NOLA rebirth to bring more Big Easy flavor to Market Square
Management of a Market Square restaurant used a February fire as an opportunity to infuse even more Big Easy influence into their Cajun-inspired eatery.
NOLA on the Square reopens July 15, after undergoing renovations to repair damaged incurred Feb. 24, when a fire started in the kitchen.
“For those of us who were there since the onset of the first renovation, to do another one even better has been a lot of fun,” says Yves Carreau, chef-proprietor of Big Y Restaurant Group, that includes NOLA, Perle, Sonoma and Cerviche. NOLA opened in 2011 in the former 1902 Landmark Tavern.
“We've always loved it,” Carreau says. “Now, we love it even more.”
Pittsburgh Fire officials said the cause of the fire was a build-up of creosote in the duct work above a pizza oven. NOLA management says the city did not levy any fines against the restaurant or Big Y.
Renovations include installation of a new Pavesi oven with a state-of-the-art CaptiveAire CORE fire-protection hood system that includes real-time microprocessor monitoring and an integrated self-cleaning system.
Aesthetic updates boast a golden finish added to the tin ceiling and incorporation of art from native New Orleans artists adding pops of vibrant colors to the walls.
“It was less an issue of damage and more a way to use this an opportunity to really polish it up and bring it to a new level of beauty,” Karen Poirier, restaurant spokeswoman, says.
A second-floor space formerly reserved only for private events will serve as a speakeasy specializing in craft whiskey. Black-patterned wallpaper and club chairs add an air of masculinity to this space. The speakeasy will operate from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Next door is Perle, an upscale lounge and tapas bar open since 2012, featuring a wide array of champagne and high-end cocktails. The elegant space features a long bar and soft blue accents, in addition to a balcony overlooking Market Square.
“When we opened, we didn't know how much of a champagne crowd was in Pittsburgh,” says John Ajay, Big Y Restaurant Group's corporate beverage director. “It really took off.”
Executive chef Leonard Pisano seized the chance to add new offerings to the NOLA menu. They include an heirloom tomato and wood-roasted corn salad; potato-chip-crusted catfish; and a roasted-mushroom, spinach and ricotta flatbread with Cajun-peppercorn duck speck.
“We didn't want to change too much,” Pisano says. “People love the staples. But we're always trying to push forward with new ideas.”
Events celebrating the restaurant's launch include Jazzfest Week from July 15 to 19. The restaurant will host a different artist every night, culminating in a weekend music marathon that runs from 4 p.m. to midnight July 18, and noon to midnight July 19. NOLA's tradition of live music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday continues throughout the summer.
On July 30, chefs Andrew Hebson and Pisano go head-to-head in a battle of the hot sauces contest to be decided by a panel of Pittsburgh celebrity judges.
Details: 412-471-9100 or www.nolaonthesquare.com
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Penguins’ best bet is on Martin
- Young defensemen make case for future with Penguins
- From injuries to front office, Penguins’ season didn’t lack drama
- Penguins president: General manager, coach won’t be fired
- Pitt AD Barnes has enjoyed varied career in college sports
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Burnett’s stellar start paves way for Pirates’ victory over Diamondbacks
- Elites, media & character
- High risk, reward with 1st-round quarterbacks in NFL Draft
- Crews battling 5-alarm fire at North Union industrial building
- Biertempfel: Observations from a day at the ballpark