Herbsaint, in the New Orleans central business/downtown district on St. Charles Avenue, was one of the first fine dining restaurants to re-open after Katrina. Chef/Owner Donald Link is preparing some of the finest cuisine in the city, blending traditional French and Italian influences with modern Louisiana ingredients. We had dinner at Herbsaint with a local friend last night, and it has been one of our best experinces in the city so far.
The outdoor lighting of the restaurant and the large windows reveal a very modern and inviting space inside.
A view at the pass.
Main Dining Room
The Herbsaint Champagne Cocktail.
Amuse Bouche of Green Beans and Quail Egg.
Fresh French bread hot from the oven.
Shrimp and Tomato Bisque
Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
Housemade Spaghetti with Pancetta and Fried-Poached Farm Egg. Everyone loved this one.
Shrimp and Green Chile Grits Cakes with Tasso Cream Sauce. I thought this was stylistically similar to Upperline’s Cane River Shrimp appetizer, but in an even richer and creamier sauce. Not necessarily better, but certainly a great dish.
Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms and Basil. Of the three pasta appetizers we sampled, this one was the least interesting, but it was still very good.
This was a special off-menu appetizer, a beet ravioli with julienne green apple slaw that was by far considered the best of the pasta dishes.
Fish of the day, sauteed Redfish with mashed potatoes, butter beans and turnips. I liked this one a lot, the butter beans were a great compliment to the dish.
Duck Confit with Dirty Rice. Rachel really liked this one.
Herbed Hangar Steak with Pomme Frites and Pimenton Sauce, which was kind of like a red pepper aioli. I enjoyed this a lot.
Caramel Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips
Louisiana Strawberry Sorbet. This was a knockout.
Chocolate Beignet with brandied cherries.
Inside of Chocolate Beignet.
Fresh Louisiana Strawberries.
After eating so much food we needed the walk back to our hotel. We passed by Gallier Hall at 545 St. Charles, a massive three story high Greek Revival structure which served as the City Hall for over a hundred years. You can book it for weddings too. This building is so big I had to go to the other side of the street over a hundred feet away just to get it in frame. The doors are probably close to 20 feet high.