From the Ivory Coast to Gentilly Woods – Eburnieya brings West African flavors to New Orleans

Owner Ashley NDakpri's endeavor is the only restaurant in New Orleans that serves Ivorian cuisine.

by Marielle Songy
June 8, 2022

Eburnieya Ivorian Cuisine is serving the only menu based on food from the Ivory Coast located  in New Orleans. Owner Ashley NDakpri, whose family is from the West African country, opened the Gentilly Woods restaurant that serves the diverse food on which she was raised in 2021.

“What gave me and my family the idea to open Eburnieya was because there are no other Ivorian restaurants in New Orleans,” NDakpri said. “There aren’t even that many in the south and it’s something that we wanted to introduce to New Orleans. People here are used to Nigerian food, but Ivorian food has a different taste. We’re first-generation Ivorians and we wanted to introduce people to our type of food.”

NDakpri was especially inspired to open her restaurant when she received positive feedback on the food that she would make for various events. The people she served loved the food she made, having never had anything quite like it before.

“New Orleans is known for authentic food from Creole to Jamaican to Haitian; we wanted to introduce the food from our country but make it fun,” she said. “African food tends to be the same wherever you might be eating it; we wanted to stand out, so we make our dishes a little differently.”

What’s on the menu?

When it came to the menu, NDakpri wanted dishes connected strongly to her culture; she wanted to offer familiar food with an Ivorian twist.

“An example of a classic dish that we put a twist on is Kedjenou or chicken stew,” she said. “Everyone knows what chicken stew is, but we season is differently. We make it the African way with different flavors and spices.”

Eburnieya also offers Suya, grilled beef served with onions, eggs, plantains and homemade spicy sauce.

“Suya is a popular dish in Africa,” she said. “It’s basically grilled meat like beef or chicken. It’s a basic dish and the seasoning adds all of the flavor. In Africa, it’s typically made by men because the meat has to be smoked a certain way. We have a chef from Cameroon, named Carene Gomet, who makes it really well. We also take that meat and make tacos with it; that’s a quick fun dish to serve at events.”

Another popular dish from the Ivory Coast is Attieke Poisson, grilled or fried whole fish served with attieke and vegetable vinaigrette. NDakpri described this as a flagship dish for Ivorians. She explained that attieke is the African version of couscous, and Eburnieya’s Attieke Poisson can also be served with rice.

The menu is rounded out with Sauce Gumbo, an okra stew with a mixture of proteins such as shrimp, turkey neck, crab and chicken and served with rice. The menu also includes alloco, fried sweet plantains that NDakpri calls fun, quick and familiar.

Juice selections include bissap, hibiscus homemade juice, gnamakoudji, ginger juice and passion fruit juice.

Eburnieya’s plans for the future include a unique take on burgers and a selection of vegan options.

For now, the restaurant offers take-out and catering, with future plans for a food truck and an eventual dine-in space. NDakpri explained that she’s excited about what’s to come and has enjoyed introducing Ivorian cuisine to New Orleanians.

“We’re young entrepreneurs, and we want to slowly build our business and grow our clientele,” she said.
“Right now, our focus is on introducing the food to everyone. We’re having a lot of fun interpreting these different dishes and we really want our restaurant to be unique.”

Price points:

Full plates: $25-$30
Small plates: $12-$18
Combos: $18
Sides: $3.50 

Marielle was born and raised in New Orleans. She thinks it's hard to grow up there and not let the culture and history of the city become part of you. Whether it be the jazz, food, of fabulous architecture, she thinks most would agree that things are a little spicer down here. You can reach her via email at [email protected]

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