The 10 Best Restaurants For Louisiana's Creole Cuisine

April 14, 2016
By: Matthew Kayte, The Culture Trip

Louisiana’s history is reflected in its Creole cuisine. It’s a mixture of wonderful flavors that have been informed by Spanish colonists, French settlers, Afro-American slaves, and Italian and Irish immigrants. Typical Creole dishes include oysters, crawfish étouffée, gumbo and jambalaya, and there are great spots to sample it all over the state, especially in New Orleans. Here is a list of the ten best places to sample Creole fare.

Restaurant August

At Restaurant August, you’ll find a contemporary take on Creole classics. Based in the central business area of New Orleans in a magnificent 19th-century building that retains its mahogany paneling and antique mirrors, Restaurant August is part of the empire of leading TV chef John Besh. It’s been featured in plenty of newspaper columns and online magazines – great write-ups have come in The New Orleans Advertiser and The Infatuation’s run-down of The Essential New Orleans Restaurants. On the menu are dishes like shrimp étouffée with ginger and fermented pepper, pan-seared scallops with tête de cochin, and roasted duckling with charred cabbage and foie gras jus.

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The 21 best French restaurants in America

March 9, 2016
By: Ruth Tobias and Time Out editors

Looking for a mind-blowing French restaurant? We’ve rounded up the best French restaurants in America, for haute cuisine and beyond.

You've been through America’s best burgers. And the country’s best pizza. (And, yes, we think you’ve probably downed a few tacos at the best Mexican restaurants in the U.S.) Now it’s time to get fancy with French. But French stateside is a little different than it used to be. What’s the difference between your average upscale French restaurant and its New American counterpart today? Judging by their repertoires these days, the answer is not much other than “whatever the chef says it is”—which is fair enough. First, fine dining was and is built on the foundations of haute cuisine, perfected at fine French restaurants. Second, several decades ago, haute cuisine itself underwent a shift, bringing local ingredients and global influences to bear on classical technique. Whether preaching tradition or moving the conversation forward, these 21 restaurants speak with passion and authority to the idea that French cooking is our universal heritage. They are the best French restaurants in America, and you want to be eating in them.

Restaurant August
There may be no bolder, more commanding interpreter of the French legacy in New Orleans than visionary chef-restaurateur John Besh, whose own legacy begins with the aptly named August. Occupying a historic (and, some say, haunted) former tobacco warehouse in the Central Business District, his celebrated, elegantly appointed flagship stresses the Gallic accent on Louisiana Creole cookery—and vice-versa—with a regularly changing menu that ranges from smoked local redfish rillettes to Sauternes-poached pear with fried cornmeal pudding (though the blue crab-and-black truffle gnocchi has graced the menu since opening day back in 2001). The superb wine list displays its own brand of Creole as a mixture of Old and New World bottles, but Burgundy’s a (very) strong suit.

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101 Best Restaurants in America

March 29, 2016
By:Coleman Andrews, The Daily Meal

What makes a good restaurant a "best?" Food that's better than just good, of course. A dining room and a level of service that suit the quality of what's on the plate. A good wine list (which doesn't always mean an encyclopedic one), good beers and/or cocktails where appropriate. And then the less easily quantifiable stuff: personality, imagination (or intelligent commitment to a lack of same), consistency.

#31 August, New Orleans

True, John Besh has become a New Orleans institution, but he’s also still one of the most interesting (did you know he was a U.S. Marine?) and ambitious (12 restaurants and counting) chefs in the Crescent City today. The American menu atthis splendid eatery, located in a historic nineteenth-century French-Creole building in New Orleans’ Central Business District, shows his love for, and understanding of, French, Italian, and high-level American cuisine, much of it interpreted with a New Orleans lilt. His dishes also usually incorporate the finest local food Belle River crawfish tartlet, potato crisp P&J oysters, and crispy Gulf snapper. A $97 tasting menu is available, as well as a $72 tasting of farmers market vegetables, which features things like green garlic soup with quail egg, caramelized fennel cappellacci, and slow-cooked butternut squash with truffle and smoked onion. 

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How to eat (and drink) your way through New Orleans in a long weekend

March 24, 2016
By: Shayne Benowitz, Miami Herald

New Orleans was long on my shortlist of American cities I’d never been to, but was dying to visit. There was something about the lore of the Big Easy, with its free-spirited, jazzy laissez les bons temps rouler mindset that spoke to me.

BEST OF THE BESH

Chef John Besh is something of a legend on the New Orleans culinary front with 12 restaurants to his name. It all started with James Beard Award-winning August (301 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-299-9777; www.restaurantaugust.com), an ode to modern French cooking with a kick of New Orleans flavor. Located in a charming 19th century French-Creole corner building, the white tablecloth dining room is refined without being fussy. Sparkling chandeliers hang from high ceilings bolstered by ornate columns with exposed brick walls and picture windows spilling in light from the street.

