POSTED Thu. Feb 4, 2016


'Revel' in the Latest Addition to the New Orleans Dining Scene
Written by FRITZ ESKER

New Restaurant for a New Year: Revel

Good food, good drinks, and good service will be a family affair at Revel, the new Mid-City restaurant expected to open in time for Endymion (Feb. 6th).

Nationally renowned bartender Chris McMillian and his wife, Laura, are co-founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail (pictured above, courtesy of Facebook). Because of Chris’ profession, the couple rarely ate out for dinner. When they’d dine out together, it would be for lunch.

But all too often, the food would just be good enough. It left them feeling like it wasn’t something they couldn’t replicate in their own kitchen. That feeling, coupled with a desire to work for themselves after a lifetime of working for others, prompted them to open Revel.

Located at 133 N. Carrollton Ave (the site of the former Juicy Lucy’s), Revel will be open for lunch and dinner, with hopes of expanding to breakfast. The McMillians’ son-in-law, Jose Ayala, will be the chef. Ayala has worked as head baker at La Boulangerie and also served as the sous chef at Roy’s in Baltimore. He’s excited about putting his culinary skills to use for the new family business.

“I’ve been working in this business since I was seventeen,” Ayala said. “My driving passion is cooking and being with family…It (Revel) is a dream come true.”
The McMillians’ son Sam will also assist in the kitchen. Chris will serve his signature craft cocktails at the bar and Laura will work on the floor. The family hopes to take their combined decades of experience in the service industry and make something special for local diners.

“We believe we know what’s important in this business,” Chris McMillian said. “It’s not gimmicks…It’s quality ingredients, classic flavors, excellent execution, and caring service.”

Since people don’t take anything tangible with them once they leave a restaurant (except perhaps a takeout box), the overall experience is everything for diners. McMillian wants his patrons to leave Revel feeling like they’ve had a great experience.

“What you bought is how you feel about it. Did you feel good when you walked out the door?” McMillian said.

Ayala plans to use his experience as a baker to bake all of Revel’s sandwich breads fresh daily. Some of the breads take 2-3 days to bake properly, but Ayala believes in spending the time to create something special with his bread.

“I want to take pride in making things the traditional way – no shortcuts,” Ayala said.

The restaurant will have a limited opening in time for Mardi Gras weekend. The initial menu will include items like cochon du lait, pulled pork, and meatball sliders. When at full capacity (expected to be sometime in mid-February), Revel will serve items like a fried chicken sandwich on a buttermilk bun, bratwurst on a pretzel bun, and a crawfish croissant. There will be a daily soup menu. All condiments will be house-made and locally grown ingredients will be used when possible.

There will also be small plates and bar food options. Double-fried, hand-cut french fries will be available. So will a pretzel brioche stick – a stick of brioche dipped in rye to give a pretzel flavor.

The price range for sandwiches will be near $10. Entrees will be under $20. Cocktails and wines will be $8-11. There will also be happy hour options.

McMillian will be creating his signature craft cocktails for Revel. He said his desire to open the restaurant comes from the same place that prompted him to first start getting creative with cocktails.

“It (the craft cocktail movement) was a way for bartenders to create meaning for their jobs by making cocktails they had respect and pride in,” McMillian said. He hopes to bring that same level of care, creativity, and attention to Revel.

POSTED Nov 4, 2019


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    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


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    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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