New Besh Group cafe and bakery Willa Jean opened its door in early August inside The Paramount building in the up and coming South Market District to much early acclaim. The new spot is home to an Intelligentsia Coffee program, numerous baked goods, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktails with Southern charm and an 'urban farmhouse' vibe. Here now, the early word from around the web.
The Best Cookies Ever News: WGNO's Meghan Kluth calls Willa Jean heaven for bread lovers and home to "literally the best cookies I have ever tasted." Also, this is the "first female driven restaurant of the BRG"—from pastry chefs Lisa White and Kelly Fields—so big ups, ladies.
The More Than Just Coffee News: New Orleans Magazine's Robert Peyton writes that this isn't just a glorified coffee shop—though the coffee is good—"This is the sort of place where you see the menu and think, 'eventually, I'll end up trying all of this.'" Highlights? The corn and crab fritters served with "a crab boil aioli that comes out of a soda siphon and is delicious."
The OMG-Tartines News: The smoked salmon tartine, fig and goat cheese tartine, and the hot buttered crab roll are all the rage on Facebook.
The Tolerable Crowds New: Peyton works nearby and also notes that "the place has been moderately full but not packed" even at lunch.
The Better-Make-Reservations News: Then again, Twitter's @sher____ reveals that making reservations for brunch is likely a good idea, and Yelpers have already hit the spot when it's super busy and when it's super slow. Diane L. says it was super slow on a Friday night, but Christopher S. couldn't get a table on a Saturday morning.
The Like-A-Rock News: A chocolate and pistachio croissant to-go was "overbaked" and "hard as a rock" according to Carlina.
The Cost of Perfection News: Facebook reviewer Fredric got a little sticker shock paying "$9.88 for a coffee and a scone... good scone though."