Top Chef Favorite Isaac Toups to Open Second New Orleans Restaurant
Toups South, one of New Orleans’ most anticipated restaurant openings this year, will officially open its doors at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB) at 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in New Orleans October 5. Toups South will mark the second New Orleans outpost for Chef Isaac Toups, who earned “Fan Favorite” on BRAVO’s “Top Chef” Season 13 and his wife/co-owner Amanda Toups. The restaurant will serve as both a dining destination and a living exhibit, showcasing the cookery, flavors and culinary traditions of the South.
“We’re really excited to open in Central City in the Southern Food & Beverage Museum,” says Amanda Toups. “We’re thrilled to be a part of this up and coming neighborhood and know we’ll feel right at home.”
SoFAB Director Liz Williams shares her excitement, "With the opening of Toups South the fully participatory component of visiting SoFAB and experiencing the food and drink will be complete. There will be nothing better or more fun."
While Toups Meatery features modern Cajun cuisine, the menu at Toups South will pay tribute to the ingredients and techniques of the South; from South Carolina Lowcountry to Texas BBQ and everything in between. Small plates will include Sourdough Biscuits with crab fat butter; Goat Tamales with charred green tomato relish and fermented padrón crema; Gulf Snapper Crudo with butternut squash, coconut, pumpkin seed and chili oil and Brown Sugar & Soy Glazed Pork Belly with lime spiced watermelon, sesame and pork rind.
Large Plates are equally enticing and include Spatchcock Grilled Poussin with pecan dumplings, heirloom broccoli in a sage pan jus; Lamb Sweetbread & Mushroom Milanese served with creamy organic grits, sautéed collard greens & caramelized onions; Gulf Crab, Shrimp & Oyster Stew with roasted trinity and fried rice seafood calas; and the Fried Pork Chops Stack—a tower of bone-in lightly breaded pork chops, skewered with a steak knife and served with pickled summer squash, coffee aioli, white bread.
Brunch items are certain to make for a perfect Sunday Funday with creative dishes such as Farm Eggs in Purgatory—poached eggs with andouille sausage, jalapeño tomato braise and toasted ciabatta; Seared Fois Gras Pain Perdu with seasonal fruit, local greens and honey gastrique; and a Breakfast Poboy with baked eggs, Tabasco mashed chicken bologna and American cheese.
Helmed by Head Bartender Adrienne Miller, a Chilled 100 Ambassador 2016, the cocktail program at Toups South perfectly complements the menu and combines balanced flavors with meticulous execution. Libations include Frida’s Brush—Xicuru Mezcal, lemon and Crème de Cassis topped with Prosecco; Toups Julep—Old Forrester, house made Sweet Tea Honey syrup, fresh mint and persimmon bitters; and the Porkchops and Applesauce—pork infused Old Forrester with apple and suze bitters, served on the rocks and garnished with an orange twist.
The 2,000-square-foot restaurant blends rustic charm with modern touches, creating an unpretentious environment where the food shines and conversation flows. A 20 seat wrap-around exhibition kitchen made of reclaimed local cypress allows diners to take in the action while interacting with Chef Toups and his talented team. A stainless steel hood sits in the center of the kitchen, while a large chalkboard displays the local farmers and purveyors that contribute to each dish. Billowy drapery separates the restaurant from the museum and the opposite wall is flanked by expansive artwork representing southern culinary history, while cerulean hued accent walls throughout the space provide for a serene setting.
In the dining area, marble tables and warm wood chairs are set on polished concrete floors and provide an additional 75 seats. The historic bar, seating 10—built in 1851—is set against a Spanish designed cloud scene, representing the storms the New Orleans’ community has endured. With an absinthe fountain, imperial shaker and more, the bar is the perfect place to perch for a pre-dinner cocktail or a post-museum rest.