At Station 6
(105 Metairie Hammond Hwy., 504-345-2936), it’s all about family.
That’s not just because husband-and-wife team Alison Vega-Knoll and Andrew Knoll run the show, or that their sons help out in the dining room and in the kitchen. Or that, without pursuing any publicity, a crowd of 450 people, including many family and friends, showed up on opening night Friday, Sept. 9.
At the new Bucktown restaurant. guests are greeted by a blown up photograph of a 7-year-old Alison and her father fishing on a boat in Pass Christian, Mississippi and another one shows a hazy sunset where she remembers trout fishing in the Louisiana marsh.
“All of it just brings back a lot of memories,” Vega-Knoll says.
The menu, too, is inspired by the Louisiana seafood dishes the couple recalls eating when they were young.
“The crabmeat casserole — this was something at Christmastime where we would all run to get as soon as we got to my grandmother’s house,” Vega-Knoll says. “The spinach madeline always reminds me of Thanksgiving and being with my family. Really, that’s what this restaurant is all about. Just being with people that you love.”
Vega-Knoll opened Vega Tapas Cafe on Metairie Road in the late ’90s. The couple eventually moved to the Caribbean, where they spent 10 years before moving back to New Orleans to raise their four sons.
Knoll, who also is a chef and worked at Emeril’s, is a partner in Craig Borges’ New Orleans Seafood Co., a seafood restaurant supplier, so when the couple decided to open their own restaurant, seafood was a natural choice.
Yellowfin tuna crackers with jicama slaw, avocado and spicy Cajun caviar
But the menu here is a far cry from the fried staples and boil baskets around town. Instead, the refined menu features grilled salmon tacos, silky yellowfin tuna tartare served with jicama slaw and avocado, a skillet of "sizzling" garlic shrimp, doused in a sauce of capers, lemon and Parmesan.
Knoll’s seafood connection will dictate what specials will be offered.
“He always knows what’s coming in on the boat, so if something isn’t great or available one day, we’ll take it off and switch it out with something else,” Alison says.
Larger plates include a cracked crab stew with Gulf shrimp, oysters and cornbread, a blackened Gulf fish with roasted potatoes and garlic lemon butter, and char-grilled oyster pasta served with French bread. There's also a grilled lamb burger with cucumber-feta salad and rosemary and jalapeno aioli, a fried chicken sandwich topped with blue cheese sauce and the "sloppy Drew," made with braised beef, provolone and onion jam.
The restaurant occupies the space formerly home to Two Tonys, includes seating for roughly 80 people. There is also a large covered outdoor space.
The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. A daily happy hour runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, visit the restaurant's website here.