Herbsaint Bar Restaurant (Lafayette Square, New Orleans, LA)

Years ago, my fiance and I went to Herbsaint and had the best bread ever. It was a buttery sourdough-type bread and we requested tons of it. We might’ve even taken some home! Every time I hear or think of Herbsaint, I think of that buttery soft bite…

Now, years later, we hope to have a bite of that same bread again…

IMG_5711e

Amuse Bouche. Fried Shrimphead.

IMG_5714e

Sourdough & Focaccia. 

IMG_5716e

Soup of the day: Lump Crab meat Gazpacho 

IMG_5717e

Gumbo of the Day: Duck Gumbo. 

IMG_5721e

Beef Short Rib with Potato Rösti. Salsa Verde. Horseradish Cream.

IMG_5723e

Rabbit Fricassee. Garganelli. Bacon. Pumpkin. Madeira.

IMG_5719e

Gnocchi. Pancetta. Parmesan broth.

IMG_5726e

Seared Drum with risotto. 

If you’re wondering if we got that buttery bread this time, we sure did! Not in the same amount as we did before since the focaccia bread was pretty delicious too. As for the meal, every dish was so great, that I have to share my thoughts on each dish.Let’s start from the first dish. I’m not the biggest fan of cold soups, but we ordered the lump crab meat gazpacho and it was amazing! It was light, refreshing, and herbacious. I had low expectations, but that was wiped out completely and I almost ate all of “The Chef”‘s portion.

The Gumbo is a must! Herbsaint creates gumbo with a darker, deeper roux, which adds so much flavor. Just get it.

The Beef Short ribs were so moist and the salsa verde was herby and refreshing. For such a rich and savory dish, you never would have thought that it would be so refreshing. Loved it!

The Rabbit Fricassee came in a small cast iron bowl and didn’t look like much, but that bite! That first bite was moist rabbit with a delicate pasta, wrapped in a coating of Madeira sauce. mMm! I can really still taste it.

The Gnocchi was just as good. Gnocchi is a dish that if not seasoned and sauced properly, it can be very bland and boring. Not this Gnocchi! The pancetta added a perfect saltiness and the parmesan broth added a nice, rich finish.

The fish of the day was a drum that was seared to perfection. It was moist and was completed by the most flavorful risotto! This risotto had an Asian flare, but with a French refinement. Even though we were stuffed at this point, I still couldn’t stop eating this risotto.

Judging by my list, pictures, and tummy that night, we probably over ordered. If we didn’t order the last dish, I would have definitely had room for dessert. Either way, the whole meal was worth every penny and remaining belly space. From one dish to another, not a single one had any ounce of disappointment. Now, when I think of Herbsaint, I’ll remember that soft bite of bread I ate right before probably one of my most memorable food experiences…

spoonspoonspoonspoonspoon

Rating: 5/5 spoons!

Herbsaint Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Biscuits & Buns on Banks (Mid-City, New Orleans, LA)

It’s the weekend and I can’t stress enough how much I love brunch. I can eat brunch any time of day. So I was excited to eat here!

Biscuits & Buns on Banks is a new brunch spot that’s been open for about a year now. There was a bit of a wait, but outside there’s some seating and coffee while you wait. 3 or 4 groups were ahead of us, but we waited no more than 25 minutes. It could be more or less depending on what time of day or how busy they may get…

IMG_5880e

IMG_5887e

Mini Biscuits. Steen’s Cane Syrup & Butter.

IMG_5890e

3 Egg omelette with mushrooms, onions, and crabmeat.

IMG_5893e

Abita glazed pot roast and debris. Over grits. I added an egg!

