French Quarter Gem Debuts New Restaurant & Lounge
When bartending dream team Chris Hannah (Arnaud’s French 75) and Nick Detrich (Cane & Table) and business partner John Stubbs opened the first phase of Jewel of the South on the edge of New Orleans’ French Quarter in March 2019, the historic Creole cottage quickly became a must-visit stop for classic and craft cocktails. Nearly a year later, the power trio is excited to unveil the concept in its entirety with a brand-new restaurant located upstairs and The Grove – an intimate cocktail lounge with booze-friendly bites on the ground floor. Opening to the public today, Thursday, January 29, 2020, the new restaurant and lounge are certain to become Crescent City jewels.
“It was always our plan to open a multi-story dining and drinking destination with something for everyone,” says Detrich. “It’s been a year-long process and we’re really excited it’s finally come to fruition. We can’t wait to welcome our friends and neighbors to see the final result.”
Downstairs in The Grove, Hannah will reign over the bar program, serving up his famed signature cocktails. The intimate drinking den will also offer a cool new charcuterie program and small plates designed with the drinks in mind. Upstairs, the restaurant has a brand-new dinner menu, great wine program and a classic dining experience.
Those seeking an amazing culinary adventure can enjoy dining upstairs or in the charming courtyard where Chef de Cuisine Philip Whitmarsh showcases an ever-changing menu of modern British-meets-Cajun cuisine. The London-born chef, whose wife Mollie is from Louisiana, moved to New Orleans in 2015, where he served as sous chef under James Beard: Best Chef South Nina Compton at her flagship restaurant, Compère Lapin. Prior to that, Whitmarsh received rave reviews and accolades for his nose-to-tail menu at Daniel O’Connell in Adelaide, Australia and began his career in the kitchen of legendary Chef Fergus Henderson at the venerable St. John in East London.
Diners can expect an adventurous ever-changing menu featuring numerous daily vegetarian items, alongside creatively-executed proteins. Starters include Murder Point Oysters served with trotters and horseradish; Burrata served with winter greens, olive tapenade and fried shallots; and Raw and Confit Endive with blood orange. Mains include dishes such as Bone Marrow Crème with caviar and madeleines; Peppered Wagyu Beef with celeriac remoulade and soldiers; Veal Sweetbreads with chicken crackling, carrots and caper gastrique; and Whole Crisp Shrimp with brandy and Marie Rose sauce. Vegetables include Salt Baked Celeriac with parmesan, chives and crunchies; Roast Heirloom Carrots with chervil and salad cream and Charred Bibb with lovage, cucumber and jalapeño. Breads and desserts are also made in house including Eccles Cake with Colston Bassett stilton and pickled quince; Eton Mess – strawberries, meringue and whipped cream; and Couronne – a sweet baked pastry with cremosa, Chantilly and chestnut.
The exclusive cocktail menu upstairs is served tableside via a roaming cart highlighting a rotating selection of spirits, as well as the traditional Café Brulot, Martini and Old Fashioned. The first iteration is an exploration of eau de vie – fermented and distilled fruit brandy. Eau de vie cocktails include a Cazottes Pear Brandy with orgeat and absinthe; Cyril Zang’s OO Cidre Eau de Vie with La Guita manzanilla sherry and orange bitters; and Chateau de Leberon Armagnac Solera 2001 with Peychaud’s and Herbsaint. Equally impressive is the wine program which is curated by Detrich and focuses on agriculture and terroir with an emphasis on low intervention technique in production.
Downstairs in The Grove, guests can enjoy cocktails and conversation in an intimate tavern setting. Hannah, the talented bar legend who led Arnaud’s French 75 bar to a James Beard Award during his 14-year residency there, serves up an array of classics, adaptations, original concoctions and “Champagne Opportunities.” Imbibers can enjoy a seasonal selection of libations including current Mardi Gras-inspired cocktails like the Lord of Misrule featuring Cocchi Rosa, Aperol honey, Comte de Lafayette and fresh lime, served up in a flute and garnished with marinated grapes; Carnival Time, named for Al Johnson’s Mardi Gras anthem featuring Herbsaint, Orgeat, lemon and bitters; and Ticket to Mardi Gras – hibiscus infused vodka, lime and Fevertree Ginger Beer.
Signatures include the French 75 (Hannah has made nearly 1 million of these) with cognac, sparkling wine and lemon; Jewel Sazerac with bonded rye, Matifoc Rancio Sec, and Herbsaint; Night Tripper, named after the late Dr. John and created in a flask by Hannah during a Mardi Gras parade, featuring bourbon, Averna Amaro, Strega and Peychaud’s bitters; and the Brandy Crusta – the once-forgotten 19th century New Orleans cocktail invented by Joseph Santini at the original Jewel of the South. Resurrected by Hannah, the drink features cognac, lemon juice, Curacao and maraschino liqueur, flamboyantly garnished with a long lemon twist that snakes the glass and a sugar rim. A selection of Champagnes and sparkling wines are also on offer.
Food offerings in The Grove are designed to complement the cocktails and include Chef Whitmarsh’s sophisticated snacks like Gougeres with chicken parfait and prunes; Smoked Hock Croquettes with beer mustard and Welsh rarebit – a savory melted cheese sauce; and Scotch Egg with piccalilli. A brand-new charcuterie program will offer a variety of plates including Sausage with Paris mash and Dijon.
Designed by Trapolin Peer Architects, the two-story indoor-outdoor space combines 19th century architecture with Art Deco elements and honors the history of the cottage and era. Upon arrival, guests are led to the lush tropical courtyard, seating 40. Through the doorway is The Grove – a 32-seat cozy yet sophisticated watering hole with Louis XIV style benches, banquettes and coffee tables perfect for hanging with friends and enjoying a drink or a snack; along with an antique bar from 1880’s London.
Guests ascend from The Grove to the restaurant via a caramel-colored pine staircase where they enter the 40-seat dining room that honors the building’s history with a gabled roof, exposed dark brown cypress beams and wood tambour panels. Wainscoting, slipshade sconces and accents of blue add an Art Deco spirit to the space, while an antique cuckoo clock, Welsh artwork and unique artifacts adorn the walls.
Jewel of the South is located at 1026 Saint Louis Street in New Orleans. Dinner is served upstairs, and in the courtyard, nightly from 5:30PM – Midnight. The Grove is open daily from 4PM – Midnight and offers Happy Hour 4PM – 6PM Monday through Friday. Telephone: (504) 265-8816; www.jewelnola.com
Stay up to date on Instagram: @jewelnola
Lauren Busch/Anabel Mendez
Brustman Carrino Public Relations