They’ve mastered breakfast, brunch, and lunch, and now the acclaimed team behind New Orleans’s Turkey and the Wolf and Molly’s Rise and Shine is tackling the titan of meals: dinner.
Called Hungry Eyes, chef and co-owner Mason Hereford has slyly referenced the new restaurant on Instagram over the last few months, making a full announcement about it last week. The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate has some details: The 40-seat, full-service restaurant is in the works for 4206 Magazine Street, most recently home to Italian restaurant Red Gravy. The opening team includes Hereford, his wife Lauren Agudo, Turkey and the Wolf chef Phil Cenac, Turkey and the Wolf general manager Kate Mirante, and New Orleans bartender Carlos Quinonez, who will run the cocktail program.
The bar program is a key component of the new restaurant — specifically “zippy wine” and martinis. The emphasis on martinis goes hand in hand with an overall 80s theme and style for the restaurant, seemingly an extension of the 80s and 90s nostalgia that’s prevalent in elements of the two existing restaurants (ranging from food items like a bologna sandwich and wedge salad to vintage McDonald’s plates and Looney Toons glasses). Given that it’s a nighttime, more “refined” restaurant and bar, according to Hereford, those types of touches aren't likely to make an appearance — instead, the team is working with a Chicago-based creative studio for glassware and other design elements. Turkey and the Wolf is known for an array of playful cocktails, including a much-loved frozen margarita made with 7 Up, but Molly’s isn’t zoned for alcohol.
When it comes to the Hungry Eyes food menu, details are pretty scarce. Still, given the new restaurant’s focus on dinner, a few clues can be gleaned from the team’s pop-up appearances at spots like Bacchanal wine bar or on Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, where Hereford and Molly’s Rise and Shine co-chefs Colleen Quarls and Liz Hollinger served up dishes like a grilled lamb larb lettuce wrap and a grilled lamb heart roti paratha (lamb was the secret ingredient).
News of the new restaurant comes just a few weeks after Quarls and Hollinger were named James Beard Award Semifinalists for 2023 in the best chef, South category. Turkey and the Wolf opened in 2016 to national acclaim (and some skepticism) and Molly’s Rise and Shine followed two years later. Hungry Eyes is expected to open in late Spring 2023.