Project Lagniappe (lagniappe is a Creole expression for an unexpected gift), the Katrina rehabilitation project spearheaded by the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association and Whit Meyers of the now-bankrupt Green Room and Jeroboam restaurants, is beginning to bear fruit. Through Deep Relief, the part of the project that allows displaced New Orleans hospitality workers to use vacant Deep Ellum space to re-establish their eateries, two new restaurants will open in Deep Ellum over the next week. On December 3, Daza's New Orleans Soul Food will emerge in the former Dodie's Gulf Coast restaurant. Native Big Easier David Patin, along with his father, also named David, ran a restaurant called The Way Café tucked in The Way Jesus Christ Christian Church in New Orleans where Patin's father preached. The Patins left New Orleans in late August with their family as well as 30 congregants from their 250-member church. "After the hurricane, we came to Dallas," says Patin. "We're just trying to do the same thing up here." And how they are. Patin's father has re-established his church in the Holiday Inn Select on Central Expressway. Daza's will serve po'boys, wraps, red beans and rice, jambalaya and the like.
Just before the Daza opening, Crustaceans will open November 26 in the evacuated East Wind restaurant space. Chef Ronald Honore and his son-in-law Brian Wright are attempting to recreate the New Orleans Cajun/Creole restaurant once operated by Honore, cousin to Army Lieutenant General Russel Honore, who spearheaded the federal Hurricane Katrina relief effort. The 80-seat restaurant (plus a 30-seat patio) will feature red beans and rice, seafood Honore (a seafood casserole), smothered pork chops, stuffed bell peppers, gumbo and fried chicken. "I used to sell so much of that [fried chicken] it was pathetic," boasts Honore. "I couldn't keep up with it."
David McMillan, chef/owner of 62 Main in Colleyville, has finally sprung his new bar down the hall from his restaurant. He calls it Bar on 2, referencing its lofty second-story perch (where the restaurant resides as well). The moisture hole features a discreet TV, plus twisted bar eats that include truffle French fries, a daily foie gras and buffalo quail--by the bucket if the flock holds out...In other bird news, Avanti founder A. Jack Ekhtiar is launching a rotisserie chicken concept early next year in Frisco called Marco Pollo (get it?) Rotisserie. Inspired by a concept in Peru, Marco Pollo features organic farm-raised chickens bathed in white vinegar, hand-rubbed with lemon, marinated in South American spices and roasted over "natural wood charcoal" as opposed to those briquettes used by other bird foragers.
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