We dined at lunchtime, when the three-course $20.16 prix fixe menu is a value hard to beat. However, other items on the menu tempted our taste buds: a charred winter green salad with the most perfectly piquant, crispy country ham, a roasted grouper in crab jus with blue crab meat and wild mushrooms, and fried green tomatoes with cold, firm lobster-shrimp remoulade. Every bite was symphonic, especially when chased with a fizzy French 75. It takes the cake for the best meal of our trip.

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Local Guides 10 Restaurants in New Orleans Beloved by Locals

February 2016
By: Aidan Ryan, Xome

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is about a lot more than just Mardi Gras and jazz music. Their soul food is world-renowned for its incomparable flavors, especially its spice. There are so many places in the city to try fried frog legs or jambalaya so we narrowed it down for you. Here is a list of the ten best restaurants in New Orleans.

Restaurant August delivers on French fine dining. The menu boasts potato gnocchi, truffle picatta, foie gras, slow cooked rabbit, curried shrimp bisque, BBQ quail, and goat’s milk cheesecake, among many other options. The food is as decadent as it is pricey – but so worth it.

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THE BEST THING TO EAT NEAR EVERY MAJOR NEW ORLEANS LANDMARK

February 2016
By: Scott Gold, Thrillist 

If you’re headed to the Crescent City for a visit, there’s a good chance you’ll want to check out some of the major sites. There are about three hundred years of them, so that’s totally understandable and admirable. But you’ll probably also get hungry at some point, and the good thing is that the food in New Orleans is everything it’s cracked up to be and more. Here are some of the very finest things for you to try, should you be nearby these famed local landmarks.

Chef John Besh has become one of the most notable cooks in NOLA, a lot which has to do with his restaurant business savvy (not to mention that TV-perfect smile), but also with his actual skill in the kitchen. You can and should find this plainly evident in the famed crab and truffle gnocchi at his flagship, Restaurant August.

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Contemporary Creole: The New Orleans Advocate fall 2015 dining guide

The glittering chandeliers, paneled wine room, dark, clubby bar and high-touch service could augur a stuffy experience. Instead, John Besh has made his first (and by far most upscale) restaurant into a showplace for creative culinary energy. Recent dishes from chef de cuisine Todd Pulsinelli have been visually dazzling (venison carpaccio interspersed with ripples of bitter greens and dabs of creamy aioli), locally relevant (cobia crudo with grilled lemon and a crown of chicken cracklin’) and sometimes even a touch whimsical (a cut of drum fully encased in crumbled Zapp’s chips, part of the exceptional value of Friday’s prix fixe lunch). Desserts are intricate, beautiful compositions of taste and texture. This is a place to go all out, with an impressive setting that follows through across the experience. 

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The Essential New Orleans Restaurants

September 14, 2015 By Chris Stang, Infatuation New Orleans is one of our favorite places on earth. The spirit of this city represents everything that makes life worth living: good food, good people, good music, and an appreciation of the fact that life is short, so we all might as well enjoy ourselves while we’re here. And yes, sometimes that means taking a full beer along for the taxi ride to dinner. If you’ve made a trip to the Big Easy before, you know that sorting through all of the excellent New Orleans restaurants while also avoiding tourist traps takes some skill. That’s why we’re happy to present this list of places we find to be essential to a successful visit, ranging from classic and legendary to exciting and new. At the end of the day, there’s really no wrong way to eat in this town, other than to confine yourself solely to the French Quarter. Get out into the city amongst the local residents. They’re very nice, and they’ll certainly feed you well. John Besh is a celebrity chef, but he’s a celebrity chef from Louisiana, and his restaurant August is one of the best examples of Southern French fine dining you can find anywhere. We love coming for Friday lunch, when the three course prix fixe only costs $20.15. - read full article

Nell Nolan: To the Table

Dine and wine times three! On a recent Friday, the Krewe of Cork amassed its merrymakers to Restaurant August for the monthly lunchfest, while hours later the Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat Center held its second annual Wine & Dine at Chateau Golf and Country Club. “An Evening with Chef John Folse” billed the event that included, other than gustatory pleasures, a raffle and silent and live auctions. -read full article

Brewsday Tuesday: The Bruery holds beer events in New Orleans Sept. 2-3 - Aug 2015

August 18, 2015 By: Nora McGunnigle, Gambit New Orleans Orange County, California brewer The Bruery will showcase its beer at events Sept. 2-3 at events at The Avenue Pub and Restaurant August. The Bruery, named for founder and brewer Patrick Rue, recently released a portfolio of sour and wild beers under a new brand called Bruery Terreux and will debut the line at a "Late Summer Sour" tasting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2 at The Avenue Pub (1732 St. Charles Ave., 504-586-9243). Bruery representative Cambria Griffith, who is certified by the Cicerone program for beer professionals, will discuss the beers, including Saison Rue, Hottenroth Berliner Weisse, Tart of Darkness, Gypsy Tart, Beret and Tonnellerie Rue. She also will discuss the creation and direction of Bruery Terreux and hand out limited-edition glassware. - read full article