Monday, August 19, 2013

Ivy taking shape for small plates

Posted By on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

The former home of Hevin will become Ivy this fall.
  • The former home of Hevin will become Ivy this fall.

As Gautreau’s has racked up impressive culinary accolades over the years, it has also attracted the interest of many would-be partners. Patrick Singley, the Uptown restaurant’s proprietor, says he’s fielded proposals to start new restaurant projects from the Gulf Coast to Oxford, Miss.

“We’ve gotten maybe 50 offers over the years to open new projects,” he says. “We were just always looking for that right fit of the area, the building and the project.”

It turns out the right answer for Singley materialized less than a mile away from Gautreau’s. It’s on a quiet stretch of Magazine Street that may also see more restaurant activity in the future.

Singley and his wife Rebecca plan to open a new restaurant called Ivy this fall at 5015 Magazine St., the address that was previously home to Vizard’s Restaurant.

Singley says the concept they’re aiming for is comparable to Bouligny Tavern, the upscale lounge chef John Harris opened next to his bistro Lilette.

“We think it will be right for people looking to eat after an event or to go somewhere after dinner,” Singley says. “The menu will be eclectic. It will be a place you go to have a fine cocktail and share a few small plates.”

It will also be open until midnight, he says, and there will be a full bar with two bartenders to keep the drinks rolling.

Gautreau’s executive chef Sue Zemanick will oversee both Ivy and Gautreau’s, while the kitchens will be directly run by a pair of chefs de cuisine — Chris Gecewich for Ivy and Nick Lama for Gautreau’s.

The local chef Kevin Vizard operated his eponymous upscale restaurant at this small, ivy-clad building since 2008. Last year Vizard converted the concept into a casual lunch spot called Hevin, but that closed early in 2013.

Redesign work for the interior of Ivy is still underway, and Singley anticipates opening around the end of September. He also hints there could be more restaurant ventures on the way. The landlord for Ivy’s building also owns several nearby properties, and Singley says he’s been discussing ideas for additional projects in the area.

In addition, the Besh Restaurant Group is considering a building one block away from Ivy’s future home for a spin-off of its popular downtown Italian restaurant Domenica. A spokeswoman for chef John Besh confirms that a portion of the building at 4935 Magazine St. is one of the options the company is eying for the new concept, which would focus on the same kind of wood-fire pizzas served at Domenica.

5015 Magazine St., phone n.a.

1728 Soniat St., (504) 899-7397

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