In a 19th-century house in New Orleans is a small restaurant that feels as though you’re dining in someone’s front parlor. The chef, Melissa M. Martin, grew up in Terrebonne Parish on Bayou Petit Caillou in Chauvin, Louisiana, and her Cajun, family-style Mosquito Supper Club pays tribute to the local seafood recipes of her childhood with dishes such as crawfish boulettes, shrimp okra gumbo, and fried soft shell crabs. After a few years in the French Quarter, Martin moved her restaurant to the Milan neighborhood in Uptown New Orleans.
The house at 3824 Dryades St., where the restaurant lives now, was built in 1898 and was previously home to a friend of Martin’s, who had to be cajoled into letting Martin set up shop there. The historic building now welcomes Mosquito Supper Club diners on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings; on Saturday and Sunday mornings, people line up around the block for pastries and breads from Levee Baking Co., an artisan bakery pop-up that also operates in the space. Seasoned, a curated, vintage cookware store, occupies another part of the house. “It’s a collaborative for three female-run businesses,” says Martin. “We all learn from each other and help each other out.”
Martin designed the space herself, keeping much of the house’s original layout. Take a look.
Above L: Bar offerings are listed on the chalkboard. Above R: Christina Balzebre, the main baker behind Levee Baking Co., uses local produce from Crescent City Farmers’ Market for her pies.Above: “The records are my and Ellen’s collection,” says Martin. “We have records that are specifically for service, like Dr. John, Leon Bridges, and Lost Bayou Ramblers, and then ones we play while prepping and working like Beyoncé, Lucius, and Courtney Barnett.”