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Seafood to come to New Albany

Another restaurant venture from Eric Morris, of Gospel Chicken renown, is due to open soon at 324 E. Main St., New Albany. This business, to be called Hull & Highwater, will have a seafood focus, an idea pushed by Morris’s partner, Garrett Petters, who has wanted to cook fish dishes for some time.

According to a story in the Courier-Journal, Hull & Highwater intends to aim for a middle ground between the low-end fried fish take-out places, and the upper-level fine dining seafood establishments. Patrons can expect to find a raw bar, lobster pot pie, fried or blackened fish sandwiches or baskets. Low-country boils and po’ boys will be featured, along with a catch of the day that will promote responsibility farmed fish, the origin of the fish clearly labeled. The bar will offer frozen cocktails and buckets of domestic and regional craft beers.

Morris at first envisioned his next venture as a street food restaurant that featured African, Asian and American cuisine. But when he brought on Petters, he was persuaded to turn the interior of the building that had acquired, a quondam garage with a second floor overlooking the river, into a ship’s hull, and to turn to serving seafood instead.

The restaurant will have indoor and outdoor seating, with a patio and a rooftop bar. Food & Dining will post again when the opening is firmly scheduled.

Restaurant news from the Sunny Side

Southern Indiana restaurateurs seem not deterred a bit by the prospect of the start of bridge tolling, perhaps confident of the growing dining sophistication of Hoosiers, and not dependent on those persnickety guys to the south. In any event, several new – or at least newish – restaurants have opened across the river from Louisville.

  • Naila’s Caribbean Cuisine has been open in Clarksville 1370 Veterans Pkwy., since last fall, tucked into a strip mall behind the Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que there. The menu boasts colorful and flavorful dishes that reflect the strong influence of Indian immigrant cuisine in the Caribbean islands.

Dishes offered include stew beef or pork with lentils, curry chicken or goat, jerk chicken served with rice and plantains, and a dish called “doubles” featuring hand-made flatbread filled with curried chick peas. Some days a fried whole fish is a special menu choice. Several curries rotate, and there are side dishes of dal (spiced lentils) and aloo (chickpeas and potatoes.

  • Over in Jeffersonville, Parlour, a pizza restaurant at 131 W. Chestnut St. is a hop and a skip from the Big Four Bridge, in a Victorian house that once was a bed and breakfast. The restaurant is to feature an upstairs bar and lounge with a private party room and a downstairs seating area. Pizzas will be baked in a coal-fired oven. The restaurant also has a patio that in the warmer months will become a beer garden.
  • Also in Jeffersonville, Café at Big Four Station, 223 Pearl St., is in a renovated historic house at the foot of the Big Four. Owner Carol Stembro envisions a place where Big Four Bridge pedestrians and cyclists can pop in for salads, yogurts, popsicles, coffee and other healthful refreshments.

Eric Morris of Gospel Bird looks to conquer seafood next

Gospel Bird, the fried chicken-focused southern food restaurant opened by chef Eric Morris last year in New Albany, will be joined by seafood restaurant on the Indiana riverfront, if plans work out.

Morris’s first plans for expansion, an eclectic urban street food concept he was going to call Concrete Jungle, turned out to be more ambitious than he had thought. according to a story in Louisville Business First. But he has the space at 324 E. Main St. in New Albany, about a block away from Gospel Bird, and has decided to work out a seafood concept, his second choice idea that he has been mulling for a while.

Morris thinks seafood is a good fit for the Southern Indiana market, an idea he has floated on his blog and Facebook. He envisions a fresh seafood grill with a raw bar, and a rooftop bar overlooking the river. He intends to pitch the menu at a moderate level, appealing to family casual dining, with dishes served in baskets and buckets.

Morris’s business partner in this venture will be Garrett Petters, who has worked at Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar in Louisville and Brooklyn and the Butcher, and was a manager in the fish department at Whole Foods.

Profile: Brooklyn and the Butcher

All the ingredients for a special dining experience have come together at one of New Albany’s newest restaurants — experience, vision, an inspirational setting, and a commitment to excellent service.

Brooklyn and the Butcher, which opened in February, is the latest venture for Ian Hall, who established his reputation with The Exchange Pub & Kitchen, considered by many among the best dining spots on either side of the Ohio River. Continue reading Profile: Brooklyn and the Butcher

HIP HOPS: A look at two new New Albany Breweries

In 1906, thirsty residents of New Albany had the choice of three local breweries to visit when it came time to refill pails gone dry.

Paul Reising’s plant was the granddaddy of them all, taking up a whole West End city block, where Bavarian-style beers had been brewed on-site since just after the Civil War. Continue reading HIP HOPS: A look at two new New Albany Breweries

Habana Blues & La Rosita Open Thursday

What’s old is new again in New Albany.

Two long-time presences in the restaurant scene in southern Indiana are rebooting themselves, offering eaters more of what they have loved. And both are having grand openings on Thursday.

Israel Landon, who made a big splash a few years ago with a little store, La Rosita, and then expanded too fast and crashed, is going back to his roots with a new venture, Israel’s Delicias de Mexico Gourmet, at 1515 E. Market St. New Albany. And Habana Blues Tapas Restaurant has reopened in a new space, with a re-envisioned look that tries to capture a little of the Cuban feel of Miami. Continue reading Habana Blues & La Rosita Open Thursday

Profile: Exchange Pub + Kitchen

With the Exchange Pub + Kitchen, Ian Hall has taken a historic New Albany building and transformed it into a stylish restaurant that would fit right into SoHo. With the Exchange as an anchor, the future looks bright for New Albany’s once-sputtering downtown revival.

Ten years ago, New Albany native Ian Hall — then in his late 20s and already a 10-year veteran of the restaurant business — made a vow to himself. “If I’m going to be in this business, by the time I’m 30 I’m gonna own my own place,” he remembers deciding. Continue reading Profile: Exchange Pub + Kitchen