Normally, the chef and I would order a variety of things, but thank goodness we didn’t! The portion sizes are large and trust me, I can eat, but for the first time in a long time, we had to take home to-go boxes. The omelette was great…we stuffed it with our favorite things: spinach, onions, mushrooms, and crabmeat. I love crabmeat…

My favorite dish was without a doubt, the Abita glazed pot roast and debris. Order it over grits and add an egg. So scrumptious. Every bite you can tell was so bad, but oh so good! This was the dish that I had to take home and it made the best leftovers the next morning especially since the grits just marinated in the debris and goodness overnight. The biscuit is delicious as well. I kind of wish they toasted their biscuits a bit, because it was so good when I toasted it at home. Be sure to order the jelly with your biscuits.

It’s too bad we couldn’t order more so I could get a little taste of everything. The next items I’m eyeing are the Grilled Brie on Waffles with blueberry compote. That’s a combination I can’t turn down! Another would be the BBB Seafood Etouffee over house biscuit/grits.

You can tell the owner is very involved and very friendly. Keep it up! The menu is great with a variety of delicious brunch options. I can’t wait to come back for another filling meal!

spoonspoonspoonspoonspoon point 5

Rating: 4.5/5 spoons
biscuits & buns on banks on Urbanspoon

IVY (Garden District, New Orleans, LA)

IVY has replaced Vizard’s, a local fine dining place that “The Chef” and I still love to this day. Unfortunately, Vizard’s is no longer, but in memory, click here for my post of their closing meal: Vizard’s. It was a successful and delicious fine dining restaurant until the owner’s made a personal decision to close the doors.

Now that Ivy has replaced one of our favorite restaurants, we had to try it and see if it was worthy of the location…

IMG_5392e

There wasn’t much to revamp on the outside, but they put a trendy touch on the inside. It’s a very small restaurant and we felt it was a bit too modern feeling on the inside so we opted for outdoor seating.

IMG_5395e

IMG_5400e

Swiss Chard, Beet, and Feta Empanadas. Mint Crème fraiche.

IMG_5403e

Warm Snow Crab claws. Truffle Butter.

IMG_5404e

Parker House rolls. Fleur de Sel.

IMG_5406e

IMG_5408e

Apple and Endive Salad. Candied Walnuts. Buttermilk Herb dressing.

IMG_5409e

Panéed Rabbit. Buttermilk biscuits. Pickles. Spicy Honey Butter.

IMG_5413e

Oxtail gratin. Gruyere. Carmelized onion. Grilled Ciabatta.

IMG_5414e

Wedding Cake for two. Ice cream.

With the weather cooling down South, dining outside was perfect! I felt the inside was a bit stuffy and that night they had some too-cool-for-me type elevator music. The food? DE. LISH. The menu is divided into small plate portions, which are perfect for sharing. Of course, each small plate is good to share between two, so order accordingly.

One notable dish was the Warm Crab Claws in truffle butter. I mean, how can you say “no” to truffle butter. There were actual chunks of the truffle in the butter. This wasn’t your ordinary truffle-infused oil. It had real truffle! If you get the Crab Claws, I HIGHLY recommend that you order the Parker House rolls. Yes, you do have to order them, but it’s SO worth it. I spread some butter on the roll and dipped it in the truffle butter…What a memorable bite!

Next, I loved the Oxtail gratin. It was perfectly crisped Ciabatta with the most epic combination of cheese and moist Oxtail.

The Paneed Rabbit was a great protein dish as well. The flavors were well-balanced and the pickles just added to the dish. Against our waiters recommendation, we ordered the wedding cake. It was good, but the icing was a bit sweet just like he warned us. His actual recommendation was the Apple-Pear Crisp and Ginger Ice Cream so I would recommend that over the cake.

With so much to the live up to, Ivy did really well! I love the French/New Orleans tapas-style menu. It’s a taste of everything as opposed to the boredom one large entrée. It’s a small restaurant so small groups are recommended, however, if reservations are made in advance, I’m sure they can accompany larger groups too.

spoon spoonspoonspoon

Rating: 4/5 spoons
Ivy on Urbanspoon

Ignatius Eatery (Magazine St., New Orleans, LA)

It’s the weekend and there’s nothing I look forward to more than weekend brunch. Call me a fatty! Ignatius Eatery is a very homey brunch restaurant on Magazine St. It’s the perfect blend of Southern cooking meets breakfast. Quite a few years ago, this spot was a coffee house called Rue De La Course. It’s where I spent my undergraduate days studying. It brought back so many memories…coffee, school, and what I thought at the time was the worst stress I’ve ever felt. Now, Ignatius has taken what I remembered to be this little coffee shop and revamped those old memories into a different kind of hangout spot…

 

IMG_5198e

 

IMG_5200e

 

 

IMG_5201e

Shrimp Remoulade Salad. Shrimp. Cucumbers. Grape Tomatoes.

