by Ian McNulty
Toups' Meatery opened its doors today in Mid-City, serving platters of house-made meats and butcher shop specialties beside dishes like lamb neck with mint chow chow and black eyed pea salad.
It’s the first restaurant from Amanda and Isaac Toups, who finished a thorough renovation of the former Mediterranean Café at an address not far from City Park. Amanda Toups explains that the approach is to “take rustic ingredients and finish them beautifully,” combining her husband’s Cajun country roots with his extensive fine-dining experience.
Originally from the small town of Rayne, La., Isaac Toups has worked at Emeril’s and Emeril’s Delmonico. He was later chef at the now-closed Cuvee and had a short stint as the first chef at Ste. Marie. Amanda was previously manager of the Wine Institute of New Orleans (a.k.a. WINO), the Warehouse District retail shop.
The menu is arranged as small plates ($7-$18) and large plates ($10-$23) and designed to encourage a lot of sharing around the table.
“The whole concept behind the restaurant is very communal,” says Amanda Toups.
In addition to meat, cheese and mixed vegetable plates, small plates start with fried oysters with bacon and slaw, foie gras and artichokes stuffed with crawfish cornbread dressing. Large plates include a slider trio (with crab cake, rabbit pate and lamb belly), chicken thighs with gizzard gravy, that lamb neck and smoked duck with a satsuma jus.
The menu also includes an a la cart section of country specialties from boudin to rabbit pate to deviled eggs. Desserts feature mini doberge cakes from Debbie Does Doberge, the local baker whose wares are also featured at the Mid-City watering hole 12 Mile Limit (500 S. Telemachus St., 488-8114). By Wednesday, April 18, the Toups expect to begin serving their full bar, pending city approval.
Toups' Meatery serves lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and reservations are accepted. The restaurant will also serve dinner only on the two upcoming Sundays of Jazz Fest this year.
845 N. Carrollton Ave., 252-4999