If home is where the heart is, there’s a lot of heart beating through L’Estelle House. For over 20 years, the Rainey Street property has been owned by Craig Nasso, who originally planned the site for an apartment, architecture studio, and someday a family house. Sensing the shift from neighborhood to entertainment district, Nasso and his wife, Holly, decided to turn the space into a kitchen and outdoor dining space. This past New Year’s Eve marked L’Estelle’s first official day.
“I want the experience to be like, homestyle — like you’re coming into our yard, which is a real yard of a real couple,” explains Holly. “But I want the vision and execution of what people are having to hit them in a really deep place.” To do this, the Nassos enlisted Melvin Mendez to serve as the in-house chef, creating Gruyere and prosciutto-stuffed empanadas, brunch pizzas, and for SXSW, easy-to-carry items like beignet biscuits with strawberry jam. The jam comes courtesy of the eatery’s namesake, Craig’s mother, Estelle Rainey, who specializes in cakes and preserves. “Total homestyle goodness,” Holly says. For more information, visit lestellehouse.com