 

IMG_5203e

Poche’s Pork and Jalapeno Boudin. Creole mustard.

 

IMG_5211e

Creole Seafood Gumbo. 

 

IMG_5215e

 Corn and Crab Bisque. 

 

IMG_5218e

Crab Omelette. 3 egg omelette. Creole Cream Cheese. Local crab meat. Stone ground grits. Fresh fruit.

 

IMG_5219

Tons of crabmeat!

Not pictured above, but the restaurant even kept Rue De La Course’s old coffee mugs, which I thought was a really nice touch. Years ago, this place was filled with college kids intensely studying for their next big test, but now I see a different crowd…middle-aged folks, retirees, and couples like “The Chef” and I.

It’s homey, but the food is refined. I really loved the omelette dish, because it had tons of crabmeat! The grits were cheesy and delicious. The Shrimp and Remoulade Salad is also a great choice and it went so well with the gumbo. I was slightly disappointed with my Corn & Crab bisque, since it wasn’t thickened like I expect chowder to be. It probably needed to be reduced down a bit more…

Overall, everything was the perfect mix of South Louisiana meets brunch. I would love to come back to try the Dinner menu.

spoonspoonspoonspoon point 5

Rating: 3.5/5 spoons

 

Ignatius Eatery on Urbanspoon

Meauxbar Bistro (French Quarter, New Orleans, LA)

Meauxbar is a trendy bar and restaurant located in the French Quarter. There’s definitely a mixed crowd…businessmen, couples, and large groups. It’s fitting for most groups except young families, obviously! The customer service was superb! We received awesome recommendations from our waitress and the rest followed…

IMG_4566e

 

IMG_4567e

Sweetbreads. Toasted Brioche. Roasted Sunflower Seed Butter. Pickled Strawberries. Madeira Demi Glace.

 

IMG_4568e

Pork Belly & Watermelon. Red Wine Vinaigrette. Pickled Watermelon Rind. Arugula.

 

IMG_4572e

Chicken Liver Pate. Roasted Beet Caviar. Grilled Bellgarde Bread.

 

IMG_4577e

Moules-frites. Pastis. Fennel.

 

IMG_4581e

Basil Semifreddo. Basil Lime Syrup. Louisiana Melon. Coconut Tuile.

(Not pictured here is the Chocolate & Salted Caramel Dacquoise)

The menu offered many small and large plates. I prefer to choose many small plates…it teases your taste buds, in a good way! My favorite dish was the sweetbreads.They were large and juicy…just the way I like it.  I’ve had my fair share of sweetbreads and here in Louisiana, and we tend to do a light, herby and buttery sauce, but Chef Kristen Kessig prepared it with a deeper flavored sauce, which was different and I loved it.

Of the desserts my favorite was the Basil Semifreddo. As simple and light as this dessert may sound, it’s packed with layers of flavors and was recommended by Chef Kessig herself! The Chocolate & Salted Caramel was delicious too. I mean, how can chocolate cake and salted caramel not be delicious?

Overall, “The Chef” and I had such a great experience. It was a great environment for date night and the food left us satiated, yet wanting more!

