Battistella’s New Orleans and Upscale Southern Opens in City Market

September, 21, 2011 , by David

Battistella’s New Orleans and Upscale Southern Opens in City Market
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Last night, the newest addition to City Market, Battistella's had its soft opening.  Chef Brian Battistella's restaurant describes itself as "Classic New Orleans and Upscale Southern Cusine" with an "emphasis on local and Southeastern U.S. grown seafoods, meats and vegetables." Their chalkboard features a "Third-Thursday Three Course" special: Cabbage and Black Eye Pea Soup, Cast Iron Drum with local Eggplant Succotash, and Bread Pudding with white chocolate sauce for $25. 

Battistella's is a restaurant that relocated from Crabtree Inn as "Battistella's Cajun Kitchen" and replaced Angelo's, a popular Greek restaurant on the corner of Martin and Blount Streets.  With a reputation for seasonal ingredients and a rotating menu, the restaurant had a loyal following. 

The restaurant is open Tuesday- Sunday at 5:30pm closing at 11pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and 1am on Friday and Saturday. Battistella's will also be serving a traditional New Orleans brunch on Sundays.   Lunch is promised later this year - a smart strategy since this corner location is ripe for lunchtime traffic. 








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  • ben
    09/21 05:01 PM

    The fact that this comment section will soon be filled with ridiculous negatively breaks my heart.  This was one of my favorite restaurants when it was hidden behind Crabtree and will sure be one of downtown’s finest establishments in no time. Very much looking forward to having Brian’s cooking once again.

  • EE Welch
    09/21 05:43 PM

    I’m originally from SE Texas so Cajun food is close to my heart! I never got to try it when it was in the inn, but I’ve really been looking forward to this. Plus, who wouldn’t be pumped for a NOLA-style brunch!

  • gspot
    09/21 05:51 PM

    ben i agree.  this is a very big deal for downtown - brian is the real deal.

  • chrisD
    09/21 06:30 PM

    OMG!!! Been waiting for him to reopen ALL year!! His gumbo is the BOMB!!  My mouth is just watering at the thought of some shimp and grits - oh I’m hungry just thinking about it. If you never went when he was up behind Crabtree- your taste buds will thank you if you take them and your friends to this wonderful excuse to get out of the house and not cook dinner. Go hungry cause you’ll waddle out all fat and happy :-)

  • Carl
    09/21 06:31 PM

    Looks too phony for my tastes. Some other people might fall for it, but not me.

  • JP
    09/21 07:02 PM

    Hope this goes well. City Market has been cursed for so long - even though there are a few old established joints with their own clientele, the area in general has underperformed. Its one of the most unique areas in downtown.

  • Carl
    09/21 07:19 PM

    Looking forward to the gumbo.

    Carl 1.0

  • TheeChrisD
    09/21 07:26 PM

    Battistella’s Red Beans and Rice is right.  I was pretty excited about the opening of Beasleys and Chucks, but I’m over the moon about Battistella’s re-opening.

    No one who cooked at Commanders should ever have the word phony associated with him.

  • DPK
    09/21 08:25 PM

    I’m really really looking forward to trying this.  Looks delicious.

  • Drew3D
    09/22 08:37 AM

    I’ve been waiting months for this new location to open.  Having eaten repeatedly at the old inn location I knew it would be amazing.  The apps and cocktails I tried at the soft opening were delicious.  With their authentic N.O. food (trust me: B.R. native here), an awesome location, three-course dinners on Thursdays, brunch on Sundays, a late night upscale bar menu, and even outdoor seating, Battistella’s is BACK and better than ever!  YES!

  • Little Timmy
    09/22 09:31 AM

    I don’t know squat about “authentic N.O. food,” but I know delicious when I taste it. And Battistella’s flat served up some delicious gumbo at the (creepy) old location. I’m surprised it took them so long to re-open DT, but I’m sure my first visit will be well worth the wait.

  • Bill
    09/22 12:13 PM

    I’ve sampled their food at Farm-to-Fork and they stood out among the best the Triangle has to offer.  I’m excited to check out the new location. Also, Troy restaurant, also recently opened in City Market, is really good and worth mentioning as a lower cost Mediterranean alternative to Sitti.

