Weekend brunch at Atchafalaya (901 Louisiana Ave., 504-891-9626) can feel more like an extension of the New Orleans club circuit than your traditional jazz brunch service, with a diverse roster of local musicians playing by the make-your-own bloody Mary bar.
This week, the Uptown restaurant is beginning a new series that brings live music to dinner and builds in a different kind of dining experience.
The series is called Supper Sonic and it debuts Wednesday, Oct. 25, with a second edition booked for Nov. 1. There will be a special menu for each night, devised with input from the musicians themselves, and the dining room will be reconfigured to accentuate the interplay of music and cuisine.
“We love live music here at the restaurant,” said proprietor Tony Tocco, who was a founder of the downtown music spot the Circle Bar. “After seven nights a week of white tablecloth dining, sometimes you want to do something a little different.”
Each edition of Supper Sonic will have two sets.
On Nov. 1, the restaurant will host some top names for New Orleans modern jazz. Bassist James Singleton, drummer Johnny Vidacovich and vibraphonist and percussionist Mike Dillon will play two sets of highlighting the music of Milt Jackson.
The restaurant will set up a small stage in its main dining room. Tocco said the kitchen will collaborate with the musicians on dishes for the night.
“We’re asking them, if your music was food, what would it taste like?” he said.
Dinners are $45, or $50 with two drinks. Reservations are recommended.
On the Auction block
Auction House Market, a new food hall slated to open early in 2018 in the Warehouse District, announced its first two vendors.
One is HAPPYJAXX, a new concept for quick, health-conscious meals based around salads and toasts with various toppings. The second is a new location for Coast Roast, a coffee roaster with another coffee stand in the St. Roch Market.
Will Donaldson, a developer of the St. Roch Market food hall, is also directing this project, which is designed along similar lines. The downtown market will have stalls for 10 food and drink vendors, a bar, common areas for dining and special event space.
Auction House Market is taking shape at 801 Magazine St., in the 19th-century industrial building that was previously home to New Orleans Auction Galleries. It’s across from Pêche Seafood Grill and near the museums anchoring the upriver end of the Warehouse District.
The local firm Felicity Property Co. is redeveloping the building with apartments on its upper levels and the food hall on the ground floor.
HAPPYJAXX was created by Patrick Kearney, who started his culinary career at Peristyle, the much-acclaimed restaurant his sister Anne Kearney’s once ran in the French Quarter. Its menu will also include “breakfast salads” and tea drinks.
Coast Roast is a micro coffee roaster founded in Gulfport and Long Beach, Mississippi. Kevin Pedeaux expanded the brand to Louisiana with his own locations in the St. Roch Market and Ponchatoula. He swears by vintage coffee roasting machines, which he says are key to his beans' flavor.
Pedeaux also hosts a well-caffeinated web talk show at his coffee stand, Coffee with Kevin, with guests ranging from local politicians to musicians.
Donaldson and business partner Barre Tanguis opened their St. Roch Market project in 2015 within the historic but long-vacant public market building at St. Roch and St. Claude avenues.
Pitched as a venue for new and small-scale food businesses to get started, the market has since seen a succession of vendors come through, with some going on to develop stand-alone businesses and others returning to catering and off-site formats.
Multivendor food hall developments have found new life around the U.S. lately. There are longstanding templates for the model, like Pike Place Market in Seattle. Newer examples, like San Francisco’s Ferry Building, have quickly become major attractions.
The St. Roch Market developers also have another food hall in the works in Miami. This Florida edition will also be called St. Roch Market, and it is projected to open in January.