This morning, a press release came out announcing the next project of Chef René Bajeux, the chef formerly of the Rib Room inside the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel. His next project, which some said was "going to be a gamechanger"? The return of his René Bistrot, which he owned prior to the storm, and which never reopened after it. The new version of René Bistrot will be in the space currently occupied by La Cote Brasserie, in the Renaissance Arts Hotel.
The turnaround from La Cote Brasserie to René Bistrot should take 4-6 weeks, they say, so expect it to open by late April, early May. Bajeux hopes to have it open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No word yet on whether La Cote is moving or closing for good. Update:Ian McNulty says, "The news spells the end of LaCôte Brasserie after a nearly nine-year run." So there's that.
Here's the press release in full:
FRENCH MASTER CHEF RENÉ BAJEUX OPENING HIS NAMESAKE RESTAURANT
René Bistrot returns to New Orleans
[NEW ORLEANS – MARCH 22, 2012] – French Master Chef René Bajeux will open René Bistrot in the space currently housed by LaCôte Brasserie at the Renaissance Arts Hotel. The transformation of the restaurant will take 4-6 weeks.
René Bistrot will have a menu that is focused on French-bistro-style cooking, but provide a contemporary take using the traditions and ingredients from Southeast Louisiana. The menu, changing seasonally and including daily specials, will focus on incorporating French cooking traditions with the fresh, local ingredients.
“René Bistrot is a French bistro with an American passport,” stated Chef René Bajeux. “We will be intersecting local ingredients and cooking styles, mainly from Southeast Louisiana, with the classic French bistro and techniques representing the four regions of the France: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace and Provence.”
As one of the 55 French Master Chefs in America as designated by the prestigious Maitre Cuisinier de France organization, Bajeux represents a unique talent for haute cuisine. Long hailed as one of New Orleans’ top creators of authentic French cuisine, Bajeux returns to the space inside the Renaissance Arts Hotel after being part of the original opening team of LaCôte Brasserie.
Bajeux became a New Orleans household name with the success of his namesake, René Bistrot, when it opened in 2001. René Bistrot was listed among Esquire Magazine's “Best New Restaurants” and Bajeux received a number of individual awards including 2001 Chef of the Year from the American Tasting Institute, inclusion among “America's Top Tables,” Gourmet Magazine 1998, and was recognized as a James Beard Outstanding Member from 1997-2000.
“This is where I have always wanted to be and the style of cooking that I have always loved since I started cooking at the age of 14,” added Bajeux. “I have missed what I was doing at René Bistrot and am excited to be creating this namesake bistro again.”
René Bistrot will be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“The addition of René Bistrot to our hotel and neighborhood is an exciting development,” said Frank Zumbo, general manager of the Renaissance Arts Hotel. “René Bistrot brings Bajeux's unique culinary take on classic French cooking back to New Orleans.”
Most recently, Chef Bajeux served as Executive Chef at The Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel.
· All René Bajeux Coverage on Eater NOLA [-ENOLA-]