  • gspot
    09/22 12:16 PM

    carl just try it.  0% chance you will be disappointed.

  • Poster Nutbag
    09/22 02:51 PM

    I heard tons of good things about the old locationg but it closed before I could try it out. I had heard it would re-open but had no idea where/when, so I’ve been pretty excited since seeing the brown paper in the windows. Can’t wait to get downtown and check it out! If its as good as everyone on here is saying, then it should make other downtown establishments step up their game(there are a few that could really use the motivation).

  • Poster Nutbag
    09/22 02:52 PM

    I heard tons of good things about the old location but it closed before I could try it out. I had heard it would re-open but had no idea where/when, so I’ve been pretty excited since seeing the brown paper in the windows. Can’t wait to get down there and check it out. If its as good as everyone on here is saying, then it should make other downtown establishments step up their game(there are a few that could really use the motivation).

  • smashmac
    09/22 02:59 PM

    I lived in New Orleans for 15 years, I can assure you this is not phony.

  • ben
    09/23 09:55 AM

    went last night, our table had the blackened shrimp, gumbo, grits and drank hurricanes and pimm’s.  it was all delicious and the staff was spot on.  our dinner, for 2, including a round of drinks was only $41, a steal!

    said they’d be opening for lunch in a couple of weeks.  can’t wait to go back.

  • Micah
    09/23 11:50 PM

    When I dine with my companions, we have to go somewhere where a salad isn’t the only vegetarian option.

  • Kim Weiss
    09/24 11:24 AM

    Doubters need to bear this in mind: Brian lost his NOLA restaurant to Katrina. He is an honest-to-God New Orleans refugee who relocated to Raleigh, and we’re very, very fortunate that he did. I “discovered” Brian and his amazing food at an RHA Howell fundraiser for people with disabilities in the summer of 2010. Chefs prepared signature dishes using Hinnant Family Vineyards wines (Pine Level, NC) and all at their own expense, I might add. The dishes were judged by the crowd in attendance AND by professional chefs (in a blind judging). Brian won the top Chef’s Choice award AND the People’s Choice award. No, this isn’t phony. This is an opportunity to dine on some of the best food New Orleans has to offer right here in Raleigh. I wish him much success! (And because I’ve taken heat in NewRaleigh comment threads before—no, Brian is not a client of mine.)

  • Justin
    09/26 02:03 PM

    Went to brunch this Sunday morning.  Service was slow (excusable for the first week!) and the food was great!  I was actually disappointed by the gumbo, but the oyster bisque was awesome!

    I’ll definitely be back for lunch/dinner.

  • Carl
    09/27 01:38 AM

    okay, I tried it. It was… meh. Service was awful. Probably took close to an hour to get food. The food was… alright. I tried the gumbo and it was certainly not worth the money, everything else was only slightly better. The space was nice… that’s the best thing I can say about the place. Probably never spending my money here ever again, though.

  • cajunking2
    09/27 10:14 AM

    $25 for cabbage, red beans and rice, etc…  You should lower your prices before you go out of business.  End of story. 

    Also, how many New Orleans restaurants do we need downtown?  And, you’re located in the middle of downtown, and somehow you can’t get open for lunch yet?????

  • Carl OG
    09/27 12:26 PM

    The Big easy has about as much to do with N.O. as Red Hot n Blue has to do with Memphis.

    -Battistella’s is GREAT. My service was fine and cute.

    CARL 1.0

  • Keeping You Connected!
    09/27 02:30 PM

    That’s what Eyewitness News does when they’re asking the tough questions, they add lots of extra question marks.

  • TJlovesfood
    09/27 11:31 PM

    My table tried quite a few things on the menu Saturday night.  Some spicy, some not.  The chicken dish is incredible!  One of my tablemates tried the flank steak, and took the server’s advice of medium versus his usual medium-well.  Apparently, it was the right call.  I ate most of his extra veg, and OMG - wish I’d known about the old place, too!  We had a couple desserts which were quite delish.  Heard another server mention a drizzle of liqueur over the bread pudding. We’ll have to try that next time.  Service was a bit slow, but they’re getting their feet and I can’t imagine the kitchen’s very big, considering the whole space, so I’m actually glad that lunch will be delayed a while, so the crew can get it all right.  We had a peek at the brunch menu - yeah, THAT’S gotta be tried! Welcome Battistella’s!

