Back in March, Schroeder’s owner Andy Chun quietly bought the Fillmore Street New Orleans-inspired staple, Elite Cafe. Since then, he’s been working with his Sidecar Hositality (Schroeder’s, Press Club) team to revamp the 35-year-old restaurant, including a space and menu refresh.
New Orleans native, Chef Chris Borges has revamped the menu with an array of Cajun and Creole flavors. Luckily, he’s kept all versions of Louisiana classics on the menu, such as duck gumbo, crawfish etouffée, and Elite’s signature Meetinghouse biscuits, with the addition of some more modern takes on the genre. Expect dishes like Black Drum Pontchartrain, a classic NOLA dish featuring a drum filet smothered with Louisiana shrimp, blue crab, and local wild mushrooms. New interpretations of familiar classics will also grace the menu, like muffaletta chopped salad and ham hock, fried chicken, or blackened catfish biscuit sandwiches. And, while Borges is sourcing as much as possible from local producers, he’s also importing some Louisiana staples, including andouille from LaPlace, LA and fish from his family’s seafood company in New Orleans.
Bar star Kevin Diedrich, who recently opened hot spot Pacific Cocktail Haven, created the drink list, which — true to the theme — has classics like the Sazerac, plus new takes on drinks like frozen Irish coffee and his version of the Hurricane (Banks 5 Island rum, Coruba dark rum, Galliano, citrus, passion fruit, bitters). Beverage direction Mauro Cirilli will oversee the wine list, as he does at Press Club and Schroeder’s.
BCV Architects worked on the refresh of the 92-seat space, as they did for Schroeder’s and Sidecar, giving some love to the worn mahogany booths, and adding a marble bar and table tops, black and white tile floor, and art deco-inspired pendants around the 20-foot-high room.
Elite Cafe will reopen on Monday, October 3. Stay tuned for a menu and inside photos.