Justine, James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Devillier’s hotly anticipated new French brasserie, will swing open its doors late this fall in the French Quarter. It’s the third restaurant for Devillier and wife and business partner Mia Freiberger-Devillier: They also own La Petite Grocery, which Eater calls one of the best restaurants in the country, and Balise.
The restaurant’s name comes from the way the French pronounce Devillier’s first name.
It’s opening at 225 Chartres Street in the May & Ellis building — a building that has won awards for historic preservation. It’s also the former home of the Hurwitz-Mintz furniture store and located very close to the Hotel Monteleone. The space is big enough to seat 200 diners at one time.
Award-winning design team, Farouki Farouki, is planning a classy and playful French brasserie vibe painting a picture of the “culturally interconnected histories of Paris and New Orleans but with a modern brush.”
Multiple themed dining rooms and a couple outdoor seating options will give diners distinctly different dining experiences.
A “kitchen room” will feature an open kitchen, communal tables, and a few round booths separated by felt divider screens.
A “cafe room” will open up to the humming Chartres Street sidewalk and is thus inspired by a Parisian sidewalk cafe with “street-art stenciled on the walls,” according to a design statement.
A “bar room” is made for lingering over drinks with comfortable banquettes surrounded by diamond-patterned smoked glass mirrors on the walls and soft glowing lights.
There’s also a courtyard with a fountain made to recall an absinthe decanter, lots of plants, and candle-lit masonry walls.
Other design highlights include items the team brought back from Paris (a hand-painted, pressed tin marquee from a French agriculture festival to hang above the open kitchen; a 20-foot long antique zinc bar top; and a six-foot tall, 19th-century cast iron statue), as well as a mural celebrating New Orleans’ tricentennial from artist Ellen Macomber.
Devillier hasn’t revealed much about the menu, though expect “French with a Parisian brasserie influence,” according to a spokesperson for the restaurant. (A very typical Parisian brasserie serves traditional dishes steak frites and moules (mussels), croque monsier, salad Niçoise, cassoulet, and coq au vin made with seasonal ingredients with options to dine on small plates or a full, multi-course meal.)
Do you have a hot restaurant tip? Noticed a spot in your neighborhood opening or closing? Send an email. Let us get the facts.
Looking for restaurant recs or a place to chat about favorite restaurants? Join Eater NOLA’s Facebook group.