Buttered Up

Co-owners Simon Beck and Dayne Womax promise Southern Bible Belt region cuisine prepared with care at their new Mid City joint Brown Butter.

Five years ago, Chef Dayne Womax started a pop up supper club with friend Josh Garic and they called it The Salty Swine. They showed up at places like Vega Tapas and Ye Olde College Inn, offering diners a 12-course menu built around a central theme like, Winter Harvest, Seafood, or Creole Tomato. Their goal: to create a tasting menu of epic proportions.

They made their mark on the community, and after attracting much attention, the president of the Timberlane Country Club in Gretna called them to work with Timberlane’s new food and beverage program. Simon Beck, a friend of Womax’s then came on to work as general manager.

The three partners found they worked really well together and The Salty Swine was gaining popularity. However, at the end of their lease term, Garic decided to pursue other culinary endeavors at the Queen and Crescent Hotel, and Womax and Beck were left to figure out their next move as a duo.

“Initially, the three of us were going to continue on as The Salty Swine,” says Simon Beck, co-owner of Brown Butter. “But with Josh leaving, we felt we needed to change the branding of the company up a little bit.  We discovered this space when we were on the hunt for properties to lease, and the rest is history.”

The two friends began fleshing out the concept for Brown Butter. With so many eclectic and ethnic restaurants opening in New Orleans these days, the two food-lovers opted to follow their roots and offer diners authentic Southern cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients.  

“Our guests can expect warm service, in a comfortable setting, while enjoying Southern Bible Belt region cuisine prepared with care,” says Beck. “All of our offerings are made from scratch.”  

On the website, Brown Butter boasts that it covers the “low country” to the “Cajun country.” Womax and Beck are opting not to limit themselves to New Orleans-style staples, but to also craft regional classics known outside of the Crescent City, like their chicken and waffle sandwich, bone-in pork chop, and crispy fried pickles.

Beck says he had the space in mind for quite sometime.

“I had my eye on this location for a while,” he says. “Even back when it was still a WoW Cafe.  One day in July, I noticed that their doors were shut on a weeknight, and I got the ball rolling to find the owners of the building.”

Once primed to open their 2,400 square-foot restaurant, Beck and Womax made the somewhat unorthodox decision to take on the bulk of the management duties to start.

“Anytime that you are opening a restaurant with two people, things take longer than expected,” Beck says. “Rather than hiring a management team, we went at it on our own and didn’t bring any employees in until the training began a couple weeks ago.  But those challenges have certainly strengthened us as business partners.”

Now with a staff of 12, Beck and Womax can relax a little more diners begin coming through their doors for lunch.

“Right now we are relying on word of mouth and social media,” says Beck. “We are going to pursue an aggressive advertising campaign after Mardi Gras when we get ready to open up for dinner.”

To see what all the fuss is about, visit Brown Butter – 231 North Carrollton Avenue Suite C,  New Orleans (504) 609-3871 – Tuesday-Sunday 11a.m. – 3p.m.

Categories: Start up Successes