Upcoming food hall St. Roch Market officially debuts this Friday, April 10, in what is certain to be the biggest spring opening in New Orleans. Not only does the return of the market mark an important milestone for the community, but the business also solidifies St. Claude Avenue as the city's newest street of dreams when it comes to dining.
When the doors open, thirteen vendors will serve up everything from African food to oysters. This week, in anticipation of the opening, Eater NOLA talks to each of the lucky thirteen on what to expect at their counter, and what they're most excited about at the new St. Roch Market.
Up now, Rita Bernhardt, a Besh Group alum who cofounded Treme-based supper club PDR with husband William Barial—a cook at Domenica since day one— talks small plate offerings. While they launch PDR at St. Roch Market, they will take a small break from their supper club, but it will return around Jazz Fest.
What all will you be offering at St. Roch Market?
We're offering all sorts of small plates, based off of what we do at our supper club. We're using flavors as a format more than a specific worldly cuisine. We like to play around with a lot of different flavors, especially Asian flavors.
What's one dish you're most excited to offer and why?
We're playing around with a cold fried chicken sandwich, since we can't have fryers on the line out there. We're going to be cold frying it, so it's still super crispy when it's cold. It's served with sharp cheddar, roasted garlic aoili, bacon, and our homemade pickles on a brioche bun. We're doing a kale salad with a miso-buttermilk dressing, feta, pickled beets and pine nuts. We're also doing a ramen dish—a traditional ramen broth but with a smoky brisket and noodles and a soft egg.
What does St. Roch Market mean to you? Why did you apply for a vendor spot?
I've been excited about this market opening ever since I moved here from Portland. It kind of never opened and never opened. And then this last January, Will and Barre approached us about possibly doing it, and we were just ecstatic, and so excited about the opportunity. We live eight blocks down the road, and it's just such a great community. As a professional cook I don't really get to interact with the public very much, so this is a very exciting opportunity for me to actually get to talk to people about my food.
What other vendor are you most excited about?
I'm excited about everybody, but also being a professional cook you taste your food all day long. This is so cool because I can go to ten other different people and get all this different kinds of awesome stuff. This is hard...Do I have to answer? I really like the oyster bar. I think it's great what they're doing with the space. I'm excited about Koreole. I've tasted some of her food while prepping and it's been delicious. I'm excited about the juice bar because it's something fresh and delicious I can eat on a personal level.