Chef David Raines, who opened Seafood R'evolution (1000 Highland Colony Pkwy., Ridgeland) two years ago, left the restaurant last year to pursue a new business venture. On Friday, July 29, he held the grand opening for The Flora Butcher (4845 Main St., Flora), a butcher shop that specializes in locally sourced meat, a variety of hot dishes and Wagyu beef, a type of beef that is renowned for its marbling and tenderness.
"Marbling is basically a quality that the rating of a meat is based on," he says. "The good marbling in Wagyu means that the meat has more feathery streaks of fat in it, is more tender (and) has a more mild flavor than other kinds of beef."
Raines' business is a pasture-to-table operation, with his father raising the cattle on the family's Louisiana Wagyu beef farm. Imported Wagyu can sell upwards of $130 per pound, but Raines offers his Wagyu anywhere from $9 to $40 a pound, depending on the particular cut of meat that one buys.
"I had originally wanted to try out a butcher-themed restaurant, but running a butcher shop is complicated enough on its own, and I thought it would be better to supply restaurants with quality meat from this shop, especially my dad's Wagyu beef," Raines said.
In addition to providing meat from local farms, The Flora Butcher also features locally made artisan knives, sauces and rubs, as well as 30 varieties of local and regional craft beer. Flora Butcher also has daily blue-plate specials featuring two hot dishes available to go.
The hot-dish selection at The Flora Butcher changes each day and includes items such as red beans and rice, roasted chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, Wagyu meatloaf and pot roast.
The Flora Butcher is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 601-509-2498 or find The Flora Butcher's Facebook page.
Jackson Legend Closes, Tacos Take Its Place
Boo Noble, owner of Cajun restaurant Que Sera Sera in Fondren, officially retired and closed his popular establishment after 27 years of award-winning operation on Thursday, June 23. Alan Lange, owner of Jackson-based Kinetic Staffing, purchased the property, with Sterling McCool of Marketplace Real Estate representing Noble and Scott Overby of The Overby Company representing Lange in the sale.
Cesar Torres, who co-owns authentic Mexican restaurant Green Ghost Tacos (1290 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland) with his mother, Yolanda Coronado, and his brother, Oswaldo Sanchez, is leasing the building from Lange and plans to have the grand opening on Sept. 16 to coincide with Mexico's Independence Day.
In addition to renovating the building, Torres also plans to add an array of cocktails and other beverages to the new Green Ghost's menu. Torres is working on a phone app for the restaurant that will allow customers to mark their favorite menu items and place orders in advance with the touch of a button.
"I think Fondren will be a good fit for Green Ghost," says. "The community has supported our current location on County Line Road very well since we opened in September last year."
For more information on Green Ghost Tacos, call 601-957-7436 or visit greenghosttacos.com.
Ellis Seafood Gets a New Location
The popular family-owned and -operated restaurant Ellis Seafood opened a new location at 350 Meadowbrook Road in Fondren Nov. 2, 2015. The new location joins two others in the Jackson metro area on Ellis Avenue and Woodrow Wilson Boulevard, which have been open since 1986 and 1987, respectively.
Ellis Seafood offers a wide variety of fresh seafood, including snow crab legs, jumbo shrimp and catfish. Khai Tran, owner of the new location, said that the pride of the restaurant is her family's special breading recipe.
"My father, Dau Nguyen, first opened Ellis Seafood 29 years ago in Lake Charles, Louisiana, so he could serve up his secret recipe for cornmeal bread seasoning that we now use for all our seafood," Tran said. "He taught it to me and all my brothers and sisters, and we all decided to go out and sell it ourselves."
The Nguyen siblings, three brothers and five sisters, run all the Ellis Seafood locations, including two in Memphis, Tenn., that have been open for business for three years now.
Ellis Seafood is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For more information, call 601-981-7885.
Changes at Fenian's
A few months ago, Ryan Cassell—a Madison native who had been living in Charlotte, N.C., for the last 10 years—returned to his home state to take on the position of head chef and general manager at Fenian's Pub (901 E. Fortification St.). Cassell, who had been spending his time in Charlotte working at Ri Ra Irish Pub, was glad to put his years of experience working there to work in Jackson.
While Fenian's classic menu selections such as shepherd's pie remain as permanent fixtures, Cassell largely decided to give the pub's menu a complete overhaul, with plenty of new items that all share an emphasis on being fresh and locally sourced.
Everything is made fresh in house from local ingredients such as bread from Gil's Bakery in Ridgeland, beef and lamb from Simmons Farm in Yazoo City, and eggs from Bobcat Farms. Fenian's new menu includes plenty of traditional Irish pub favorites such as beef and Guinness stew, fish and chips, and shepherd's pie made with lamb.
Cassell has also worked to expand the amount of local craft brews available at the pub. Fenian's only had one local beer when Cassell first started, but he has since started bringing in new brews from Mississippi breweries such as Lucky Town Brewing Co., Yalobusha Brewing Co., Southern Prohibition Brewing and Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company. And now, Fenian's patrons have more opportunities to enjoy these new brews, since Cassell reopened the pub for lunch after it had been closed for lunch since January of this year.
"This is one of the last standing old Jackson pubs, and I want to take care of it while also breathing new life into it," Cassell says.
"I want to work together with the community on it too, because that's what a pub should be," he adds.
Fenian's Pub is open from Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., and is closed on Sundays. The new menu is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. before the pub switches to its late-night menu at 10 p.m. For more information, call 601-948-0055 or visit fenianspub.com.
Dining With Dignity
Carlyn Hicks of the group JXN Foodies, Chef Nick Wallace of the Mississippi Museum of Art, Mangia Bene co-owner Jeff Good and other Jackson locals are teaming up to organize a special event at Stewpot Community Services this fall. Dining with Dignity, which will take place Nov. 20 at Stewpot Community Services, will provide a five-star dining experience for individuals that homelessness has affected.
"The JXN Foodies wanted to be able to combine our love of food with fellowship and service in a special event to commemorate our group's one-year anniversary and our relationship with Jackson restaurant owners," Hicks says of the effort.
Jackson Foodies plans to host anywhere between 150 to 200 people at Stewpot. Nick Wallace will prepare the food for the event, and Jeff Good will provide professional wait staff, though some of the Foodies will serve as well. To raise money for the event, JXN Foodies has launched a GoFundMe campaign titled Feed JXN, with the aim of raising $5,000 for the dinner.
Businesses and individuals who would like to give an in-kind donation for Dining with Dignity can email email@example.com or visit gofundme.com/feedjxn.