COURTESY LITTLE BIRD
'Southern Jars' are served at Little Bird, a new pop-up at Barrel Proof from Coquette's Michael Stoltzfus and Meauxbar chef Kristen Essig.
a new pop-up from Coquette's Michael Stoltzfus and Meauxbar chef Kristen Essig, will begin serving Southern-inspired dishes at the Lower Garden District whiskey bar Barrel Proof
(1201 Magazine St., 504-299-1888) on July 16.
“It’s more or less Kristen and myself just having some fun,” Stoltzfus says. “We live across the street, and it’s really tough to get food in that neighborhood, especially late at night.”
Stoltzfus says he and Essig have been working on the concept for some time and figured the slower summer months were a good time to debut the pop-up, when staffing at their respective restaurants was more flexible.
“It’s been a lot of fun," Stoltzfus says. "Neither of us have ever done anything like this, but it’s been really interesting — kind of like doing an offsite event every night at the same place.”
The soft-opening menu, which debuted last week, included half of a chicken with bread and butter pickles and buttermilk ranch dressing; Broadbent country ham with peach mustard aioli and ciabatta; pork tamales; and "Southern jars," featuring a selection of pimiento cheese, smoked catfish and egg salad spreads served with crackers.
For desert, they served butterscotch pudding with a bacon blondie and Chantilly cream.
The menu will likely change in the weeks to come, Stoltzfus says, but the pop-up’s namesake is a strong indication that diners will be able to expect some type of chicken dish.
“Our whole idea is that we wanted to do something like bar food, but we also wanted people to also be able to come in and sit down and have a meal."
Stoltzfus says most items are $10 or less. Diners who order the entire menu will get a discount. Last week the entire set of dishes went for $40.
Little Bird will serve food this week starting at 5 p.m. July 16. Beginning next week, the team will extend hours from Wednesday to Sunday, closing at midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends.
“We’ll see how it goes, and take it from there, but I’d like it if we saw this through more than just the summer,” Stoltzfus said.