02 February 2011

Christian's, Redeemed

Another milestone in the recovery of Mid-City: Redemption Restaurant opened its doors yesterday and it is a beautiful revival of a glorious New Orleans Restaurant, Christian's. Christian's opened on Veterans near Bonnabel in 1975 and moved to the former Lutheran church at the corner of North Scott and Iberville in 1977. It was one of 5 restaurants that revitalized Creole cuisine. It's Chef, Roland Huet (who died in Spring 2010), trained from boyhood in his family's restaurant (sadly, I do not know the name) in Paris and was recruited by Chris Ansel to work at Galatoire's. He was not happy there and decamped with Chris Ansel to open Christian's.
The Federal Flood worked its Black Arts on the building with 8 feet of turgid water, and Hank Bergeron, Chris's partner who became sole owner a few years earlier, felt he was not up to the monumental task of rebuilding the hallowed restaurant.
The building languished until Tommy Delaune (owner of Tommy's Seafood, one of the largest seafood processors in the US) bought the building. It served briefly as a church (Unitarian, I think) until Mr Delaune decided Mid-City had enough churches and a restaurant would benefit Mid-City more.
Full disclosure: I work there as a waiter, but that in no way biases me. Chef Michelle's food is delicious and the presentation is gorgeous. Feel free to ask for me (I go by "John") if you go to try it.

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