Trip Report -- June 1st-3rd -- Long
First I need to thank all of the dedicated 'hounds on this board. This is an extremely vibrant board, and the gold mine of data it contains prevented my wife and me from suffering through an average bite of food the whole weekend. I wish all the boards were as good as this one, thanks again.
Arrived mid-morning to find our room at Le Pavillon ready early as requested, so we freshened up and headed to August for lunch. We had champagne cocktails to start while they finished shift meeting.
We did the $20.12 prix fixe, surely the best deal I've ever seen and pure genius from a marketing standpoint. They get you in the door with the hook, keep the tables full, and make up for the loss in food costs with $14 cocktails. Still, we were out the door for $120 with a generous tip and it was worth every penny.
Wife had white asparagus soup with spicy aioli and shrimp toast and I had the pate de champagne with greens and various marmelades. Pate was excellent but the soup was spectacular.
Main course she did the upcharge for the Buster Crab BLT and I had sheepshead with the corn custard, succotash, and tomato vinaigrette. Both had perfectly balanced flavors, but she won as the combination of Bentons bacon and fried softshell was something.
Dessert were the blackberry tart with creamcheese ice cream and choclate pate with espresso almond ice cream.
Service was excellent, the bread (as it was all weekend) was fantastic, all in a really great way to start the weekend.
We had treated ourselves to some "spa therapy" and were still full from lunch, so we headed to Dominica for the half price pizza/drinks deal.
Had the Calabrese pizza with tomato, spicy salami, mozzarella, capers and olives as well as a special pizza with pork belly, fontina, onions, and arugula.
Pork belly was good but a bit bland for my taste but the Calabrese was my perfect pizza. Spicy, salty, yummy. We drank a nice nebbiolo server recommended -- and she made sure to remind us to re-order before happy hour ended.
In retrospect we should have ordered one of the pastas that get so much love on this board. I did love the chili infused oil to dip the bread in.
I left with a profound respect for John Besh as both a chef and a restaurateur. Great concepts, great staff, great product coming out of the kitchen.
After Cafe du Monde and a long lazy stroll along the river and through the FQ, decided to get Po Boys at Johnny's. Got there before the lunch rush really started and had a shrimp and roast beef Po Boy. Both were good, and man you people can make bread.
I may have had better meals in my life, but I sure dont recall them. What an experience, from getting dressed up then walking through the quarter, to the people watching in the dining room, to the service, the food, the maitre'd deftly loaning jackets to patrons -- it really was all that I expected it to be and more.
Started with Crabmeat Maison and Oysters en Brochette. Both were excellent -- wife and I actually jousted with our forks over last bites of each, but if I had to choose I would take the oysters every time. Perfectly fried - still a bit chewy in the middle and bacon makes everything better.
Wife had Crabmeat Yvonne and I had Pompano with lump crab and lemon caper beurre blanc. My pompano reminded me of the way my grandmother cooked fish at the beach when I was a kid. Simple and perfect, I will remember that beurre blanc for a long time.
Drank a bottle of Bastianich Vespa Bianco that matched the shellfish quite nicely.
I expected a jazz brunch but there was none to be had. Oh well.
Bloody Mary Bar was awesome, especially the pickled okra and pickled haricot vert. Crumbled bacon was actually really good in the bloody.
We shared the chicken andouille gumbo to start since we had not had any gumbo all weekend. It was a good effort.
I had the poached eggs on crabcakes with creole hollandaise -- oh my was it good.
Wife had the poached eggs on fried green tomatos with lump crab and hollandaise.
Very neat place with a neat vibe and good food.
All in it was a wonderful weekend, thanks again for the great information on this board.
I'm setting up a weekend in town for Tales of the Cocktail and the biggest decision is lunch or dinner at August or Dominica. Hilton has a special deal for summer, with a reservation at one of four downtown Hilton properties you get 20% off meals at Besh properties. So it will also be a time to sample Borne.