We had an amazing long weekend of eating and drinking in the fair city of New Orleans. At first we tried to pick a favorite place, but then we just gave up and picked our favorite dish from each place. Still, I’d probably put Coquette on the top of my impressive list, if forced to choose, although members of my family would likely debate me (such is the nature of wonderful food).
We arrived on time on Friday, and the folks at Restaurant August generously agreed to move our reservations up by 30 minutes, which was generous, as we were starved. The restaurant is lovely – formal, but not stuffy. We had a waitperson who was competent and friendly, but not overly familiar (a nice combination). For appetizers we had the bisque with wild mushroom dumplings and the pate. I didn’t try the pate, but the bisque was excellent. Both my mom and husband had wild striped bass, and I had breaded pork fillets with grits (I am a sucker for grits). They won the entrée lottery. The fish was perfection, as were the vegetables that accompanied it. The pork was good, but not extraordinary. I would have better grits twice on our trip (I told you, me = sucker for grits).
We each selected a different dessert. Mine was quite unique and delicious – sheep’s cheese battered with a champagne tempura and served with strawberries and honey. What isn’t to love about this grown-up version of friend cheese? Nothing, that’s what. My mom narrowly won the desert lottery with her strawberry ravioli with lemon sauce. The pasta was delicate with a light, citrus flavor. Hub-ster opted for the ricotta filled chocolate crepes with chocolate ice cream. They were delicious, but very, very rich. One bite pretty much overpowered the rest of the desserts, which meant they were a little too rich for me. Still, the meal was a resounding success, made all the more so by getting to meet John Besh in the dining room. I was in Food Nerd Heaven. We accompanied our meal with one of the best bottles of Prosecco I’ve ever had, and it was reasonably priced. Paying $21 each for three courses, we felt a little bit like Bonnie and Clyde. I practically robbed them to eat food of that caliber for that price. We’ll definitely be making a return trip. Favorite dish: wild striped bass.
Still to come: Brigtsen’s, Coquette, Green Goddess, Commander’s Palace and (somewhat tragically, as I hate to “waste” a meal in New Orleans) Court of Two Sisters (that one wasn’t on my personal list, but I agreed to make another member of our party happy. It wasn’t awful, but it isn’t in the ballpark of the other meals.)
I can't get over the amazing, reasonably priced food in the city, even though I've been before. I went to New York in October and while I loved the city, practically went bankrupt eating the same caliber food I ate in NOLA for less than half the price. New Orleans - the city, its people, and its cuisine are all flat-out amazing. I can't wait to go back.