by Ian McNulty
A new restaurant in Old Metairie has taken over an address that had long been a go-to for seafood and casual neighborhood eats before experiencing a steep decline.
Porter & Luke’s Restaurant is in the former location of Zeke’s Restaurant, and it serves a familiar, seafood-heavy menu of Creole-Italian standards plus a few updates and specialties.
Zeke’s had been a once-reliable neighborhood spot run by James "Zeke" Unangst, a gregarious man known for serenading his customers as he proffered his trademark platters of broiled oysters. He died shortly after Hurricane Katrina, however, and when the restaurant changed ownership things fell off badly. In 2011, Zeke’s was featured on the reality show “Kitchen Nightmares,” wherein celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay tried to right the ship. But by last fall Zeke’s had closed.
New owners opened Porter & Luke’s in January and brought in Vincent Manguno, a veteran local chef whose last post was at Nuccio’s Italian Deli.
Veal parmesan is listed beside BBQ shrimp on his moderately-priced menu, which also has po-boys, seafood platters, grilled fish and fried chicken. Specialty sandwiches run from Ruebens to panini, and the appetizers list includes duck and mushroom quesadillas and a “tuna stack” with avocado and wasabi vinaigrette that’s reminiscent of the sushi bar. Boiled crawfish and shrimp should join the line up by this weekend, and daily lunch specials (lima beans with chicken livers, shrimp-stuffed peppers, hamburger steak) run about $10.
Porter & Luke’s is open for lunch and dinner daily, and Sunday brunch is in the works.
Porter & Luke’s Restaurant
1517 Metairie Road, Metairie, 504-875-4555