As Gautreau's (1728 Soniat St., 504-899-7397; www.gautreausrestaurant.com) has collected culinary accolades over the years, it also has attracted the interest of many would-be partners. Proprietor Patrick Singley 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."
The right answer materialized less than a mile away from Gautreau's. Singley and his wife Rebecca plan to open a restaurant called Ivy this fall at 5015 Magazine St., the address of the former Vizard's Restaurant. Singley says the concept they're developing is comparable to Bouligny Tavern (3641 Magazine St., 504-891-1810; www.boulignytavern.com), chef
John Harris' upscale lounge adjoining Harris' 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 be open until midnight, he says, and there will be a full bar staffed by two bartenders.
Gautreau's executive chef Sue Zemanick will oversee both Ivy and Gautreau's, and the kitchens will be run by a pair of chefs de cuisine — Chris Gecewich for Ivy and Nick Lama for Gautreau's. Redesign work for the interior of Ivy is still underway, and Singley anticipates opening at the end of September. He also says he's been discussing ideas for future restaurant projects in the area.
The Besh Restaurant Group is looking at a building one block away from Ivy's future home for a spin-off of its popular downtown Italian restaurant Domenica (123 Baronne St., 504-648-6020; www.domenicarestaurant.com). 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 considering for the new concept, which would focus on the same kind of wood-fired pizzas served at Domenica.