A space next to the Highland Dallas hotel that has long been vacant will get a new tenant: NOLA Grill. It's the second branch of the French-Cajun restaurant that chef Nick Totten and his wife, Christine, opened in Frisco Square, across from Toyota Stadium, in 2013.
Totten is a graduate of Johnson & Wales who worked for the Dodie's group for eight years. NOLA's menu has all your Cajun basics, including gumbo, she-crab soup, oysters, and Andouille sausage.
There's a large selection of po' boys, with everything from catfish to gator, served on the real deal — Gambino's bread, the quintessential crisp loaf from the famed specialty Italian food shop, which the restaurant flies in from New Orleans.
Desserts include bread pudding and a banana Fosters cheesecake.
Scheduled for an opening this fall, the restaurant will go into the old Brackets space — which has lain empty lo these many years since Brackets closed in 2012 — but is probably better known as the former Trader Vic's space. Certainly better known to the tiki crowd.
Highland Dallas general manager David Lemmond said that the hotel and other neighbors who occupy that shopping center at Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway are happy to see someone new come in.
"It's not a hotel restaurant, so it's not part of our operation — but it will be exciting to have that space which has languished for so long come back to life," he said.