top of page

New Orleans, - Herbsaint an amazing restaurant and bar!

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Tonight I'm invited to one of New Orleans' best restaurants, Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant, and from what I've heard, the expectations are at least sky high, so it remains to be seen if they deliver. I arrive a little before eight o'clock and take a look from a distance and take some pictures. I have also decided to have a chat with some of the guests, so that it is not just me who gives the verdict of the day.

The first couple out are sitting and enjoying themselves on the outdoor terrace. I introduce myself and ask about their experience with the restaurant. They smile and say that this is a place they have chosen to celebrate their wedding anniversary and also say that they can almost be considered regulars, since they live in the area. (I must apologize, but the note with their names has unfortunately been lost)

With their plus in the book, I walk in and am greeted with a smile and guided to my table. As always in the US, the glass of water comes immediately.

The evening's waiter comes and welcomes me and presents the menu. I say that I would like him and the chef to decide what I will eat and drink. He smiles and says that he is happy to do that and he is looking forward to it. I sit and try to capture the atmosphere, which is actually very good, people are enjoying themselves and you can see that they are enjoying the food.

This will be fun. At the same time, I see that the restaurant's manager, Jennifer Pasquinelli, is coming towards me and she welcomes me. She wonders if she can sit down and tell a little about the restaurant and its history. I of course agree to it and she sits down and tells the story. Donald Link, who is the owner, established this restaurant back in 2000. She goes on to say that it is located on historic land in St. Charles Avenue and is the flagship of the "Link Restaurant Group". The chef's name is "Chef de Cuisine Tyler Spreen", he is unfortunately not here tonight, but he works closely with local farmers and fishermen, to get the best of the seasonal ingredients for his "French-Southern Cuisine". She does not hide the fact that they also have an element of old Italian recipes, to lift the hot food to the top. They pride themselves on their excellent wine list and their knowledgeable staff, who ensure perfect service at all levels.

She proudly goes on to say that the restaurant and the head chef deservedly received a "Chef Link, James Beard Award - South", for best chef in 2007. Herbsaint is very proud to be among the regulars in the Times-Picayune's annual awards, of the ten best restaurants in New Orleans, ever since the list was started in 2003. The restaurant has been recognized by Eater National as one of "The Best Restaurants in America" ​​(the 38 restaurants defined as "dining") and has been inducted into the Fine Dining Hall of Fame by Nation's Restaurant News and eventually named among the Top 50 Restaurants in America by Gourmet Magazine. Donald Link is Executive Chef and President, Link Restaurant Group and was inspired by his grandparents' Cajun and Southern cooking and his professional cooking career as a 15-year-old. Donald Link has peppered the streets of the Warehouse District, a hot new area of ​​New Orleans, with a collection of award-winning restaurants over the past two decades. Yes, after this the expectations have not diminished and I sip the wine that came to the table and look forward to it. This just has to be good! The waiter comes and says that this is the first of two starters. This is a dish with crab as the main ingredient which they call, Jumbo Lump Crab. It is served in a Watermelon Gazpacho, which is a cold watermelon soup, plus a little Jalapeno lime (extra strong), aioli and crispy bread. You're welcome!

This left my mouth watering before I had taken the first bite. What to say when the flavors fight to emerge. Woow this was just amazingly good. I see that the waiter is standing and looking towards me and I smile at him and give him a thumbs up. I can see him drop his shoulders and let out a sigh of relief. When you're out on this type of trip alone, it's not always easy to take it easy, but here it was easy, here you just had to let the flavors linger in your mouth and enjoy. I'm done and they clear the table and I'm ready for dish number two. They let me record my impressions in peace, but add some water.

Course number two is a Tuna Crudo with Canteloupe, Peaches and Basil. This is raw tuna with Cantaloupemelon, a well-known sugar melon and takes its name from the town south of Rome where it was first discovered. In addition, it is served with peaches and basil. Not only does it look good, but it tastes heavenly. It is in such situations that I wish my loved one was there so that we could share such wonderful food experiences.

I used the waiting time before the next course to have a chat with the couple at the next table, Michal and Anna from Quebec in Canada. They say that they have been around the city and eaten at a number of different restaurants and that this was one of the better things they have experienced. We sit and talk about food in different countries and settle on the fact that our biggest common multiple is Italy and that's nice.

Now comes the first main course if I am to believe the waiter. Thanks and appreciate that the dishes are not "American" sized, but a little more normal. The waiter presents the dish which is Homemade Spaghetti, Guanciale and Fried-Poached Egg. I've never tasted this before, but I'm looking forward to it! The homemade spaghetti is perfect and the Guanciale, which is unsmoked and cured pork made from pork knuckles. The meat is both salted and dried, in contrast to bacon, which is made from pork side meat, and which is often smoked. This is often used as a flavoring agent and is absolutely delicious. The fact that they serve it with a fried and poached egg is a variation that was actually very good in this dish. Definitely still an inner tier. I can feel myself getting a little full and Jennifer comes over and strikes up a conversation and she says that she has worked here for almost twenty years, but that she has also worked in the same industry in New York. It was good to have some company and a little break before the next course which is now on its way!

The waiter says that this is a real local dish that has been on the menu since they opened the restaurant. He goes on to say that his grandparents and parents also made this dish when he was growing up and the rice is very special and local. Bon Appetit! The dish is called Muscovy Duck Leg Confit, Dirty Rice and Citrus Gastrique. The duck is a special breed that is bred, among other things. in Rio Grande, Texas. In order to achieve the unique taste, confit is used, which is an old preservation and cooking method. It involves first salting and then slowly cooking meat, poultry or fish in fat. The purpose is to make the meat tender and tasty. A common type of fat for confit is duck fat. But then comes what the waiter really points out and that is Dirty Rice, he says no more for now.

I "duck" into the dish, which is so tasty and juicy, that wow. The rice is also absolutely beautiful and when I get the explanation I understand that this is a unique and very old recipe. Dirty Rice is prepared from plain white rice, mixed with chicken meat, mixed with gizzard, liver and other entrails, as you used the whole animal in the old days. Now I was "drunk" as the Americans say, but I still had dessert. I asked for a short break and went outside and chatted a bit with other guests. They were all of the same opinion, that this was very good! Then I was ready for the last dish, I thought. They had disagreed a bit in the kitchen about which dessert they should choose for me, so they took both, - and thank you for that. At the same time thank the chef for the food, he can be proud of it!

One dessert was a Fried Blueberry Hand Pie, with Nilla Wafler Crumbs and Vanilla Bean Ice Crem and the other a Black Forest Cake, with Dark Chocolate Mousse and American Cherries! This probably goes without saying, but my favorite was the chocolate cake from the American forests! I must not forget to mention the coffee and wines which were all excellent and went perfectly with the dishes! Thank you very much for the food, this place is hereby highly recommended! Tomorrow there are new food delights from the restaurant Gianna i samme Warehouse District



bottom of page