Jacmel Inn is known for being the most romantic restaurant in Tangipahoa Parish. General Manager, Alfonso Flores says, “The atmosphere and the way we present ourselves with the white table clothes, candle-lit tables and everything that would make a romantic evening for a couple is how we got the reputation of being the most romantic restaurant in the parish.”
Each fall, this restaurant hosts a wine tasting series, where wine connoisseurs come from all over the country and the world to showcase their special wines to the guests of Jacmel Inn. Flores says, “Our customers are very into the wine industry, we have a lot of loyal customers that we do this for them.”
Flores says that these tastings are to attract more guests and it’s something that Jacmel Inn does in appreciation of its’ guests. Flores says that he has showcased wines from Spain, Italy, France, California and many more places known for their outstanding wine reputation. “I try to bring wines from locations that people have not been exposed to, so they may feel that they are getting exclusive knowledge of the wines without actually having to travel to those places,” remarks Flores.
The wine tastings are sometimes accompanied with dinners that pair well with the wine. Flores says that Jacmel Inn is known for its American Contemporary cuisine with a twist of French and Italian. He says this has been the cuisine theme at the restaurant from day one. Flores says, “We have a very talented chef that has been with us for about three years now, who has studied how to pair specific types of wine with certain types of food.”
Chef Josh Garic is the head chef at Jacmel Inn. Garic says, “Being able to create a dish depending on the type and structure of wine is such an interesting and creative process. I always like to surprise my guests with something new that their pallets have never tasted before.”
Garic went to culinary school in New York, where he went through intensive training to learn how to cook fine dining themed dishes.
Jacmel Inn was opened in 1977 by two brothers and a best friend from New York. Flores says, “These men were hippies and people around Hammond thought it was funny for three New York hippies to try and open a fine dining restaurant in Hammond, Louisiana.”
Flores says that the three men actually became very successful in opening Jacmel Inn. The restaurant has been opened now for forty-two years.
Jacmel Inn got its name when the three owners went to Haiti to buy tables and chairs for the restaurant. The city of Haiti where the three owners went was called Jacmel.
This city was named after an English pioneer, Jack O’Mel. “At the time, the Haitians could not pronounce the name of the pioneer, so they called him Jacmel. The name stuck and the land became known as Jacmel,” says Flores.
Jacmel Inn has been one of the longest opened restaurants in Hammond. Flores says, “Every new restaurant that comes into the city affects the business of Jacmel, but in a minor way. The advantage that we have at Jacmel Inn is that we cater weddings, private parties and wine dinners. Our atmosphere and style is different from anywhere else in Hammond”
Chef Garic adds, “The wine dinners really set us apart from other restaurants in the area. No other place in Hammond has the training and expertise like our staff does, to host wine tastings and dinners like ours.”
The Fall Wine Tasting Series of 2019 is held through the entire month of October, every Wednesday at six o’clock in the evenings, at Jacmel Inn Restaurant. People are welcome to come to Jacmel Inn and join others in a “Fine wine and dine” experience.