CBD cocktail and small plates lounge Cellardoor celebrates its first anniversary tonight (party open to the public at 9 p.m.), and at one year in some major changes are happening at the Lafayette Street gem. Founding bar manager Michael Yusko has parted ways with the restaurant, and owner Gregory Gremillion tells Eater the operation has now changed: "When we started the focus was mainly on the cocktail program, but as of late we've really put an emphasis on the food and customer experience as a whole." Granted, the drinks still rule.
Here's what's new with Cellardoor.
A new bar manager (and bass player for Eric Lindell) Chris Arenas—who honed his chops in San Francisco's fine dining and nighclub scene in the late 90s-early aughts and more recently in New Orleans, including a stint at Ste. Marie during Kristen Essig's reign— has streamlined the menu with herbacious modern cocktails and clean interpretations of classic drinks. Arenas also brings a penchant for sherry, brandy, and house blended bitters. Check out the Tales of the Cocktail restaurant week tasting menu to see his creative concoctions.
Lunch & Dinner Service
Chef Jamielyn Arcega—recently named by the American Culinary Federation's Louisiana Chapter as a New Chef of the Year— will roll out a new lunch menu geared toward the CBD lunch rush (ie. more sandwiches, less small plates) on July 27. Meanwhile, brunch service has ended, and dinner is now by reservation only.
The new 'Summer Daze' Happy Hour goes all day on Mondays (and Mon-Fri happy hour runs from 4 to 6 p.m.). Plus a Wine Wednesday offers 1/2 off all wine by the glass and bottle, and Sunday Industry Night with 1/2 off the burger and all beer.
Cellardoor has now partnered with Amy Bissell of Bissell Atelier Art to hold quarterly art openings, launching tonight, July 14.