Mother of Pearl Is New Riverbend Gem Serving Contemporary Comfort Food

Photo source: Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl, 8132 Hampson St., is a year-old eatery in the Riverbend serving a unique menu of seafood delights and a few other surprises. Chef Walker Geoffray and his wife and partner Katie Morris, who also own Black Pearl Catering Company, own the restaurant. 

Geoffray’s culinary journey is deeply rooted in the Riverbend neighborhood, where he was born and raised. His passion for cooking was ignited in his twenties while working at a catering company. In 2017, he and Morris, inspired by his parents’ entrepreneurial spirit (they own a frame shop on Oak St.), opened their catering company, Black Pearl Catering Company. Mother of Pearl functions as Black Pearl’s commissary kitchen; Geoffray knew it was the perfect spot for his restaurant when he saw the space. 

Photo source: Mother of Pearl

“When we found the building, we thought it was the perfect size and meets all of our needs,” Geoffray said. “After we got our liquor license, we were eager to bring a restaurant back to the neighborhood. During the pandemic we lost Carrollton Market and GB’s, so we wanted to bring some of that feel back to the neighborhood.”

In the short time since its opening, Mother of Pearl has become a beloved spot for the neighborhood, attracting a loyal following of regulars who appreciate the warm and welcoming atmosphere. 

One of the menu’s most popular items is the Crab Scotched Eggs, Geoffray’s take on a crab cake. It’s made with a soft-boiled egg, crab cake mix, panko crust, spicy remoulade, and lemon herb salad.

Photo source: Mother of Pearl

Of the dish, Geoffray said. “When you’re catering, you make so many crab cakes, so this is my way of making a crab cake wrapped around a soft-boiled egg. It’s a fun way to give a nod to New Orleans while doing something different.”

Another summer highlight is the Avocado Salad, made with fresh avocado and a horseradish vinaigrette that contains just enough spice for a New Orleans dish. Okra Tempura, made with crispy fried okra, pickled wasabi stems, ponzu, katsuobushi, and grated ginger, is another one of Geoffray’s favorites. 

“The batter is like glass on the outside and it stays crispy on the table,” he explained. “The wasabi adds a nice kick and that’s been a fun one for summer.”

For those that miss GB’s beloved burger, Mother of Pearl’s version is made with prime brisket, served on a Tartine brioche bun with asiago cheese, and dressed with Dijon aioli with a side of rosti fries. Hilltop Confit Chicken is herb and garlic-crusted chicken served with creamed Alabama corn and grilled Louisiana squash; and Curried Grilled Swordfish is grilled Gulf swordfish topped with red Thai curry sauce and served with broken coconut rice grits and crispy sweet potato straw.

Photo source: Mother of Pearl

The bar program, which offers an array of cocktails and natural and standard wine, is helmed by Shannen Holahen. Cocktails include Tangerine Gimlet, Bombay Sapphire Gin, lime juice, tangerine juice, Campari, and Mezcal spirits; Bicycle Thief, Beefeater gin, Campari, grapefruit, and lemon juice; Whiskey Peach Smash, Elijah Craig rye whiskey, peach, lemon, and simple syrup; and Blueberry Violet Spritz, Tito’s Vodka, violet liquer, and blueberry club soda, among others.

Mother of Pearl is open Wednesday through Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and offers happy hour from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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