Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar Brings a Taste of Louisiana to the Houston Heights

The Big Muffaletta at Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar

 

With the recent closure of Revival Market, the space at 550 Heights Boulevard is now home to Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar, a Louisiana-inspired café by Revival’s former general manager, Layne Cruz.

A New Orleans native, Cruz grew up with hospitality and food as an important part of her life. She fondly recalls weekend brunches with family and her grandmother’s attendance-mandatory Sunday dinners. “Opening my own restaurant has been a personal goal for as long as I can remember, and I can’t wait to introduce Heights regulars to a taste of the Big Easy,” she says. Lagniappe is a Cajun-French word meaning “a little extra,” and Cruz aspires to bring that flair of “her Louisiana” to the Heights.

Layne Cruz, owner of Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar. Photo by Mikah Danae.

While Agricole Hospitality owners Morgan Weber, Ryan Pera, and Vincent Huynh made the decision not to renew the lease for Revival Market, which was part of Agricole Hospitality, there was no hesitation in handing the reins over to Cruz. “Layne, who started with our company in 2014 as a server at Coltivare, grew into the role of Revival’s assistant manager before serving as general manager for the last five years. Since then, she’s gone above and beyond for our guests and our team every single day, and there is nobody else we’d rather see lead the Revival space into its new chapter than Layne,” the trio said in a Facebook post.

The dining room at Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar. Photo by Mikah Danae.

Modeled after Cruz’s own cozy living room, the newly revamped interior has a warm and inviting aesthetic, with plenty of New Orleans touches — even the two bathrooms are Saints- and LSU-themed. The kitchen will be helmed by executive chef Steven Lamborn, who previously held the same role at Revival Market.

Diners dropping in for breakfast might enjoy a Sardou Omelet, a play on Eggs Sardou (a New Orleans-style poached egg created by Antoine’s) that is served with bechamel creamed spinach, grilled artichoke, smoked ham and gruyere. Or they could opt for cheddar bacon biscuits with whipped butter, sea salt and boil spice.

Layne’s Gumbo at Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar. Photo by Mikah Danae.

Those looking for lunch can sit down with a plate of veggie pappardelle with peas, artichokes, spinach, Parmesan, black pepper and egg yolk. If they are looking for more classic Louisiana fare, they can dig into a bowl of Layne’s Gumbo with housemade andouille sausage, chicken and the Cajun trinity served over a bed of rice. There will also be all day options, such as The Big Muffuletta, loaded with a housemade olive and pepper mortadella, smoked ham, salami, provolone, mozzarella, giardiniera, and arugula all on a toasted Gambino’s semolina roll. If The Big Muffuletta is too much, there’s a happy hour menu where a small version can be enjoyed, along with other happy hour bites like Blue Crab Hush Puppies or roasted oysters with creamed spinach, bacon and gruyere cheese.

Since tradition is tradition, red beans and rice will be served on Mondays, following the longrunning custom of New Orleanians eating the classic dish on wash day. Don’t forget to do your laundry while you’re at it.

N.O. Iced Mocha at Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar. Photo by Mikah Danae.

The beverage program, led by Cruz, will also carry the Louisiana theme. It will focus on New Orleans-style coffee flavors, sourcing coffee beans from New Orleans roasters and will feature classic New Orleans cocktails in a low-ABV format, along with a curated selection of beer and wine. The happy hour menu will include specially priced wines, beers, and $7 cocktails like Hurricane Port, a House Sangria and Meme’s Cup of Tea, served in fun and lively Mardi Gras-inspired cups.

Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar is open Sunday and Monday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (featuring all-day brunch), Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (with an all-day happy hour) and Wednesday through Saturday from 7 to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 3 to 7 p.m. for happy hour. An all-day menu is available as well.

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