New Orleans, LA – Restaurateur Vicky Bayley and Chef/Artist Mike Fennelly, the creators of the highly acclaimed Mike’s on the Avenue, have returned to the site of their original restaurant in the Central Business District at 628 St. Charles Avenue. Mike’s on the Avenue, on the ground floor of the Lafayette Hotel at Lafayette Square, is similar to the original version of Mike’s in both food and atmosphere, but with many additional menu options and a new interior that once again reflects Fennelly’s talents as an artist and designer. The dining room is designed like a gallery, a white canvas to showcase not only Chef Fennelly’s food; but also his art, which complement each other.
The chef’s culinary approach is decidedly contemporary and draws from ingredients that have inspired him during his extensive travels over the years. Much of Fennelly’s food also reflects his fascination with New Orleans cuisine and the indigenous ingredients of South Louisiana. Many of his dishes contrast Asian and bold American ingredients and techniques, bringing a distinctive sensibility to fusion cooking. These elements meet in such Fennelly classics as Crawfish Spring Rolls with Chile Lime sauce; Blackened Tuna Napoleon with a tamari vinaigrette; and Mike’s Crispy Duck which is accompanied by a sauté of Brown Rice with Shiitake, Tasso and Andouille, Toasted Tortillas and a Vermont Maple Dipping Sauce.
Mike’s on the Avenue operated for nine years at the St. Charles location and closed in 1999. Ten years later, Mike’s on the Avenue is the natural evolution of the original Bayley-Fennelly restaurant concept, designed to appeal to today’s restaurant clientele: A relaxed environment with upscale comforts, affordable prices, food-friendly wines and specialty cocktails.
The concept also features an additional venue: Twist at Mike’s, a highenergy cocktail bar with interactive entertainment and small plates service from the Mike’s on the Avenue menu. Twist at Mike’s, which is just a few yards from the main dining room across the lobby of the Lafayette Hotel, will also offer café-style tables for an al fresco cocktail and dining experience overlooking St. Charles Avenue.
"We want the new Mike’s to be the same welcoming gathering place it was at the beginning," Bayley said. "Mike has created a lot of new dishes to augment the classics our customers came to love during the nineties. I’m confident they’ll be just as excited about the new ones."