Besh Steak (Central Business District, New Orleans, LA)
I recently relocated to San Antonio…a short term career move, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying food! I was really missing home and “the Chef” surprised me this past weekend…There are quite a few great restaurants here ranging from great pizza joints (like Dough and Fralo’s), delicious BBQ, and Mexican food, but nothing here resembling NOLA cuisine. Luke was the next best thing…home away from home. New Orleans cuisine isn’t just comprised of gool ol’ Cajun seafood, gumbo, jambalaya, and poboys. There’s quite a bit of French influence as well…one of my favorite cuisines! Although Luke on the Riverwalk had a little of it’s own San Antonio twist, the food and feel brought me back into the CBD (City Business District) of New Orleans…
Grilled Watermelon. Dried Cherry Compote. 14-month Tejano Ham. Arugula, Fried Goat Cheese.
Cup of Gumbo.
Crispy Slow Cooked Pork. Green Beans. Toasted Almonds. Poached Egg. Spicy Butter Dressing.
Baked Texas Coast Oysters on the Half Shell, Shrimp, and Crab Gratin.
Hanger Steak. Steak-Frites. Garlic and Herb Butter. I know, it looks like a teaser, but I actually split this dish with the boyfriend so there’s more than appears on this plate!
*NOTE: not pictured are the raw oysters (which were inhaled immediately)… large, fresh, and delicious!
The food was delicious! Although we ordered a feast of food, everything was refreshing and very flavorful. The only downside is the cost $$$-$$$$. It’s an experience, regardless! Luke is one of my favorite restaurants in New Orleans so I had very high expectations for this location. San Antonio is a beautiful city…very scenic hills, beautiful riverwalk and luckily for me, John Besh brought this delicious gem to the city!
Chef John Besh does it again! I’ve heard about Borgne by word of mouth, but what really inspired me to go try it out for myself was when I tried the Oyster Amandine at New Orleans Oyster Festival at Woldenburg Park 2012 (click for pictures). I swear, festival food is always the best..Have you ever heard of the law of Diminishing returns? Basically, when applied to food, it means serving food in small bites that leave your palate longing for more…so when I tried multiple miniscule oyster dishes at the festival, you can only imagine how I felt when I only got to enjoy a BITE of Oysters Amandine…After that experience, I’ve had high expectations for Borgne…
Panoramic restaurant view.
Early for lunch…
Duck Poppers. Jalapeno. Bacon.
Slow Smoked Pork Empanadas. White BBQ Sauce.
Sopa Ajo (Garlic Soup). Garlic Soup. Idiazabal Cheese. Cured Egg Yolk.
Honeysuckle Hotty. Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka. Hot Chamomile Tea. (Missing: Sugar Candy pop)
Marinated Crab Fingers. Bread Salad. Torn Herbs.
Ragout of Louisiana Rabbit (Lunch Special). Orecchiette Pasta. Garlic. Tomatoes. Rapini. Reminds me a lot of the Spicy Lamb Meatball dish at Domenica’s except with rabbit!
Fried P&J Oysters Amandine. Grilled Mushrooms. Wilted Spinach. Oh..the delicious Oysters Amandine…Delicious and LOADED with cornmeal crusted oysters!
Seared Jumbo Shrimp. Brandade Ravioli. Shrimp Chorizo Consomme. Brussel Sprouts. Pumpkin. Chick Peas.
Pecan Praline Beignets.
My favorite dishes had to be anything with oysters: Charbroiled oysters and Oysters Amandine. I also LOVED the Pork Empanadas...Honestly, I hadn’t known much about Spanish or Mexican food until I relocated to Texas and since then, I just LOVE it. It’s just so rich, but can be so refreshing at the same time.
What didn’t I like? We had a grapefruit sorbet (not pictured) that was definitely homemade, but the fruit itself was not ripe and left a not-so-enjoyable bitter aftertaste. Another item I could’ve done without was the Honeysuckle Hotty. My girlfriend said the same about her cocktail so if anything, I would suggest grabbing a local beer like NOLA Brewing. I really like the blonde ale..it’s lighter and goes great with the food at Borgne.
