by Ian McNulty
Restaurants around town are getting ready for this weekend’s Final Four, but at Eleven 79 those preparations are probably a little more urgent than most, and undoubtedly involve more paint and power tools.
A fire broke out at the popular Italian restaurant during the first week of March, forcing it to close temporarily, and proprietor Joe Segreto says his crew has been racing to make repairs and reopen. He expects to reopen this Friday, March 30, and with all the action in town for the Final Four he says that this weekend the restaurant will serve dinner on Sunday, a day it is normally closed.
Segreto, a veteran of the local restaurant industry, opened Eleven 79 in 2000, naming it for its address on Annunciation Street. The old building sits in the shadow of the Crescent City Connection and with its exposed brick walls, dark wood framing, heavy shutters over the windows and mellow lighting, the restaurant has the ambiance of a private lair. That mood is never more evident than during its happy hour (Mon.-Thu., 5-7 p.m.) when the bar is filled with people sipping Italian reds and helping themselves to the complimentary antipasti table set in the corner.
The kitchen is particularly strong with Sicilian dishes, pastas and veal – with perhaps a greater variety of the latter than anywhere else in town – while the specials list brings in enough Gulf seafood to give the place Creole-Italian credentials.
1179 Annunciation St., 299-1179