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French Quarter Newcomer Saint John Pays Tribute to New Orleans’s Creole Culinary Tradition

Local chef Eric Cook follows up his hit debut restaurant Gris-Gris with Saint John, now open in the French Quarter

Dishes from Saint John
| Randy Schmidt

The culinary history of 1117 Decatur St. in New Orleans’s French Quarter is a rich one, creating big expectations and high hopes for Saint John, a new restaurant opening at the address on Wednesday, October 6.

Chef Eric Cook has brought life to the former Maximo’s (which was more recently Trinity), with Saint John, the highly-anticipated restaurant to follow up his hit LGD restaurant Gris-Gris, which Cook opened in 2018. Saint John offers a decidedly different menu, one that skews more contemporary Creole than Gris-Gris’s contemporary Southern. Dishes like slow braised smothered turkey necks, chicken and shrimp maque choux, courtbouillon, and pork belly cassoulet are informed by Cook, a New Orleans native, and chef de cuisine Daren Porretto’s research of 18th century Creole cuisine, of traditional Sunday dinners, and of the influences that helped create New Orleans cuisine: Italian, French, Spanish, African, German, Caribbean.

Oysters Saint John
Randy Schmidt/Saint John
Saint John’s courtbouillion
Randy Schmidt/Saint John
Pork belly cassoulet
Randy Schmidt/Saint John

There are two dining areas on the first floor of Saint John, one with a long, open chef’s table that runs parallel to another seating area, where elevated booths each feature a piece of stained glass art by Deurty Boys, a French Quarter studio from local artists Jeremy Hebert and Rev. Varg Vargas. Deurty Boys is also behind a large, three-dimensional mural made up of depictions and tributes to deceased local chefs and hospitality industry leaders, which sits above the other dining area, where there’s also a bar. A staircase leading to the second story dining room is lined with Saint John’s “Guardians of Groove,” a play on beloved local radio station WWOZ’s tagline, done by Jay Setchim of Kudra Beetz. The upstairs dining room also has balcony seating, and is available to rent out for private events.

Beginning Wednesday, October 6, Saint John will serve lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday, Saturday and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Monday and Tuesday.

The entrance to Saint John
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
The first floor dining area
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
The stained glass pieces are by local artist studio Deurty Boys
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
Stained glass art by local artist studio Deurty Boys
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
Close up of Saint John’s art piece by Deurty Boys
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
Art piece by Deurty Boys
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
Saint John’s bar
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
Jay Setchim of KudraBeetz’s Guardians of Groove
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA
Outside Saint John on Decatur Street
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Saint John

1117 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA 70116 Visit Website
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