  • dtrgirl
    09/29 10:44 AM

    wow, carl.  ever consider that your attitude probably affects your outcome in this life?
    personally i’m looking forward to trying battistella’s.  (you’re more than welcome to sit next to our table.  i’ll even smile and say hello.)

  • PianoMan
    09/30 09:13 AM

    Battistella’s is the REAL DEAL! As a lifelong N’Awlins, Yat, lived near and frequented Commander’s Palace, where Brian honed his skills. Relocated here after Katrina and stumbled upon Battistella’s near Crabtree and was ALWAYS A TREAT and a TASTE OF HOME.

    Don’t judge Battistella’s by what you thought was N’awlins style cooking, or by what you have experienced at the “pretenders” type restaurants with the New Orleans name and little else authentic.

    Battistella’s and Brian are the REAL DEAL, authentic!

  • Kim Weiss
    09/30 11:22 AM

    Thanks for weighing in, PianoMan! A glowing endorsement from a real NOLA native—what more could he ask for? Listen to PianoMan, folks. HE is the real deal, too.

  • Scott M
    10/03 03:00 PM

    We were BIG fans at the old location, frustrated only by the fact that so few people knew about Battistella’s (this is not the kind of food you want to keep a secret). FINALLY, Brian now has a space that matches the outstanding artistry of his cooking! We arrived around 7 pm Saturday night and were quickly seated though the restaurant was already near capacity. The place itself is gorgeous but we anticipated some possible misses in food and service merely because they had been open only a week. We needn’t have worried. Service was friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive and the food was every bit as good as it’s ever been. An app of crisply fried gulf oysters served under shoestring potatoes followed by Crawfish Etoufee, Shrimp and Grits, and Pasta Luzianne (for a party of three) topped off by an excellent dark Creme Brulee with coffee assured us that Battistella’s is back with a vengeance and for the first time is enjoying a proper presentation for anyone who appreciates New Orlean’s cookery at it’s finest. With a little luck and word of mouth, Battistella’s should soon take it’s deserved place as one of Raleigh’s signature restaurants. It’s about time!

  • palladium plaza
    10/05 09:42 PM

    Simply delicious. Hands down going to be one of downtown’s best. So glad to live 2 blocks away. AND, they have a great bar area with plenty of stools and lots of character, so one can go it alone. Cannot wait to try brunch.

  • Moore Square Refugee
    10/06 05:12 PM

    Stopped in for drinks the other week. The co-owner, Karl, came by we chatted for 20 minutes. With him on the business side and Brian (as others have said, the absolute REAL, food-fanatical deal) in the kitchen, I think Battistella’s is here to stay. And for those wondering about lunch, Karl said that they wanted to get dinner down pat first before trying to open up for lunch, but that they are definitely planning on it in the next month or so.

    Also, side note - one of the bartenders, Jenna (sp?) made some amazing drinks for our group - keep up the good work!

  • CSP
    10/06 06:14 PM

    In response to CajunKing2, too my knowledge, and I live downtown, the only other restaurant claiming to serve Cajun food, is “The Big Easy”. I think we have room enough for two Cajun restaurants. Have heard a lot of good things about this place, and I can’t wait to try it !!!

  • Mr. T
    10/07 02:19 PM

    crawfish ettoufee!!!  MMMMM can’t wait for lunch opening!

  • NBB
    11/21 12:39 PM

    Battistella’s is one of the few Raleigh establishments I am really passionate about.  I am not from New Orleans, but I LOVE the culture and the food.  When Battistella’s closed in the Inn (and whoever said the Inn was creepy said a mouthful), I was so sad to see it go.  I almost skipped down the street when I saw it had reopened in City Market.  The food is top notch, so delicious you might slap your momma AND your daddy! We are so fortunate to have a restaurant of this quality in our fair city.  Thank you, Brian, for gracing us with your food!!!

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