French cuisine brings a touch of Europe across the pond
LOUISIANA—A new restaurant opened in downtown Louisiana. The Eagle’s News Bistro opened its doors in September, with its grand opening on Saturday at the start of Colorfest.
Much of the ribbon cutting fanfare was overshadowed by the all the festivities happening around it, although that did not deter owner, Guy Crouch, from the enthusiasm he has for this new venture and for Louisiana.
An accountant by profession, Crouch has been investing in Louisiana for several years, buying building and homes, and making a name for himself among the local citizenry.
“I opened the Eagle’s Nest Bistro with the expressed intention of providing high-quality food at a reasonable price,” he said during an interview the day before the ribbon cutting. “I wanted something different for this town,” he added.
Even so, he’s put a lot of money into creating a restaurant that would be at home along the riverbanks of the Seine. And to match the atmosphere created by the interior of the restaurant, Chef Caleb Elder, a native son of Louisiana, has created a menu that would make one’s mouth water.
“This is not the super fancy heavy cream sauces as most people envision French food,” Crouch said. Everything in the restaurant is made fresh. “We wanted to do something that might stretch their palates a little bit,” he added. He noted that the menu has versions of French food from all over the world, such as North Africa, and other places that had been occupied by France over the years.
“And we have some interesting combination, such as a French toast BLT,” he said, where they use candied bacon. “You might think how would those combinations go together, but it is remarkably good.”
The restaurant opened Sept. 24, and Crouch said the French toast BLT has become their No. 1 seller. In fact sales have been going up since their soft opening.
Currently, the restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
“We do that specifically for folks who want to come in for brunch after church,” he said. Last Sunday, he noted, a big groups came in after attending services locally.
He would like folks to come in a try the food and, hopefully, put aside any preconceived notions of what they believe French food is.
In addition to the restaurant’s bakery, he offers espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes.
“The only thing that’s not French in the restaurant,” he explained, “is we use imported Italian coffee. It’s good stuff.”
The Eagle’s Nest Inn, which sits above the restaurant, is a world-class bed and breakfast. From employing just one person, he noted, he now has four employees.
He’s people will make the restaurant a daily destination for some truly excellent food at affordable rates.
“Folks have been so nice, and nothing but positive comments,” he said about people who have eaten at the restaurant.
The inn, he added, was voted runner up as the best bed and breakfast in the state of Missouri. The Iron Horse Inn in Blackwater, close to Arrowrock, took first place.
“I’m super proud of that,” he said about his bed and breakfast’s place in “Missouri Life” magazine.
The reason Crouch has invested so much in Louisiana, he noted, is because it is such a beautiful historic town, and he believes it is on the cusp of returning to its glory days.
“I really want to see this city succeed,” he said, “and we need to work collectively to get that done.”
He noted that he volunteers his time on the Louisiana Visitors and Convention Bureau, on the Tree Commission, and he also joined the Elks Club.
“Even though I wasn’t born or grew up here,” he said, “I’m completely invested in this town and want to see it move forward.
The restaurant also does catering. He’s also thinking about doing a private, by-invitation dinner once a month. The price would be fixed and the menu set ahead of time. He would have people sign up with their email addresses, and they would be alerted when the dinners would be taking place. He plans on two seating times. One at 5:30 p.m. and the second at 7:30 p.m. So, when you stop in for a baked fresh, chocolate croissant and an Italian coffee, make sure to leave your email.