Whenever Lana Banks and Ali Wild would come into New Orleans for a weekend, they would eye a tiny shop on Magazine near Milan Street.
“We’d always walk by and think, ‘What a great spot for a restaurant,’” Banks says.
Banks and Wild own Across the Street
, a Mexican restaurant in Atlanta, but since Wild hails from New Orleans, the pair often visit town. After settling into a home on nearby Marengo Street a few months ago, they opened The Standard
(4206 Magazine St.), serving lunch, brunch and dinner in the space that used to house C'est La Vie
and N'awlins Jazz Café
, among others.
“This is a wonderful neighborhood for food,” Banks says. “There’s Vietnamese, there’s Israeli, there’s Thai…there’s so much great food here.”
The renovated space feels light and airy; the walls are painted pale cream, wooden chairs and barstools are covered paisley cloth and a mix of antique tools and artwork line the walls, including a recently purchased set of antique dinner plates the pair found at a local estate sale.
“We love anything with a story,” Banks says. “We wanted it be a place were people could come and feel comfortable.”
An outdoor patio is in the works for when the weather cools down, Banks says.
The lunch and dinner menu suit a casual, neighborhood cafe: there’s herbed chicken salad on a croissant, arugula and watermelon salad and a char-grilled half-pound Angus beef burger topped with Irish cheddar cheese.
Larger entrees take a more Southern turn. Buttermilk fried chicken is served with mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy; mirliton is stuffed with lump crab and Gulf shrimp, and corn-fried tilapia comes with jalapeno macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and tartar sauce.
Brunch features a number of egg dishes, including crab cake Benedict topped with spicy sauteed spinach and the "Benicio" – jalapeno cornbread topped with Puebla-style pulled pork, two poached eggs and deep fried hot peppers.
The Standard is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday. A midday happy hour menu will launch in coming weeks.