Ah, the 1980s: Big hair, acid-washed jeans and, if you lived in Lexington, New Orleans House seafood.
The restaurant, which started out in the South Park Shopping Center before moving to Griffin Gate Plaza on Newtown, closed in 1999.
But chef Jeremy Ashby of Azur said he never forgot the experience of eating there.
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“I remember The New Orleans House very vividly, walking through the florescent almost ‘80s punk rock lights of South Park movie theatre. The passing smells of popcorn butter, slowly changing as we rounded the corner to the restaurant into savory garlic butter with wisps of ocean salt and breeze.
“We would enter into this dimly lit room with a seemingly endless cornucopia of seafood stretched across the room, garnished every so appropriately with parsley, cut lemons and a blend of steam contrasting ice wells full of cooked-chilled sea creatures. I remember in my young mind imagining that this is what the big time was, this is where great food begins,” Ashby said.
“I felt excited and full of pride as a young man, just to have a ‘taste’ of it. It had more than a little to do with my becoming a chef.”
Now Ashby and his crew are recreating New Orleans House in a one-night event at their new venue, the Mane on Main. The dinner will be Aug. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the event space on the 15th floor of the Chase building, with the downtown skyline in the background.
It’s the latest choice for Azur’s popular “Icons” dinner series, showcasing menus from popular Lexington restaurants of the past and the first time the public can buy tickets for an event at the new Dupree Catering venue.
Tickets are available on Eventbrite for $85 per person, plus tax, and include a drink ticket and parking. Dishes will old favorites prepared by Dupree Catering chef Janey Thompson and chef Jeremy Ashby of Azur Restaurant and Patio.
Also, joining the team are chefs Kelly Mackey and Nick Lagagsorn who are expanding their offerings through the Lady Remoulade Food Truck into a brick and mortar, Roulay Restaurant & Bar, opening on West Short Street next year.
Among the buffet offerings are the old favorites: frog legs, oysters, smoked salmon, seafood salad and much more.
“I can’t wait to work with our crew to recreate The New Orleans House at the Mane on Main,” Ashby said. “I truly hope to illicit some of those memories and feelings for people.”