A Southern grandma was the inspiration for the name and flavors of Willa Jean, a hip restaurant in New Orleans’ South Market District. This is the place to come for creative cuisine that’s ultra-satisfying—and for some of the best biscuits you’ve ever tasted.
The restaurant, about a 10-minute walk from the French Quarter, offers tasty options from breakfast through dinner. Upon entering, you’ll find a sleek room with exposed brick along one wall, cool ceiling light fixtures, a long bar, and a tantalizing bakery counter. The space fills up quickly with folks hungry to taste the many delicious options.
Stop by late morning and savor the delectable flaky biscuits, a specialty at brunch with butter and homemade jam, or with more creative toppings, such as p&j oysters, poached egg, and okra.
Snacks are a great place to begin your lunch, and Willa Jean offers two that are Southern through and through and hard to resist: Pimento Cheese served with shaved ham, and Willa Jean’s cornbread. There are also tartines—open-faced sandwiches such as sourdough bread with BBQ shrimp and burrata cheese; and the restaurant’s famous avocado toast, topped with poached eggs. A nice selection of sandwiches (grilled meatloaf with tomato jam, and fried chicken with serrano slaw, for instance), soups, and salads round out the menu.
Dinner offers these dishes, with the addition of several hot plates, including a chicken pot pie that’s infused with lemon verbena and chockful of chicken. Order tasty beef short ribs and enjoy them with whipped celery root, Brussels sprouts and carrots. Braised rabbit cavatelli and seared drum round out the offerings.
At the other end of the spectrum, dessert, Willa Jean wins diners over with clever twists on old favorites, such as cookies and milk (cookie dough and vanilla-infused milk). A sweet way to end a meal that’s sure to charm you, just like a Southern grandma.
611 O’Keefe Avenue, New Orleans
Monday – Friday: breakfast, 7 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.; lunch, 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; dinner, 5:00 p.m. – close
Saturday – Sunday: Brunch, 7 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; dinner, 4:00 p.m. – close
Reservations are recommended. Stay with us here at Avenue Inn and we’ll be happy to make them for you. Give us a call to book today!
Photos courtesy of Willa Jean.