Dante’s Kitchen has closed its doors and turned off the fires after 18 years in a colorful and cozy Riverbend cottage, reports Ian McNulty.
When chef and owner Emanuel Loubier left Commander’s Palace and opened the restaurant 18 years ago, he set the bar in New Orleans for locally sourced ingredients, displaying a lengthy list of wares on a chalkboard at the host stand.
“Locally sourced” was an idea that had just started to take root in New Orleans. Now farmers’ and farms’ names are popular on menus everywhere, so much so that Portlandia built an entire satirical skit around it.
Southern food hadn’t taken off across the United States yet and the grits in New Orleans left much to be desired until Dante’s arrived on the scene with its peerless version of ultra-creamy stone ground grits.
Though the restaurant served dinner, the weekend brunch with debris and poached eggs, creamy grits, crab and brie omelettes, bloody Marys, and no reservations got people to line up outside the restaurant far before the doors opened at 10:30 a.m.
NOLA.COM reports that Dante’s has simply “gone out of business.”
McNulty reports that the restaurant will serve one final family-style, no-reservations dinner on October 3 at 6 p.m. to benefit its staff.
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