After our lunch at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant I thought we would never be hungry for dinner. Yet somehow we managed to find ourselves ready, willing and able to enjoy a fabulous meal at another one of our favorite places Herbsaint.
Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant was originally opened in 2000 on historic St. Charles Avenue and is the flagship of the Link Restaurant Group. The current Chef de Cuisine Rebecca Wilcomb works closely with local farmers and fishermen so that she can offer contemporary, seasonal French-Southern cuisine with elements of rustic Italian cooking. The restaurant earned Chef Donald Link a James Beard Award for Best Chef South in 2007 and Wilcomb was honored with the same award this year. Herbsaint is proud to be the only restaurant to have been included on the Times-Picayune’s annual list of New Orleans 10 Best Restaurants since the list began in 2003. The restaurant has been recognized by Eater National as one of “The Best Restaurants in America” (the 38 restaurants that defined dining). And it has been added to the Fine Dining Hall of Fame by Nation’s Restaurant News as well as listed as a Top 50 Restaurant in America by Gourmet Magazine.
As has frequently been our custom we decided to share a whole bunch of menu items. We started off with an item from the specials menu – Whole Head Lettuces with Green Goddess Vinaigrette, Shaved Radishes and Pistachios. The portion was so huge it could have been a meal in itself. Good thing we were sharing. Well, maybe not. I could have easily eaten all of it, it was just that good.
But then of course I would never have been able to enjoy all of the rest of our order. Like the Cornmeal Fried Oysters with Coleslaw and Hot Sauce which was just perfection on a plate. The hot sauce tasted a bit like Crystal Hot Sauce only fresher and slightly hotter. The coating on the oysters was the ideal contrast of crunch to the creaminess of the mollusk. The hot sauce brought the heat and the slaw cooled it down.
Next up was the Beef Short Rib with Potato Rösti, Salsa Verde and Horseradish Cream. The rich earthy meat was like butter and the garlicky salsa verde just added to the enticing flavor. The potatoes were so crisp and the horseradish cream gave them a nice tang and rounded out the dish. We followed that with Housemade Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Farm Egg which was a real show stopper. The egg added not only a richness to the sauce as it oozed out and blended in but it also gave the dish texture. Reminiscent of Spaghetti alla Carbonara and yet different. Making those eggs must be a very delicate process. First they are poached and then given a blanket of panko before being plunged into a hot bubbling bath of oil in the fryer to turn them a gorgeous golden brown. Do I dare try this at home?
And to add the proverbial icing to the cake we shared the Malted Milk Chocolate Mousse with Malted Crème Anglaise create by Herbsaint’s Pastry Chef Maggie Scales and a wheelbarrow to get us to our car!
Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant
701 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130