Marigny brings New Orleans to South Walton (Photos)

Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 04:57 PM.

Mongogna's intention is to serve at Marigny the same kind of food he grew up on in New Orleans.

A self-taught chef, Mongogna cooked his first meal at age 13 — red beans and rice. He says he owes his love of cooking to his mother and grandmothers who taught him the love of Italian food, New Orleans classics, and Southern country. He appreciates the fact that food is nostalgic, can spark memories of childhood, or experiences of dinners past. 

The Marigny gives Mongogna a chance to return to the dishes of his youth in New Orleans in a laid-back family atmosphere.

He believes pure Creole is a concept of Louisiana cuisine that can only come from a native and that food should be a celebration shared with family over memories, while creating new ones. Mongogna hopes The Marigny can be a spot for many families to share good times over great food. 

Visitors to the restaurant will find that Mongogna is continuing the family tradition in his own family. His two daughters, Karley and Sophia are often there and love to stuff artichokes.

"Everything is made from scratch," he said, "and served in a casual atmosphere that is not stuffy, but laid back."

The restaurant's signature dish? Grillades and grits, says Mongogna, but he also gushes about the roast beef po' boy, and says he is stoked about the jambalaya.

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