Since opening its first shop in 2007, Sucré has become New Orleans’ premiere dessert boutique. In fact, with three locations throughout the area, finding someone who hasn’t indulged in the sweet shop’s decadent selection would be a challenge. Sucré, in a way, is the Willie Wonka factory of Nola, selling a variety of imaginative products including artisanal chocolates, flavored marshmallows, sweet sippers, custom desserts, hand-spun gelato, and of course, macarons in every flavor imaginable. To the delight of Sucré patrons who yearned for a savory counterpart to the sugar empire, the team behind Sucré opened Salon Restaurant by Sucré in early 2015.
Like each of the other Sucré locations, Salon is operated under the watchful eye of pastry chef extraordinaire Tariq Hanna. The development of the modern French space, which sits above the third installment of the brand’s patisserie, brought a unique and well-thought-out addition to the Sucré family. Salon merges the refinement shown in Sucré’s dessert boutiques with contemporary cuisine—each dish has a unique twist crafted by chef Hanna. The restaurant has found its niche in afternoon tea service, brunch, and creative cocktails, mastering each.
Salon’s tea service includes a plethora of tea options from the restaurant’s extensive tea menu, along with savory finger sandwiches — including cucumber and Cheddar sandwiches, leek and Gruyère tarts, and chicken salad profiteroles — and a variety of baked goods like kouign amann, cardamom shortbread, and currant scones. As you might guess, also included in tea service are some of the brand’s most popular sweets, including its signature macarons, chocolates, and eclairs. An accompanying glass of prosecco or tea cocktail is not only available, but very much encouraged to be sipped alongside the tea service.
Hanna has put together an innovative and impressive brunch menu offering a little bit of everything. The beet salad, a staple on the brunch menu since the restaurant’s opening, is composed of thinly sliced beets, creamy whipped goat cheese, crunchy granola, and finished with shavings of unsweetened chocolate made especially for this dish. The couscous Greco is a refreshing blend of sweet pea, tomatoes, feta, and olives and is a cool option during the heat of summer. Heartier options include the chicken poutine, which showcases tender, juicy fried chicken atop a bed of frites, covered in creamy velouté and Gruyère, then topped with a fried egg and a croque-monsieur/eggs Benedict hybrid that features a crumbly chive biscuit topped with a soft boiled egg that stays concealed by a mountain of apple ham, raclette, and Crystal hot sauce hollandaise. It is an unspoken rule that dessert should never be skipped in an establishment run by an acclaimed pastry chef, and this runs doubly true at Salon. The molten chocolate soufflé (for two), which comes in a large square-shaped dish — a brave and unusual choice for a soufflé — is the stand-out dessert and shines a light on Hanna’s patience and skill when it comes to dessert creation.
In addition to tea and brunch, Salon offers an extensive cocktail menu and a notable happy hour that runs Thursday through Sunday from 4 until 7 p.m. The specialty cocktail menu includes inventive and refreshing cocktails like the Madame Bussiere made with St. Germain elderflower, passionfruit, and sparkling wine, and the “Sorbellini” made with Sucré sorbet and sparkling wine. The happy hour menu consists of a mix of $6 classic cocktails like a paloma, French 75, or Dark and Gloomy as well as $6 small plates including chicken sliders, spiced butter shrimp, and frizel flatbread. On Mondays, snag bottles of wine for up to 50 percent off all day.
It’s safe to say that Sucré is here to stay, but you should make a point to make Salon a staple on your go-to brunch, cocktail, or even tea list. Check out the French Quarter location Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.