My review from 10/28-10/30
Just returned last week and this is my review.
Arrived late on Sunday and grabbed some fried alligator, oysters and shrimp on Bourbon St.
Breakfast Monday was at Brennan's. Although many people seem very disappointed we had very tasty, be it overpriced, breakfasts. I had the Eggs Hussarde which was prepared perfectly. My eggs were that perfect custard consistency and the two sauces complimented the dish wonderfully. The hollandaise was rich and creamy with a delightful taste of butter. the other sauce ( don't remember what it was called) was more savory, but equally good. My husband had the Oyster Benedict and it too was was very nice. it was better when I added it to my eggs however. The spice bloody mary's were great too. I love those string beans!
Lunch was at Parkway. I had a roast beef po boy, dressed, and was satisfied, more than actually. My husband had the alligator sausage po boy and it was delicious as well.
Dinner we decided was going to nice, the nicest in town, so we heard. We made 9:30pm reservations at Restaurant August (our choice, b/c we like eating late) and were seated immediately. The waiter, a Australian man, greeted us and took our drink orders. As foodies we had numerous questions to ask, and were some what disappointed with the waiter's answers. First we ask about the 5 course chef's menu. He told us that we would be eating until 1am, not our question, and then proceeded to give us some listless descriptions of what we would be eating, and then promptly recommended a 3 course tasting menu at the bottom. We of course made mention that he clearly didn't want to stay until 1am, and he replied "We would love to stay w/ you until 1am." We opted out on both counts. The appetizers were at 2 levels. My husband ordered the truffle gnoccoli and it was divine. This was a top notch appetizer not to be missed. I ordered the foie gras 3 ways and was disappointed. It was absolutely nothing like I expected. It was not plump little livers, it was more like 3 different versions of pate. the first was tongue roulade. It was all right, but not sublime. The second was a liver mousse en crue. Again tasty, but wouldn't call it foie gras. The third was a little ball, fired on the outside and melty on the inside. this was served with a marmalade of some sort. I liked this best of the three. I would say my appetizer was good, but not great and not over the top delicious like my husband's appetizer was. The entrees were also at two different levels. My husband had a trout he swears is the best piece of fish he has eaten in the US. I had backstrap of rabbit wrapped in bacon. The bacon was so smoky that it overwhelmed the rabbit, which may as well have been chicken. I thought the sauce with it and the presentation was very nice, but was let down-again. The restaurant was beautiful, the presentation lovely and the food decent on my plates and outstanding on my husband's plates. The service disappointed. Because we chose a later seating we were treated like T.G.I. Friday's guests. the food served, removed and the next dish was brought right away. In fine dining I like a minute to sit b/w courses, sip some wine and discuss what we had just enjoyed. Not one second of breathing room. So I advise not being the last seating at this place. Next time I may opt for Stella. After reading the review of another chowhound it sounds like the place to go.
On our way out of town the next morning we stopped off at Central Grocery and picked up not 1, but 2 Muffalettas. One we enjoyed immediately and the other we ate the next day. The bread was an amazing consistence, a bit crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside so that the olive salad and all its juices were soaked right in. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. We had been told that if you can hold off 24 hrs. that the olive salad begins to meld with the flavours of the meats. It did and we were in heaven. Being at home and having eaten it the traditional way we also took some of the sandwich and pressed it. We wrapped it in foil, placed it in a heavy pan and then added a cast iron pan on top and baked it. It was like a Cuban, but with delectable Italian meats. I have to say it was pretty darn good. No, not traditional, but tasty nonetheless.
I just got back from a few days in New Orleans, and I also went to August. I was soooo excited and I think that might have made me disappointed, since it wasn't The Best Meal I've ever had. I had a beet salad to start, the parmesan-crusted Mahi for my entree, and the pumpkin "sundae" for dessert. Don't get me wrong, it was very good...but the meals I had the next day at Bayona and Herbsaint were much better. The service was also lacking...it was professional but the server might as well have been a robot. He cracked a smile a few times but it was difficult.
Back to Bayona and Herbsaint...WOW. Fantastic all around. The smoked duck, cashew-peanut butter and pepper jelly sandwich at Bayona was amazing, and I don't even usually like duck. The service was perfect as well. At Herbsaint, I had the tomato & shrimp bisque, the olive oil gnocchi and the coconut creme pie. All were perfect.
It's a shame about the pacing of your meal at August. We usually dined late (by US standards), when we lived in NOLA. Over the years, we've become a tad more accustomed to something ~ 7:30/8:00, except when in Europe/UK. We dined there very early, as we also had to pick up m-i-l, out in the Parish, to get her back to the hotel and did not want to keep her up all night. You had the same waiter, as did we. He is good, though a bit matter-of-fact. We got the same time comment, on the tasting menus. Our food service was a bit more relaxed, though I had to admonish the buss-staff to NOT take my wine glasses, even if they were from three courses earlier. When I was finished, I handed the empties off with a thank you. Still, they kept grabbing half-full (not quite accurate, as they were only half-glasses to begin with, but you get the picture) glasses. I am a slow eater, and enjoy talking with my guests, or my wife, so I set the pace. The staff did a good job of following my lead. I hate to be rushed and usually pull the head-server aside, to inform them of my preferences.
The foie gras three ways, was similar to what I had and my feelings were almost identical to yours. I've had trios of FG that blew me away. Here, it was just OK+.
I want to go back, but do a batch of half-bottles (they need to increase their list, and probably will, as the time passes), instead of the pairing, unless they do their homework on that aspect.
Right now, I'm in serious training to do the 11-course tasting menu at Chef Mavro's, Honolulu, in Dec. Maybe I can get to August, while I'm still in "shape... " [Grin]
Thanks for the review. It's been far too long, since I had a good Muffaletta. There are two places in Phoenix that do a variation, but they are just not as good. Now, I am not a purist, as I always add Creole Mustard to mine - heresy, I know, but I've also been known to order turkey Ruebens!
Don't sweat the heated Muff. Thats the way The Napolean House serves them and I love them, especially in the bar on a chilly, rainy day! The subject of heated vs. non-heated Muffs always stirs up controversy on the board. Personally, I'm with you - I think they're great both ways.