Rachel Horn Houston and Jesse Houston, proprietors.

Rachel Horn Houston and Jesse Houston, proprietors.

One of Fondren’s highly anticipated new restaurants is ready to serve you today.

Jesse and Rachel Houston’s Saltine Oyster Bar opens at 11am after a weekend of soft opening lunch and dinner shifts.

The 100-seat oyster bar, located in the former Duling School building in Fondren, will focus on Southern cuisine highlighting fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables to share. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, the 3000 sq. ft. casual restaurant with open-air patio will feature custom beverage pairings from 31 taps of craft beer, a wide selection of rum and several signature cocktails.

Diners who have tried the menu are raving about their Oxtail Gravy Fries (Oxtail gravy, gruyere, pickled chiles), the Butcher’s Cut (grilled hanger steak, onion jam, hop demi, fries) and the Uni Corn (smoked corn maque choux, white cheddar mornay, seaurchin).

From fish to burgers to poboys and yes, oysters (raw, wood fired, fried or in a stew), the Houstons have created a menu unlike any other in the area.

Saltine takes a simple approach and plays off of the rising popularity of oyster bars around the country. “Look at Bon Appétit’s (Magazine) top 50 list, and four or five of their picks are oyster bars,” Jesse said earlier this year. “You can’t open Food and Wine Magazine without hearing about them. Oyster bars are not a new thing, but chefs are embracing and celebrating them once again.”

As tables fill in for lunch and dinner today at the restaurant already named one of Southern Living’s “Best New Restaurants to Watch in the South,” Jesse is optimistic. “I hope we can put out great food and keep people coming back time after time to try a new spin on classic Southern and Jackson dishes.”

See the menu here