After a long Covid-induced hiatus, Couvant is back with a fresh new look, menu, and chef. The French brasserie, part of The Eliza Jane Hotel, will reopen its doors on Thursday, March 17 with Chef Ryan Pearson at the helm.
Pearson, a Louisiana native, returned to New Orleans after many years in New York (he was the sous chef at Daniel) and Paris, as well as Puerto Rico during the pandemic. "Covid in New York was so depressing that I took a private chef position in the west side of Puerto Rico to get away from all that," he told Adore. "I also used that as an opportunity to not have a lease or any possessions tying me to anywhere and just follow opportunity. I was always open to coming back to New Orleans, but I knew it was only to do something dynamic and career defining which I feel like Couvant is."
The restaurant is accepting reservations and will begin serving breakfast and dinner with delicious options like Gulf Fish Rillette, Pate en Croute, and Cote de Beuf for two. Couvant's innovative wine list will showcase French and European wines, and two sized pours will be available for all wines at the same price, allowing guests to try a variety of blends that aren't readily available in the country. If cocktails are more your speed, a list of unique drinks created by the staff will rotate monthly.
Returning diners will notice a few interior changes including new paint, new art (all by New Orleans artists and available for purchase), and updates to the raw bar. "We are really trying to embrace the city of New Orleans and most of the art in the restaurant is now by up-and-coming local artists."
Learn more about Chef Pearson and his vision for Couvant below.
What are some dishes, flavors, or techniques you’re bringing with you from your time in Paris and NY?
By working with purveyors in Paris, you really learn to appreciate ingredients. When you order a flat of tomatoes and every single one is perfectly ripe and separated showing the most respect for the product, it’s hard to go back to getting a case of unripe tomatoes thrown into a box. I will now always view being a chef almost as a purveyor of the best products that I can get my hands on. The chefs I worked for in New York — Daniel Humm, Markus Glocker, and Daniel Boulud — will always be entwined in my cooking philosophies and techniques. I owe them so much and I am so lucky to have had those opportunities. Now at Couvant, we're trying to find our own voice by searching for the best ingredients and cooking them with proper techniques. We are also paying our respects to south Louisiana, because where we're located in the world is so special.
What dish are you most excited about on the menu?
The dish I’m most excited about is the cochon de lait. It’s a dish I came up with in Paris. A suckling pig in slowly cooked in duck fat and the meat is pressed into the skin resulting in tender meat utilizing the whole pig with a delicious crispy skin almost like chicharron.
Will any of the original menu items stick around?
I’m sure some dishes will stick around in some ways, but we’re also pushing to work with local farms and embrace seasonality while continuing to offer an exciting experience to our guests. The menu will always be evolving.
How was the wine list chosen?
We wanted to offer a wine list with no retail presence while highlighting small wine growers doing this the right way. Most of the wine list is organic or biodynamic.
What do you hope guests take away from this new chapter at Couvant?
First and foremost, we want the restaurant to be fun. A place you can go because you’re hungry or because you want to celebrate. We’re working really hard to add something to this already amazing dining scene and offer our take on French cuisine while staying grounded in where we are in the world. A French experience you wouldn’t have in another city.
Couvant is located at 315 Magazine Street