If you like good food served in an incredible atmosphere featuring live jazz and blues music, then Satchmo’s Jazz Café should hit the spot.
Housed in a new two-story brick building designed and built to be a jazz supper club, the architect knew exactly what was needed.
Owners Lavonne Fitzgerald and Walter Shah both had full-time day jobs, she a nurse and he a pilot for FedEx, when they decided to go for their shared a dream of owning a jazz club.
If you plan to visit on Friday or Saturday, it is best to have reservations. Wednesday and Thursday are a bit slower, and if you plan to go just for supper, it’s best to arrive by 6 p.m., but Satchmo’s jams late nights with some of the best music around.
When I walked in on a Friday evening, Nyfesha Miller and her mother, Senabella Gill, both from Chicago, were tearing the place down with spectacular jazz vocals and backed by a band from the Coast.
When the chef walked out of the kitchen, I was surprised that I know him — Chef K’Darius Lee, who has been cooking on the Coast for 10 years. He has come into his own now and is making a bold statement as a cutting-edge chef.
His menu is petit and well-balanced. The appetizers are mostly Southern influenced, with offerings like fried okra served with ranch dressing ($8), sweet potato fries with a cinnamon dipping sauce ($5), and fried green tomatoes ($7). These small plates are well thought out and executed with a great deal of kitchen savvy and skill.
One of the most popular main courses is pan-seared salmon with white wine lemon sauce, mint cranberry and white rice ($20). This is the sort of dish you’d expect to find in one of the Coast’s best fine dining establishments. The grilled lamb chops and shrimp ($22) is a great play on surf and turf, and is stunning. Anywhere else this dish would be at least $10 more.
There are five sides from which to choose, and they revert to the Southern theme of the small plates with the likes of collard greens and sautéed corn.
The attention to detail in every aspect of Satchmo’s Jazz Café is excellent from the jazzy red-cushioned chairs to Lee’s mastery in the kitchen.
Satchmo’s Jazz Café
Where: 10206 Seymour Avenue, D’Iberville
When: Wednesday-Friday 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.