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Sylvain bar and bistro?

Has anybody heard of a place called Sylvain, evidently a new bar and bistro? It's mentioned at the bottom of the first page of this article from the N.Y. Observer:


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  1. I read that article as well and was curious. My friend is down there on business and I asked him to check it out.

    3 Replies
    1. re: roro1831

      I don't know what he'll be able to check out. I've googled and yelped but can't find any mention of it anyplace. I certainly haven't heard anything about it until this article. I doubt that it's open.

      1. re: uptownlibrarian

        Yup, I'm the friend. Can't find it. My google search did lead me to this thread though. Which is nice, lol.

    2. It's a work-in-progress.

      I hope the "Cajun Expats" explain to the Observer that New Orleans is not Cajun.

      1. I ran McCusker's name through the Secretary of State website and got 625 Chartres as an address. Looks like it was previously La Marquise Pastry Shop. Looks like Robert LeBlanc of LRG (Republic, Capdeville, LOA, etc.) is involved.

        1. This is Steve Garbarino, who wrote a piece for the New York Observer on expats moving to New Orleans recently. I saw that no one could find Sylvain. First, I have to say that writers don't write their own hedlines. Mine, jokingly, WAS, "Meet the Newyats." As in New Yorkers moving to New Orleans. "The Cajun Expats" made no sense to me either, but...no matter. I used to be a reporter at The Times Picayune, and have lived on and off in my favorite city for six years, so I wasn't some newcomer to NOLA and its ways. I was simply reporting. Cut to chase: Sean McCusker, is running Sylvain, but it won't open until likely summer. We never said it was opened yet. It's on Chartres Street, a block or so from Jackson Square. It will be good. Yes, Robert LeBlanc is involved. Just helpin....Steve

          2 Replies
          1. re: steve garbarino

            Enjoyed your piece; thanks for reporting on some of the positive things happening here.
            And, yes, know that writers don't generally write their own headlines. (Yours was way better!)
            We look forward to checking out Sylvain once it opens.

            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              thanks darling. went to recently opened capdeville last week in warehouse district. very good bistor food. they nabbed the boys from patois to come up with the menu. great jukebox too. the area doesn't have a more casual place to go and be loud.

          2. Hello - Sean McCusker here, partner/owner of Sylvain. We've been slowed down a bit due to installing our sprinkler system, but will be up and running in about a month. in the meantime, feel free to walk by 625 Chartres Street and take a look and keep an eye on www.sylvainnola.com. Thanks for your interest and can't wait to see you there...


            16 Replies
            1. re: sean mccusker

              I ducked in a door during a rainstorm and happened upon this place. Met Sean I think..super nice guy....place looks wonderful...Sean was kind enough to take time to show me around...cant wait for it to open. Good work!

              1. re: sean mccusker

                Thanks for the information, and please let the eager eaters and dedicated diners on Chowhound know when you are up and running!

                1. re: swampsue

                  This looks interesting, Will definitely try the Porchetta poboy. For my money the Quarter desperately needs more non-new-orleans type establishments that serve good food eg La Boucherie, now a pizza place that struggles to attract more than two diners at a time. What many people don't realize is that the Quarter is full of local working people who need a place to eat lunch, that's why Felipe's regularly has larger crowds than either of the Maspero's, the Alpine and too many other places to mention.

                  601 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                  1. re: CharlieH

                    La Boucherie is going to start serving lunch again next week, with Tzarine doing the cooking as before. The menu won't be as big because she doesn't have the same amount of space or storage, but she's planning to have at least a few sandwiches and a soup, and she's already got her delicious quiches available in the bakery case.

                    1. re: uptownlibrarian

                      Only a few days of fine tuning left before Sylvain opens. Thanks to everyone for their support and interest, particularly our French Quarter neighbors who have stopped in. We promise to deliver a truly unique experience within the next week-ten days. In the meantime, the menu is up at www.sylvainnola.com and I've started a twitter account @sylvainnola. See you all soon.

                      1. re: sean mccusker

                        Love the menu--can't wait to check out your rest. Good luck!

