Posts Tagged With: Herbsaint

Top 10 Things We Ate in New Orleans

Peche Crawfish Capellini“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.  Everywhere else is Cleveland.” ― Tennessee Williams

Having been to New Orleans, and San Francisco, while living in NYC, I’m starting to believe it.  He was talking about food, right?  I believe so.  As I’ve said before, I always compare the excitement of going to NOLA to that of Italy.  Amazing, in a way somewhat foreign cuisine in one heck of a unique setting.  Without further ado, here are our top NOLA bites during a recent trip.

(Note:  For the Dessert list, click here)

BBQ Shrimp at Bevi – I’ll start with the no-brainer.  Perhaps our top eat came from a little shack in Metairie about 30 minutes out from the quarter, close to the airport.  We came for the Crawfish boil and got that and so much more.  Huge, plump fresh perfectly cooked head-on gulf shrimp complimented by what I can only describe as Sauce of Dreams.  Or maybe it was the beer talking, as in Canebrake beer, the sauce main ingredient.  Move over Mr B’s, and say hello to Mr B!

Bevi BBQ Shrimp

Savory Bread Pudding at Atchafalaya – Funny how this trip turned out.  After eating our way through eight sweet Bread Puddings on the previous trip and therefore aiming for more of the same this time, it was actually a savory one that won top marks.  Filled with Mushroom, Sundried tomatoes and topped with tomato sauce, this was addictive stuff to say the least. A joy with every morsel at this popular neighborhood brunch spot.  Bonus:  Try the Eggs Atchafalaya and Shrimp and Grits

Atchafalaya - Bread Pudding

Blue Crab Beignets at La Petite Grocery – This is an absolute must at LPG.  Those little suckers are packed with fresh crab and explosive flavors.  For my TCI readers these are like Conch Fritters on crack!  Bonus:  Get the Ricotta Dumplings, Hand-Made Spaghetti and Turtle Bolognese

La Petite Grocery Blue Crab Beignets

Chargrilled Oysters at Felix’s – Last trip we enjoyed them at Drago’s who invented the Chargrilled Oysters, but now we have a new favorite looks like.   They are not as cheesey and buttery at Felix’s but lightly breaded, some lemon, oil and a little bit of cheese just enough to bring out the flavors of the oysters without overpowering.

Felix's Chargrilled Boilers

Gnocchi Bolognese at Herbsaint.  So much for the “Lets avoid all things Italian since we enjoy great Italian where we live and in Italy” —  We not only managed to eat a lot of interesting pastas pretty much daily, but somehow 3 Bolognese dishes.  Expertly done pillowy goodness with a fine lamb ragu.  But the thing that took it to another level was the herby notes from the Mint Gremolata.  Get this.  Bonus:  Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Egg,  Lamb Neck.  Pastas here are superb

Herbsaint Gnocchi

Whole Grilled Redfish at Peche – Another no brainer.  This one is quickly becoming one of the most celebrated dishes in town.  Expertly cooked Redfish, perfectly complimented with first-rate minty oily Salsa Verde.  You dont mess around too much with greatness.  This little guy can easily be shared by 3, 4 at this multiple James Beard award recipient.  Bonus:  Crawfish Pasta (Top Picture) and too many to mention.  Read the post

Peche Whole Redfish

BBQ Shrimp at Mr B’s – Yes, two BBQ Shrimp dishes on the list this time, which prompted to ask on Chowhound where can I get this in NYC.  No replies so far and its been at least 5 minutes!  This thing was our top eat last time and the only repeater on the list.  If you cant get to Metairie, or even if you can, get this!

Mr B's BBQ Shrimp

Beef Cheeks at Sylvain – If you never had beefy cheeks, you are in for a treat!  Beef doesnt get any more tender and juicy than this, without getting all soft and mushy.  Especially love the supporting cast here of potato purée and field peas.  PS. New Yorkers,  try Bar Bolonat’s Tagine for more cheeky goodness.  Bonus:  Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Chick-Syl-vain Sandwich

Sylvain - Beef Cheeks

Seafood Platter (aka the “Shell Beach Diet”) at Brigtsen’s.  Six different items on the plate including a great Drum Amandine with plenty of almond action, two different baked oysters, a terrific smoky shrimp jalapeño cornbread (really liked this) and shrimp coleslaw.  The only thing I didn’t care for is the Why-So-Sweet scallop but what a fantastic jam-packed plate. Bonus: Crawfish Shortcake, Paneed Rabbit, Pecan Pie

Brigtsen's Seafood Platter

Beignets at Café Du Monde – Yes, this is a cliché I know.  But considering we ate Beignets every single morning I have no choice but give credit where credit is due.  Just edging out Café Beignet, these Beignets were consistently great.  Nice texture, not too daughy, not too airy, just perfectly executed Beignets.  The lines for a table move quick, and don’t forget to look inside for the best views of the action and history

NOLA 2014 460

Categories: New Orleans | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

5 NOLA Desserts to Target

Banana Brown Butter Tart at Herbsaint.  So good we have to have it on every trip.  Rhonda Ruckman the young looking pastry chef is reaching legendary status according to various blogs/publications.  Add their terrific homemade vanilla ice cream and call me in the morning.  (Its just an expression – dont call me) Herbsaint Banana Butter tart

