The luxury NOPSI Hotel opens Thursday (July 6) with a lobby bar, a rooftop bar and a restaurant called Public Service led by chef de cuisine Dustin Brien. Here's what you need to know about Public Service restaurant:
1. Brien was born in Boston. But, in a familiar story, he married a woman from New Orleans and then moved here five years ago. He was previously the chef at the now-closed Salú on Magazine Street.
2. Public Service, although inside a hotel, was created for New Orleanians. "It's a menu for people of the city," Brien said. "It's comfort food done well. You read the menu and you know what you're reading."
3. Brien's opening menu includes black bean hummus with roasted peppers ($5), a Basque flatbed with roasted garlic and white anchovies ($12), crab gnocchi ($23) and filet mignon with smoked onion Lyonnaise potatoes ($32).
4. The large bar inside the restaurant specializes in whiskey, with bottles from Kentucky, Scotland and Japan. The cocktails, like The Caldwell with bourbon, balsamic vinegar and basil, are also whiskey based. And all the draft beers were brewed in Louisiana.
5. Brien studied the classic NOPSI cookbook while planning the menu. "I read that entire cookbook," he said. While none of those recipes are on the menu at Public Service, he did print up cards with his favorites. Hotel guests will get those recipe cards, along with a custom spice blend, as part of their turndown service.