Restaurant August – New Orleans

This is the first of my restaurant reviews from our trip to New Orleans.  We enjoyed wonderful meals while in town and I wanted to give them the blog space that they deserved!

On Friday for lunch we had our first of many very nice meals at Restaurant August.  Even though we had heard great things about the restaurant from one of Jason’s co-workers who has a buddy who is one of the Sous Chef’s, we still weren’t prepared for how nice of a meal it would be.  On the way back from Nola we discussed it and we agreed that it probably wasn’t our best meal in town that weekend but it was definitely the most refined meals that we’ve ever had!

We started our lunch with a nice walk to the restaurant.  Chef John Besh describes August as a “James Beard award-winning” restaurant that “highlights the finest of dining with the flair of local ingredients.”  We were very impressed with the off the beaten path feel of August (across the street from the Windsor Court) but it’s still close proximity to Canal and our hotel.

We made reservations for 11:30 and weren’t the only people in the restaurant, although it wasn’t overly crowded either.  The decor was very refined and classic with white tablecloths and beautiful light fixtures.  The near floor to ceiling windows allowed in a lot of light and gave the restaurant an airy feel that made you forget that you were in downtown New Orleans.

As soon as we were seated we were handed beautiful leather menu’s.  We were able to choose our meal a la carte (which we did) or they also offer a Prix Fixe meal with some options.

After ordering, warm fresh made bread was brought out along with a crock of butter.  The baguettes were a lovely beginning to our meal.

We didn’t order appetizers, but they brought this out for us “from the chef”.  I can’t find a description of it on the current online menu but it was some sort of cold custard in an egg shell with caviar on the top with a crouton.  Neither of us had ever had caviar before the the texture of it almost did me in.  I tried it but this was way too “refined” for my tastes.  It makes me a little worried about our trip to Paris!

Breaded Trout Pontchartrain
This was my lunch and it was fantastic.  Just looking at the picture again makes my mouth water.  Those are grits below the trout and with the wild mushrooms and hollandaise sauce on top of the fish it was fantastic!

Grilled Gulf jumbo Shrimp and Risotto
Jason had the shrimp and risotto and I tried some of it.  It was very good too, but ask you can see the portion was significantly smaller than mine.

Deconstructed Banana Pudding
Apparently the pastry chef came up with this new version of the classic banana pudding.  With freeze dried (I think?) peanut butter and “Nila Wafer” ice cream it was definitely a new experience.  It was a good dessert, but not the best of the weekend.

Overall we loved the ambiance of Restaurant August.  The staff was very attentive and we got great service.  It wasn’t overly crowded at lunch, although we did make reservations ahead of time.  I think the bar area would be really neat to enjoy a pre-dinner drink!  The food was not the best that we had that weekend, but it still ranks pretty highly on my best meals of all-time list!

*Disclaimer: Chef Besh and the people at August have no idea who I am and I was not compensated in any way (other than the complimentary appetizer which I’m led to believe everyone gets).  All opinions and pictures are my own.

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