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Tasting menu

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  • kftw Feb 11, 2010 01:34 PM
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We're coming back for more good food & need suggestions for a restaurant with tasting menus. We've already tried Stella! & would like to try some others. We'll be staying in the Quarter so somewhere nearby would be good.

Thanks in advance.

k

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  1. august. you wont be sorry

    8 Replies
    1. re: thew

      +1 for August.

      1. re: BayouTeche

        +2

      2. re: thew

        BOOO August. SoOo overrated. Except for the sweetbreads picatta.

        1. re: figndate

          really? a close friend said the degustation was the best meal hes ever had...

          1. re: figndate

            I love August so am wondering if you have been there several times and still feel this way. Are you saying the restaurant is overrated--or just the tasting menu(s)?

            1. re: figndate

              I'd love to see your complete review of this. A few words, without any references, or details does not cut it here. The people on the NOLA board are not at all interested in "sound bites." Can you clarify? I'd like to hear what you had, and how it was prepared, and presented. Most of the folk, who have commented have posted a full review at one time, or another.

              I guess that one could safely say that the "gauntlet has been dropped."

              Hunt

              1. re: figndate

                Unfortunately, I do not know Le Meritage, so cannot help between the two.

                Enjoy,

                Hunt

                1. re: figndate

                  i had a fantastic tasting menu @ august last may. seriously one of the best meals i had last year.

              2. Le Meritage and Le Foret.

                1 Reply
                1. re: edible complex

                  Thanks for the quick replies. We have already printed out a menu from August......realize this won't be what will be served in May but just to give us an idea.

                  I've read reviews for Le Foret but have not for Le Meritage. Will look for some. We might have to try more than one tasting since we will be there for 3 nites.

                  Thanks again.

                  Just looked at Le Meritage sample menu. It's on my list now. Thanks edible.

                2. We were actually disappointed with the 4-course tasting menu at August on 2/9/10 (night of the Saints parade) - my husband ordered it. The courses were a smoked salmon with potato latke (wasn't particularly playful as I would have expected for such a paring), pasta with tripe and very little bone marrow (the flavors that were a kind of italian kim chee due to the vinegar and marinara sauce), venison shoulder (tender but curiously dry), and berliners (which were lovely with the hazelnut cream and whole hazelnuts). The disappointment may have been exacerbated since I had ordered the crabmeat truffled gnocchi and the cochon de lait (the most tender porky meat I've had that wasn't slow bbq). The degustation may be the better choice.

                  1. Cuvee has a new tasting menu; it's awesome. The service is somewhat lacking, but the food is worth the wait.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: bonesrus

                      More info on the Cuvee tasting menu, please.

                      1. re: bonesrus

                        Yes, please more info!!

                        1. re: FoodChic

                          I'd like to hear more also.

                      2. We did the full-boat Restaurant August tasting menu, and loved it. The one drawback, then, was the sommelier's wine pairings. They were less than pedestrian and off by about two courses. Now, the sommelier duties have changed, and I have it on good advice, that the young lady in charge "gets it." We have yet to fit them back in, so I cannot comment on her choices, but things sound much better in that one regard.

                        Hope to include them in our next rotation.

                        Enjoy,

                        Hunt

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          We've narrowed our choices to two. Restaurant August & Le Meritage. Thanks to everyone for their replies.

                          1. re: kftw

                            not August!

                            1. re: figndate

                              Just guessing here......not an August fan, are you?

                              1. re: figndate

                                A question: have you actually dined there, or are you repeating something that you might have heard on a streetcar?

                                Just curious,

                                Hunt

                                1. re: figndate

                                  Just curious, does this opinion stem from one dining experience? While I happen to like August, I can empathise with how one bad meal can completely turn you off. Same thing happened to me at Gautreaus. All of our courses were so ill composed and bland that I see no need to return.

                            2. Le Foret

                              1. Go to La Meritage.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: gentillygal

                                  Please tell us about it.

                                2. La Meritage

                                  1. I would second any recommendation of August's tasting menu! I just dined there for my 19th birthday (I know, I'm a lucky girl) with my boyfriend and two other friends. Needless to say the food was incredible, the wine pairings fantastic (although I'm not exactly as well versed in this department), and the decor in the main dining room very bright and elegant, far from stuffy.

                                    The first thing that was brought out, other than the delicious home-made sourdough, was a hollowed out egg shell filled with a truffle infused egg custard topped with black caviar and a brioche stick, delicious and great presentation. We all decided that the caviar made the dish, but maybe thats because we're college students, and making the jump from Boot PIzza to black caviar at August blew our minds.

                                    The first dish of the 9 course tasting menu was a petite torchon of seared foie gras served over a little baby pain perdu and a strawberry coulis topped with some micro-greens. The small appetizer seemed to be the perfect ode to the winter becoming spring, and the strawberries cut the fatty foie very nicely. (This was probably my favorite dish of the night.

