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Zeke's closes it doors after 10 years
Zeke's restaurant in Metairie was featured on a 2011 episode of Fox reality show "Kitchen Nightmares", and received a lashing, and then a makeover from the show's host, Chef Gordon Ramsey.
Zeke, the original owner, open the restaurant at 1517 Metairie Rd. in 2002. He passed away shortly after Hurricane Katrina in 2006, new owners Darryl and Ellen Cortello took over.
I passed Zeke's many times on my way home and on my way to work. I recently saw the episode of "Kitchen Nightmares" and decided to see what Chef Ramsey had changed since I last visited in 2008.
The second I walked into the newly revamped restaurant, I felt like I had entered a completely different space. The former Zeke's felt old and boring, but the new version felt antique with a southern vibe. Owner Ellen Cortello added a nice touch by being present in the dining room, and greeted the customers.
In previous visits, the menu was complicated and lacked focus. Zeke's new menu is simple, yet very Cajun. For appetizer,we tried my favorite -fried green tomatoes. This is by far the best version I've ever had.
For my entrée, I decided to try the pecan crusted catfish. I was curious about this dish because Chef Ramsey redid original recipe on the show. I must admit, this is the first I have had catfish in a very long time. Living in New Orleans, I should practically eat it every day, but it was a good experience. The presentation of the dish was lovely and it tasted out of this world. The server was very attentive, and every course was timed out perfectly.
Overall, the revamped atmosphere at Zeke's was peaceful. Recently, I called to place a lunch order; sadly the owners could no longer afford to keep the place up and running. The space was quickly bought, and the new owners are in the process of renovating all of Chef Ramsey's additions. I must admit it saddens me to see such a great place go under, but this is New Orleans. If there is one thing we aren't short of, it is restaurants.