Feelings Cafe (2600 Chartres St., 945-2222; www.feelingscafe.com) embraces quality over quantity and consistency over the adventure of a constantly changing menu.
Owner Jim Baird reduced the capacity of the dining room and the restaurant's hours following Hurricane Katrina and has maintained those changes to this day. Having a smaller operation, he says, allows the staff to provide customers a great dining experience and personal service.
The philosophy behind the food is similar. The menu is a relatively unchanging selection of Creole and American dishes. Popular items include Gulf fish Nicolas, a grilled fillet of fish topped with grilled shrimp on a bed of creamed spinach; and blue cheese steak, a filet stuffed with blue cheese and topped with sauteed mushrooms. "My concept is to offer a consistent menu and consistent quality," Baird says.
One of the biggest draws of the restaurant is its charm, which is enhanced by its location in the D'Aunoy Plantation. Among the oldest buildings in the Marigny, Feelings Cafe has retained its Old World charm with its brick patio courtyard lush with vegetation and its former slave quarters converted into a piano bar.
While Feelings keeps its food options consistent, diners can look forward to some new additions in the coming months. Inspired by his own recent change in diet, Baird plans to add more vegetarian dishes to the menu. While he enjoys the extra service and care a smaller operation allows for customers, he hopes one day to expand the restaurant to its pre-Katrina size and operations.
Feelings Cafe is open for dinner Thursday through Sunday and for brunch on Sunday.