One of the distinctive old French Creole restaurants of the Quarter is back open after a long hiatus with a new owner and a much different menu.
Glen Hogh, chef and owner of Vega Tapas Café in Metairie, reopened Café Sbisa (1011 Decatur St., 522-5565), which has been closed since Hurricane Katrina.
Café Sbisa first opened in 1899 and had several different incarnations over the generations that followed. In more recent history, the restaurant was best known for its Sunday brunch and its elegant old world ambiance of murals, mirrors and dark wood paneling through its 1820s-era building.
Cafe Sbisa's two dining rooms, balconies and patio are now open for dinner only Wednesday through Sunday. Lunch and Sunday brunch are planned for the near future.
While the interior and exterior look of the historic restaurant has been restored, Hogh's menu is larger, more ambitious and more creative than the French Creole fare of the past. This isn't surprising knowing Hogh's wide-ranging, ever-changing menu at Vega Tapas, and I'm excited both to see this beautiful structure back in commerce and to have a new restaurant of this level in the lower Quarter.
Click below to see highlights from his opening menu:
Sbisa Crab Cake over Whole Grain Mustard Butter with Mixed Cabbage Slaw
Stuffed Eggplant with Confit of Duck, Foie Bechamel, Creamy Brie, and Basil Pesto
Oysters Sbisa: Lightly Crisp Gulf Oysters over Pernod Creamed Applewood Smoked Bacon & Spinach
Steamed Mussels in White Wine Butter, Capers, Shallots, & Fresh Dill with Pommes Frites
Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Rhubarb-Apple Chutney, Green Tomato Marmalade & Croustades
Duck Pastrami: Cured Duck Breast with Fig Mustard and Accompaniments
Sauteed Veal Sweetbreads with Wild Mushrooms & Crispy Prosciutto over Sherry Butter
Seared Diver Scallops with Wild Mushroom Ragout & Roasted Corn Grits
Gulf Shrimp Épicé: Jumbo "BBQ" Shrimp in a Spicy Pork Sausage Cream
Smoked Soft Shell Crab over Broiled Potatoes with Vegetable & Green Onion Aioli
Pan Roasted Gulf Fish:Today's Daily Catch over Black-eye Pea Ragout with Vegetables
New York Strip with Broiled Potatoes, Stilton Mornay and Vegetables
Mushroom Vol-a-Vent: Exotic Mushrooms Sauteed in Madeira Cream with English Peas in Puff Pastry
Roasted Louisiana Quail: Glazed Semi-boneless Quail stuffed with Pecan-Chorizo Wild Rice over Sweet Potato Mash
Roasted Leg of Rabbit over Applewood-Smoked Bacon Spinach & Broiled Potatoes