A pair of globetrotting restaurateurs expect to open a steakhouse in the French Quarter in May, but don't expect your standard filet mignon and creamed spinach. Doris Metropolitan (620 Chartres St., phone n.a.) is taking shape off Jackson Square, and it promises a Mediterranean approach, with an in-house retail butcher shop and its own "meat sommelier."
This will be the second Doris Metropolitan location from Itai Ben Eli and Doris Rebi Chia, a pair of Israeli-born restaurateurs who operate the original Doris Metropolitan in Costa Rica. They're tweaking their concept for New Orleans, and the restaurant's menu will be a mix of dry-aged steaks with lamb, veal and plenty of flavors from around the Mediterranean.
"We like to bring the classics and do it with influences from our own culture," Ben Eli says. "So lots of eggplant, lamb, maybe there's tahini in the steak tartare."
The restaurant will have an open kitchen, walls lined with wine racks and a small walk-up butcher shop selling steaks and other meats. A large dry-aging room will have windows facing the street, giving passersby a look at the beef, and in the dining room, a specialized staff member will guide patrons through their choices.
"Different people will want different steaks, so we'll have a meat sommelier to offer a cut that really suits them," Ben Eli says.
Ben Eli and Rebi Chia opened the first Doris Metropolitan in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose in 2010. While scouting other cities for a second location, they were impressed by the vibrant New Orleans restaurant scene and found an appealing spot in the building that housed the Alpine until it closed in 2012.
"It's the food culture here that appealed to us," Ben Eli says. "There's nothing better than serving good food to people who love good food, they know what it is and appreciate it."