                                    The second course was also a favorite, yard egg raviolo with brown butter and sage. The house-made raviolo was thin enough to see the egg yolk through it, and at presentation it looked like a lovely sunny side up egg (but better). This dish reminded me that I should cook with more brown butter, its nuttiness works classically well with the sage, and if there had been any of that yolky butter sauce I couldn't have scooped with the large spoons they provided, I would have gladly sopped it up with the bread!

                                    Next came the fish dish, which I believe was puppy drum, but may have been corvina or a sablefish filet, coated in a shredded potato "breading" that was crispy and left the fish moist and flaky on the inside. This was served over a pea mash and some sort of veal reduction, (My specifics begin to blur at this point a little, blame the 5 glasses of wine or the absurd amounts of food)

                                    The first of the heavier dishes was a stuffed cutlet of veal which was filled with Michael Gullot'as take on the classic oyster stuffing. There was a wine and veal sauce in this dish as well, but I was too caught up in the fatty P&J oysters to notice much else. I also noticed how tender the veal was, it was done in the pan (or maybe grill?), but it seamed almost poached.

                                    The heaviest meal of the night was next, this dish, which should have been called 3 awesome ways to eat pig, had what looked like a giant meatball split in half to reveal a loin of wild boar, and a loin of Berkshire pork, wrapped in pulled pork shoulder.... I know.... it was insane. Under this mass of delicious porks were some braised baby vegetables, brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, etc. that were delightfully crisp and helped my mind wrap itself around the delicious pork-bomb I had been served. All of this was served in a deep dish with a delicious sauce of pan juices, that may or may not have included wine.

                                    The meal approached its finale with their take on a cheese course. This is probably my most loosely detailed. But on the plate was a cannel of what I was to say was a sheep or goats cheese, and a raspberry sauce that was delicious, there was also a toast of some sort... I think? (sorry, it was late)

                                    The grand conclusion of this meal was a chocolate three ways, the first were tiny squares of unbelievably thin chocolate crepe layered with lemon curd to create what looked almost like a pettifor. Number 2 was a delicious chocolate macarron filled with more lemon curd, I'm a sucker for cute macarrons so i looved this one. The fan favorite however, was the final chocolate confection. Labeled a chocolate beignet, it was definitely cakier than a beignet and was filled with ooey molten chocolate, so it resembled more of a moelleux au chocolat and was coated entirely in cinnamon sugar. It was amazingly indulgent.
                                    This dish also had my favorite wine of the night. An incredible sweet incredibly light muscat, St. Jean de Minervois. I don't claim to know wine, but this was so effervescent it reminded me of the ciders they used to serve my little cousins in Switzerland, but grownup and way better.

                                    I originally meant to post this as an independent review, but I guess it ended up here. It was an incredible meal, and although it is expensive, I think it lives up to its value. The amounts of food are not overwhelming, and although we stumbled out like fattened hogs, every one of us had cleaned our plates.

                                    One last word on the service, We are not August's usual customers. We dressed well for the occasion and didn't act like the college-aged frat kids that most would expect form us, and although we received a few sideways glances from some of the patrons upon our entry, the staff didn't bat an eye and really made for an outstanding meal with excellent service. We also had a late reservation by New Orleans standards (and even arrived 15 minutes late, although I'd called ahead to notify) so we were the last table of the night. The staff was incredible friendly and didn't hurry us out at all. I actually excused myself to the ladies room and caught, who I guess was the manager, in the hall, and he actually invited us to take our time and sit over our wine, which was a very kind gesture, at a very late hour of the night.

                                    All in all, I would recommend this meal to anyone who is interested, and I know I can't wait for the next parent's weekend where I will try my hardest to coerce my father into subsidizing another delicious meal at August.

                                    -Cristy

                                    p.s. dinner for four including wine pairing and an 19% tip came out at just over $700

                                    -----
                                    Restaurant August
                                    301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: mcristy

                                      Wow, student dining has definitely gone upscale since my college days ;)

                                      But thanks for the great post, mcristy. I love August too although I have never done that tasting menu w/wine. You sure make me want to try it. I too have a birthday coming up . . . . DH, are you listening?

                                      1. re: mcristy

                                        "the wine pairings fantastic (although I'm not exactly as well versed in this department)"

                                        One does not need to be a "wine geek," such as I, so long as they appreciate the flavors and how the wines enhance the food - that is what should happen. In an ideal situation, the components will each be enhanced by the other - wine is better with the food, and the food is better with the wine. If a sommelier really cares, it gets no better than this.

                                        Glad that you enjoyed it. Last time that we did the full tasting menu, the wine pairing was a very weak link, and I graded August down for it. Shortly thereafter, the sommelier was replaced, and I have only heard good about the young lady, who assumed the role. Unfortunately, we've not been able to fit them in, on the most recent trips to NOLA. I hope to correct that very soon.

                                        Enjoy,

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: mcristy

                                          Need to add - great review. I could almost taste each dish, thanks to your descriptions.

                                          Hope you are persuing a career in journalism... [Grin]

                                          Well-done and a big thank you.

                                          Gotta' get back to Restaurant August. Think I have a trip in the Summer for a conference. Hope I have a free night.

                                          Appreciated,

                                          Hunt

                                          -----
                                          Restaurant August
                                          301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130