News From the Kitchens
Chais Delachaise, Blue Oak BBQ & Josephine Estelle
When Evan Hayes opened the Delachaise in the oddly-shaped building on St. Charles Avenue between Aline and Delachaise streets, it was an outlier. Back in the early 2000s there weren’t many restaurants serving multiple wines by the glass, craft cocktails and a menu largely composed of small plates. It proved a successful formula, due in part to the quality of the food and beverages put out by talented chefs Hayes has employed over the years, including Chris DeBarr and RJ Tsarov, the latter of whom currently holds the position.
Hayes, as I write, will shortly be opening a second operation, Chais Delachaise, which takes over the space on Maple Street formerly occupied by the Sammich. The similarity in names is an indication that the new operation won’t be a dramatic departure from the original in its menu of food and beverages, but there’s enough elbow room in the new location to allow table service, something that never entirely worked in the narrow confines of the St. Charles Avenue building. Additionally, the kitchen will offer larger versions of some of the usual offerings. Unlike the Delachaise, Chais Delachaise allows children to dine as well.
Chais Delachaise is located at 7708 Maple St., and will be open 3-10 p.m. during the week, and until midnight on the weekends. On Fridays and Saturdays, lunch will be served, and brunch is available on Sundays. Call 895-0858 to find out more.
Blue Oak BBQ
As I write, construction continues on the new location of Blue Oak BBQ, which will occupy the single-story structure at the corner of N. Carrollton and Dumaine streets that was most recently home to Fellini’s Café. Previously, Blue Oak has been serving smoked meats as a pop-up at Chickie Wah Wah, a music venue at 2828 Canal St.
The smoked meats prepared by Blue Oak partners Ronnie Evans and Philip Moseley were an excellent fit for the live music, but the new location will ensure that the focus is always on the pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chicken and sausage coming off of the pit. In addition to traditional items, Blue Oak put out some interesting appetizers and sides, including egg rolls stuffed with barbecue and vegetables and served with a mango-habanero chutney; nachos topped with pulled pork, cheese, barbecue sauce and pico de gallo; and roasted garlic mac and cheese. The new location comes with more space, and an expanded menu is in the works.
As the restaurant has not yet opened in the new space, hours are to be determined, but call 621-9837 to get the latest.
Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman have been a part of Memphis’ restaurant renaissance, with their Italian-Southern restaurants Hog & Hominy, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Porcellino’s Craft Butcher. Their first restaurant outside of Memphis, Josephine Estelle, opened earlier this year in the new Ace Hotel. The pair chose Philip Mariano as the restaurant’s executive chef.
The restaurant’s interior is beautiful, with large columns running through the middle of the dining room and banquettes that make up most of the seating. There is a bar that looks out onto Carondelet Street. Large shelves holding the bar’s stock divide that space from the single, large dining room, which is book-ended by the open kitchen to the rear.
The latter two menus are focused on the cuisine of Italy and separated into small plates, pastas and entrées. Standouts include snapper crudo with brown butter, hazelnuts, celery leaf and meyer lemon; and angolotti pasta with sweetbreads, wild mushrooms, black pepper and parmesan cheese.
Josephine Estelle is open 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and 7 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sundays for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is located at 600 Carondelet St., and you can call 930-3070 to make a reservation.