The NOPSI Hotel (317 Baronne St., 504-962-6500; www.nopsihotel.com) opened in the CBD July 6, and it has two bars and a restaurant. The building dates to 1927 and once served as the headquarters for the city's utility company and public transit operator.
The 217-room luxury hotel has a gleaming central lobby with tall vaulted ceilings and chandeliers. The hotel's lobby bar, underCURRENT, serves snacks and drinks, and service is available on the patio.
Public Service, the hotel's restaurant, is adjacent to the main lobby, with two-story glass windows that overlook Baronne Street. It has an open kitchen and raw bar.
Executive chef Dustin Brien formerly was the chef at Salu, a Mediterranean-focused restaurant in Uptown that shuttered last year. The focus at Public Service is on produce from area farms and Gulf Coast seafood. The menu includes a daily gumbo preparation, blue crab dip made with Abita Amber, green onions, spinach and cream cheese, and tasso hushpuppies with sweet corn and pimiento cheese.
Chicken-fried soft-shell crab is served with watermelon, blistered serrano peppers, arugula and watermelon-tinged ranch dressing. Flatbreads include a version topped with pork belly and andouille, and the Basque, which is topped with white anchovies, roasted garlic, tarragon, manchego and a fried egg. Larger plates include steak frites topped with Stilton butter, and crab gnocchi.
On the hotel's ninth floor is a rooftop lounge and pool. Daytime use is restricted to hotel guests. Above the Grid opens to the public at 4 p.m.