NEW ORLEANS (press release) – MaMou, the new modern French Brassiere from Chef Tom Branighan and Sommelier Molly Wismeier is set to open to the public on Nov. 18. Situated on the Upper French Quarter corner of Rampart Street and St. Philip Street, the European continental cuisine will draw on creole influences of Branighan’s childhood in New Orleans as well as show his appreciation for French style of cooking. Branighan and Wismeier’s shared passion for hospitality and simple, elegant flavors rooted in classic technique are what connected them and drove them to open MaMou.
MaMou, named for Branighan’s great-grandmother, will feature a seasonal menu while maintaining a roster of favorites, and source from many local farmers & producers in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast including Voiron’s Abbatoir’s Louisiana beef, Two Dog Farms, and Higgins Seafood. The opening menu will feature small and large plates such as celery hearts and smoked beef tongue braised in tomato water and American whiskey, a red bean cassoulet presented with a cornbread crust and topped with head cheese, and chicken bonne femme tossed in an aromatic pesto and served with new potatoes. An elevated version of a creole classic, Gulf Fish Court Bouillon, seasonal crusted gulf fish and oyster dressing served with court bouillon inspired by bouillabaisse, will be a menu staple. Guests will be delighted by Wismeier’s selection of approachable, sustainable wines from France and beyond that pairs seamlessly with Branighan’s cuisine as well as a small, curated list of deep vintage and rare wines showcased on the Cellar List. The featured wines have been hand-selected along Wismeier’s visits to France, Spain and Italy over the last 20 years. Wismeier is joined by Madison Baudy, New Orleans native with 10 years’ experience, as MaMou’s Sommelier and Assistant General Manager. The cocktail menu curated by John Michael Kinsella will pull inspiration from French culinary techniques and ingredients seen in French cooking, such as his fines herbes tincture in the Green Thumb cocktail.
“We want to invest back into the culture of the French Quarter,” says Branighan. “Molly and I have been working on this vision for a few years and are excited for MaMou to highlight the city’s rich history and become a part of this vital neighborhood.”
With the help of Jennie West and Jason Richards of Studio West Design & Architecture, the 760-square-foot dining room and bar, formerly occupied by Meauxbar, has been transformed into a modern French Brasserie featuring rich jewel tones and Art Nouveau influences. The 46-seat intimate and inviting space features the work and craftsmanship of many local artisans including a custom mural by Sylvia Thompson, floral art by Kim Starr Wise and mirrors inspired by the metro in Paris created by Hull Design. Sidewalk seating on North Rampart and St. Philip Street will soon be available on a first come, first serve basis.
Before partnering with Wismeier, Tom Branighan, a native New Orleanian, began his career at Emeril’s New Orleans and went on to train at the Culinary Institute of America. Branighan has 15 years of experience including time at Michelin-rated restaurants such as Café Boulud and Bouley in NYC, as well as Lacroix, Jean-Marie Lacroix’s restaurant in Philadelphia. Most recently, he was Chef de Cuisine at Longway Tavern, one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants. Wismeier opens MaMou with over 20 years of experience as a Sommelier in some of the country’s top restaurants including Restaurant R’evolution and Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. Wismeier’s passion for hospitality and education have helped her secure awards such as Food & Wine Top Sommelier andWine Enthusiast Top 100 Wine List many years in a row.
The historic location, elevated yet approachable menu, and focus on hospitality are sure to highlight the charm of the French Quarter and make MaMou a neighborhood gem. MaMou will open to the public on Nov. 18 at 942 North Rampart St. The restaurant will begin serving dinner Thursday – Sunday from 5-10 p.m. For reservations, please visit www.mamounola.com and follow along on Instagram at @mamou.nola.