Sunday, February 22, 2009

Restaurant August

Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas St.,
New Orleans, LA 70130

I had seen John Besh cook in the show, "The Next Iron Chef" and thought his food was creative and interesting, so as soon as I knew I was going to New Orleans I made a reservation at his restaurant. We opted for the five course tasting and in addition I also ordered the wine pairing.

amuse bouche

Warm salad of pieds du cochon
veal sweetbreads, hearts of palm and black truffle
Marquis de Perlade, Pierre Sparr, Brut, Alsace, Sparkling N.V.

This was a great opening dish. The sweetbreads were crunchy on the outside, perfectly seasoned and moist and tender on the inside. The pieds du cochon we meaty and provided a textural contrast to the sweetbreads and the hearts of palm tied the whole dish together with a crispness and a freshness with the microgreens providing a little acid to cut through the richness of the cochon and sweetbreads. The wine was just slighly sweet, sparkling and refreshing to help cleanse the palate.

yard egg raviolo with brown butter and sage
Pinot Blanc, Robert Foley, Napa Valley, 2007

The raviolo was like a treasure waiting to be opened. Once you cut into it, the warm egg yolf came spilling out mixing with the brown butter.With each spoonful you get two different kinds of richness and a luxurious texture, but it was not heavy. It was like having an egg sunnyside up at a greasy spoon after a night of partying. The trufflewas earthy and did not let the dish get out of control. The wine was dry to cut through the richness and reset your mouth for the next bite. Yum!

Lacquered Berkshire pork belly with
Lousiana crawfish, olives and blood orange
Bourgogne, "Laforet," Joseph Droubin, 2006

It's pork belly what more of a description do you need? This pork belly was cooked nicely and had a lot of flavor. The main thing that made this interesting was the use of olives. The pork belly was seasoned well, but when you added some olive to the the fork; it added a saltiness that almost changed the flavor to more like bacon. I have never had that combination before, it was great.

Slow braised kobe beef short rib
rapini, baby root vegestable and rosti potato
Cabernet Savignon, Ehlers Estate, St. Helena, Napaa valley, 2005

The progression of each dish was awesome until this course. It was a beef short rib that was braised. It was tasty, but had one note flavor. I did not really like the rosti potato, it was like a soggy gnocchi.

Napoloen of nougatine
with Valhrona chocolate bavarois
and salted toffee ice cream
Orange Blossom Muscat, "Essensia" Quady, Madera 2005

Things finished well with dessert. The muscat had a nice floral scent to and an orange color to it. The way this dessert was construct when you cut straight down into it, the flavors, temperature and textures varied. First you get the sweet, slightly salty, cold ice cream, then the crunchy, slightly chewy nougatine layer, and then the rich bavarian cream at the bottom. The muscat matched well with the dessert, but was a little too thicj and syrupy. A good dessert overall.

Closing desserts