Update: Due to unforeseen issues, the opening of Ophelia will be delayed (possibly until next week).
The space that previously housed Bridget Dunlap’s bistro Mettle transforms to Bayou-centric Ophelia this week. The bluesy restaurant and bar, which will feature creole dishes crafted by Lynzy Moran of Baton Creole food truck, is slated to open Wednesday.
A press release for the new hang bills the spot as “naughty by night and healing by day,” with Dunlap calling Ophelia “The kind of place where you can melt your blues away and be revived.”
The working food menu includes frog legs and waffles, boudin balls, fried chicken, and crawfish and shrimp etouffee.
“I cook my life,” Moran said in the release. “The menu is a culinary interpretation of my experiences. Food transforms my nostalgia into reality which is broadened by Austin’s dining culture. It’s classics, but Cajunfied – kicked up a notch.”
In the anthropomorphic tradition of many of Dunlap’s other properties, Ophelia is billed as the daughter of Lustre Pearl, father unknown, who coos and entreats patrons to “Cry on my shoulder, honeychile – here’s a spoonful of my precious love. I hurt you at night, but you’ll come back begging for more in the morning.”
Part of that hurt will come from a cocktail menu that includes updates on classics like the Hurricane and Ramos Gin Fiz, seasonally rotating frozen daiquiris, and Sazeracs served in absinthe-rinsed glasses.
The space, colored with red velvet curtains, will feature altars paying homage to female legends like Nina Simone, Etta James, Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and Billie Holiday.
Ophelia will be open for dinner Monday-Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Sunday service runs from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Brunch and lunch will be added in coming months.