Butterscotch Pudding at La Petite Grocery.  We tried a few desserts at La Petite Grocery and the least exciting dessert prevailed over the others.  Truly delectableLa Petite Grocery Butterscotch Pudding

Pecan Pie at Brigtsen’s.  I love love Pecan Pie, and this was probably the best I’ve had.  The pecans are cut so fine that when they fill the top layer it results in a crunchy cookie like texture.  And the inside isn’t as jelly like and gooey as you find in your ordinary pecan piesBrigtsen's Pecan Pie

Pineapple Rum Cake with Dulce de leche Ice Cream at Peche.  There goes that Rhonda Ruckman again.  Far from your ordinary soggy rum cake Peche Rum Cake

White Chocolate Bread Pudding at GW Fins.   We’ve had some amazing bread pudding in NOLA from the great Cherry Jubilee at SoBou to the funky Krispy Kreme at Boucherie, to the classics of Mr B’s and Commander’s Palace.  But GW’s prevailed and not so much for the white chocolate, but the use of the dark stuff (chocolate) that did it for me

Courtesy of GW Fins via Foodspotting

Courtesy of GW Fins via Foodspotting

Categories: New Orleans | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New Orleans Eats – Day 3. Little miss Ziggy and the bike

Coquette's Crab Salad“It’s like riding a bike” I told the wife when she voiced her concerns about our upcoming bike tour.  She hasn’t ridden a bike in over 20 years and we were off to a bit of a rocky and zigzagy start with Cassidy and the Confederacy of Bikers Creole tour.  The motorists stuck behind her were very polite and understanding as the common notion was that this was just another history of drinking tour.  But it wasn’t.  No drinking involved, at least not until we reached Marie’s Bar and her amazing Bloody Mary (with that pickled okra there it is again – yum).  But little miss Ziggy pulled through!  Very proud of her. But the day will forever be remembered for the meals.  We are fortunate enough to be able to travel and eat all over the world and this was perhaps the yummiest eating day we’ve had in this country and perhaps any country this side of Italy.  We begin with an institution…

BeignetsCafe Du Monde – Calling this coffee shop a coffee shop just feels wrong.  Established in 1862, this legend has been dishing out Beignets and cafe au leits 7 days a week, 24 hours a day – closing only on Christmas and hurricanes.  You feel you are in one of those iconic institutions as soon you enter. And the Beignets are nothing to sneeze at, really.  A bad idea to sneeze on them and even a slight cough can trigger a sugary mess all over your family/friends.  And they taste pretty awesome.  Hot off the oven, airy, sweet goodness.  I will not normally go out of my way for good donuts but this was pretty darn good.  And the Coffee not too bad either.

Cafe Du Monde

Coquette's Duck ConfitCoquette – Another memorable meal.  During all our travels we noticed one thing that many of the great dining establishments got in common: Great bread.  This Ciabatta straight out of their oven was a Wowsar! (foodie technical term, besides I’m running out of adjectives).  Loved the goat cheese and greens salad with these crazy delicious sweet pecans – couldnt get enough of them. Loving the pecans here. Lovely Louisiana crabmeat with remoulade, potato and quale egg was another stunner.

The shrimp and grits as good as they were are probably at the bottom of the food chain as far as all the other shrimp dishes we had this week.  The winning entrée was perhaps the duck confit.  The Brussels sprouts that came along made us order more brussels sprouts.  My SIL was having a “I’ll have what she’s having” moment with her veal tacos. Desserts were some uneventful chocolate munchkins but overall another superb meal.


Herbsaint's PastaHerbsaint – If I have to give you just one must from this trip, it’s probably dinner at Herbsaint.  What a meal! The one dish I was so looking forward to try on this trip was the homemade spaghetti with Guanciale and fried poached egg. You break the egg, mix it up with the pasta and the result is pure ecstasy with every morsel.  And the salty Guanciale takes this dish to another dimension.  A beef short rib with potatoes and salsa verde did not disappoint.  The green salsa especially was such a nice complement.  The Hummus Whisperer had one of veggie moments where he orders nothing but veggies and really enjoyed the Grilled mushroom special. For main we shared a great pork cassoulet. Heavy and full of flavors.  But the star of the mains to me was clearly the lamb neck.  I had a great lamb neck in Tel Aviv a few months ago and Herbsaint’s version beats it without question. Crunchy crust with super tender inside with these delicate savory noodles and a tomato confit.  So so good.  Also had a side of fries. Someone posted somewhere these were the best fries in town – that person must have not tried Boucherie’s.  These were a little too salty for me and I love too salty.  The bacon braised faro with beans side was more like it.  Fantastic side! The desserts here were mixed.  Their coveted banana butter tart that I heard so much about was even too sweet for my too sweet tooth.  The duck egg creme brûlée was the creme de la creme of the creme brûlées. Overall, a truly spectacular meal to cap a truly spectacular eating day in New Orleans.  Now I get it!

Herbsaint's Lamb NeckHerbsaint's Cassoulet

Categories: New Orleans | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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