 

spoonspoonspoonspoon

Rating: 4/5 spoons

 

Meauxbar Bistro on Urbanspoon

Three Muses (French Quarter, New Orleans, LA)

I’ve always had such a great time on Frenchmen St. Live music. Great eats. Art. Best of all? It’s where the locals go! I love the diversity of restaurants, bars, and dives. There’s an Art Market on Thursday to Sunday nights. At Three Muses on this particular night, Luke Winslow King was performing. They did their own twist on modern songs as well as their own folk-jazzy-blues songs haha…That was the best way I could describe it. It was the perfect night for a few drinks…

 

IMG_4897e

West Bank Daiquiri. Flor de Cana. Pineapple Lemongrass Syrup. Lime Juice.

 

 

IMG_4916e

Minor Swing Margarita. Hibiscus/Jalepeno-infused Cabeza Tequila. Solerno. Lime. Grapefruit Soda. Spiced Salt.

 

IMG_4889e

Earl Grey Gardens. Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka. Earl Grey Syrup. Lemon Soda. Thyme.

 

IMG_4900e

LA Blue Crab Rangoon. Sweet Chili-Pineapple Sauce.

 

IMG_4903e

Two Run Farms Lamb Sliders.  Tomato Chutney. Herbed Goat Cheese.

 

IMG_4904e

Gulf Fish Tacos. Citrus-Cumin Slaw. Cotija. Aioli Verde Corn Tortillas.

 

IMG_4908e

Beer Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly. Apple Chutney. Scallion Pancakes.

 

IMG_4914e

Sweet Potato Flan. Ameretti Cookie. Whipped Cream.

 

Everything from the meal to the environment was great! The restaurant is really small and there is initially a wait outside before you can wait inside by the bar.”The Chef” and I met a spontaneous Irish couple, while waiting to enter the bar. They were visiting New Orleans and it was so refreshing to bump into complete strangers on the most random of nights.  Gotta love NOLA! After waiting at the bar a while, then you’re seated. Grab a drink while you wait. They’re delicious! I had the West Bank Daiquiri, Earl Grey Gardens, and the Minor Swing Margarita. My favorite was the Earl Grey Gardens. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Margarita.

All of the dish concepts were an international fusion of foods, but were executed so well! Of the dishes that we ordered, I really enjoyed the Crab Rangoons, Fish tacos, and last but not least, the Sweet Potato Flan.

If you’re looking for a great hangout, good music, and delicious food, Three Muses is the spot! Keep in mind that it’s really small and it’s better suited for small groups.

Cheers! To great food and good company!

 

spoonspoonspoonspoon

Rating: 4/5 spoons

 
Three Muses on Urbanspoon

Maurepas Foods (Bywater, New Orleans, LA)

Late night dining is always so hard to find, especially on a weekday. Maurepas Foods is open 11 AM to 12 AM so it was a perfect place to catch dinner with “The Chef” right after work. The feel is very hip and it’s located in the Bywater area, which is booming with new restaurants!

 

IMG_4637e

Tequila. Rose. Lemon. Grapefruit. Bonal Gentiane.

 

IMG_4642e

Bread. Chili Butter.

 

IMG_4644e

Chicken Leg Quarter. Grits. Market Greens. Slow-poached Egg.

 

IMG_4647e

Goat Tacos. Pickled Green Tomatoes. Cilantro Harissa.

 

IMG_4650e

Sauces.

 

First off, I loved the chili butter! Butter with chili oil..two sinful goodies all in one, then spread over bread. Mmm! The chicken leg quarter was very homey and moist. If you like goat and are into gamey flavors, then the tacos are for you! Goat meat is definitely an acquired taste, but is definitely worth a shot if it’s your first time because it’s the perfect transition via taco. I will have to say the food menu is limited, but the quality and value is there!

 

spoonspoonspoonspoon point 5

Rating: 3.5/5 spoons
Maurepas Foods on Urbanspoon

Maïs Arepas (CBD, New Orleans, LA)

What I usually love about New Orleans is the intermingling of flavors, but what I love about Maïs Arepas is actually the opposite. I love the authenticity of everything. One cuisine we don’t see much of around here is Colombian. I haven’t been to Colombia nor do I claim to know the cuisine very well, but what I do know is that I want more…

 

IMG_4669e

The Bar. 

