Thursday, November 11, 2010

I’ve only been in New Orleans a little over 24 hours and I’m already falling in love. I have the greatest hosts imaginable: Chris, who runs local label Park the Van, his charming and amazing tour guide wife Sabrina, their dogs Taco and Sophie and two cats (who have been giving me dirty looks for invading their space.) They’ve already taken me around various parts of the city and last night, they took me to Herbsaint.
The real reason for this post is so I can try to explain the mind-blowing meal I had while it’s still fresh in my memory. Herbsaint, is a French-inspired restaurant with Southern influences run by James Beard award winner Chef Link. Their menu doesn’t have many vegetarian options, but our server Noah (friend of Chris and Sabrina) said he could have the kitchen whip me up something. And it was worth the risk. Oh my, it was worth the risk:
Sticky rice cake, sauteed bitter greens, browned cauliflower & mushrooms, topped with pickled squash. One of the best vegetarian meals I’ve ever had and it was made up on the fly. I literally wiped the plate clean with a piece of bread. My compliments to the chef. My fumbling, gushing, compliments.
Based on my meal, you’d think I would have believed Sabrina when she told me their Banana Browned Butter Tart was life-changing. I didn’t. And I was wrong.
We got a selection of desserts – pumpkin tart special, fried apple pie with frozen yogurt – along with the banana tart. They were all delicious, but the banana tart was what I can only describe as a religious experience. The buttery crust literally melted in my mouth. I kept telling myself to keep it together so that the restaurant wouldn’t see my eyed rolling into the back of my head. Noah even made it “Elvis style” with peanut butter ice cream on the side. Are you kidding me?
Herbsaint. New Orleans. Banana Brown Butter Tart with Fleur De Sel Caramel. Life changing. You may not believe me, but just you wait.

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