by Ian McNulty
The team behind craft cocktail lounges Cure and Bellocq plan to open their latest venture early next week in the French Quarter. Cane & Table (1113 Decatur St., 504-581-1112) will be a rum bar and island-themed restaurant, with a tropical theme running through the bar, the menu and the large courtyard out back. Just don’t expect a standard-issue tiki bar experience.
“We took the umbrella of tropical drinks and worked under that,” says managing partner Nick Detrich. “The drinks are all tropically-inspired but classically-minded.”
Neal Bodenheimer, another partner in Cane & Table, describes the approach as “proto-tiki.”
“We started with the idea of rum culture and punch culture from the colonial era onwards,” Bodenheimer says. “It’s all the stuff that later built into tiki.”
For instance, a drink called the Last Stand is based on the classic Last Word, here done with yellow Chartreuse, lime, gin and a house-made pineapple syrup. Another cocktail involves aquavit and French banana liqueur.
The space had been the bar Pravda, which partners in Cure Co. bought late last year and ran for a time as a Russian-themed cocktail lounge as they developed the Cane & Table idea. The new design is meant to evoke a Havana bar, and Detrich says the concept was in part inspired by the history of this stretch of Decatur Street, which was once an integral part of the city's rough-and-tumble riverfront.
The kitchen continues the tropical theme with a menu developed by chef Adam Biderman, founder of Freret Street hotspot the Company Burger. The kitchen is overseen by Ian Bancroft, a chef Biderman worked with during his years at the James Beard Award-winning Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta.
“This is more of a restaurant than any other Cure & Co. has taken on before,” Detrich says.
The menu is island-style, with dishes like deep-fried ribs, ropa vieja, plantain dumplings, skillets greens, skirt steak and whole grilled fish.
“Some dishes are communal style. The idea is an island feast that you wash down with great drinks,” Detrich says.
He says they eventually intend to rehab the large outdoor rotisserie in the building’s courtyard, which had been a centerpiece for G&E Courtyard Grill, a highly-regarded restaurant that occupied this address for a few years in the 1990s.
Cane & Table will be open daily from 5:30 p.m. to midnight, with later hours on Friday and Saturday.
Cane & Table
1113 Decatur St., (504) 581-1112