Toutant, a new restaurant aiming to deliver “modern, fresh cuisine influenced by the American South,” aims to open by May 15.
Buffalo has seen a lot of interesting restaurants open in recent years, but Toutant (437 Ellicott St.) has the restaurant community all atwitter. It’s like the Rolling Stones coming to town, except Toutant aims to stay.
Chef-owner James Roberts can’t say exactly when he’ll open. But he’s started taking reservations at toutantbuffalo.com, and the OpenTable system starts on May 15.
Roberts, former executive chef at Park Country Club, spent a lot of time in Louisiana bayou country growing up, and it has left its mark on his cuisine. He is also a formidable cooking talent, and has hired people with considerable experience. He aims to mine the treasures of the South as well as Gulf seafood while exploiting the best local ingredients.
The opening menu (see below) says half a fried chicken is $18, with collards and cayenne sea salt. Gulf seafood shows up as chilled poached shrimp ($12) and wood-grilled black drum with vinaigrette and preserved tomatoes ($28), among numerous other offerings.
Honey cornbread, baked to order in an iron skillet, will be $5. Biscuits ($6), sweet potato pie ($4) and house smoked bacon ($5) are sides.
There’s biscuits and gravy ($8) with two fried eggs, “all day, every day.” There’s choose-your-own jambalaya, a muffaletta ($16), and fried shrimp po-boy ($14).
A brunch menu includes chicken fried steak and eggs ($13) and shrimp and grits ($18).
All the bread for sandwiches will be baked in-house, Roberts said. “We are making all our own sausage and barbecue offerings, and will be eventually serving our own country ham as well sourced from local heritage pork, he said. “Our desserts will be made in-house also, featuring of course French Quarter beignets, hand pies, and some seasonal compositions and personal favorites like peanut butter fudge.”
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