Overall, good meal! I feel like Borgne’s menu is a boiling pot of Domenica and Luke…The rusticness of Luke together the Italian refinement of Domenica. If you’re in the CBD and looking for a fine lunch, Borgne is a great place to try!
After hearing rave reviews, I just had to try it. Tucked onto a corner, Coquette adds a little character to the street. Outside it almost looks like a French Quarter home. Inside…very romantic feel…brickwalls, candlelit tables. There was a bar that took up almost half the restaurant, but who’s complaining?? haha..
Now let’s get to the food….
Bread and Butter!
Pork Belly Fritters.
Duck Breast. Roasted Fennel. English Peas. Citrus.
Black Drum. Crawfish tails. Green Asparagus. Ricotta gnocchi.
Old Fashioned Donut. Huckleberries. Oatmeal Crunch. Sour Cream Ice Cream.
On the house treat. Some sort of jelly swirl…very light treat to a delicious meal! Don’t be fooled like I did, the cup is filled with sand and serves as a holder for the lollipops! There’s nothing edible in there…=P
Everything was delicious. Simplistic yet flavorful. Light, so you’re not overwhelmed with flavors. I don’t think I’ve seen dishes like this anywhere else in New Orleans so their dishes are definitely original. Only disadvantage was the small portions, but I have quite the appetite so that most likely explains that!
Root…a hip new restaurant just came to town! It’s in the Warehouse District so it’s definitely got a city vibe…the old brick walls, wooden floors, casual cool atmosphere. So cool, I even noticed the waiters and waitresses all had Converses on! haha…Of course, I would notice something like that. I liked it…it’s very chill. Great for a relaxing night on the town…no fancy clothes, no fancy occasions, just bring your grumblin’ tummies…
Amuse Bouche. Asian-inspired dish w/ Salmon Sashimi. Fresh Herbs.
Smoked Cornmeal Encrusted Louisiana Oysters. Andouille Spoon Bread. Manchego Foam.
"KFC" Korean Fried Chicken Wings. Pepper Jelly glaze. Kimchi.
Black Lacquered Duck Tortellini. Indian Orange Mascarpone. Toasted Pine Nuts. Vanilla Tapioca. Black Duck Tea.
Nice presentation! The scallops come in this vintage looking cigar box…it helps to hold the smoke in the box so the scallops absorb every bit of smokey flavor. Let’s just say..it does the job! The scallops were delicious!
Cohiba Smoked Scallops. Chorizo Dust. Carmelized Cauliflower. Fennel Choucroute.
Hanger Steak. Crispy Sweetbreads. Sweet Kumquat Bordelaise. Pommes Frites.
Sweet Corn Caramel Flan. Salted Corn and Caramel Ice Cream. Vanilla Milk Foam. “Cracker Jacks”
Strawberry Delight. Toasted Almond Cake. Smoked Black Tea Honey Crunch. Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream. Strawberry Gel. Fizzy Rock.
Root’s menu is extremely creative and the presentation is just superb. I love the way Chef Phillip Lopez throws together such diverse elements and combines them to build flavors that work together so well like the duck tortellini (pictured above). Vanilla tapioca and Black duck tea?? Who woulda thought? And it tastes so good! The only downside I found was the desserts…Lots of elements and full of different flavors, but I felt it didn’t come together like it should have.
Overall, a very enjoyable meal. Innovative dishes. Great atmosphere. So if you’re feeling like refreshing your palate with delicious food that you can’t find anywhere else, go to the root of it all….Root, in the Warehouse District.
Luke is one of John Besh's restaurants and if you know about JB…you know all of his restaurants are sure to please! It's a nice restaurant located inside the Hilton St. Charles Hotel in the CBD. It's filled with businessmen discussing work over some fine food…It's a different setting from your usual New Orleans feel, but I like it!
Baked P&J Oysters. Herbsaint, persillade crust.
Found a pearl in my oyster!
