El Patio (845 Carondelet St., 504-302-1600),
a restaurant and bar from the folks behind La Casita,
is now open in the Warehouse District.
The original La Casita location on Julia Street made a name for itself with happy hour specials and margaritas. That restaurant shuttered earlier this year, but the team is now back in the neighborhood at a much larger space. The two-story “Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Garden” has a large back patio.
Proprietor John Michael Wade, who also runs La Casita Taqueria in the Riverbend neighborhood, opened the new restaurant.
“This is something that I’ve wanted to do since La Casita (first) opened,” Wade said in a prepared statement.
PHOTOS COURTESY TEDDIE TAYLOR
El Patio Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Garden is now open in the Warehouse District.
Helming the kitchen is chef Justin Bruhl, who worked at Compere Lapin, Maypop and several Mario Batali restaurants on the East Coast. Until recently, he ran the pop-up Matchbook Kitchen at Barrel Proof in the Lower Garden District.
Bruhl’s menu has snacks, tacos and small and large plates. Snacks, or aperitivos
, include a smoked whitefish with citrus-cured sheepshead, avocado and a poblano aioli, and boudin balls made with chorizo verde, rice, and a smoked guajillo pepper jam. Tacos include a version with grilled octopus, a lime chili glaze, preserved lime and chayote slaw, beans and crema, and a smoked lamb barbacoa version with a mole negro, mezcal tomatillo salad, and queso fresco, among others. Larger plates include a grilled pork belly with trotter chochoyotes ,
chile verde, and jicama and apple salad, as well as a pan-seared drum served with snow crab coconut rice, avocado espuma, fermented mango and crab salad.
The bar will feature a large selection of tequila and mezcal, and Wade says the upstairs space likely will be used for private events. A happy hour will feature half-priced small plates, tacos and drinks from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.
For the first week of operations, El Patio will open at 3 p.m. for happy hour, dinner and late-night service. Lunch served will be added later.