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Atlanta restaurateurs Lana Banks and Ali Wild open The Standard on Magazine St. in New Orleans



  Lana Banks and Ali Wild opened the casual neighborhood cafe The Standard (4206 Magazine St., 504-509-7306) Uptown after passing the location while visiting New Orleans.

  "We'd always walk by and think, 'What a great spot for a restaurant,'" Banks says.

  The couple own Across the Street, a Mexican restaurant in Atlanta, but since Wild hails from New Orleans, the pair often visit town. After settling into a home on nearby Marengo Street a few months ago, they opened The Standard.

  The renovated space feels light and airy; the walls are painted pale cream, wooden chairs and barstools are covered with paisley cloth and a mix of antique tools and artwork line the walls. An outdoor patio is in the works for when the weather cools down, Banks says.

  The lunch and dinner menus feature herbed chicken salad on a croissant, watermelon and arugula salad and a char-grilled half-pound Angus beef burger topped with Irish cheddar cheese. Larger entrees take a more Southern turn. Buttermilk fried chicken is served with mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy; mirliton is stuffed with lump crab and Gulf shrimp, and corn-fried tilapia comes with jalapeno macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and tartar sauce.

  Brunch features crab cake Benedict topped with spicy sauteed spinach and the "Benicio" — jalapeno cornbread topped with Puebla-style pulled pork, two poached eggs and deep-fried hot peppers.

  The Standard is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday. A midday happy hour menu will launch in coming weeks.

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