                      2. re: uptownlibrarian

                        I saw Tzarine the other day and she gave me the good news, Can't wait. ch

                        1. re: CharlieH

                          Hello - at long last, Sylvain is ready to open and will be serving dinner beginning Monday, October 11th. Although we have all licenses and permits, we are still awaiting the city alcohol license which I was told would be completed and delivered on Monday. I'll be at City Hall first thing Monday. Worst case scenario, we will open for dinner and guests can bring their own wine to enjoy with our menu that you can preview at www.sylvainnola.com. Thanks again to everyone who has stopped by and helped spread the word. See you this week. Sean

                          1. re: sean mccusker

                            Keep us apprised on when you will be open for lunch. You should update your website.

                            1. re: sean mccusker

                              Sean, Is Leon's involvement day to day? Stopped in yesterday 10/10/10 and still not open. How does it look for dinner this Sat?

                              1. re: lilbanjo

                                they were open last nite. the duck is very good.

                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                    they didnt have the license last nite. served house red & white

                                    1. re: kibbles

                                      How's the place look? Nice "feel"? They have a courtyard, don't they?

                                      1. re: BayouTeche

                                        its not bad. the front door isnt the front door (kinda a pet peeve of mine w/ restorations) so you enter the alley and come thru the back. the courtyard seemed nice and the kitchen is out there. the restaurant itself has a lot of rustic wood, which i liked. the bar is copper topped which i also liked. theyre going for a dark, candle vibe which is cool, but the white walls treatment wasnt my bag (its some kind of textured tile deal) as its kinda stark. some stained crown modeling to match the wood elsewhere would be choice.

                                        the menu is best described as bistro comfort food. there's duck confit and beef cheeks, but theres also a burger and a chicken sandwich. we had the asparagus salad w/ poached egg and white grapefruit, but sadly the egg was over cooked and provided no yoke love to mix w/ the citric. (if you sell a lot of poached eggs id say just spring for that water-cooker thing that keeps them at the perfect temp). also had the cheese plate courtesy of st james, and were going to have the abita root beer float for dessert but were too full. service was a bit hectic and jittery but it was to be expected on opening nite.

                                        im thinking it will be popular for power lunches.

                                        1. re: kibbles

                                          I'll have to give it a try next time I'm in the Quarter.

                                          Sucks about the yolk. I know the disappointment.

                  2. My number one pet peeve for a restaurant's website is when it either: 1) doesn't specify its hours of operation on its main page or 2) doesn't have provide contact info on its main page. Sylvain manages to accomplish both, and in an extreme example of clumsy business practices, their web site doesn't provide this information at all. Some pricing information would be a bonus. Lots of twittering going on though.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: CharlieH

                      Ditto on all your points, including and esp. the pricing. I assumed these would turn up on the website once the place opened. Annoying.

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        Looks like they've added both Hours and Prices!

                        1. re: TulaneJeff

                          And it becomes obvious why he didn't have the prices before. Seems expensive to me.

                      2. re: CharlieH

                        yep. what theyve done here is take a single image of the menu and made it into a one-paged website.

                        a single image does not make website. shame because a good website is one way to stimulate buzz -- but whos gonna pass on a URL that doesnt contain any useful info!? youd look like an idiot.

                        hint :)

                      3. Sylvain is open and has great food and service. Most restaurants don't put prices on the menu so prices can be changed without changing sight. Prices are in line for the quantity and quality you receive

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Hloum335

                          Um, that's just not so . . . but since Sylvain has rectified the problem, it's a moot point.

                          1. re: Hloum335

                            The food prices are pretty reasonable for what you get, especially the apps. But the wines by the glass are way too expensive.

                            1. re: Hloum335

                              Seems weird they are only doing lunch on the weekends, I guess they don't have the personnel yet. Has anyone seen how much business they are getting? I am always scratching my head at why restaurants choose not to go after the indigenous peoples. And Sylvain is even more of an enigma because they aren't serving food that particularly caters to the average tourist. They are clearly after the sophisticated dinner. But for a mostly open for dinner only type place, their menu is kind of a lunchy thing. Maybe they are just shooting for the hipster bar scene. Who knows.

                              1. re: CharlieH

                                I had lunch there last Friday with two friends. We had a cheese board, the brussel sprout salad, the pickled vegetables, and the paté crostini. Everything was good.

