Sometimes a creative impulse inspires a pop-up restaurant as chefs play around with flavors and formats outside the normal realm of their restaurants. Other pop-ups come about for more practical reasons, like testing out a new concept or expansion. The new restaurant Noodle & Pie (741 State St., 504-252-9431; www.noodleandpie.com) seems like the love child of those two motivations.
Noodle & Pie started in 2011 as a pop-up venture by Eman Loubier, chef of the Riverbend standout Dante's Kitchen, along with the restaurant's sous chef Brian Armour and pastry chef Kris Bouley. They periodically took over the Uptown cafe Coulis for one-night menus of ramen noodle soups and traditional sweet pies.
"We did it initially just because it was fun, and it turned out that people were really into what we were doing," Loubier says. "But it was sapping our energy to do just this one day thing so we decided to do it for real."
Though the full-time Noodle & Pie menu has been expanded from the pop-up days, it still revolves around the unlikely mash-up promised by the restaurant's name.
"They're popular trends and they're completely different. We're basically shoving them together, but I think we have the know-how and hopefully people will groove on it," Loubier says.
While the menu will change frequently, it's anchored by four noodle soups and four pies, along with an array of snacks and small plates drawing in Asia flavors from Korea to Malaysia. The restaurant serves beer and wine.
Noodle & Pie took over the former Uptown location of Reginelli's Pizzeria, which moved to a bigger spot just across Magazine Street last year. The renovation of the corner storefront has been pretty dramatic, with a curvaceous noodle bar, a bright color scheme and a high-gloss floor treatment that resembles rippling water.
Noodle & Pie serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday, beginning at 4:30 p.m. It stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.