(1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-304-2147), the new southern-inspired restaurant inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum,
will open on Oct. 5.
Chef Isaac Toups, who was a finalist and fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 13
, opened his eponymous restaurant Toups’ Meatery (845 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-) with his wife and co-owner Amanda Toups in Mid-City in 2012. The couple is expanding their reach with a new concept inside the Central City museum’s restaurant space, formerly home to Ryan Hughes’ Purloo, which closed in June.
“We’re really excited to open in Central City in the Southern Food & Beverage Museum,” Amanda Toups said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to be a part of this up and coming neighborhood and know we’ll feel right at home.”
The menu their flagship restaurant is heavily influenced by Cajun country cuisine and Isaac Toups’ upbringing in Rayne, Louisiana, but the new restaurant, which sits in a yawning 2,000-square-foot space on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, pays homage to a larger swath of the South, ranging from “South Carolina Lowcountry to Texas BBQ and everything in between,” according to a news release.
Small plates include sourdough biscuits with crab fat butter; goat tamales with charred green tomato relish and fermented padron crema; Gulf snapper crudo with butternut squash, coconut, pumpkin seed and chili oil; and brown sugar and soy-glazed pork belly with lime-spiced watermelon, sesame and pork rind. Larger plates include grilled poussin with pecan dumplings, heirloom broccoli and sage pan jus; lamb sweetbreads and mushroom Milanese on grits, sautéed collard greens and caramelized onions; and a fried pork chop stack served with squash, coffee aioli and white bread.
The restaurant also will serve brunch on Sundays. The menu includes Farm Eggs in Purgatory — poached eggs with andouille, jalapeno-tomato braise and toasted ciabatta; seared foie gras pain perdu with fruit, greens and honey gastrique; and a breakfast po-boy with baked eggs, chicken bologna and American cheese.
Though there have been some aesthetic changes since the restaurant’s tenure as Purloo, diners will remember the wraparound bar, outfitted in reclaimed cypress, overlooking the open kitchen, and floor-to-ceiling sheer drapes separating the restaurant from the museum, and the historic dark wooden bar, built in 1851 and taken from the since shuttered West End restaurant Bruning’s.
The restaurant’s bar program, overseen by Adrienne Miller, includes drinks like the Frida’s Brush, made with Xicaru mezcal, lemon, creme de cassis and prosecco, and the Toups Julep, featuring Old Forrester bourbon, sweet tea honey syrup, fresh mint and persimmon bitters, among others.
Toups South will be open for lunch and dinner Monday and Wednesday through Saturday, and brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.