If you live in Acadiana, chances are you've been to – or at least heard of – Nash’s Restaurant. The delicious combination of Italian, Cajun, and seafood, and the romantic setting in an old Victorian home makes Nash’s a standout restaurant. Jenny Barreca spoke about how she and her husband, Nash, have worked hard to make their restaurant the Acadiana staple it is today.
How has your restaurant contributed to the local community?
"In this day and age, Nash and I think it’s really important that locals support each other. For example, we buy our seafood locally. Being a local business allows us the opportunity to give back and form a camaraderie with other vendors as well as our customers.
Over the years, our customers have gone from being clients to being friends. We had a lady come in one day with her granddaughter in a carrier. That granddaughter is now graduating from high school, and they’re celebrating her graduation here at Nash’s. Growing the business along with the people of Acadiana has made it like one big family. Our customers tell others who tell others, and the friendliness just keeps growing and growing!"
How did Nash’s get started?
"Nash grew up working in his family's famous Barreca's Restaurant in New Orleans. He is a third-generation restaurateur. When he started his own restaurant 19 years ago, he wanted to bring his family recipes to Acadiana. He borrowed from his grandparents' and parents' recipes, and came up with some of his own that were more geared to the Cajun cuisine.
Our menu consists of Italian, seafood, and steak dishes. Nash has incorporated local Acadiana seafood with his Italian recipes. You can see that in certain dishes, like our shrimp and eggplant parmesan. The shrimp is local and a seafood favorite down here. He tops it with his homemade marinara sauce. He also does a shrimp and spinach lasagna, a soft shell crab Lafayette, and a soft shell crab parmesan. So basically he’s brought two cuisines together and, believe it or not, they have become favorites down here."
This restaurant is known for it’s amazing ambiance. How did you create this environment?
"There’s nothing better at the end of a hard day than a good meal, a nice atmosphere, and a relaxed environment. Our restaurant is in a Victorian home built around 1908. We took the venue of the house and put together a menu that fits in this setting. We want people to feel relaxed, welcome, and able to sit back after a long day."
What do you see for the future of Nash’s Restaurant?
"I honestly wouldn’t change a whole lot about this place. Acadiana took a big hit from the oil industry going down, and I would like to see this area grow again. But in terms of our restaurant, we see that our goals have been met. There’s always room for improvement, but what we’ve got here has worked for us. It has worked for the customers, too, evidently, because they keep coming back! We are providing a place for the community that is exactly what we hoped it to be."
Nash’s Restaurant has the characteristics we like to see in every locally-owned business: a heart for the community and the work ethic to ensure dreams and goals are met. For a good, homemade meal in a cozy setting, stop by Nash’s. Download Towny before you come by!