A new restaurant with Louisiana roots will bring refined raw dishes and comforting fare to the Austin area this fall. La Joie, a "Creole oyster bar" featuring food from chef/owner Nicholas Harrison, is slated to open in Cedar Park on November 19.
At the heart of the concept is the raw bar, boasting a curated selection of both East and West coast oysters (available for $4 a piece) — plus snapper ceviche, shrimp cocktail, wagyu beef tartare — for guests to indulge in. But there's much more on the menu.
In addition to raw fare, La Joie will serve a host of scratch-made Creole favorites inspired by Harrison's Louisiana upbringing, most notably time spent cooking with his grandmother. Rich dishes like bouillabaisse and gumbo will be offered alongside boudin balls, po' boy sandwiches, and more.
Even the name is an homage to Harrison's grandmother, who often used the phrase "c'est la joie" (it is joy) while cooking, notes a press release. And, as family is a central theme of the restaurant, La Joie will have kid-friendly options, including cheese grits, mac 'n' cheese, and baskets of fried shrimp or fried fish.
"For me, food has always been about family," Harrison says. "My grandma, Mamie, really helped fuel my joy for food, and I have many memories of helping her prepare meals and enjoying them around the dinner table with family. At La Joie, we want all of our guests to feel like when they dine with us, they’re a part of our family.”
Harrison, a former junior sous chef at celebrated Austin restaurant Olamaie, is joined in the venture by co-owners Wade Nguyen and Tuan Le. The beverage program will be led by the restaurant's general manager and sommelier Mason Miller, also formerly of Olamaie. The cocktail list will be heavily inspired by New Orleans, a spokesperson says, and will include a Sazerac, Hurricane, and more.
La Joie, located at 1500 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste. 200 in Cedar Park, is set to open for dinner service on November 19. Hours will be 5-10 pm daily, with dine-in and takeaway available. A peek at the opening menu is available online.