wine country bistro

New Chef, New Menu at Wine Country Bistro

When the announcement came that Executive Chef Anthony Felan was leaving the Wine Country Bistro family this past September, my heart skipped a beat. A huge part of my love for Wine Country is the food, even though the wine is amazing as well. Who would replace Anthony? What would happen? I remember thinking “First they moved across the street and shook us all up and now Anthony is leaving?! WHAT IS WE GONNA DO?????” It didn’t take long to figure out what we were going to do. We were going to continue to support Wine Country and learn all about who Chef Nick Simons is.

shreveport restaurant, wine country bistro, chef nick simons

Born and reared in Shreveport, Chef Nick Simons graduated from Northwestern State University with a Bachelors in Hospitality Management. After his undergraduate studies, he worked in Human Resources at the Hilton for a while before deciding that an office job was not for him. Simons decided to start a new career in a field he always loved. FOOD. His plan was to attend culinary school and come out and open his own barbecue restaurant. Why barbecue? For as long as he can remember, it has been Simons’ first love.

“Probably the first cooking I ever got into was helping my grandfather and my dad barbecue and grill when I was a kid. That’s where it started and me and my dad burned up lots of ribs before we started getting it right” he said.

Life has a funny way of making new plans for us. After completion of culinary school, Chef Nick managed a restaurant in Mansfield and then returned to Shreveport to start working at Wine Country Bistro as a salad chef on Black Friday, November 2015. His first job to complete in the Wine Country kitchen? Peeling potatoes that ended with an injury!

“Everybody peels potatoes first. The first thing I did was grab a peeler and cut my hand open with a vegetable peeler. I was like ‘This is it! This is my last day in the fine dining industry” Simons told me.

Luckily for us, then Executive Chef Anthony Felan did not kick Simons out, but instead took him under his wings and showed him the ropes.

“Where I’m at today, I wouldn’t be without Chef Anthony. He’s a brother to me” said Simons.

Where he is at today is at the top of his game. In less than three years, Chef Nick has gone from a salad chef to sous chef to executive chef. The transitions did not come without any adjustment issues. Chef Nick had to take the previous lessons learned to transform Wine Country Bistro’s kitchen and menu into his own.

“I’m trying to make my own style. That’s what Anthony told me when I first got creative freedom to make a fish special when he was here. He told me ‘What you see me doing, don’t do that. You need to create your own style. What I do is my style. You need to do your own.'” he remembers.

shreveport restaurant, wine country bistro, chef nick simons

The new Spring menu at Wine Country Bistro has Chef Nick Simmons stamped all over it along with some of our favorite Zocolo treats. It features more locally sourced ingredients with a focus on getting back to the “bistro” mentality in a bigger atmosphere from the previous location across the street. There are pasta specials, roasted bone marrow, bruschetta samplers, grilled ribeyes, and flatbreads are back!

shreveport restaurant, wine country bistro, chef nick simons

I had the pleasure of trying EVERY. SINGLE. NEW. MENU. ITEM (See picture above and don’t judge my plate!), but my favorite dish on the new menu is the Biscuit Gnocchi. Imagine a dark chicken stock and sage veloute (fancy word for a white sauce), braised chicken, fresh herbs, crispy chicken skin, and gnocchi made from BISCUITS. The dish is absolutely delicious. The gnocchi is tender, the sauce is flavorful and herbaceous without being overpowered, and all around yummy!

The lunch and brunch menus have some changes as well. The brunch menu has been scaled back some and there are biscuits EVERYWHERE! Biscuits and gravy, buttermilk biscuit board, biscuit this, and biscuit that. Chef Nick let me know that as much as he is a barbecue nerd, he is a biscuit nerd as well so biscuits were to be expected.

These new menus are just the beginning for Chef Nick and I am enjoying this new path that Wine Country Bistro is on. Speaking of new paths, I’m not sure if I got the go ahead to tell y’all about this BUT I am and Jason will just call me if I need to remove this part BUT he probably won’t because the new dinner menu went live yesterday and the new lunch menu went live today so here goes…

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You can now enjoy Whisk Dessert bar desserts on the new Wine Country Bistro menu! The desserts include Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake, 18 Layer Chocolate Cake, Strawberry Rose’ Tart, and my favorite Southern Charm which is a corn cake with lemon thyme brown butter gelato, and brown butter shell reminiscent of Magic Shell. Talk about PARTY in your mouth!

shreveport restaurant, wine country bistro, chef nick simons

To check all of these dishes and more, visit Wine Country Bistro at 4800 Line Ave Ste A Monday-Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 10:30am-9:00pm.

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Also don’t forget the 24th Edition Wine & Swine is on Sunday, April 22!

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Jada
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Hi I'm Jada! I'm a blogger and freelance writer. I love all things related to travel, food, and entertainment.

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