Miss Ginnys Roost brings creole cuisine to Riverton

Apr 17, 2014 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

A New Orleans taste is migrating from Pavillion to Riverton this month with the opening of Miss Ginny's Roost at 400 N. Federal Blvd., formerly the location of Archer's Buffet and Grill. New lessee Ginny Warren is selling Miss Ginny's Roost Steakhouse in Pavillion but will bring the same Southern style menu, recipes and cooking techniques to Riverton.

"I want to bring my own particular taste here to Riverton," Warren said.

Unique dishes

The location will no longer be a buffet-style restaurant. Instead, Warren said she hopes to offer a "cozy" place to eat with "creole touches" from her Louisiana-inspired dishes. Her creole cuisine makes use of several spices, sauces and marinades that give a kick, Warren said, but her recipes in Riverton will lower the heat a bit in each bite. She said her touch uses "real seasonings" made from scratch and not pulled from cans or jars.

"We make everything fresh," Warren said. "That's why people like our taste."

Warren's experience in the hospitality industry grew while she was the corporate sales manager at the Royal Sonesta Hotel and as a wine steward at Arnaud's Restaurant --both in New Orleans. She also worked as a restaurant and hotel consultant in the marketing industry for several years.

Warren said she also tries to purchase ingredients from local vendors, depending on the growing season.

Most menu items from the Pavillion restaurant also will be seen in Riverton. Warren said burgers, big salads, appetizers, large prime rib dinners and sweet desserts will be served but each item will take on a Cajun twist.

Before the grand opening, Warren helped the new cooks practice new dishes. For lunch, Warren put together buffalo meatloaf with made-from-scratch garlic mashed potatoes. The spices hit the taste buds instantly, Warren said.

Several of Warren's recipes are not seen elsewhere in town and fit well in the lunch menu, she said. A few items include the Chicago-style Italian beef, creole shrimp pasta alfredo, and the Cajun belly buster stuffed burger that contains a three cheese stuffing and special sauce. The smoked Gouda wedge is another tasty big salad dish, Warren said. The meal is a hunk of iceberg lettuce covered in a creamy smoked Gouda dressing and sprinkled with smoked Gouda shreds, bacon bits and pretzel brittle.

The mighty muffaletta contains repeated layers of olive salad, genoa salami, ham and provolone. There's also the creole shrimp wrap with sweet fries and the Macarano cheesecake salad pie that has a cheddar cheese sauce and more cheese on top browned with a kitchen torch.

"You can hear arteries popping across the room," Warren joked.

Katrina feel

Warren started her business in Pavillion in 2007 after moving from New Orleans as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Those familiar with her story are aware that Warren lost her belongings, neighbors and friends in the hurricane.

The restaurant's theme will include a variety of items for decorations taken from the Pavillion restaurant that Warren said also are memorabilia salvaged from Hurricane Katrina.

Several items are rescued treasures she said she owned or were collections or single items gifted to her from friends and family members.

"It's all part of my heritage," she said. "It just reminds me of home, (and) there's always something to look at."

Among the items are artwork, pieces of China she said she dug from the rubble, her Swedish grandmother Carlson's everyday plates, and other aged flatware that she said dates back to the Great Depression era and World War II.

The inside setup required construction and reorganization. The walls are textured with new colors and the ceilings give a warmer, darker feeling, Warren said. The owner of the property, Randy Archer, helped her build wooden dividers with barn siding that are decorated with dried plants and flowers. Walls were added, others were removed and booths are mixed among the tables. Warren made new curtains for the windows and used her Persian rugs for decoration.

"I have a different kind of image," Warren said. "I want people to feel like I'm entertaining them in my home."

She also has a tree inside the restaurant that can be decorated according to the season. Some of those decorations include items from Mardi Gras, a big holiday for the restaurateur.

For fat Tuesday, Warren cooks dishes fitting to the carnival celebrations in New Orleans and serves them annually to roughly 100 people in Pavillion.

"It all reminds me of home," she said.

The restaurant space in Riverton also will offer two new divided rooms that can be used for meetings or separate events. One room will be able to fit 30 people and the other will seat 20 to 25 people. In total, roughly 170 people can be seated in the restaurant, probably the biggest restaurant in terms of seating in Fremont County, Warren said.

The kitchen has received new equipment, including a new grill and refrigerated meat boxes. The changes provide fast, easy access for employees. Warren said she expects to employ roughly 30 people and wants them to treat people like they're guests, not customers.

The Back Bar in the rear of the restaurant will now be called Miss Ginny' Back Bar and will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and appetizers and burgers from 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The restaurant will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and again from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner. Alcohol also will be served in the restaurant.

Reservations are accepted and can be made at 856-1152.

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