The CBD is about to get all jazzed up, people. The early haunt of Buddy Bolden and Jelly Roll Morton, Little Gem Saloon, is set to open before January at the corner Poydras and South Rampart streets after a $5 million dollar renovation of the historic building that's been vacant since the 1970's. The Times-Pic's Susan Langenhennig takes a look at their upcoming menu this week.
Executive Chef Robert Bruce has apparently gone back to study the Creole classics of yore, says Langenhenning, delving into "Lafcadio Hearn's Creole Cookbook, first published in 1885, and the Picayune Creole Cookbook, first published in 1901." Bruce tells her to expect lots of slow cooking, braising, and traditional techniques from the kitchen, as well as a few dishes from his family's beloved former restaurant Maylie's (Now the sporty hell mouth Walk-Ons), which happened to be located directly across the street from Little Gem until Katrina.
Little Gem Saloon will seat about 90 in downstairs dining area. There will be an upscale bar, and in another nod to the musical landmark, a happening upstairs jazz club that also seats another 100. Also of note: former Galatoire's GM, Chris Ycaza, has signed on be the saloon's GM.