Despite Road Work, Gabrielle Is Welcoming in Customers for Jazz Fest

crawfish bread
Crawfish Bread / Source: Gabrielle Restaurant

Gabrielle Restaurant, the neighborhood bistro best known for its Creole dishes, is no stranger to adversity. After all, the restaurant’s original location on Esplanade Avenue flooded during Hurricane Katrina. It would be another twelve years before owners, and chefs Mary and Greg Sonnier were able to reopen at their new location at 2441 Orleans Avenue But, before they could serve their first customer, the Orleans Avenue building flooded when pumps failed during an especially torrential thunderstorm. 

Now, Gabrielle is facing another challenge, and this one is man-made; street construction outside the restaurant has been ongoing for about a year. N. Rocheblave St., the street next to the restaurant, is impassable due to a large hole, and the work has closed Orleans Avenue for five blocks on the lake-bound side which is the side that Gabrielle is on. 

It’s a frustrating occurrence, especially for General Manager Gabrielle Sonnier Prudhomme.

“The work on N. Rocheblave has been ongoing for about a year and recently they closed Orleans,” she said. “Someone told us that they closed Orleans because the hole on N. Rocheblave is unstable and they don’t want giant trucks going down the street because it can cause a sinkhole.”

Prudhomme has gotten conflicting reports that the construction should be wrapping up within the next few weeks, while the city has said it will be concluded at the end of the summer. While she understands that the road work is necessary, she wants the public to know that Gabrielle is still open for business, and the staff here is especially excited to welcome in customers for Jazz Fest.

For Jazz Fest, the restaurant will offer a “take and bake” crawfish bread that can be picked up and baked at home. It will also be offering a special cocktail for Jazz Fest; “A Jazzy Daddy Sunburn” is made with tequila blanco, ginger beer, lemon juice, honey ginger syrup, and cayenne pepper, with a jalapeño floater.

While Gabrielle’s menu changes daily, some highlights are Quail, Rabbit, and Guinea Hen Gumbo, dark roux, smoked hen meat, fried bone-in quail; house-made rabbit sausage and country rice; Slow Roasted Duck, mixed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, duck quacking, and orange-sherry sauce served over ducking dirty rice; Filet of Beef, 8oz filet of beef, black truffle béarnaise sauce, garlic butter tossed spaetzle with cherry tomatoes and spinach; and Seafood Cassoulet, tarbais beans stewed with crawfish, lobster, smoked fish, and shrimp, topped with a fried oyster and seared sea scallop.

As an additional treat, Gabrielle will be selling signed Jazz Fest posters from years past, perfect for the collector or Jazz Fest enthusiast in your life.

Gabrielle’s Jazz Fest hours are April 28 and 29, 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and May 3 to 6, 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. On May 7, chef Greg Sonnier will cook Oysters Gable in the grandstand at Jazz Fest at 12:30 p.m.

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