Friday, September 25, 2020

Antoine’s Restaurant Re-opens Friday September 25

"Antoine’s survived the War Between the States, two World Wars, Prohibition, the Great Depression and Hurricane Katrina..."

Antoine’s Restaurant Re-opens Friday September 25

We are Ready To Open our Doors. Let our 180 th year celebration begin again! We are thrilled to announce that we will be reopening Friday, September 25 th. We will be open for Lunch & Dinner on Friday and Saturday and Brunch (Jazz) on Sunday.

With that, Antoine’s Restaurant announced it will be re-opening this evening.

On February 25, New Orleans celebrated Mardi Gras like it had for hundreds of years. None knew that in a few weeks a virus from hell would close Antoine’s for six months.

Irene’s Cuisine opened last week, so did Commander’s Palace, so did Brennan’s. Muriel’s, I think, preceded these. Arnaud’s, alas, is waiting until October 1. With the opening of Antoine’s, though, things feel like they are almost back to normal.

Why, my non-Louisiana readers might wonder, is this a big deal? It’s because Antoine’s is the big daddy of New Orleans culinary tradition. Established in 1840, it is the oldest restaurant in the city of New Orleans. Antoine’s survived the War Between the States, two World Wars, Prohibition, the Great Depression and Hurricane Katrina. There is rich history tied to this restaurant.

Oysters Rockefeller was invented at Antoine’s in 1899.

Antoine’s founder Antoine Alciatore traveled from Marseilles to New Orleans in 1840. He was 18 years old, and brought with him knowledge of French cuisine. He established his first restaurant on St. Louis Street, one block from Antoine’s current location. In 1860 Antoine expanded to a new location on St. Peter Street. In 1868, the family build their larger restaurant and residence at 713 St. Louis Street where the restaurant stands today.

After Antoine died, his wife Julie sent their son Jules to work and learn the restaurant business in great kitchens in Strasbourg, Paris, Marseilles and London. In 1887 Jules took over the operation of Antoine’s, and brought the restaurant international acclaim. Jules created many dishes, Oysters Rockefeller was one.

Like his father, Jules’ son Roy worked in kitchens in France. Roy became proprietor in 1934 and significantly expanded the restaurant. In the mid-1960s Roy’s nephews Roy and William Guste, Jr. who were lawyers stepped in to implement modern accounting and business practices. When their uncle Roy Alciatore died in 1972, Roy and William (Billy) Guste took over the proprietorship of the business for the family. In 1969 Roy Guste’s son Roy Guste, Jr. went to Europe to study culinary arts. He returned to work at Antoine’s, and in 1975, at twenty-four, became proprietor of Antoine’s in 1975. In 2005, Rick Blount, Roy Alciatore's grandson became proprietor and CEO. Of the family owned restaurant.

As my readers know, I’m not a food critic. I do however enjoy informing readers about interesting food and booze, in this case, an elegant old place that has been successful for 180 years. To repeat, Antoine Alciatore was 18 when he immigrated and opened in 1840. Now that’s interesting.

713 St. Louis Street

New Orleans

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