Because everyone who goes to New Orleans falls in love with it, some restaurateurs have opened a restaurant inspired by that exact experience. Mr. White, in the East Village at 123 St. Mark’s Place, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A, serves up Southern fare like shrimp and grits, a crawfish po’boy, and black eyed pea hummus in a setting inspired by a grand Southern mansion.
Owners Jeffrey White (Whiskey Town, Ruby Foo’s) and Kelly Rheel (Nell’s) and chef-partner Andrew Dunleavy (Vong, BLT Prime) took classic New Orleans dishes and switched them up, like with collard green spring rolls or shrimp & grits that get a more luxe twist with head-on prawns and saffron. The full menu is below. To pair with them, French wines and beers and ciders from the South are on the drink list. A full liquor license is pending.
A Southern mansion was the inspiration for the 43-seat space — with another 20 at the bar — full of marble, crown molding, plants, and luxe gold trim. The restaurant is just in time for Mardi Gras, which it will fully exploit on Tuesday, February 13 with decor from parade floats and specials like black rice jambalaya.
Mr. White joins the slew of restaurants taking inspiration from the lively Cajun and Creole foods of New Orleans that have opened in NYC over the last decade, with new gumbo, po’ boy, and hurricane specialists making their marks.
Unlike newcomers such as Gumbo Bros., Mr. White is slightly more upscale, with full table service and entrees ranging from $19 to $36. It is now open daily from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.