 

IMG_4670e

Magarita! 

 

IMG_4672e

Empanadas Caleñas. Colombian-style yellow cornmeal pies. Shredded beef. Sofrito & Papa criolla. Aji Valluno.

 

IMG_4674e

Open Sesame!

 

IMG_4677e

Arepa Sampler. Trio of mini Arepas: Shredded skirt steak with Hogao valluno/Pulled pork with Aji & cotija cheese/Shredded Chicken with avocado & green peppers

 

IMG_4678e

Maiz de la Rueda. Grilled maïs on the cob. Spicy butter. Aioli. Cotija Cheese.

 

IMG_4685e

Marinera Arepas. Grilled jumbo shrimp. Citrus Creole slaw. Avocado. Pink Sauce.

 

I am trying to find words to describe the delight in each bite I had that day and I’m at a loss for words. Honestly, the pictures say it for me…But in case it hasn’t caught your eye yet, the arepas (pronounced: a-ray-pahs) are cornmeal-based pita-like bread that is stuffed with flavorful Columbian seasoned meats like braised pork, juicy beef, or even shrimp. There’s a variety to choose from! The corn was probably THE best corn I’ve had…seasoned so well. So buttery…And lastly, the empanadas were cornmeal-crusted, which was refreshing and very similar to the arepas.

What I love about Maïs Arepas is the attention to plating, that you don’t typically see in more rustic-style foods. Normally, the food speaks for itself, but here, everything from the plating, the smells, and the flavors spoke to you. 

 

spoonspoonspoonspoonspoon

Rating: 5/5 spoons!

 

Maïs Arepas on Urbanspoon

Bradley’s Fine Diner (The Heights, Houston, TX)

At my first visit to Bradley’s, “The Chef” and I didn’t realize that Bradley’s Fine Diner was a play on “fine dining” so we were a bit underdressed. (Click here for our first Bradley’s experience!) Fortunately, the setting is actually more casual to business casual than “fancy” or “cocktail”. It was at this visit that the waiter told us that Bradley’s Fine Diner was a play on fine dining. Haha for some reason, I didn’t catch on at first, but now I get it!  Honestly, I could care less about dress or decor. I come for the food!

It was Restaurant Week in Houston so there were some options to choose from on their tasting menu…

 

IMG_4298e

Bradley’s Caesar. Whole leaf romaine. Parmesan. Croutons.

 

IMG_4299e

Popcorn Shrimp. Watermelon. Cilantro. Chili-lime aioli.

 

IMG_4301e

Pan Roasted Trout. Corn relish. Cherry tomatoes. Brown Butter Caper Sauce.

 

IMG_4302e

Yankee Pot Roast. Garlic Mashed potatoes. Roasted baby carrots. Buttered breadcrumbs.

 

IMG_4304e

Chocolate Banana Cake. Chocolate Cookie crumble. Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

 

IMG_4305e

Bradley’s Butterscotch Pudding. Brown Sugar Rosemary Cookie.

 

Yum. What else can I say? Everything was presented beautifully and well-composed. The flavors were on point. From the tasting menu that we ordered, my favorites were the Popcorn Shrimp, the Pot Roast, and the Butterscotch Pudding. Being a Southern girl and coming from a place where seafood is exorbitant and prepared just “a bit” differently, I’d have to say that the fish was a little under-seasoned for my taste but is probably great for West Coast palates. Down South, we tend to “blacken” our fish and it could be overwhelming for milder palates, but Bradley’s fish was a more delicate and refined dish. Still, very good! “The Chef” ordered one dessert and I ordered another so we’d have a variety, but I really wish we ordered two of the Butterscotch Puddings. It was surprisingly delightful…and I wish I didn’t have to share it! 

What can I say? I’ve been here twice and I’ve enjoyed every bite! Why are you still here? Set your reservation tonight!

 

spoonspoonspoonspoon

Rating: 4/5 spoons

 
Bradley's Fine Diner on Urbanspoon