Lakeview now has a new Spanish restaurant with familiar local credentials. Madrid Restaurant (300 Harrison Ave., 482-2757) opened last night, and serves dinner Monday through Saturday.
At the helm is Juan Hernandez, a native Spaniard who was chef and co-owner of Madrid Restaurante in Kenner. He ran the place with co-owner Juan Contreras from 2004 until Katrina struck. They parted ways after the storm and Contreras now operates the Mexican restaurant El Gato Negro near the French Market.
Madrid's menu of tapas and paella will be familiar to those who dined at the restaurant's first incarnation, though a liquor license is still in the works to allow Spanish wines and sangria to accompany meals. In the meantime the restaurant is BYOB.
The old Madrid was in a strip mall along a Kenner side street otherwise dominated by a Home Depot, but people still sought it out. This new version is in a former convenience store a bit outside the main Harrison Avenue commercial strip. Knowing how eagerly Lakeview people have embraced new, local ventures, I don't think it will take long for the neighborhood to find Madrid.