said. Years later, Casbarian identified a need for a casual, family-friendly restaurant on Bourbon Street. It was then that he opened Remoulade – the casual side of Arnaud’s that continues to serve Cajun-inspired cuisine along with select Arnaud’s classics.
Katy and Archie Casbarian continue their commitment to running the restaurant by staying true to the vision of their parents, which has brought recent national recognition to the historical institution, reps said.
Arnaud’s French 75 Bar – led by head bartender Chris Hannah – was recognized with a 2017 James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Bar Program,” for its commitment to premium spirits and classic cocktails. Tommy DiGiovanni, executive chef since 1997, continues to deliver Arnaud’s classic dishes with unwavering consistency and contributes new innovations that are destined to become Creole classics themselves. The restaurant offers dinner nightly in the main dining room and Arnaud’s Jazz Bistro, featuring live Dixieland jazz. On Sundays, guests flock to the restaurant to enjoy Arnaud’s jazz brunch, again featuring a live jazz trio.
“Since its inception, Arnaud’s has served as a gathering spot for family, friends and acquaintances to catch up over good food and cocktails,” said Katy Casbarian. “The restaurant is steeped in history – one that we celebrate daily through our consistent culinary offerings and hospitality. As we near 100 years, we’ll continue to honor our legacy by keeping one foot in the past, with another firmly planted in the future.”
Arnaud’s centennial celebration will be made even grander by coinciding with New Orleans’ tricentennial in 2018. The restaurant’s celebrations will include a mix of private and public quarterly events honoring past and current owners: Arnaud Cazenave, Germaine C. Wells, Jane and the late Archie Casbarian, and Katy and Archie Casbarian. Further information will be available closer to the event dates.
Arnaud’s is open nightly starting at 6:00 p.m. Sunday jazz brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Reservations are recommended.