High Hat Cafe – 1 yr old!

Chip Apperson, Adolfo Garcia and Jeremy Wolgamott Tip Their High Hats to a Successful First Year

Thursday, May 24, 2012, by Eater Staff
Chip Apperson and Jeremy Wolgamott at High Hat Café. Not Pictured: Adolfo Garcia. [Photo: Nikki Mayeux]

When the High Hat Café opened last June, it joined what is quickly becoming a pantheon of casual Uptown eateries lining Freret that includes Ancora Pizzeria, Company Burger, and Dat Dog, to name just a few. Tapping the talents of former Donald Link kitchen fixture Jeremy Wolgamott, co-owners Adolfo Garcia and Chip Apperson, a native Memphian and long-time admirer of what lies just downriver, have blended New Orleans classics like red beans with Delta-inspired dishes like cornhusk tamales, pimento cheese plates and fried catfish with hushpuppies. From this melange of upriver and downriver cuisine, these men have created a wholly unique destination for Uptown diners, which is no easy feat in a city packed tighter with restaurants than a Brooklyn-bound L-Train is with hipsters.

Even High Hat’s bar is churning out some interesting amalgamations from what manager Ryan Iriarte mischievously calls his “chemistry set” of infused liquors. If High Hat’s kitchen is trying to capture the spirit of Southern soul food, its bar has already distilled the South with its Cecil’s Cocktail, a sweet-tea concoction with Jim Beam, Steen’s cane syrup, lemon juice, and mint that one especially poetically-licensed regular has told Iriarte “tastes just like seersucker.”