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Gold-Covered Steaks Are Coming to New Orleans, Like It or Not

A “new age” steakhouse opening in the LGD this summer sounds decidedly Vegas

A rendering of an extravagant dining room with brick walls, glass chandeliers, wood tables, and velvet chairs.
A rendering of Gaia Steakhouse, opening this summer on St. Charles Avenue.
Gaia Steakhouse

A new steakhouse expected to open this summer is bringing a Vegas vibe to New Orleans, complete with $400 gold leaf-covered steaks, DJs, chilled seafood towers, and a “gold cage” for dry aging steaks.

The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate reports that Murat Nalcioglu, a partner in Atlanta’s Steak Market and former manager for Nusret Gökçe’s (also known as Salt Bae) North American restaurants, is preparing to open Gaia Steakhouse at 1820 St. Charles Avenue in the coming weeks. It will take over an LGD restaurant space that has sat empty since 2018 when fondue restaurant The Melting Pot closed.

Nalcioglu tells the newspaper he chose New Orleans for his newest venture because he sees an untapped market here, where historic, homegrown restaurants reign supreme. In his view, he says, the restaurant business has changed, and “there’s opportunity here for someone doing things differently.” Still, Nalcioglu says he’s customized the luxury experience to fit the city and be “approachable” — the gold-covered steaks on this menu will hover around $400, Nalcioglu says, as opposed to the thousands of dollars they can run in cities like Dallas and Vegas. You know, approachable.

In addition to gold steaks, Gaia’s menu shows items like wagyu steak tartare, chargrilled octopus, a $26 “exotic salad,” a raw seafood feast, Alaskan king crab legs, rack of lamb, and Beijing duck. The website is full of elaborate descriptors: “We believe that entertainment is a fundamental human need, and we exist to stimulate the senses and create lasting memories with everything we do,” for example. Gaia also promises “Instagram-worthy” cocktails, “world-class” DJs, custom neon light fixtures, fine leather, custom tables, “and bronze accents that have an aged authenticity in its soul.”

Gaia’s Google business listing says it will open on June 20, 2023, at 1820 St Charles Avenue.