St. James Cheese Company
St. James Cheese Company has been one of my favorite places to eat since it opened on Freret Street some years back. I was delighted, therefore, to find out that Richard and Danielle Sutton were opening another shop in the Warehouse District, within reasonable walking distance from my office.
To the uninitiated, St. James is a temple devoted to the worship of cheese. It is a well-curated shop where you can find cheeses from all over the world, and where the cheesemongers behind the counter will happily educate you about the products on offer.
If you, like me, enjoy cheese, then St. James is a playground. The selection of cheese for retail purchase isn’t as diverse at the new location, but they more than make up for it with the addition of “cheese bites” on the menu.
These are small portions of cheese paired with accompaniments designed to highlight the essential elements of each selection, in portions that fit between an amuse bouche and an appetizer. Think of it as sushi and you’ll get the idea; they come two to a serving, at $3 each, and each is enough for one bite. The selection is ever-changing, and it’s a neat way to graze on the cheese on offer at the retail end.
The new St. James is located at 641 Tchoupitoulas St. and it’s open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Call 304-1485 to find out what’s going on at the moment.
Bevi Seafood Co.
Bevi Seafood Co. started life on Airline Drive in Metairie, but I thought then, and I’ve been proven right, that the food deserved a wider audience. Chef Justin LeBlanc has now opened another iteration of Bevi in Mid-City at 236 N. Carrollton Ave., in the space that formerly housed K-Jean’s seafood.
The space itself isn’t much different, but – with respect to K-Jean’s – there’s a bit more craft applied to the food. The menu is, essentially, the same as at Bevi’s original location, with the exception that you can, usually, also buy fresh fish at the Mid-City location. The poor boys and plates are the same, and of the same quality, which is to say: excellent. The fried oyster poor boy with smoked gouda and pastrami bacon is a particular delight.
Here is how you know that the folks at Bevi are serious about seafood. When I was last there they weren’t selling oysters, because the oysters they could get weren’t good enough to meet their standards. That is attention to detail and quality that you won’t find everywhere.
Bevi Seafood Co.’s Mid-City operation is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Call 488-7503 to find out what’s available today.
Red Dog Diner
The folks who own the Rum House restaurant aren’t sitting on their hands. They have opened a second Rum House in Baton Rouge, and more recently opened Red Dog Diner in the space adjacent to the first Rum House on Magazine Street in New Orleans.
The décor is rustic and colorful, with unfinished wood throughout and swirls of red, yellow and brown paint in small spaces. There are paintings and sculptures from local artists, and the patio in the back is a fantastic use of the space – there’s a bar that faces a seating area; it’s all partially covered and there’s a sliding partition that can be lowered as required by the weather.
Chef Terri Savoie’s menu fits the environment; it’s casual, sure, but there are sophisticated touches. You can order a patty melt, but it comes with a mushroom duxelle, pimento spread and bread and butter pickles. There is also herb-crusted lamb with Brussels sprouts and Madeira demi-glace on the menu. There are pizzas, salads, soups and a lot more; the menu runs the gamut, is what I’m saying.
Red Dog Diner is located at 3122 Magazine St., and is open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and later on Saturdays and Sundays. Call 934-3333 to make a reservation and to find out more.