February 20, 2012

My Best 24 Hours of Eating Out

In honor of Mardi Gras, I'm finally going to post the tales of my fantastic New Orleans dining. I had my best 24 hours of eating out in New Orleans, where I ate at August for lunch, Cochon for dinner, and Brennan's for breakfast.

Starting with August: The only picture I took was outside the restaurant. August's website describes their location as an historic four-story “French-Creole” building from the 1800s, with a rich interior of hardwood floors, soaring columns, mahogany paneling, monumental floral arrangements, and antique mirrors and chandeliers.

Restaurant August

I took my camera inside, but somehow I felt uncomfortable about snapping photos with a loud SLR and disrupting other guests in the pristine, white linen and silver fork restaurant. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. Pulling out the camera could only have cheapened my experience.

But here are the details about what I ate and links to photos taken by diners with less scruples but better photography skills.
  • First, the waiter brought me an amuse bouche, courtesy of the chef. It was a seafood custard with sabayon and caviar inside an eggshell. Photo Here. Elegant and delicious.
  • The first course was the pâté de campagne (country pâté) of La Provence pork, with toast points, greens, and seasonal marmalades. Photo on Right. The pâté was very good, rich and meaty with a hint of acidity. How did they cook the toast points so evenly?
  • The chief course was lamb belly on braised mustard greens. Photo.
  • For dessert, I had the milk chocolate peanut butter croquant with salted caramel and McEwen’s buttered popcorn ice cream. Photo. It was like a really good candy bar. I thought the dessert was the weakest of the courses. I probably ordered the wrong thing.
For something completely different, I went to Cochon for dinner, which had a very different vibe. Their website describes their location as a rustic, yet contemporary interior of a renovated New Orleans warehouse. Simply decorated. Very casual. Fairly loud. I loved it.


I started with the wood-fired oyster roast. I love oysters anyway, but these were superb. I used my bread to sop up the spicy butter left behind in the half shells. I ordered an Abita root beer. And then I had another. I'd walked the mile from my hotel on Canal to Tchoupitoulas St. in the New Orleans heat and humidity and I felt justified to load up on Louisiana cane sugar.

Cochon Wood-fired Oyster Roast

My main course was the Louisiana Cochon with Turnips, Cabbage, and Cracklins, which is pulled pork, formed into a patty and seared, served with turnips and cabbage, and topped with pork cracklins! Amazing!

Louisiana Cochon with Turnips, Cabbage, & Cracklins

When you're at a restaurant this good and the waitress asks you if you want dessert, the only correct answer is "Hell yes!" I got the Blueberry Buckle with Vanilla and Salted Caramel Sauces. If memory serves, that streusel had cracklins in it, too!

Cochon Blueberry Buckle

I'd never had blueberry buckle before, but that dessert was so fantastic that I had to try my hand at making it when I got home. Plated with Smuckers caramel sauce and a good helping of sea salt. It was actually pretty marvelous.

Blueberry Buckle with Salted Caramel Sauce

Next up, Brennan's!

1 comment:

Auntie said...

Ahh, August! We were watching John Besh on PBS last week. I had to stop Uncle from jumping up and licking his new giant flat screen tv.

And Cochon! I'd call that pigging out!