Finally! The news is out. A new local restaurant, called Vestal, is coming soon to the former Antlers location at 555 Jefferson Street in Downtown Lafayette.
Under the leadership of local Chef Ryan Trahan, Vestal will specialize in southern cuisine and live fire cooking with a worldly attitude.
The former Antlers, the oldest bar in the city of Lafayette, is being transformed into an elegant, modern space where diners can enjoy fresh, sustainably sourced southern fare alongside fresh Gulf seafood and a unique craft cocktail infused with elements from the wood burning hearth.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re trying to serve people things that are very familiar with Just our little spin on what makes it unique to us.”— Chef Ryan Trahan
Vestal’s regionally sourced menu will feature seafood and non-seafood entrees that focus on southern ingredients of exceptional quality. Guests at Vestal will be able to enjoy fresh oysters shucked to order at their raw bar uniquely situated in front of the cocktail bar, or live fired dishes in front of the wood burning hearth at the kitchen counter.
Trahan, who grew his skills and passion through his family’s 60-year history of cooking in their own restaurant, is proud to highlight creative new dish preparations as well as more traditional items that will include Hearth Roasted Greener Pastures Farms Chicken, Wood-Grilled Dry-Aged Southern Beef, Grilled Gulf Whole Fish delivered daily and a variety of vegetable offerings.
“We are going to consistently provide you with a good meal and a good experience and we’re going to provide you with an atmosphere that you want to be in; something that’s lively and fun.”— Chef Ryan Trahan
Trahan describes his style as “new American” and pairs modernity with tradition to create a unique and welcoming atmosphere. Vestal lends its name to the Roman Goddess of hearth, home and family, “Vesta,” who inspired a few of the design elements throughout the space. The interior of Vestal plays off of the building’s long-established roots in Lafayette along with nuanced designs that echo the contemporary yet classic theme of the menu. Featured design aesthetics include herringbone floors, antique brass, a hand painted, sky-lit ceiling, and many other aspects that will give Vestal its visual character and comforting ambiance. The restaurant will seat 135 guests including 25 seats at the bar and 20 on the patio.
“I wanted to give the city of Lafayette a place to unwind and enjoy simply prepared and delicious southern foods,” says Chef and Owner Ryan Trahan. “Antler’s has become a generational gathering space in the city and we would like to help further that legacy by providing our guests with a unique dining experience, consisting of thoughtful design and a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.”
As for the iconic Antlers signage, we are told that it is being restored and will be utilized in another application to preserve its historical significance.
Tentative opening date for Vestal is set for April 2020.