Fried Oyster, Bacon, Romaine & Avocado Salad. Could not get enough of the oysters. They’re coated in a seasoned cornmeal batter that is so delicately crispy…and then you bite into the fat, juicy oyster. The applewood bacon was nice and thick…great flavors all together!
Omelette of Local Crabmeat. My favorite brunch menu item! Filled with asparagus, crabmeat, and creme fraiche.
Gaufrettes. Light and crispy, perfect for the omelette!
Moules et Frites. I can’t get enough of these mussels…the buttery, herbacious (if that’s a word!) bowl of mussels. It’s bigger than you think, so it’s definitely shareable. Save your bread for the oh so delicious sauce on the bottom!
Even though the setting is more business, the dishes here make me feel at home… Besh really knows how to keep it simple, but still have the ability to make the food burst with flavor in your mouth! The flavors are so deep and rich…I don’t know how else to say it! Dinners are delicious as well, but I’ll save my thoughts for another day =)
Stanley’s is a casual dining restaurant that branched off of Chef Boswell’s very own, Stella!. They serve good ol’ New Orleans comfort food and are best known for their delicious brunch menu. It’s located in Jackson’s Square and has a beautiful view of the St. Louis Cathedral. Since I discovered it, I’ve come here several times and introduced it to friends and out of towners who absolutely LOVE it. I love classic and simple dishes and Stanley brings that to the table with just a touch of New Orleans!
I was on a brunch date with a childhood friend of mine and of all the years she’s lived in the city, she had never been to Stanley’s so it was obvious that I should take her here. The last time I came to Stanley’s I devoured the most scrumptious Oyster Poboy ever so I was torn when I had to decide between the Eggs Stanley or the P&J Oyster Poboy. So we compromised and got the Poor boy Sliders, which offers a sample each poboy!
Poboy Sliders: Club Stanley, Korean BBQ Beef, and Oyster Poboy
Eggs Stanley! Cornmeal-crusted Oysters, Poached Eggs, Canadian bacon, and Creole Hollandaise on English Muffin.
A classic Eggs Benedict with Oysters. I don’t know where they get their oysters from, but they are so big! It’s not even JUST the oysters, but the cornmeal batter is just delectable. Not too heavy, crispy crunch, and seasoned perfectly! The hollandaise was just right..not too creamy and not too tangy (a problem I’ve had at other brunch joints).
Breaux Bridge Benedict. Charlie T’s Boudin, Smoked Ham, American Cheese, Poached Eggs, and Creole Hollandaise.
Typically, this dish doesn’t come with oysters, but clearly, we love them ersters! ;P This dish is more on the savory side. “The Chef” loves his Boudin so this is his favorite.
Whether you’re a local spending the day in the city or a tourist wandering the French Quarter, Stanley’s Restaurant is worth your visit. They don’t take reservations, but normally they turn tables over rather quickly, so while you wait, enjoy the sights or even grab a drink next door at Stanley’s bar. I guarantee you’ll love this place as much as I do!
Since Valentine’s Day was right around the corner, it’s only appropriate that I share my Vday dinner!
For Vday we went to Ralph’s On the Park, located in New Orleans’ historic City Park. Ralph’s is owned by the Brennan family, a New Orleans’ culinary family. If you want to experience geniune New Orleans flavors, visit a Brennan’s family restaurant. This one is one of the many typically known for their brunch.
Blue Crab Beignets masa fried oysters, pan seared pork belly, Meyer lemon gastrique
American Wagyu Beef Belly star anise and juniper, cranberry-infused worcestershire glaze
Honey Mussels (Aphrodisiac menu) tagliatelle pasta, fennel sausage, saffron, fresh herbs, tomatoes, white wine
Oysters Aphrodite (Aphrodisiac menu) w/ spicy pepper jelly cream
Salmon Roulade w/ lobster and white chocolate filling, wilted spinach, salmon roe, vanilla bean beurre blanc
The meal was delicious! My favorite had to be the Wagyu…it just melts into a seasoned butter in your mouth. I love the detail of flavors that Ralph’s brought to my plate. I will definitely return…especially since I have yet to try this epic brunch that everyone talks about!