Nathanial Zimet, owner-chef (and now butcher) of Riverbend bistro Boucherie as well as Cajun meat market and wing joint Bourrée on S. Carrollton Ave. has partnered with celebrated beer bar Avenue Pub to consult on a new menu which will feature his hand butchered meats.
Avenue Pub owner Polly Watts says that Zimet and his staff have been customers at the Pub for years, and until very recently, Boucherie was the only game in town that paired beer and food in an elevated fashion. "I admired what they do at Boucherie. Nathanial's so talented, and it turns out he's really good at bar food."
Zimet approached Watts when she was undergoing a kitchen staff transition with the idea of consulting - working on a new menu as well as training the current kitchen staff on executing it. "I think everyone who's been there can see what she's doing for the city," Zimet says, and felt it was important that the food live up to the Pub's high quality beer and whiskey selection.
In addition to Zimet's creative and culinary chops, Watts notes that their new partnership enables the Pub's kitchen to use Chappapeela Farms pork without raising prices, since ZImet is providing the butchering services for the whole hogs coming in his door at Bourrée.
New menu items rolling out this upcoming weekend include: a Cajun croque monsieur featuring Zimet's brown sugar cured ham and tasso as well as housemade spicy olive salad and aged Swiss cheese; a currywurst, which is a bratwurst (made by Zimet at Bourrée) poached in beer, fried, and served with curry ketchup and garlic mashed potatoes; and cauliflower cream cheese hummus, which is pretty much made how it sounds.
Over the next few weeks, the plan is to slowly implement more new items as well as slight adjustments to current menu items, such as the always popular dump truck fries that are covered in bechamel and roast pork. The basic recipe will stay the same, but the pork will now be sourced from Chappapeela Farms and smoked at Bourrée.
Chicken will be coming back to the menu, with Wednesday night Zapp's fried chicken coming back on the specials board starting next week. Watts explains that Zimet is providing organic chickens from Georgia, and they'll use the breasts for fried chicken and the legs for a chicken confit with a cherry emulsion. Watts hopes that every month or so, they'll be able to use the wings to offer a Bourrée wing special, and give a little attention to what Zimet's doing uptown.
Future items will include ham and potato croquetas and fresh Gulf fish sticks with a meyer lemon tartar sauce. "We're still finalizing the recipes and training and trialing everything," Watts says.
All items created by Zimet and/or using Bourrée sourced products will be noted on the menu so that customers know what's new, what's improved, and what's the same (like the Two Run Farm beef burgers.)
"I love being able to offer my food in different places and share my products," Zimet said. "And [the Pub] has a great audience and customer base."