Eric Cook opens contemporary Creole restaurant Saint John in the French Quarter

The culinary history of 1117 Decatur St. in the French Quarter of New Orleans is rich, creating high expectations and high hopes for Saint John, a new restaurant opened at the address on Wednesday, October 6.

Chef Eric Cook has revived former Maximo’s (more recently Trinity), with Saint John, the highly anticipated restaurant to follow up on his successful LGD restaurant Gris-Gris, which Cook opened in 2018. Saint John offers a decidedly different cuisine. menu, one that skews the Creole more contemporary than the contemporary south of Gris-Gris. Dishes like slow-braised smothered turkey necks, chicken and shrimp sprouts, courtbouillion, and pork belly cassoulet are inspired by New Orleans native Cook and chef Daren Porretto’s research on 18th century Creole cuisine, traditional Sunday dinners and the influences that helped create New Orleans cuisine: Italian, French, Spanish, African, German, Caribbean.

Saint-Jean oysters
Randy Schmidt / Saint-Jean

Courtbouillion of Saint-Jean
Randy Schmidt / Saint-Jean

Pork belly cassoulet
Randy Schmidt / Saint-Jean

There are two dining rooms on the first floor of Saint John, one with a long open chef’s table that is perpendicular to another seating area, where the elevated cabins each feature a stained glass work of art by Deurty Boys, a studio in the region’s French Quarter artists Jeremy Hebert and Reverend Varg Vargas. Deurty Boys is also behind a large three-dimensional mural made up of performances and tributes to deceased local chefs and hospitality industry leaders, which sits above the other dining room, which also houses a bar. A staircase leading to the second-floor dining room is lined with Saint John’s “Guardians of Groove,” a play on the slogan of the beloved local radio station WWOZ, performed by Jay Setchim of Kudra Beetz. The upstairs dining room also has a balcony and is available to hire for private events.

Starting Wednesday, October 6, Saint John will serve lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday, Saturday and Sunday brunch from 11 am to 4 pm; closed Monday and Tuesday.

The entrance to Saint-Jean
Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

The dining room on the first floor
Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

Stained glass windows are from local artist studio Deurty Boys
Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

Stained glass art from local artist studio Deurty Boys
Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

Close-up of Saint John’s artwork by Deurty Boys
Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

Artwork by Deurty Boys
Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

The bar of Saint-Jean
Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

Jay Setchim of KudraBeetz’s Keepers of the Groove
Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

Outside Saint John on Decatur Street
Randy Schmidt / Eater NOLA

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About Guillermo Russell

Guillermo Russell

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