The French/Vietnamese restaurant Tamarind by Dominique has closed inside the Hotel Modern (936 St. Charles Ave., 504-962-0900; www.thehotelmodern.com), and in its place the hotel has created an extended-run pop-up concept to feature a changing roster of purveyors from the area's farm-to-table scene.
The pop-up, called Why Not?, features different menus and partners for two-week stints running through the end of December. The chef is Michael Nirenberg, previously of the wine bar Oak, Patois and Delachaise. For its first incarnation, Why Not? is working with the new, whole-animal butcher shop Cleaver & Co. and serving small plates made from a single pig. Next, it will feature dishes made with foods from Hollygrove Market & Farm. Craft cocktail maven Kimberly Patton-Bragg is preparing drinks to complement each of the Why Not? menus.
"We're opening the doors and it is a little loose, but at the end of the day it's about coming in, having an open mind and having some great food," says Hotel Modern creative director James Stuart.
Tamarind by Dominique opened last year with namesake chef Dominique Macquet at the helm. He left the operation earlier this fall to focus on his next restaurant, Dominique's on Magazine, which is slated to open in December.
When the six-week span of Why Not? wraps up, Stuart says, the hotel will open a new restaurant, but the particulars of that future venture are still under development.
"Whatever we do, it will stay with this farm-to-table, seasonal concept," he says.
Why Not? serves from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.