The brie fries and fish sandwich are not part of Saveur, the newly reopened and rebranded restaurant from the Baie Rouge team and new addition chef Dominique Macquet, where the name of the game is now refined street food inspired by Macquet's native Mauritius.
Owner Kimble Donington Smith tells Eater, "You can't successfully run a restaurant off of one dish alone. Brie fries are fine, but we've never seen business like what we had over last weekend." Pretty surprising, considering the amount of Eater readers who expressed their absolute devotion to Baie Rouge. Even critic Brett Anderson praised the restaurant's fish sandwich and fries at one point. Still, Smith and partner Michael Capiton hadn't seen Baie Rouge grow as much as they hoped since opening in April 2013 and were even considering selling. "It just so happened that we needed a chef at the same time Dominique needed a kitchen," Smith says. He and Macquet quietly turned the restaurant around in under a week's time after Mardi Gras.
Joining Macquet in the kitchen is chef de cuisine Son Pham, a longtime employee/alum of Le Crepe Nanou. "People are already coming in for the mussels because they know he's here," Smith tells Eater. There's also a young pastry chef from Florida, Emily Rockwell, who is cranking out key lime pie, brown sugar brownies, beet cake, and more desserts. Booze-wise, there's now a heavy emphasis on wine (Macquet is also a sommelier), but bartender Marisa Mandich is also busy crafting a new cocktail lineup using housemade tinctures and local spirits, as well as making Saveur's bar a destination for her signature strawberry margaritas. Not everybody is a new hire, though, with some FOH staff remaining from the Baie Rouge days.
This isn't exactly a full-throttle transformation into fine dining, as one might expect from Macquet. Despite the modern art and white tablecloths, the dining experience is rather casual with a menu of airy flatbreads, fresh ceviches, colorful side plates of farmer's market bounty and an array of seafood-focused dishes. There's vegan and vegetarian dishes available as well.
Saveur is also doing a decent Happy Hour, Monday to Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. with half off flatbreads and $4 wines by the glass, plus $3 draft beer. There are plans to roll out lunch in the coming weeks, and brunch after that.
Here's the opening menu.
4128 Magazine St.
Phone: (504) 304-3667
Further Coverage: Times-Pic
Hours: Monday to Thursday 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday to Saturday 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. with Happy Hour Mon-Thurs 5 to 7 p.m.