Marti’s, Domenica on Magazine and More
The original Marti’s closed the year after I graduated high school and I never dined there. The restaurant was located at 1041 Dumaine St., at the corner of Rampart Street, a location I associated with chef Ann Kearney’s Peristyle. The space has been dormant since chef Tom Wolfe closed his eponymous restaurant in 2009.
Though I never ate at Marti’s, it had a reputation as one of the first and best bistro-style restaurants in town. Patrick Singley, who operates Gautreau’s, recently re-opened Marti’s with chef Drew Lockett in charge of the kitchen, and it appears he chose the name as much for the style of food as nostalgia. Appetizers such as spinach and frisee salad with lardons, pommes frites with house-made mayonnaise and ketchup and blue crab bisque are bistro standards, as could be the duck confit, flat iron steak and pan-fried speckled trout on the entrée side of the card. There is another section of the menu devoted to shellfish, both raw and cooked, including raw and roasted oysters, and Maine lobster and blue crab salad. Desserts, like the rest of the menu, tend toward the casual – cappucino and beignets; warm poached pear and ricotta tartlet; hazelnut biscotti; and a changing assortment of ice creams are options.
Marti’s is, as I write, open Wednesdays through Sundays starting at 5 p.m., but the plan is to open seven days a week. Valet parking is available. The restaurant stays open as late as midnight, but I’m not sure I’d pop in at 11:45 on a Tuesday night and expect a multi-course meal. Then again, perhaps you should; the best way to find out if that’s an option is to call 522-5478 and ask.
Chefs John Besh and Alon Shaya plan to open an offshoot of their restaurant in the Roosevelt Hotel, Domenica, this spring. The restaurant will primarily serve pizza and, fittingly, will be called Pizza Domenica. The restaurant will take over space at 4933 Magazine St., just down from the former Vizard’s location where, coincidentally,
Gautreau’s owner Patrick Singley and chef Sue Zemanick plan to open a casual, small plates restaurant called Ivy. No firm word on a date for Pizza Domenica to open, but you might try calling Domenica at 648-6020 as Carnival approaches.
A few years ago Thomas Peters took some guys out on a fishing charter, one of whom was Edgar Caro. Caro owns the Columbian restaurant Barú, and the two struck up a friendship. Earlier this year Peters and Caro opened Basin Seafood & Spirits at 3222 Magazine St., with a menu that combines classic Louisiana dishes with preparations from South America. For example, smoked snapper dip is on the appetizer menu right next to tiradito, a Peruvian dish of raw fish seasoned with chile and lemon. At lunch you can order fried seafood poor boys in addition to raw and charbroiled oysters, and a crab salad with roasted corn, cilantro crema, fresh hearts of palm and a citrus vinaigrette. Peters told me that they plan to host crawfish boils in the restaurant’s back patio as well.
Basin is open Mondays through Wednesdays from 5 to 10 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 9 p.m. on Sundays. Call 302-7391 to find out what’s fresh or to make a reservation.