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Emeril Lagasse Will Open ‘Love Letter’ to His Portuguese Heritage in New Orleans

34 Restaurant & Bar, expected to open in downtown New Orleans this spring, will serve tapas and feature a jamón bar

Emeril Lagasse is opening a new restaurant in New Orleans this spring.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

It’s been a busy few months for the Emeril Lagasse empire in New Orleans, and now diners have yet another new restaurant to look forward to in 2024. Lagasse is opening 34 Restaurant & Bar, his first Portuguese restaurant, in downtown New Orleans this spring.

A press release announcing the news on January 10 says that Lagasse’s son E.J., who currently serves as chef patron of the recently reopened Emeril’s in downtown New Orleans, is a collaborator — the name ‘34’ represents the partnership between the third and fourth Emeril Lagasse. Located at 710 Baronne Street, the restaurant will serve tapas-style shared plates and include a jamón bar, an intriguing element that we hope is literally a bar piled high with Spanish hams like jamón ibérico and jamón serrano.

This morning, Lagasse posted a slideshow of photos taken in Portugal to Instagram (including one of jamón cones, paper cones filled with pieces of Iberian ham that can be found at shops in Spain and Portugal), with the caption: “Some of my favorite food memories are from traveling with my family to Portugal. We are excited to bring our Portuguese heritage and inspiration to New Orleans through our latest concept, 34 Restaurant and Bar, opening late Spring 2024.” The press release notes that the restaurant is inspired by Lagasse’s late mother Hilda Mederios, with whom he began cooking “at an early age,” and credits for “fostering his interest in the culinary arts.”

The restaurant will take up at least part of the 9,000-square-foot ground floor of a 69,000-square-foot Warehouse District building for luxury short-term rentals, according to a 2022 New Orleans CityBisuness article. The building is across the street from the Rouses grocery store, an area of downtown known as the South Market development that is home to several luxury apartment buildings, office buildings, retail stores, and restaurants — two of those restaurants have closed in recent months, Tava Indian Street Food, and just last week, chain restaurant Blaze Pizza. Morrow’s Steak & Seafood, the latest from New Orleans restaurateur Larry Morrow, is currently taking shape a few blocks away at 1001 Julia Street, also anchoring a condo tower.

Lagasse opened Emeril’s Brasserie, his first French restaurant, in November 2023 in New Orleans’s soon-to-be Caesars casino, and after a months-long renovation and revamp, reopened his flagship New Orleans restaurant, Emeril’s, a month before that.