The hot, slow, bedraggled end of summer is a typical time for New Orleans restaurants to close up shop for a spell. That doesn’t always mean vacation. Quite often, it’s a busy time of updating menus, refreshing restaurant spaces or even planning expansions.
At Boucherie (8115 Jeannette St., (504) 862-5514; boucherie-nola.com), for instance, chef Nathaniel Zimet and manager James Denio used the restaurant’s recent downtime to refine some big plans on the slate for this fall.
They intend to relocate Boucherie to a larger space just around the corner, to the former South Carrollton Avenue home of Cafe Granada (now closed). And in their current Jeannette Street address they plan to open a new concept called Bourée, after the Cajun card game.
Bourré will be a food bar, Zimet explained, with a style akin to the elevated street food and creatively wrought snacks he serves from Que Crawl. That’s the big purple food truck that launched his career back in 2007 and that is still in regular rotation at local events.
“When we started Boucherie, it was supposed to be like a permanent home for what we do at Que Crawl,” Zimet said. “So now, it’s like we’re moving Boucherie and the big purple truck is getting its own place here.”
Zimet said the idea for Bourré was originally based on a combination daiquiri shop/wing shop. Those remain key ingredients (though the daiquiris will be “fresh-fruit craft cocktail” renditions, he explained). But the chef decided he wanted to do more with a casual food bar concept, where dishes are prepared as customers watch (and sip their frozen drinks) in the manner of a sushi bar or a Spanish pincho counter. Chicken wings still fit that mode. So do skewered meats, fried octocpus balls and salads.
Boucherie should make its move in late November, while Denio said they expect to open Bourré a few weeks after that.
In the meantime, Boucherie has a new fall menu. Try the duck confit with seaweed kimchi salad, the roasted artichoke filled with peanut guacamole and Zimet’s latest tweak to his pulled pork dish, now a denser cake richly seared around the edges and served over greens and a smoky jus. Wash it down with “the woods,” a cocktail of Spanish cider, vermouth and bitters that’s bright, refreshing and pairs with just about anything Boucherie’s kitchen has dreamed up.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.