August

301 Tchoupitoulas St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
www.restaurantaugust.com

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August is the flagship of celebrity Chef John Besh’ nine restaurant empire.  In 2012 and 2013 it was nominated for the James Beard “Outstanding Restaurant” award.  With a score of 17/20, it is the highest rated restaurant in New Orleans by Gayot.  We ended up ordering their 5 course Reveillon Menu and started off the evening with a couple of drinks.

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French 75 – Moody June gin, lemon juice, sparkling wine.  The aroma and acidity were enjoyable; the drink was nice and light.

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The Darkly Stormy – Kraken black spiced rum, fresh lime juice, falernum, cane syrup, house-made ginger beer.  The bitterness and spicy ginger were the most prominent flavors in this well crafted cocktail.

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Amuse-bouche – garlic custard, pumpkin mousse, pumpkin seed crumble.  I enjoyed the mix of textures of the dense custard, the light mousse and crunchy crumble.  The pumpkin added a delicate sweetness that went well with the savory custard and salty topping.

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Additional course – crispy fried P&J oysters, wild mushrooms, beef bacon and duck fat aioli.  We wanted to try some local seafood and ended up adding the oysters to the tasting.  The oysters had a crisp exterior with a luxurious, briny center.  The bacon was smoky, the mushrooms earthy and acidic and the aioli was rich with duck flavor.  This was an excellent dish that showcased the fresh, local product.

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1st course – daube glace with foie gras, port reduction and quince marmalade.  The oxtail daube was meaty and paired well with the rich foie.  The marmalade and port reduction added the perfect amount of sugar and acid and the crisp brioche acted as a neutral palette to tame all the bold flavors. This was another superb dish packed with flavor.

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2nd course – brouillade aux truffles, La Provence farmed eggs, Progress Dairy butter, fresh winter truffle.  The eggs were luscious and rich working expertly with the earthy truffle in this classic pairing.

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3rd course – turtle soup “grand mere”, Pedro Ximenez sherry.  I enjoyed the smoky, spicy and sweet flavors in this Créole dish.

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4th course – carved aged Charolais beef rib-eye, oyster dressing.  This was my least favorite dish of the night.  The beef was overcooked and lacked fat making it dry and chewy.  I did however, enjoy the spice from the fresh horseradish and the deep, rich flavors of the sauce.  Given the quality of the other courses the lack of execution in this plate was even more evident.

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5th course – Spielwig chocolate torte, Créole cream cheese, grapefruit, pecan and Satsuma ice cream.  The torte was rich and creamy, the pecans added nice crunch and the grapefruit worked surprisingly well adding a juicy bitter element.  The dessert had a lot going on but everything worked wonderfully.  This was a great dessert and a fantastic close to the meal.

Overall, we enjoyed our meal at August. With the exception of the meat course, every dish was well executed with good flavor.  It is definitely one of the better dining options in New Orleans and worthy of a stop to sample one of Besh’ restaurants.

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