Ever since we booked our reservation at August, we have been eagerly anticipating this meal. We loved watching Chef John Besh on various culinary television shows (e.g. The Next Iron Chef, Top Chef Masters, etc) for his Southern charm and creative dishes.
The restaurant is located in the Central Business District (walking distance from the French Quarter). The atmosphere was elegant (black linen napkins were offered because the white linen napkins would feather on our dark attire) and the restaurant was filled with diners celebrating special occasions (we were given complimentary champagne to celebrate our birthday).
For a high-end restaurant, we found that the prices were quite reasonable. There was even a $40 5 course fixed-price meal offered.
The service was friendly and attentive.
Our amuse bouche: 2 layers of seafood custard and truffle whipped sabayon topped with caviar and a brioche crouton. First you taste the earthy foam and then the cool light custard all in a delicate egg shell.
Salad of heirloom beets, crab meat, mizuna (greens), and quail eggs with black-eyed pea croutons ($15): The crab was light and meaty while the beets were colorful and sweet.
Louisiana seafood prepared 3 ways ($14): salt baked shrimp in garlic chili crust, cornmeal dusted oyster with Louisiana caviar "ranch" dressing, and chilled crab salad with shrimp chips. This was a fun starter with different flavors (garlicky, peppery, and tangy) and textures (crunchy coating, soft oysters)
foie gras prepared 4 ways ($20): These were very generous portions of foie gras for only $20. It was a tasty and interesting progression. The foie gras on the left was rich and nicely offset by the salsa. The middle foie gras was encased by a spongecake-like rind with a sweet fruit jelee. The last foie gras on the right was dressed with a strawberry jam-like sauce.
Crispy seared red snapper with sweet corn and blue crab risotto, chanterelles ($30): The corn was really good and the mushrooms gave the dish a nice earthy taste. The snapper was perfectly prepared.
Roast breast and slow cooked leg of Label Rouge chicken with fresh figs, piquillos, and smoked paprika ($26): We were told that this was the premiere free range chicken in the U.S. Our friend who ordered this dish did say it was one of the best chicken dishes she's ever had. It was moist and interesting (there were braciole-like pieces of chicken stuffed with chicken).
Sugar and spice duckling with McEwen's stone ground grits, roasted foie gras, and local figs ($32): This is August's signature dish. It was definitely rich, rustic, and tasty.
Louisiana blackberry ice cream sandwich with lemon verbana and fresh fruit consomme ($8): The ice cream sandwich was delectable - we loved the coconut on it! It was like having a macaroon with ice cream. The consomme was good too - it was very seasoned with ginger and mint.
August is located at 301 Tchoupitoulas St. in New Orleans, LA.