Opened in October 2001 with native John Besh at the helm, Restaurant August is the only restaurant to be awarded a perfect "5 Bean" score from The ... More
Opened in October 2001 with native John Besh at the helm, Restaurant August is the only restaurant to be awarded a perfect "5 Bean" score from The Times-Picayune in the past two years. Food & Wine bestowed Besh with the honor of "Best New Chef" in 1998. Gourmet magazine's Guide to America's Best Restaurants listed August in its top five picks in New Orleans.
August was one of the few places we found open on Labor Day, and we were delighted. The ambiance was excellent, the food was delicious (especially loved the bread), and the staff were friendly, gracious and helpful. We shared the potato gnocchi with blue crab and black truffle as a first appetizer (very special) and then had the prix fixe lunch menu with Watermelon gazpacho (me), salad of grilled Chilton peaches (my boyfriend), crispy Mangalitsa pork belly (me) and pan seared Gulf sheepshead (my boyfriend) and the tart of local celeste figs (me) plus milk chocolate peanut butter croquant (my boyfriend) and were well pleased with it all. We had some car trouble and the staff jumped in to help us get sorted out. I would go again in a New York minute.
The purpose of our trip to New Orleans was to visit as many of the best restaurants as possible. John Besh’s August (the hurricane came in August) was high on our list. We had what the restaurant calls ““Degustation”, (a) Menu designed nightly by Chef Besh and paired with extraordinary wines.” They suggest allowing 3 hours dinner and ask that the entire table participate in this offering. The servers did an excellent job. From my seat, I could see Chef Besh in the kitchen when the waiters came and went. Near the end of the supper rush, Chef Besh came out and greeted his patrons, which was a nice touch. John is a very nice, friendly and personable a man as you might hope for. As to the food, WOW! Over the various courses, my taste buds thought they were on some Iron Chef challenge, all the courses being very different and all good to great. Who knew I liked squid ink! With the “Degustation”, the courses keep coming and coming with paired wines that tickle the tongue, and stimulate the pallet. I suggest one of the sparkling waters to cleanse the taste buds between courses and wines. If you are doing a restaurant tour, this one should be on your list. Our reservation time was honored promptly, and the wait staff were properly attentive.
I went to Restaurant August very skeptical. As far as I was concerned no restaurant could possibly surpass Jacque-Imo's. The waitstaff was incredibly nice and very knowledgeable. We ordered the oyster appetizer and I ordered the duck (upon recommendation of a friend). I can't even think about it now without my mouth watering. It was incredible. What I love most about the restaurant is that they highlight Louisiana produce and game. You'll never find anything on the menu that cannot be caught, killed or picked in the state. By the way, I love the reviewer who didn't like the fact that the building was old. THIS IS NEW ORLEANS, hon. All of the buildings are old. It's part of the charm. I also would never trust a reviewer who doesn't know how to spell pumpkin.
Just my opinion.
Don't waste your time either. Restaurant August is very over rated. I was there with a group of 7 other people last night. Surprizingly the place was 1/4 occupied. With all the rave reviews I would have expected a whole lot more diners. Its inside an old building; not very impressive. The wait staff are cordial and attentive, but seem to be restricted in knowledge of the limited and strange menu. I say strange because there are so many items on it that I would never eat. Things like sweetbreads, cavier, duck fat, etc. I ordered the beef filet for $38 which came with a small amount of greens and some smoked bone marrow. The filet was tough and hard to cut. It was not very tasty either. I also ordered a strange salad that had some kind of pumkin seed crispy laid on top. It was the only salad on the menu that looked like I knew what was in it. The restrooms are a long way from the dinning area. You have to go up a long old flight of stairs to get to them. It took nearly an hour before we got our main entree. Very disappointing dinning experience. I guess I am more use to normal food. If you really want to experience some good food and service in New Orleans, don't go here. I have lived in New Orleans for 27 years and there are a whole better restaurants then August. Very over rated and hyped up by people that really don't know what good food is. Sorry.