by Ian McNulty
Sometimes a creative impulse inspires a pop-up restaurant, as chefs play around with flavors and formats outside the normal realm of their restaurants. Other pop-ups are conceived for more practical reasons, like testing out a new concept or expansion. Noodle & Pie (741 State St., 504-252-9431), a new restaurant scheduled to debut tonight, sounds like a lovechild of those two motivations.
Noodle & Pie started in 2011 as a pop-up venture by Eman Loubier, chef of the Riverbend standout Dante’s Kitchen, and the restaurant’s sous chef Brian Armour and pastry chef Kris Bouley. They periodically took over the Uptown café Coulis for one-night menus of ramen noodle soups and traditional sweet pies.
“We did it initially just because it was fun and it turned out that people were really into what we were doing,” Loubier says. “But it was sapping our energy to do just this one day thing so we decided to do it for real.”
Though the menu has been expanded a bit from the pop-up days it still revolves around the unlikely mash-up promised by the restaurant’s name.
“They’re popular trends and they’re completely different. We’re basically shoving them together, but I think we have the know-how and hopefully people will groove on it,” Loubier says.
While the menu will change frequently, the chef says four different soups and four pies will be available, along with an array of snacks and small plates drawing in flavors from around Asia. Prices range from $3 to $11 and the restaurant serves beer and wine, including sake.
Noodle & Pie took over the former Uptown location of Reginelli’s Pizzeria, which moved to a bigger spot just across Magazine Street last year. The renovation of the corner storefront has been pretty dramatic, with a curvaceous noodle bar, a bright color scheme and even a high-gloss floor treatment that resembles rippling water.
The restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
“We wanted to make it affordable and open early, hopefully to catch families after they’ve picked up kids at school,” Loubier says.
Noodle & Pie
741 State St., (504) 252-9431