Houston’s beloved Revival Market closed on July 31, but a new restaurant is already up and running in its place, and it’s exuding major Big Easy vibes.
Following four days of a more limited menu, Lagniappe Kitchen & Bar will officially open Friday, August 19, welcoming guests to a Heights restaurant and cafe that’s heavy with Louisiana influences. Think: traditional muffulettas, po’ boys, and coffees that pay homage to the Bayou State.
Helmed by New Orleans native Layne Cruz, who served as the general manager at Revival Market for seven years, the cafe at 550 Heights Boulevard will feature a spin on Louisiana classics, a Black & Tan po’ boy loaded with blackened shrimp and fried oysters; hush puppies stuffed with either crab or pimento cheese during happy hour; and red beans and rice, which just like in NOLA, will be traditionally served on Mondays. Muffulettas, layered with olive and pepper mortadella made in-house, will also be served in standard fashion — in quarters, halves, or wholes, Cruz says.
“Coming from New Orleans to Houston, there’s a lot of takes on what is Cajun or Louisiana food, and there are different Creole restaurants and ideas of what food from Louisiana is,” says Cruz, but her goal is to challenge that — serving the more obvious dishes that people associate with Louisiana while mixing in meals that aren’t typically connected to Louisiana.
With an emphasis on breakfast and lunch, chef Steven Lamborn, also formerly of Revival, will serve dishes like cheddar bacon biscuits; veggie pappardelle; a Sardou omelet made with bechamel creamed spinach, grilled artichoke, smoked ham; and gumbo loaded with andouille sausage and chicken.
Aside from Lamborn and some remaining staff, other parts of Revival will live on. Coffee drinks like Vietnamese iced coffee and a NOLA latte with beans sourced from New Orleans roasters will be served throughout the day starting at 7 a.m., with the option to imbibe on New Orleans-inspired cocktails, beer, and wine later in the day. Cruz, who created Revival’s NOLA latte, rebrands it as the Lagniappe latte — a combination of espresso, chicory, vanilla, and milk — and also adds on a New Orleans iced mocha, an ode to one of Cruz’s most nostalgic drinks, a combination of iced coffee, milk, chocolate, and a dash of chicory.
Happy hour, offered all day on Tuesday and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, is expected to bring fun cocktails, and oysters, which Cruz says is a needed addition in the Heights area.
Cruz, who grew up in Metairie, just outside of New Orleans, before moving to Houston in high school, says it’s been a lifelong dream to open a restaurant of her own. Opening a restaurant using her “best memories of New Orleans and favorite things about Louisiana in the service style, decor, and food” just takes it up a notch.
The decor, for instance, is taken from her living room — a show of hospitality, she says.
“I want you to walk in, and I want my staff and I to host you how I would in my house,” Cruz says.
Named after the French term for traditional “extra gift” that’s given to patrons by merchants, Lagniappe’s interiors will also pay homage to the state with a color palette inspired by the New Orleans’ Saints football team and the colors of Louisiana State University. The dining room, which seats 56 people, will be modeled after Cruz’s living room. Seating will also be available at the bar, which fits 14 people, and the outdoor patios, which seat 37 people.
Lagniappe is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Brunch will be served from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday and Monday. Happy hour is all day Tuesday and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.