                                I thought the pickled veggie plate could have had more variety and been more generous in size - it was 5 slices of dill pickle, 5 pickled okra and two slices of pickled tomato, for $9.

                                On the other hand the crostini was absolutely slathered with chicken liver paté, to the point that it needed more acid than the couple drops of balsamic drizzled on the plate to cut the richness.

                                The cheese board had generous portions of three cheeses, probably 3 or 4 oz of each. The blue was misidentified by the waitress, but that's not that big of a deal - I've experienced that at pretty much every restaurant that offers a cheese board more sophisticated than cracker barrel cheddar and pepper jack. The accompaniments of marcona almonds, some kind of relish, and bread were good and well portioned. The only real negative with the cheese board was that they drizzle oil all over the cheeses, which is unappealing and detracts from the cheese.

                                And finally, the brussel sprout salad was very good and a generous portion. It was a brussel sprout salad, not too much you can say about that.

                                The place was busy when I was there. I think every table inside was occupied, actually, so they weren't hurting for custom that day.

                                They really need to get some cheaper wines by the glass on the menu if they are going to continue to bother selling BTG. The BTG prices range from $10 to $14, which is simply too high to appeal to people who just want to have one glass over lunch. Bottle prices are ok and the list seems interesting and well-selected, but they need a couple in the $30-$35 range, in my opinion. The specialty cocktails are also pricey, but they're in line with other restaurants that have "cocktail programs."

                                I agree with you Charlie that the menu is quite "lunchy" for the prices. It's too expensive to be a place where you'd hang out and drink, but the food is too casual to be a destination for a special dinner. However, the food was all good and it would be perfect for a pre-theatre bite or an afternoon snack and cocktail.

                                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                  Good write up. For some reason, I have trouble reading Friday-Saturday as including Friday, and had convinced myself that I would have to come down on the weekend. I will be in soon.

                                  1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                    you put that well ('too expensive to drink, too casual to dine'). im gonna check it out for another sit-down dinner tho..im not into chicken sandwiches or burgers, but on opening nite there was a good normal entree. was in for a cocktail the other week, the fried eggplant app is very good.

                              2. Any recent visitors? We'll be in New Orleans in April and are curious.....
                                Have they introduced a less expensive WBTG option?

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: CEfromLA

                                  have gone a few more times. brunch is excellent, and imo dinner apps upstage entrees. lunch on Fridays. craft cocktails are good.

                                  the beet bruschetta and the chicken liver pate are our favorite of the apps.

                                  1. re: CEfromLA

                                    Asking whether or not you should go depends mainly on where you're vising from IMO. Assuming you're from LA (based on your handle), then I wouldnt recommend going. My wife and I left impressed after eating there two weeks ago, but there's also nothing else like it in town. Having lived in NYC most of my life I wouldnt travel to Louisiana to eat at a gastropub -- and I use that designation loosely in this instance. However, since we live here now (and absolutely love it, btw!) this is a phenomenal alternative to most of what's out there.

                                    My post isnt meant to take anything away from Sylvain because the food was very good. -- the beef cheeks were a huge win and the cocktails artfully crafted -- but I can assure you this isnt something you cant find in LA.

                                    When I go to LA and I want gastropub-ish food I'm going to Father's Office in Santa Monica for a burger and something from Russian River Brewery to wash it down with. Nuff said!

                                    1. re: NYNO

                                      also depends when you go -- id bet you couldn't find the pork shoulder & grits or biscuits & gravy like theirs in L.A. their Mississippi chef does them both very well.

                                      1. re: kibbles

                                        Thanks! When we come to town every year for FQF, we stay for a minimum of 8 days, so that leaves us plenty of time to try something/someplace different.
                                        It's kind of ironic; you come to LA and get a burger at Father's Office and I can't wait to get back to Yo Mama's!

                                        1. re: CEfromLA

                                          We ate here at Christmas time; it was delicious and totally worth going if you are looking to add something new to a well established eating pattern like we were. There is also a beautiful patio in back that I cannot WAIT to have a drink in next time we are in town!
                                          I had the pasta and it was amazing.