by Ian McNulty
The next phase of the New Orleans-area’s future flood control systems has spurred the move of one Bucktown restaurant fixture.
Two Tony’s pulled up stakes this week and relocated less than a mile away, just across the parish line to the New Orleans lakefront, taking over the former address of Pontchartrain Point Café.
The Creole-Italian restaurant sat in the shadow the 17th Street Canal, and the temporary pumping station and related earthworks built at the mouth of the canal after Hurricane Katrina towered over the small, low shoebox of a restaurant, enclosing it on three sides. Two Tony’s chef/owner Anthony Montalbano Jr. had been concerned about the future of his restaurant beside this mammoth piece of engineering for some time, and when the Corps began finalizing plans for its much larger, permanent pumping station at the site,
began making his own plans to relocate.
Montalbano first opened the restaurant in the French Quarter in 1987 in partnership with his father, the late Anthony “Mr. Tony” Montalbano Sr. (hence the name Two Tony’s), and they moved it to Bucktown in 1994. The restaurant is the continuation of a family restaurant tradition dating back for more than 50 years to such long-ago French Quarter places as Montalbano's Seafood, the Blue Angel Supper Club and Eva's Spot.
Montalbano says the restaurant’s format and recipes will remain unchanged, which is good news (see my review from May 2009). A menu that ranges from a $9 plate of spaghetti and sausage that's too large to finish to a $17 slab of tuna grilled as rare as tataki helps explain why Two Tony's has long maintained such a diverse local clientele. At its Bucktown location, it was as common to hear a family saying grace together before Wednesday dinner as it was to hear a pair of ladies whooping it up over second glasses of Pinot Grigio at Friday lunch. Here’s to hoping the same crowd follows Two Tony’s to its new address.
8536 Pontchartrain Blvd., 831-0999