Restaurant Opens at Southern Hotel

14 August 2014

The new restaurant built-out by Woodward has just opened at the Southern Hotel. Ox Lot 9, so named for the unique off-street ox lots that were built into Covington’s street grid, is serving up Southern regional cooking with inspiration drawn from all over the south. profiles the new restaurant.

Ox Lot 9: New Restaurants in New Orleans | The Times-Picayune

14 August 2014

Chef Jeffrey Hansell and his wife Amy were seeking a place to settle down.

When the chef, raised in Waveland, Miss., finished culinary school, he landed a job on the line at Commander’s Palace when it reopened after Katrina. Since then, he’s cooked in Colorado, Alabama and back in New Orleans at John Besh’s Lüke. Most recently, he held down the executive chef position at Birmingham’s Veranda on Highland.

While exploring the north shore as a possible home, the couple stopped at a red light in downtown Covington. In front of them was a construction site that, after an $8 million investment, would become the Southern Hotel.

“We said that’s the spot,” Jeffrey Hansell said. “I didn’t even know what it was at the time.”

Now that corner, across from Ristorante del Porto, is Ox Lot 9, the Hansells’ own restaurant.

On a recent weekday night, well-dressed locals gathered in every nook of the Southern Hotel: the bar, the lobby, the porch out front. But the largest and liveliest crowd was at Ox Lot 9.

Chef Hansell, stationed behind the long, gleaming open kitchen, moves back and forth with the grace of a dancer. The plates he and crew were putting out, as precisely assembled as floral arrangements, offered a generous study on the Southern way of eating.

Hansell’s embrace of the region is generous. He’s as likely to seek inspiration from Louisiana as he is from Alabama, the Carolinas or the Florida panhandle.

“The South has little niches here and there,” he said. “I want to pull from all of those.”

On the menu: Fried frog legs with buttermilk dressing and pickled carrots; chicken tamale with lime crème fraîche; oyster patty with Pernod cream; spiced duck breast and leg confit with carrot soufflé; roasted mangrove snapper with okra and chili vinaigrette.

Ox Lot 9
428 E. Boston St.
Known for: Refined Southern cooking.
Opened: August 2014.
Hours: Dinner Tu–Sa, brunch Su.
Drinks: Well built wine and cocktail lists.
Parking: Street.

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