As it prepares to open for its first dinner service this evening in the former Chelsea’s location under the Perkins Road overpass, Kalurah Street Grill has big shoes to fill. Ahead of tonight’s opening, executive chef Kelley McCann gave 225 Dine a sneak peak of the new restaurant that’s been years in the making.
“I’m really proud of this menu,” McCann says. “I’ve been working on it for a long time.”
After 11 years at Galatoire’s Bistro, McCann was more than ready to take the reigns of his own restaurant. He partnered with Chad Hughes and Brad Watts to bring Kalurah Street Grill—or “K Street,” as they call it—to fruition. Hughes owns Ivar’s and co-owns The River Room with Watts.
“I’d like to assume that it’s every cook’s dream to have their own restaurant where they’re allowed to cook their own food,” says the 31-year-old McCann. “It’s building a cooking personality. I’m here to give people options. I’m here to give people new things. It’s showing Baton Rouge what I, and the people I have with me, have to offer.”
The restaurant boasts a fresh new interior that looks nothing like Chelsea’s, complete with dark hardwood floors, wood-paneled walls on the bar side and exposed brick walls on the dining side.
The menu is “modern American,” featuring elements of Spanish, France and French Creole cuisine. The menu includes three of McCann’s signatures—smoked tomato soup with toasted brioche croutons and crème fraîche, grilled hangar steak with tomato romesco, chimichurri and fried shallots, and cranberry spice gateau.
“Different is really what we’re going for,” McCann says. “I have a strong traditional base, but I like to think of my food as a little funky, too. Reading it on paper may not make sense, but when you eat it all the ingredients together make sense. In building strong menus like this and gaining Baton Rouge’s trust, they’ll let me go anywhere.”
225 Dine has the full story, as well as a gallery of photos of the new restaurant and dishes, and a video. Be sure to get the scoop on local culinary news each week by signing up for the free 225 Dine e-newsletter.