Long distance road trips may be out of the question this summer, but a destination restaurant that’s a mere 70 miles from Lafayette is just the thing for a weekend jaunt. Especially when that restaurant is Joe’s Dreyfus Store Restaurant, in Livonia. Local foodies have been making the trek for 20 years now, across the Basin and up the winding road along Bayou Maringouin to the converted 1920s general store. That is until the restaurant shut down last year.

Opened by New Orleans chef Joe Major in the mid-1980s, dishes like seafood stuffed eggplant and roasted quail had customers waiting for tables for two hours, outside, under the live oaks that shade the bayou. Several years ago the restaurant changed hands, the menu changed, and ultimately the old wooded doors were shuttered.

Several months ago, a former customer, Linda Webber Ducote and her brother Bobby Webber, hungry for the cooking they loved, decided to resurrect the restaurant--Major’s menu and old-fashioned furnishings intact. According to Times-Picayune restaurant critic Brett Anderson, the cooking is back on track , okra and hen gumbo, quail smothered in crawfish etouffee, and fresh frog legs, “giving hearty expression to the rural bounty and culture of its address.”

Joe’s Dreyfus Store Restaurant is open for lunch: Saturday-Thursday, dinner: Wednesday -Saturday, at 2731 Maringouin Road, in West Livonia. Call (225) 637-2625 for more info.

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